What care do they require?
They make delightful pets and their coats are very easy care. If they get dirty, leaving the coat to dry and then a quick brushing brings it up clean and beautiful again. No trimming is needed, just a brush two or three times a week taking particular care with the fringing on the ears. They don't need to be bathed too often, but be sure to rinse all the shampoo from their coat and dry them properly so they don't catch cold.
They are equally well suited to a person who leads a sedentary life or an active one. A Papillon will exercise itself quite happily in the garden especially if a ball is thrown, or will go for long walks and come back still fresh and ready for more games.
They become very possessive of their owners and tend to take over the family they live with as their personal property, either singly or collectively and because of this make excellent little guard dogs which give the alarm very clearly.
They are good travellers and if taught at an early age will stay quietly in the car with you for even long journeys. Please remember, though, that they should never be left in a car on their own.
What sort of food do they eat?
What you feed your dog is often an emotive subject. Many people swear by the natural diet which you prepare yourself; whilst others prefer the proprietary brands of complete foods. Whichever you decide, it will be your personal preference. You need to take advice from your breeder and vet, but it must be remembered that the puppy needs the best food whilst he is growing to prevent problems later in life. Careful observation of the puppy will indicate whether he is getting the right amount of the right food.
Because the Papillon is a small dog and eats small meals he needs plenty of protein as this is the main ingredient a dog needs in its diet. A normal sized saucer filled is sufficient food per day for an adult dog, but individuals do vary and you should always go by the condition of your dog. Bear in mind that dogs which have been desexed may have a tendency to put on weight and have different dietary requirements. Many dogs are not tolerant to beef and wheat, so try chicken and lamb instead.
Young Papillon puppies should be fed frequently and allowed to eat as much as they can at one sitting. They won't overeat but don't leave food lying around. Offer it, let them eat and then remove the dish. Start with feeding four times per day and gradually decrease until they are fed once a day after they are about 6 months old. Your breeder will give you a dietary sheet when you get your puppy.
A fresh bowl of water should always be available, and if you are feeding your Papillon a dry food they will need more water.
How do you train and socialise a puppy?
A Papillon puppy is no different from any other breed to train and feed. The old maxim "more can be done with sugar than vinegar" is very true when toilet or lead training your puppy. Kind, but firm, should be the order of the day with lots of praise for the right thing. Papillons try very hard to please their owners and to be in the boss' bad books is usually all the incentive he needs to make him do the right thing next time.
When lead training use a very light lead and allow the puppy to drag it around for a while and get used to it under supervision before you pick up the other end of it.
A crate is a very useful way to train your puppy. In a crate your puppy is protected from the dangers of the home - power cords, sharp objects, etc. He can have some toys in there and sleep in the crate at night. In time he will make it his own space and he will choose to stay there and he can give a message to children to leave him alone.