Continental Toy Spaniel


Attentive, Energetic, Happy
Size: Small
Height: 20-28 cm
Weight: 2-5 kg
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Coat: Longhair
Colors: White with red, brown or black
FCI Group: Companion and Toy Dogs

There are two varieties of this dog: the Papillon and the Phalène. The Continental Toy Spaniel is a very small and light dog that originated in France and Belgium. This lively and cheerful breed was a favorite companion dog of the nobility centuries ago. Their elegant appearance made them a luxury dog. Nevertheless, they are not lap dogs, but little bundles of energy.

Continental Toy Spaniel
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The Continental Toy Spaniel is a dog breed of French and Belgian origin. It is recognized by the FCI. The breed is assigned to Group 9 (companion and companion dogs).

The Continental Toy Spaniel belongs to the small dog breeds. Its coat is fine, long and shiny, without undercoat. The color is white with red, brown or black markings. There are two varieties of this breed: the Papillon and the Phalène. Papillon means butterfly in French, phalène means moth.

The large, protruding ears of the papillon are reminiscent of the shape of a butterfly. In the phalène, the ears point downwards. Originally, there were only droopy-eared Papillons. In the 19th century, toy spaniels and Chihuahuas were probably crossed with them. Since then, there have also been standing-eared toy spaniels. These are more widespread and more popular today.

The crossbreeding of the Miniature Spitz and Chihuahua has also changed the character of the Papillon. It is even more spirited and barkier than the Phalène. If several toy spaniels are kept together, they encourage each other to bark.

The Continental Toy Spaniel is very lively, active and barking. The lively, spirited puppies need to be kept busy and are very eager to learn. They always seek close contact with their humans. They want to cuddle and play a lot.

However, this breed is also considered to be particularly sensitive. This small dog breed is not recommended for small children. They are particularly sensitive towards their humans. The dogs can sense how their humans are feeling. They react to their human's mood. A harmonious home environment is particularly important for this breed.

This dog is suitable for apartments. However, it needs sufficient daily exercise, walks and contact with other dogs. The breed gets on well with other dogs. Despite its small size, this breed is very robust.

When the opportunity presents itself, he is a passionate mouse hunter. He is a small dog with a big character. This small dog breed is suitable for individuals. It is also suitable for couples and families with older children.

Coat care:




Energy level:




Children suitable:

With supervision

The right food

When choosing food, make sure that it contains high-quality ingredients, is balanced and meets your dog's requirements. Age, size or weight, activity and health status play an important role. You should follow the manufacturer's recommendations for the amount of food.

Treats should only be fed in moderation and deducted from the basic diet to avoid obesity.

Puppies can be fed 4-6 times a day. The number of meals should be gradually reduced to 2 per day until the dog is fully grown. A rest period should be observed after meals.

Fresh drinking water should be available at all times.

Health & Care

The coat of this breed is easy to care for. It needs to be brushed regularly. Get your dog used to it as a puppy. Brush him every other day. Dirt can usually be brushed out. Only bathe him rarely. And check him regularly for parasites such as ticks and fleas. You can get tips on how to care for your dog from breeders and vets, for example.

Check his ears and claws regularly. Parasites such as mites can settle in the ears and cause inflammation. You can regularly clean your dog's ears with a 1TP1 ear cleaner. In winter, long hair on the paws should be trimmed. Otherwise lumps of snow and ice can form.

Suitable accessories

All you need for your Continental Toy Spaniel is what every dog needs. Get a collar, a lead, a basket, a food bowl and a water bowl. Instead of a collar, you can also use a special harness for small dogs. The harness should be soft and fit well so that your puppy cannot slip out.

As toy spaniels love to play, you can also buy dog toys. However, these should always be dog-friendly. The toys must not be dangerous for your dog. Finally, you can also buy towels, blankets, chews and treats.

You will also need: Tick tweezers, claw clippers, mild dog shampoo, brush and comb, toothbrush and toothpaste for dogs, a transport box for transportation in the car and a first aid kit. Ask your vet what belongs in the first aid kit.

Continental dwarf spaniel history

Origin & History

Systematic breeding of this small breed began at the end of the 19th century in France and Belgium. The first breed standard for the Continental Toy Spaniel was established in 1905. There are also speculations that the small dogs originated in China. It is possible that Asian small dogs arrived in Europe at the end of the 12th century with Marco Polo's voyages of discovery.

From the 13th century onwards, Italian oil paintings and frescoes depict luxury dogs with a similar appearance for the first time. The small dogs were usually depicted with aristocrats or children. This breed can also be seen in paintings by the Italian painter Titian. The painter Rubens is said to have owned such a dog. Marie Antoinette and the Marquise de Pompadour also had one. An ancestor of the Continental Toy Spaniel was depicted in a painting next to the Sun King Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette.

This breed probably originated from the larger hunting spaniels. They then became the pastime and playmates of aristocratic ladies and children. Even today, Papillons and Phalènes still have a certain hunting instinct.

The Continental Toy Spaniel spread from Italy. Thanks to France, the small dog breed has survived to this day. Toy dogs were very popular at the French court for centuries. There, the external breed characteristics were not significantly changed through breeding. At the English court, a different appearance of the Toy Spaniel was preferred. This is where the English Toy Spaniel originated.

The aristocracy disappeared with the French Revolution. And with it, the Toy Spaniel disappeared almost completely. At the end of the 19th century, enthusiasts of this small dog breed were once again found in France and Belgium. They began dedicated breeding and saved the breed from extinction.