Dog Breed Travel Profile: Papillon

One of the most popular dog breeds, Papillons are the perfect size with a great overall temperament for travel. Friendly, intelligent and energetic, these playful pups make excellent companion animals in general. They are known as yappy dogs only from owners who indulge such behavior. They like to play fetch or learn to perform tricks. With early socialization, a Papillon tends to develop into just about the perfect travel partner. They work well in apartments or houses and will easily adapt to you and your travel lifestyle.


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Size and Travel Options

Papillons generally grow to about 8-11 inches tall and rarely weigh more than 10 pounds, especially with healthy diet and nutrition. As a result, most will fit easily into an airline-approved pet carrier and qualify for in-cabin transport. Many of these dogs are even small enough into a hard-sided carrier, though we generally recommend a soft-sided carrier so your dog will have a little more space and viewable area. We also recommend a soft, durable blanket as these dogs like to stay warm.

If you’re looking to fly a Papillon puppy to you for the first time, there is an age limit. Pretty much all airlines now require that dogs be at least 10 weeks old, in addition to receiving their rabies vaccination. Especially when these dogs are still young, it’s also important to be mindful of small children who may accidentally hurt these toy-sized dogs. By the time it reaches early adulthood, it should have little trouble with any pet-friendly travel option.

Personality as a Travel Companion

Cherish Dewitt from Playtyme Papillons says she will “show [Papillons] in a black suit and dog hair isn’t something you have to worry about.”
Pictured: Grand Champion Tangled in Starquest.

While these eager-to-please dogs will happily sit on the couch and watch a movie with you, they’re also athletic and energetic enough to tag along on most hiking trips and other outdoor adventures. Be mindful around other animals: They will chase after the backyard squirrel—or your niece’s hamster. They also have that confidence and larger-than-life personality that suggests they don’t realize how small they actually are.

This breed does not shed much because it has a single coat, but it does shed enough that it’s considered to be NOT hypoallergenic. Even still, with no undercoat to speak of, this dog breed will be even more friendly to your wardrobe than your sinuses. For the same reason, the Papillon doesn’t have nearly the same pungent odor as other dog breeds. It also means your dog will have minimal brushing needs—though monthly grooming and trimming sessions will help keep your Papillon looking its best.

Health and Longevity

Even more so than most toy dogs, the Papillon is one of the healthiest dog breeds there is. Barring any major health issues, Papillon parents should expect their dogs to live to be 14-16 years old. They rarely have any trouble with hip dysplasia. Like other toy breeds, they can sometimes have trouble with their fontanel skull formation and patellar luxation, but responsible breeders can reliable screen for these problems. Many dogs can go the majority of their adult lives needing only routine vet check-ups.

Papillon Breeders and Adoption Centers

With a little searching, you can probably find an adult dog from an adoption center for about $300-$600 to help cover the cost of the facility and basic animal care. Those looking for a healthy Papillon puppy from a breeder should expect to pay anywhere from $800-$3,000, depending on the breeder, pedigree, and regional costs. The breed is also a popular show dog, so many breeders demand top dollar for the strongest breeding lines. Be sure to tell the breeder you’re looking for a travel-friendly pet and ask about the pack’s general temperament.