They are a familiar sight in the UK’s parks, but how much do you really know about the Papillon?
The last few years have seen many of us welcome a new four-legged friend into our homes, as the Kennel Club has seen dog ownership rise to record levels.
But with 221 different breeds of pedigree dog to choose from, there’s plenty of thinking to do before you select your perfect pup.
There’s even academic guidance to seek out, with Psychologist Stanley Coren’s book ‘The Intelligence of Dogs’ ranking breeds by instincts, obedience, and the ability to adapt.
One dog that often appears at the top of people’s canine wishlists is the Papillon – they are a popular breed in the UK and have a range of positive attributes that make them a great family pet.
Here are 10 fun and interesting facts about the Papillon.
1. Let the Papillon eat cake
Legend has it that Marie Antoinette walked to the guillotine with her beloved Papillon under her arm. It's said that the dog was pardoned for any crimes related to being associated with the former queen and spent the rest of its life in comfort. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
2. Useful ancestors
The Papillion is a type of Spaniel. The breed's ancestors were called Dwarf Spaniels and were used as companion dogs, and for catching rats and other vermin. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
3. Artists' muses
If you're visiting an art gallery, there's every chance you'll see a painting of a Papillon. Dogs resembling the breed are featured in several of the 16th century works by Tiziano Vicelli, including the Venus of Urbino. Other famous artists to included them in paintings are Titian, Watteau, Gonzales Coques, Fragonard, Paolo Veronese, and Mignard. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
4. What's in a name?
Most people know that the Papillon's name comes from the French for butterfly - on account of it's distinctive wing-like fringed ears. Less well known is that a Papillon with dropped ears is called a Phalene - French for moth. Photo: Canva/Getty Images