If you are looking at the Papillon breed, then you will naturally want to know whether they shed. Maybe you have lots of carpeting or a family member who has allergies. Either way the question remains the same.
So, do Papillons shed? Papillons do shed, but do so moderately. They are also known to shed seasonally, where you can expect more shedding to occur in the spring and again in the fall. Papillons have a long, single undercoat that does require grooming. Weekly brushing is advised despite the fact that the coat does not mat. Papillons are not hypoallergenic, so are not necessarily the best breed of allergy sufferers.
Papillon dogs posses curly or wiry hair which grows until they reach the age of two. At this point, their full adult coat comes in.
One of the many benefits of the Papillon is that they are a clean bread, and they do not naturally have a ‘doggy smell’ or give off any foul odors.
Of course, they can become quite smelly, but this is usually due to something they pick up from the environment and with a consistent grooming regime, can be prevented and reduced.
Let us now take a closer look at the Papillon coat and explore their shedding in further detail.
We will also be covering the main questions related to the topic; including what can cause excess shedding in the breed and some grooming recommendations so be sure to keep on reading until the end!
How Bad Do Papillons Shed?
Papillons are categorized as seasonal to frequent shedders according to the American Kennel Club’s (AKC’s) shedding scale. This means that their shedding will go from infrequently to more frequent during particular seasons.
To put it plainly, Papillons are considered to be average shedders, but they actually shed on the light side of average.
But owners must factor in the amount of brushing that a Papillon requires, they do have high grooming requirements.
While there are many breeds of small dogs who have long hair and do not shed regularly throughout the year, the Papillon is not on this list.
However, they shed much more than other toy breeds like the Maltese or Toy Poodle. These breeds are often recommended for allergy sufferers as a more suitable alternative.
Papillons will shed the most when their coat is not perfectly groomed. This means that to keep the shedding under control, you will need to spend about ten minutes every day with an appropriate brush.
This Slicker Brush from Amazon is a bestseller and has tens of thousands of positive reviews.
It’s ideal for this breed, comfortable, and also very easy to clean. This is the brush to get if you are to own a Papillon.
Ultimately, the less you brush, the more likely you are to have hair around the home and in your car.
Of course, some should always be expected, especially during shedding season but you can manage it with more regular grooming.
Other practical approaches to help combat shedding and to make hair less noticeable, are to use a crate when you are in the car and to put blankets down in your dog’s favorite sleeping spots.
Getting the blankets in the same color as your dog’s coat is even better!
Are Papillons Hypoallergenic?
No, Papillons are not one of the dog breeds that are considered to be hypoallergenic because they shed more frequently and leave behind dander, one of the major causes of allergies.
Although they will shed all year long, Papillons shed the greatest amount during the spring and fall.
The spring shedding is to thin out the coat to better regulate their temperature during the hot summer weather.
Their fall shed allows for new, thicker growth to take the place of the thinner hair. This helps to keep your pet warm during the colder months by acting as a layer of insulation.
Unfortunately, both their seasonal and regular shedding means that people who are overly stimulated by pet hair and dander will likely be allergic to a Papillon.
Additionally, Papillons are extremely energetic dogs. They adore being active and are in go mode from the moment they wake up in the morning.
This means that they may sweat more than other dogs, releasing even more hair and dander into the air.
If your allergies are not severe, a Papillon may still be a good choice for you but you will need to be more committed to daily brushing and keeping on top of their grooming.
How To Groom A Papillon
Grooming your Papillon takes a little bit of skill and time but once this has been mastered, it is an easy feat to do yourself.
The grooming routine can be broken down into three simple steps, brushing, washing, and maintenance.
Because they have a coat that is silky rather than coarse, washing and bathing your Papillon can require the use of several different products.
You may choose not to use them all, but the combination of these steps will ensure that your Papillon’s coat is always looking its best.
Step One: Shampoo The Coat
Begin by applying some shampoo to your dogs coat. This will help to remove any tangles and protect your dogs coat from breakage.
You need to ensure it is designed for use on dogs. This will ensure no chemicals or harmful additives can irritate the skin, cause inflammation or pain.
This is an excellent, all-natural dog shampoo on Amazon that many vets recommend on all dog breeds.
Step Two: Brush The Coat
Next, you can run a safe brush (like a Slicker) through your Papillon’s coat and gently separate any tangles that you find.
Step Three: Bathe
Using lukewarm water, work a good quality pet shampoo through your Papillon’s coat and scrub gently into a lather.
Step Four: Rinse The Coat
Be certain to rinse them shampoo from your dog thoroughly. Make sure it does not go into their eyes or ears as this can be uncomfortable for them.
Step Five: Condition The Coat
Follow this by using a conditioner to help keep the coat silky and tangle-free. This is the brand I buy for my dog on Amazon.
Step Six: Re-Rinse The Coat
Leave on for a couple of minutes and again rinse your pet until the water runs clear.
It is essential to make sure that all residues from shampoos and conditioners are out of the coat so that they do not irritate your pet’s skin and cause them to itch.
Step Seven: Drying The Coat
Avoid rubbing your dog dry.
Instead, pat them dry using an absorbent towel. Rubbing can cause the hair to break and your Papillon to look splotchy.
If you use a blow dryer for your dog, put it on the cool air setting instead of hot. Brush your pet thoroughly once their coat has dried.
General Grooming Practices
For Papillons, it is recommended to bathe them about once every three weeks, unless they come home covered in mud.
Washing too often can cause itchiness and dry skin. This also gives the hair follicles a chance to recover from bathing.
If you need to trim your Papillon, once they are fully dry is the best time to do it.
Although Papillons do not come with the option of a long coat or a short coat and are not meant to be cut down like other breeds, there are certain areas on their body that can require trimming once in a while, especially around the ears, eyes, feet, and anal area.
While you can use either clippers or scissors, clippers are more desirable because the end result does not look like you hacked away at the hair.
Very carefully trim the area around the corners of the eyes first. Overgrown hair here can irritate the eyes and cause eye infections if left unchecked.
Look for tufts of hair around the toes and pads of the feet. These need to be removed if you discover any. Move on to the ears next.
Cut out any knots around the ears. Use tweezers to pluck any errant hairs from inside the ear canal.
When this hair is left to grow it can cause problems with your pup’s hearing and even cause ear infections.
Last, trim the area around the bum very carefully. Finish off by running a brush through the coat again.
Finally, spray on a leave-in conditioner. This will assist in preventing an accumulation of dust, dirt, and debris from building up in the fur. It will also help to keep their coat looking clean and well-groomed in between washings.
Additional Papillon maintenance and health tasks that keeps your pup happy and healthy, include things like regular vet visits, trimming the coat when needed, brushing your pup’s teeth, and trimming the nails.
The nails are an essential part of the grooming ritual and they should be cut once you hear the tell-tale clicking on your floors.
Nails that are left untrimmed will eventually grow right into your Papillon’s pads.
Papillons appear to develop buildup of tartar more frequently and to a larger extent than other dog breeds.
Time with the toothbrush is an essential part of your grooming routine. In severe cases of tartar buildup the services of a veterinarian might be required
Owners who do not feel comfortable with any of the grooming aspects for their Papillon, they can always take them to the groomer.
As an added bonus, the groomer will bathe your pet and use a specialty brush to get rid of hair and reduce shedding.
Why Is My Papillon Shedding So Much?
Most Papillon shedding is completely normal, but there are cases where excess shedding occurs. The majority of the time, this is the result of a medical issue.
We must always remember that most dogs shed, and we need to expect it somewhat. We need to learn the normal growth cycle, however, for our respective breeds and dogs.
Its only when it becomes noticeably more all of a sudden (and you have already ruled out seasonal shedding) that you may want to investigate further.
Nonetheless, since your Papillon should shed an average amount, if you are keeping a regular grooming cycle and brushing them every day, shedding should not be an out of control problem.
If you are doing this and your dog is still losing hair at an alarming rate, a medical cause could be at the root of the problem.
Medical issues that can potentially cause excess shedding in dogs include allergies, dietary deficits and intolerances, or hormonal imbalances.
Stress can also cause hair loss in dogs so take a good stock of their environment to see if there is anything that could be upsetting them or providing discomfort..
Interestingly enough, these are the same type of medical issues that can cause hair loss in humans.
A trip to the vet is a good idea so that they can do blood tests to rule out any of these medical causes.
If the blood tests are positive, your vet will work out a plan to hopefully get your dog back on the road to perfect health. In doing so, you may notice a reduction in hair loss.
One possible solution is having your Papillon neutered. Shedding is partly associated to hormone fluctuations. So, in neutering you can assist in regulating shedding patterns.
If the blood tests and physical exam show nothing concerning, your vet will likely make the determination that the shedding your Papillon is experiencing is normal. This may even be beyond the breeds, typical standard.
One solution at this point is to ask your groomer what type of brush they are using (if you pay for this service). Various brushes work in different ways and it is possible that the brush they are using is not capable of collecting the dead and errant hairs.
This is why the Slicker Brush is ideal; its better suited to the Papillon breed.
Papillions do shed, albeit an average amount that ranges over the seasons of the year.
That being said, they do have high grooming requirements due to the nature and length of their coat.
Equally, this is not necessarily the best dog breed for allergy suffers, due in part to their propensity to cause allergies. This is exacerbated in Papillons who are not groomed regularly enough.
Nonetheless, if you have the time and are consistent with their brushing, this breed can be much more suitable to those who suffer from allergies.
But, remember, papillons are not considered hypoallergenic.
Looking to learn more about the Papillon breed? Check out my guides below!
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.