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Thread: Is a papillon right for my family?

  1. #1
    minmom
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    Is a papillon right for my family?

    Hello Papillon owners!

    I would like to add a dog to my family and I'm struggling! Just can't seem to find a dog that fits for us. While my husband would like a "cool" dog, most of those are larger breeds and I'm concerned the kids will get pulled down the block. He has also said I can get whichever breed I'd like, since I'm the one who is at home during the day and will be the primary caretaker. I'm looking at easily trained and eager to please breeds and so I've landed on the papillon breed because it's smaller but still very trainable.

    We have a fenced in yard and take daily walks. I do have children, but they are gentle with our cat and I've taught them to be respectful. I would do the same with our pap/any dog we get. They enjoy dogs and want to interact with them, so I do need a dog that enjoys children and won't be afraid or nervous with them running, playing, sometimes being loud.

    Are they good family dogs or tend to be one-person dogs?

    How difficult was the pap puppy stage? Was housetraining OK? Are they bitey pups?

    What is most challenging about owning a pap? What is most rewarding?

    What would you like to warn a prospective owner about the breed?

    Besides brushing, are there any other grooming requirements?

    Thank you!

  2. #2

    Re: Is a papillon right for my family?

    I don't have a papillon yet but I can tell you that the first thing a breeder will ask you is how old your children are. A lot of papillon breeders are very concerned about their dogs going to homes with children because papillons are so fragile. Accidents can be fatal. Every breeder I've talked to asks me if I have children and some are even concerned that because of my age that I will have children soon and so shouldn't get a pap.

    I can also tell you that if you train a dog they won't pull you down the street. Getting a smaller dog doesn't mean you don't have to train them. I used to have a large dog and it wasn't too hard to train him to walk nicely beside me. You can get the children involved in training the dog and it can be a lot of fun.

    Also papillons ARE cool dogs so I don't know what your husband is talking about. lol!
    Seriously though something to consider is if you don't want a big dog and he doesn't want a small dog, there are plenty of medium sized breeds to look into. Best of both worlds.

    Hopefully someone who has lived with papillons will be along soon to answer your questions more thoroughly.

  3. #3
    Founding Member Chattles's Avatar
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    Re: Is a papillon right for my family?

    Max is my first papillon & I've had him 9 years now. I'm far from an "expert", but here are my thoughts:

    Are they good family dogs or tend to be one-person dogs?
    I'm not going to say they are NOT good family dogs, but papillons do tend to favor one person. As primary caretaker that will most likely be you. But as long as all family members are involved in training, care & playing you'll all get some love from your pap! Several of my pap friends have recently had children and report that the paps and now toddlers are great friends!

    How difficult was the pap puppy stage?
    Any puppy stage is difficult! That said, in most ways Max was one of the easiest puppies I ever had. They are smart & quick learners, but puppies will be puppies! LOL My best advice: Involve all family members in the training and be consistent in your training.

    Was housetraining OK?
    I've read from several different sources that papillons are difficult to housebreak, but I found just the opposite. Max was one of the easiest dogs I ever housebroke! First time I had him out he peed and pooped within 15 minutes! That's not to say he stopped using the in house potty right away, but he was never the type of dog that you could have out for an hour do nothing and then come home and immediately go on the floor.

    Are they bitey pups?
    My Max was bitey, yes. But other papillon owners I know have not experienced that. I don't think "bitey" can be classified by breed. Just like infants, puppies teethe. Again it all comes down to training. As soon as a pup puts his mouth on you, a firm "no" and redirect to an appropriate item...bone, toy, etc...


    What is most challenging about owning a pap?
    Once again I think challenges are individualized. For me, it was Max's sleep habits when he was young. But I think you would get a different answer from every owner.


    What is most rewarding?
    I've owned dogs my entire life. Mostly mixed breed rescues until I got a ****er spaniel in 1990 and then Max in 2004. I have LOVED all my dogs. But Max is the sweetest must affectionate dog I have ever had. He is truly my sunshine. I can't see myself without a papillon ever again!

    What would you like to warn a prospective owner about the breed?
    Papillons were bred to be guard dogs. Not attack dogs, but guard dogs, so they tend to be barkers. No yippy like many small breeds, but warning barks. They want to protect what is theirs. Again we come back to training to keep the barking under control so it doesn't get out of hand and disturb neighbors.


    Besides brushing, are there any other grooming requirements?
    Despite the long coat, papillons require minimal grooming, although exactly how much is once again individualized as a papillon coat can vary. Usually a good brushing/combing once or twice a week is enough for a pap with a single coat. Some paps do develop a double coat though and that may take more frequent brushing/combing. In addition to their coat, nails will need trimming and dental care for any dog is a must. I do most of Max's grooming myself, but in the last few years have been taking him to a groomer a few times a year for a more through groom.


    I love the breed! I'm hoping to add a second papillon in the next couple of years and I want to have a papillon for the rest of my life! I hope the info I've shared has helped!
    There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face. ~Ben Williams

    Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

    Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for s****s. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made. ~Roger Caras

    Happiness is a warm puppy. ~Charles M. Schulz

  4. #4
    minmom
    Guest

    Re: Is a papillon right for my family?

    OK, thanks for the responses!

    Good point about having young children. I do have a couple little ones. Something to keep in mind.

    Definitely would be doing lots of training, but I could see even a well trained large dog pulling a kid to get to another dog (or small animal) when on a walk, etc.

    Chattles, thank you for your response. Lots of good information there!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Avec Bravissimo's Avatar
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    Re: Is a papillon right for my family?

    I'll try and post a useful response tomorrow - it's hard to do on my Android....

    :-)

  6. #6
    Senior Member Sully'sMom's Avatar
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    Re: Is a papillon right for my family?

    Are they good family dogs or tend to be one-person dogs?

    *There's just myself and my hubby but our Sully doesn't show favoritism at all. He's 7 months old, is very lovable and has never made a cross sound to anyone or anything. I would not hesitate to have one if I had children in my home. I had planned on taking him to obedience classes but shortly after we got him I fell and broke my ankle so that put that to a halt. I'm still recovering but very soon I'm going to be enrolling him. Classes can't hurt no matter what age.

    How difficult was the pap puppy stage? Was housetraining OK? Are they bitey pups?

    *A puppy is a puppy, and just as a baby is, dogs are no different....there's no two the same. We've had 3 other dogs previously and ever one was different. House training has been a challenge. He's doing a lot better. Part of the problem is us, not him. We're still trying to figure out his signals to want outside....he has a few, some that he uses for other things too. That's why it's so confusing. He has never bit anyone or anything, not even the furniture. He chews a lot....his toys AND our fingers. :-)

    What is most challenging about owning a pap? What is most rewarding?

    *Challenging you ask.....Trying to keep up with him!! Not really. He's just very active and we aren't getting any younger. LOL Rewarding....he is always at our sides and gives tons of kisses!!

    What would you like to warn a prospective owner about the breed?

    *Be careful....Papillons are extremely huggable!!

    Besides brushing, are there any other grooming requirements?

    *Just brushing and occasional bath is about it. Something I've never done in the past that I'm going to do with Sully is have his teeth cleaned yearly. We do it, so why not them.



    Good luck on making your decision!

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