The Versatility

Of The Papillon

Papillons are one of the most adaptable and versatile breeds I have ever had the pleasure of working with. They do well in most any family setting, city or country living, with children, with the elderly and everything in between. They also rank as one of the top toy breeds in Agility competitions, are superbly intelligent and therefore excel in obedience competitions and do great as Pet Therapy dogs! At the end of the day they also make a great lap warmer and TV companion. They are easy to care for, easy to train, require little grooming and always seem to have a smile on their face.

Below are several groupings of photos showing the many faces of the Papillon.

In Agility:

Papillons rank as one of the top toy breeds in agility and have often been referred to as a Border Collie in a small package. They also excel in Obedience because of their high intelligence.

In Flyball:

Obedience & Pet Therapy:

As Family Companions:

With Children:

As Dance Partners:

As Play Buddies:

Don't forget the good 'ol games of Hide n' Seek and Tug-O-War.

As exercise companions:

As Service Dogs for the handicapped:

For more information click here.

As Dress-Up Dolls For Children (or adults):

Heart Warmers:

For the tough guys in your life!

With Other Pets:

As your Children: (great for empty nest syndrome)

Just like children, they're great at giving the classic "I didn't do it" look!

and in case you miss a little ruckus in the home after your children leave the nest...

In Advertising:

In Any Climate:

(Note: Paps are considered indoor companions so should not be subjected to extreme temps for extended periods of time.)

As Travel Companions:

As something Pretty around the house:

As An Exterminator!

As a Parrot!

As Guardians!

As Great Hunters!

(Squirrels, doesn't matter!)

As Herders!

(When pretending to be a Border Collie)

As Excavators!

As Rock Stars!

In Any Setting: Country or City!

And Remember: They're like potato chips...You can't have just one!

Since most of our website is devoted to conformation you may or may not want to view the conformation aspect of the Papillon which is pictured through the end of this page. If you prefer to stop here feel free to visit some of our other pages for more information on the breed such as our Breed Information Page, Breed Profile Page or our Colors Page then visit our Testimonial Page to read testimonials from people living with our Papillons and see the photos they have shared with us over the years. If you would then like to further your expertise on the Papillon there are many other pages you can view using the links at the bottom of this page or from the homepage. We also offer photos of most of our Paps as they are growing up so you can watch the changes they go through from puppy to adulthood. These can be seen by clicking on most of the names of the individual Paps throughout our website. Enjoy!


Since we are a show kennel we obviously could not leave out the conformation aspect of the Papillon. Conformation basically refers to the over-all structure of the Papillon with regards to the breed standard. This includes the general appearance as well as specifics on the head, neck, body, feet, tail, coat, size, gait & color. The standard can be viewed on the Papillon Club Of America website as well as the AKC website. It is because of this excellent structure that our Papillons have been able to excel in venues like Conformation showing and Agility. The breed standard will also have some reference to the personality of the breed and this along with proper training will also be evaluated in a conformation show ring.
In the examples below you will see several of our Paps at various ages showing off their structure.

Note: On smaller computer screens some of the below photos may appear stacked one above the other instead of side by side. If this is the case the photos labeled "Left" will be the top photo in each age section and "Right" will be the bottom photo in each section".

Nice Structure example from 7-9 weeks. (Left: Jade, Right: Maddy)

Nice Structure example from 12-15 weeks. (Left: Striker, Right: Maddy)

Nice Structure example from 18-20 weeks. (Left: Jade, Right: Trance)

Nice Structure example from young adult. (Left: Jade, Right: Maddy)
Notice: these are the same two dogs pictured in the first structure example from 7-9 weeks.

Nice Structure example from 15-20 weeks. These are 2 of our favorite teenaged structure photos as they truly show the perfect side profile of a Papillon. (Left: Striker, Right: Monkey)

Below is a visual and written explanation of why we like the 2 above photos so much when looking to show excellent side structure. Use the red lines to follow our descriptions.
When the rear is positioned properly the hock should form a 90% angle to the table and the tips of the rear toes should form an imaginary line to the anus. The tail should form a tea kettle handle. The base of the neck should line up just to the back of the ankle.
The line on the foreskull is showing what is called the stop. Striker's stop is very lovely while Monkey's appears to have less depth giving the appearance of a more flattened head. This is because of their age difference. When a Pap goes through their teenage development stage, which is usually between 4-6 months, they in many ways fall apart so to speak so it is best not to overly evaluate them at this age. His head will come back together as he matures past this stage. We will show this below.

Nice Head examples 11-12 months. (Left: Rigby, Right: Monkey)
Here you can compare Monkey's head and stop from 20 weeks (above) to 11 months and notice how well it came back together. The other example shows a lovely boy with a very pretty head. Heads are in many ways a personal preference in papillons. Some people will prefer a little more stop than others, but all are correct as long as there is enough stop to keep the head and muzzle from appearing flat or long and not too much as to leave it looking like a Chihuahua. Proportions are everything in structure so as long as the head, foreskull/stop and muzzle are proportiante the over-all appearance will be lovely.

Proper Fronts from 9-10 weeks (Left: Monkey, Right: Gucci)

Proper Fronts from 15 weeks to 6 months (Left: Striker, Right: Rayna)

Proper Rears at 8 weeks (Left: Rita, Right: Striker)

Proper Rears at 15-20 weeks (Left: Striker, Right: Monkey)

Nice Movement at 15 weeks (Left: Gucci, Right: Prada)
In all of the below movement examples you will notice a quality Papillon has reach and drive similar to that of a large breed dog which is one of the reasons they do so well in performance events. Reach describes how far ahead of them their front legs stretch when in motion and drive refers to how far behind them their rear stretches back. This gives them more push and pull and thus allows them to cover a lot of ground in less time. A Papillon with improper structure in the upper arm or lacking in agulation in the rear will not be able to move with such proper reach and drive and instead will take smaller choppy steps.

Nice Movement from 12-14 months (Left: Rigby, Right: Blondie)
Note the nice level toplines while in motion. When a dog has really good movement their toplines will be level and their movement smooth enough you could "almost" lay a book on their back and it would stay put. When a Papillon has bouncy movement they are often lifting too high in the front. High stepping is sometimes just a lack of development in chest in which case it will often improve with maturity. If it does not improve with age there is a structural fault that will always cause improper movement for a Papillon while high stepping or "Hackney" movement is proper in breeds like Miniature Pinschers.

Nice Front Movement at 16 weeks & 11 months (Left: Trance, Right: Ellie)
A dog with too narrow of a chest will often almost cross over in the front meaning their front legs almost cross over one another instead of moving in a straight line with each leg remaining in their own path. A dog whose elbows turn outward instead of laying against the rib cage will typically appear bow-legged and as a result will often swing their front legs outward when in motion instead of moving straight.

Nice Rear Movement at 18 weeks & 11 months (Left: River, Right: Ellie)
A Papillon who is lacking in proper agulation will not be able to drive back as far causing them to take smaller steps. This can also cause them to "waddle" in the rear like a duck when viewed from behind. Lacking in agulation can also make them stand high in the rear instead of with a level or slightly downward slope to the topline. Some angulation disappears as the Pap matures so a little excess in a puppy (causing the slight downward slope) is not a bad thing.

Nice Random Free Stacks from 11-15 weeks. (Left: Layla, Right: Striker)
When a dog has excellent structure they will land in a proper stacked position naturally. A Papillon who does not have proper structure will seldom, if ever, be seen standing in this proper position because they either can't or it is simply not comfortable to them. Keep in mind, even dogs with superb structure can stand improperly when they want too, but it is more natural for them to land in this position.

Nice Random Free Stacks from 16-18 weeks (Left: Trance, Right: River)

Nice Random Free Stacks from 7-8 months (Left: Misha, Right: Danni)

Nice Random Free Stacks from 12-13 months (Left: River, Right: Lexie)
The reasons behind good and bad structure is far more in depth than what is explained and shown here. I simply wanted to touch on the surface of structure and offer some visuals so people who are new to this breed can begin recognizing what is right and wrong as this is the first step to understanding structure. These are 2 very lovely examples of natural free stacks.

Nice Random Free Stacks from 18-22 months (Left: Rigby, Right: Carrie)

Nice Random Free Stacks from 3-4 years (Left: Shaker, Right: Candy)

When evaluating structure keep in mind that no dog is perfect. All will have some fault here and there. It is a matter of how that fault affects the rest of the package meaning does it change the look of the outline or affect the movement etc... Markings also play a role in evaluating a Pap pup. While we would all like a perfect blaze this is not the area I am speaking about. I am referring to Paps who have markings that cause the illusion of improper structure or movement. An example would be a single dark patch in the middle of the back can cause the topline to look as though it is dipping or swaying in the middle even when the topline is perfect. Another example would be markings that run down a leg, front or rear, as this can cause movement to appear improper even though it is only an optical illusion. Remember, it's what the judge sees in the ring that counts.

Over-all we feel the Papillon is everything you would want in a dog and more.

Visit our Testimonial Page to read testimonials from people living with Papillons.

Note: There are more pages available from the homepage.

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Copyright Notice: DO NOT copy or use any photos or text from any of our Braylor's Papillons pages without our written consent.