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How to Groom a Papillon

| Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Slicker brush

  • Metal combs

  • Coat conditioner

  • Clippers

How to Groom a Papillon. Papillons, or Continental Toy Spaniels, are small dogs that belong to the Toy Group. They have a long tail which curls up over their backs and in the past caused people to label them as Squirrel Spaniels. Their coats consist of long, silky white hair that can have spots of any color except liver. A Papillon requires a full grooming every 6 to 8 weeks and a general grooming at least once a week.

Brush out the coat using a slicker brush and metal combs to remove shed hair. This is mainly for cosmetic reasons, as Papillons don't mat or tangle. They do, however, have very unique coats which require constant styling and care. Papillons are average shedders.

Bathe when necessary but not too often. It's often unnecessary, as they naturally emit no odors. Dry shampoo when possible. Finish the bath with a good conditioner to reduce static in the coat.

Comb the coat upwards to add volume once the dog is dry.

Clean your dog's teeth regularly. Papillons have a high tendency for tartar build-up.

Clip toenails regularly.

Check ears regularly for signs of infection. Also, be sure to keep water out of the ears when bathing. Papillons' giant ears are their most distinguishing feature.


  • Their original name "epagneul nain" (dwarf spaniel), Papillons are one of the oldest known breeds. They have existed since at least 700 years ago in Europe. Much of the history of the evolution of this breed is known because this dog breed constantly appears in Italian frescoes and other artwork.


  • Papillons are susceptible to problems with their kneecaps. Veterinarians can fix knee problems through surgery, but keep in mind that some Papillons have trouble dealing with anesthesia. Some Papillons develop a fontanel in the top of the head similar to that of human babies. If this is the case, make sure to adequately protect your dog's head.