How to train a papillon dog

papillon dog are sweet and loyal small dogs. They should be trained gently and consistently from the time they are brought home.


Papillons are loyal and loving dogs, and they are a relatively easy dog breed when it comes to training.  Also known as the Squirrel Spaniel or the Continental Toy Spaniel, this spunky dog breed has been around for over seven hundred years!  Papillons have long, plumed tails that curl over their backs, and their multi-colored coats are long and silky.  They have adorable butterfly ears that can either be erect or drooping, and all Papillons have prominent white nosebands. 

Their short muzzles are slightly pointed, and their eyes are round and dark.  The life expectancy for a Papillon averages between fourteen and sixteen years.  At adulthood, males should weigh between eight and ten pounds based on an average height between eight and eleven inches, and bitches should weigh between seven and nine pounds based on an average height between eight and eleven inches.  The breed was featured in many Italian frescoes during the thirteenth through fifteenth centuries.  

Be sure to adopt a Papillon only from a trusted and reputable breeder who is able to give you a detailed genealogical history for your puppy.  Good breeding is imperative to good health.  There are some health problems that Papillons are prone to, such as kneecap and hind leg problems and fontanel.  As soon as you bring your Papillon home, the training should begin.  As with any dog, the sooner you begin training your dog, the easier the training will be.  Here are some tips for training your Papillon pooch:

Respect Training

If you do not assert yourself as the master to your Papillon, then the Papillon will assume that position for him or herself.  You have to be the leader of the pack, or else your doggie will take the reigns in your home – and that is not good!  It is imperative that you assert yourself as the “top dog” as soon as you bring your puppy home.  However, Papillons are small and should not be aggressively or roughly dealt with.  You don’t want your dog to fear you – you just want him to respect you.  Do not grab the dog by the scruff or yell loudly at him.  Rather, speak firmly and slowly to your puppy when he is doing something wrong, such as growling or stealing food from the garbage.  It is more important to reward the puppy’s positive behavior than it is to discipline the negative behavior.  Your dog will have an innate desire to please you, so if you focus on rewarding and praising good behavior, your dog will quickly learn to keep up the good work.

House Breaking

Papillons puppies can take up to about eight months to be housebroken, and that is a fact that owners have to come to terms with.  While this may sound like a long time, the truth of the matter is that small breeds like the Papillon do have fully-developed organs until around eight months, so they have a hard time knowing when they “have to go.”  Be patient and supportive!  You can get training pads to minimize the mess.  Praise your puppy when he or she “makes it.”  Make sure that you take your dog outside every couple of hours so that he can start to develop and get acclimated to a schedule.  If your dog doesn’t start improving after the eight month point, talk to your veterinarian because it could be a developmental delay or even a bladder or urinary tract infection that is to blame.  


Socializing your Papillon is one of the most important areas of training.  Papillons that are not socialized from an early age are likely to be skittish and very timid around strangers.  They may even nip at unknown people out of fear and nervousness.  Make sure that your puppy is regularly exposed to people – invite guests over to meet your new puppy, and get a carrying bag so that your doggie can even travel around town with you.  It is also important that you socialize your Papillon with other pets in your home (if you have them).  Papillons are generally very good and gentle with kitties if they grow up around them.  This breed is somewhat dog-aggressive, so if you have other dogs in your home, make sure to closely monitor their initial interactions until they really get to know each other and feel safe together.