The Papillon (French: "butterfly"), also called the Continental Toy Spaniel, is a breed of dog of the spaniel type. One of the oldest of the toy spaniels, it derives its name from its characteristic butterfly-like look of the long and fringed hair on the ears. A Papillon with dropped ears is called a Phalene, which translates to "moth" in French.
Papillons are very intelligent and self-assured dogs that have a very easy time learning new tricks. These dogs can be sociable with children and strangers, but are generally reserved around new people. They can also be socialized to get along well with other pets, but care should be taken with rambunctious pets or cats with claws, as they may injure them. Widely known as great companion dogs, they have the spirit and energy to keep up with active families, but can also be calm enough to be happy with sleeping in the arms of an equally affectionate owner. Papillons are known as excellent watchdogs, as they will alert their owner to changes in their environment.