Showsight Presents The Papillon

PAPILLONS ARE MORE THAN PARTS & PIECES

by CHARLOTTE CLEM MCGOWAN

P apillon people like to say that the Papillon is a do-it-all dog. Papillons are gregarious, ele- gant, smart and athletic dogs. They are happy in the showring, perfor- mance ring and in the homes and hearts of their owners. They can be trained to do all kinds of things. They will go with you on a 5-mile walk, play fetch or they will cuddle on the couch for many hours and snuggle in bed at night. They love their comfort. As a companion dog they certainly excel. When judges come to this breed in the Toy group and are learning about it, they will get various opinions on the “essence” of the breed. Hopefully the list they get will be long and detailed but will also indicate that this is a breed that is a whole dog—beautifully typey, sound in all ways and temperamentally exceptional. The goal is the whole dog but the pieces and parts need to be cor- rect as well. TYPE POINTS Papillons have a number of distinc- tive type points. These are the lovely details that distinguish the breed and when appearing in one dog tell the world it is a Papillon. Papillons are dainty and fine boned. You will not find a lot of breeds asking for these traits. They are dainty and fine boned, but not fragile. This is the bal- let dancer of dogdom. The daintiness and fineness contribute to the breed’s elegance. Papillons have hare feet, another part of being dainty and fine. The majority of breeds have round or oval feet. The hare foot is a bit longer with the center toes advanced. Papillons are distinguished by their large, butterfly-like fringed ears. Papil- lon ears are large, broad at the base, round at the tips and set at a 45-degree angle like the spread wings of a butter- fly. The ears may be erect or dropped, but they are still set at 45 degrees to the head. In Europe, the breed is called Epagneul Nain Continental or

“PAPILLONS ARE GREGARIOUS, ELEGANT, SMART AND ATHLETIC DOGS.”

SOUNDNESS & BALANCE Every breed has a distinctive out- line. The Papillon outline is slightly longer than tall, never square or cobby, but also not long or low. The standard calls for a neck of medium length. It does not say short. The Papillon as an elegant, fine-boned dog needs enough neck properly set to in fact be ele- gant. It should not be stuffy necked or ewe necked. Front and rear are well angulated, topline is level and legs are straight. The Papillon is a sound, well made little dog. Straight legs front and rear means not east/west, not out at elbows, not cow hocked or spraddle hocked. Sound is sound. Papillons are great stars in agility because of their basic sound- ness and trainability. Papillon gait is free. Remembering that in Europe this is a Continental Toy Spaniel, the movement is light, free and not restricted. Now we have considered the long list of traits we want in our lovely Papil- lon. Please realize we are quite greedy here. We want it all. We want a beau- tiful, well-balanced, sound, graceful, elegant and fine-boned dog with all the lovely type points of head, ears, coat tail and feet and we insist on the won- derful temperament, character, intelli- gence and ability to be a superb com- panion. We want the whole dog. Dear judges, do your best to pick the best whole dog.

Continental Toy Spaniel. The erect ear is the papillon (butterfly) and the drop ear is the phalene (drop winged night moth). In the US, our butterflies and moths are all Papillons and judged together as one breed. Papillon ears also are fringed with silky coat. The ears are well fringed. So with ears we want size, shape, set and also fringe. The Papillon skull is somewhat small for the size of the dog and some- what rounded on top. The muzzle is fine and tapered and the muzzle is one- third the length of the skull with a well defined stop. The nose is black. The bite is scissored. Another type point is the tail, which should be long, set high and well arched over the back. The tail is an indicator of degree of happiness. Papillons tend to register high on the happiness scale. Papillon coat is single, something not all that common in dog breeds. The coat should be silky, fine and resilient, somewhat long without covering the dog’s outline. Tails are well plumed with long silky hair. Hair can grow over the toes and be trimmed to a point to exaggerate the longer hare feet. Temperament is very much a part of type. Papillons tend to think a lot of themselves. They like showing off and they like people. They are lovely dogs to live with and they like other Papil- lons. One is nice several are better. We say they are like potato chips—hard to have just one.

220 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , A PRIL 2017

Powered by