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Tags: toy, Small-sized, Adaptable to apartment life

In Europe, where we've adorned the laps of noblewomen for centuries, we're called the Epagneul nain continental, meaning the Continental Toy Spaniel. And we come in two breed types: the Phalene, those of us with the drop ears, and Papillon, with erect-ears that resemble the wings of a butterfly (hence, the French word for butterfly). The same two names apply in the United States, where we were admitted to the AKC's Toy Group in 1915. Both Papillons and Phalenes can be born in the same litter, and we are shown together as the same breed -- the Papillon -- an elegant, fine-boned dog measuring 8-11 inches at the shoulder and perfectly happy to sit on your lap. Or run and play, your choice.

Rave review

  • Adaptable to apartment life -- with appropriate exercise
  • Affectionate, devoted family friend
  • Agile and active
  • Classy canine

Report card

  • Coat requires regular care
  • Intelligent and ready to learn
  • Never aggressive
  • Outgoing extrovert
  • Playful pal
  • Pleased to please
  • Ready to romp
  • Spirited
  • Sweet disposition
  • Takes to training

What to expect

I can probably get my exercise running around upper floors of apartment buildings -- but you're welcome to get me involved in outdoor activities. I excel at obedience trials, canine sports and simple walks in the park. Now and then a Papillon owner (with an odd sense of humor) gets one of us involved in herding. I'll probably take a pass on herding. Although the look on those dopey sheep faces -- when chased by a furry butterfly -- might be worth the risk.

Watch for

Possible elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation (slipped kneecaps), Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, thyroid disorders, deafness, and skin and eye conditions.

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