Showsight Presents The Papillon

The Phalene Ear While Moving

BY ANDI MELOON & CHERYL CONLEY MAASS

W hen it comes to the Papillon and the Phalene, it is all about the ears! Ear set for each is very important. However, for some reason, some think the Phalene ear should not be mobile. Maybe the confusion comes from the statement in the Papillon Standard: “Ears of the erect type are carried obliquely and move like the spread wings of the butterfly... Ears of the drop type, known as Phalene, are similar to the erect type, but are carried drooping and must be completely down.” When the Papillon is standing still, and alert, the ears are forward. When moving, the ears can move like the spread wings of the butterfly and are sometimes forward, sometimes rotated, and sometimes folded back against the head. When the Phalene comes to a standstill, the ears should hang down along the sides of the face. But when moving, the ears can rotate back, just like the ears of the Papillon. The ears can also move out from the head when moving, as the wind created by their gaiting lifts the ear. Ears of the Phalene are also set on high toward the back of the head, just like the Papillon. This ear placement results in a very light ear carriage, not at all like the low set ears of the Cocker Spaniel. Since 2005, there have been great strides with Phalene breeding. Although those who are inter- ested in bringing the Phalene back to its original prominence in the breed are few, they are eager to work together for a common goal! Phalene breeders are rare, and breeding Phalenes must be accompanied by much patience, love, and devotion. It is not for the faint of heart! Nowadays, many of the drop-eared dogs you see in the ring are just as refined and typey as their erect eared counterparts... and they are still improving! Yet, despite the advances of BOB and BIS Phalenes, there still seems to be some confusion about the ears on the Phalene. While there are many judges willing to put a Phalene up as WD, WB or even BOB, there are still far too many who do not know the Phalene and are not sure how to judge them. The drop-eared Papillon, the Pha- lene, is just as correct as the erect-eared variety and was actually the first of the two varieties. No matter the individual preference of the judge, both varieties are equally correct and should receive equal consideration in the show ring. Judges seem to have no problem with the erect ears, but many are hesitant about the drop ears as they are unsure if the ears are correct. Both types of ears are mobile and move around, although the drop ears should always be down when the dog is at rest. The most repeated observations heard from judges about the Phalene is that while the dog itself may be lovely, the ears are flowing back when it is moving, not hanging down to the sides. If they were really watching what Papillons do when they gait, they would notice that the ears are mobile too, and have backwards movement as well when gaiting! Both are correct! Judges should not be surprised to see a Phalene toss its head back and flip its ears around; even up, when offered a toy or a treat from on high. This is exciting stuff ! However, the ears will return to the dropped position the minute the dog lowers its head.

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