Continental Toy Spaniel

Description Continental Toy Spaniel

Alert, Energetic, Cheerful
This dog comes in two varieties: the Papillon and the Phalène. Toy spaniels are very small and light dogs and come from France and Belgium. The lively, cheerful mini spaniels were already popular companion dogs in aristocratic circles centuries ago. Her elegant appearance made her a luxury dog. Nevertheless, they are not lap dogs, but small bundles of energy.FCI group: Companion dogs

  • Size: Small
  • Weight: 2-5kg
  • Life expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Coat type: long hair
  • Colours: white with red, brown or black

Character Continental Toy Spaniel

The Continental Toy Spaniel is a breed of dog of French and Belgian origin. He is recognized by the FCI. The breed is assigned to group 9 (companion and companion dogs).
The Continental Toy Spaniel is one of the small dog breeds. His coat is fine, long and glossy with no undercoat.

The color is white with red, brown or black markings. There are two varieties of this dog breed: the Papillon and the Phalène. Papillon means butterfly in French, Phalène means moth.
The papillon’s large, protruding ears are reminiscent of the shape of a butterfly. The Phalène’s ears point downwards.

At first there were only the lop-eared toy spaniels. Pomeranians and Chihuahuas were probably crossed in the 19th century. Since then there have also been prick-eared toy spaniels. These are more common and popular these days.
The crossing of Pomeranian and Chihuahua also changed the character of the Papillon.

He is even more temperamental and barks more than the Phalène. If you keep several toy spaniels together, they encourage each other to bark.
The continental toy spaniels are very lively, active and love to bark. The lively, spirited puppies need work and are extremely eager to learn. They always seek close contact with their humans.

They want to cuddle and play a lot.
The mini spaniels are also considered to be particularly sensitive. This small dog breed is not recommended for small children. They are particularly empathetic towards their owners. The dogs sense how their people are feeling.

They react to the human mood. A harmonious environment in the home is particularly important for the breed.
The small Continental Toy Spaniels are also suitable for apartments. Nevertheless, they need sufficient daily exercise, walks and contact with other dogs. The dog breed is well tolerated with other dogs.

Despite their small size, toy spaniels are extremely robust.
If the opportunity arises, the small spaniel is a passionate mouse hunter. He is a small dog with a big personality. The small dog breed is suitable for people who live alone. It also suits couples and families with older children.

Diet Continental Toy Spaniel

How should you feed your Toy Spaniel? As with all dogs, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Feeding this breed is comparatively unproblematic. The diet must not make the toy spaniel fat. If he gets too much food, it has health consequences. His respiratory system and joints can be affected by being overweight.

The knees of toy spaniels are particularly vulnerable.
As a small dog, he should get around 210 kcal a day. It is best to spread this over two to three meals a day. However, the amount and composition of the food vary depending on age and activity. You can always get good advice on feeding from the breeder and veterinarian.

There are many arguments in favor of doing without dry and ready-made food. Instead, you can give fresh, self-prepared food. This should consist of fresh meat, vegetables and grains. However, you need some expertise to do this. If you don’t have time to prepare your own food, you can use ready-made food.

But pay close attention to the list of ingredients and a high meat content in the finished food.
Always provide your toy spaniel with enough fresh water. This is especially important when feeding dry food. You can feed wet food or dry food. There is special dry food for small dogs that they can chew and swallow well.


The toy spaniel’s coat is easy to care for. You should brush it regularly. Get your dog used to it from a puppy. Brush him every two days. Dirt can usually be brushed out.

Rarely bathe your toy spaniel. And check it regularly for parasites like ticks and fleas. You can get tips on how to care for your spaniel, e.g. B. from the breeder and veterinarian.

Check its ears and claws regularly. In the ears of the Papillon and Phalène, parasites such as B. Mites nest and cause inflammation. With an ear cleaner for dogs, you can regularly care for the dog’s ears. In winter, you need to trim the long hair on the dog’s paws.

Otherwise small clumps of snow and ice can form.


Systematic breeding of small spaniels began in France and Belgium at the end of the 19th century. In 1905 the first breed standard for the Continental Toy Spaniel was established. There are also assumptions that the small dogs are descended from China. Small Asian dogs may have come to Europe with Marco Polo’s voyages of discovery at the end of the 12th century.
From the 13th century, similar-looking luxury dogs can be found on Italian oil paintings and frescoes for the first time.

The small dogs were usually depicted together with nobles or children. The toy spaniel 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 alongside the Sun King Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette.

Perhaps toy spaniels evolved from larger hunting spaniels. And then they became pastimes and playmates of noble ladies and children. Even today, Papillons and Phalènes still have a certain hunting instinct.
The toy spaniels spread from Italy. Thanks to France, the small dog breed has survived to this day.

The dwarf dogs were very popular at the French court for centuries. There, the external breed characteristics were not significantly changed by breeding. At the English court, a different appearance of toy spaniels was preferred. That’s where the English Toy Spaniels came from.
The nobility perished in the wake of the French Revolution.

And with him, toy spaniels almost disappeared. At the end of the 19th century there were lovers of this small dog breed again in France and Belgium. They began dedicated breeding and saved the small dog breed from extinction.

Continental Toy Spaniel Accessories

For your Continental Toy Spaniel, all you have to do is buy what every dog ​​needs. Get a collar, leash, dog basket, food and water bowl. Instead of a collar, you can also use a special harness for small dogs. The harness should be soft and fit snugly to prevent your pooch from slipping out of the harness . Toy Spaniels love to play, so you can also get dog toys.

But this should definitely be dog-friendly. The toy must not be dangerous for your dog. Last but not least, you can get towels, blankets, chews, and treats.

7.1Expert Score
Breed characteristics

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