Papillons are known for their signature butterfly ears. In fact, their name comes from the French translation of the word. But how big does this breed get and what are their average height, weight, and general size? I spent some time researching the Papillon breed standard and will be sharing all that I was able to find for you here today.
So, how big do Papillons get? Papillons are classified as a toy breed; averaging between 8-11 inches in height and 4-9 pounds in weight, on average. They are typically fully grown between 9-12 months of age and mentally mature between 12-14 months. A combination of genetics, care, diet, and general health all contribute to their final size.
Papillons are often the perfect size to fit into many bags when out and about. This is likely why they have become so popular in places such as France, Spain, and Italy.
However, just because Papillons are small does not necessarily mean that they’re the perfect lap dogs, they have too much energy for that.
Instead, these dogs are energetic, alert, and always keen to be on the go.
The petite Papillon will keep you on your feet as they love to flit around, always looking for something to do, never wanting to be alone or bored.
And for a small breed, don’t be surprised if you find them high off the ground on top of the counter or kitchen table.
They also have a propensity for jumping off these same surfaces. So you need to be mindful, or otherwise, injuries, especially in puppies can occur.
Even though the Papillon is a pure breed and you can find a reputable breeder for them, they can sometimes be found in shelters or rescue groups.
Let us now take a closer look at the average size of the Papillon, or Continental Toy Spaniel as they are also known.
We’ll be covering the most common questions related to their size so you can get an understanding of what to expect with this breed.
So, be sure to keep reading until the end to ensure you get all the information that you need!
Average Papillon Height, Weight, And Size
The American Kennel Club’s (AKC‘s) acceptable size standards for a Papillon is between 8-11 inches tall at the shoulder and weighing between 4-9 pounds.
The petite size of these purebreds put them in the toy breed category.
The males and females of the breed are generally the same size when it comes to height, but the males tend to weigh about a pound more than their female counterparts and have even been known to get up to ten pounds.
Though they are small, they are mighty. The Papillon has attitude and personality for days and they have a long lifespan, living well into their teens.
They typically live between 14-16 years of age, although health conditions or the absence of them can impact this expectancy either way.
So, if you get a Papillon, make sure that you understand that you are getting a long term companion dog who will keep you on your toes, even if you prevent them from walking on their because you love to carry them.
When Is A Papillon Fully Grown?
Unlike most small dogs, which are full-grown between 6 and 8 months old, the Papillon is slow to grow, becoming fully grown between 9 and 12 months of age.
This growth rate is most often the average timeline for a medium-sized dog. Just because they are fully grown, Papillons can sometimes still act like puppies for months afterward.
Larger dogs will take even longer to reach their full size, some breeds aren’t fully grown until they reach about 4 years of age. That’s a long time to have a large puppy.
My Labrador Retriever is 9 months old and already 75 pounds, that’s a lot of strength in a dog that still has the mind of a puppy and the coordination to go with it.
Keep in mind that even when they are full grown, Papillons are a delicate breed, and broken bones are not uncommon.
Not surprising, they are even more delicate while still puppies and tend to be overzealous at time so you may find yourself catching them as they take a running start off the couch, not realizing the consequences.
Below we will take a look at the respective growth rates of both male and female Papillons in the early months of life and changes as they age during these times:
Growth Of A Male Papillon
- The weight of a male Papillon at 3 months should be between 3.5 and 4.4 pounds.
- At 6 months, they will likely weigh between 6.3 and 7.9 lbs (pounds).
- At 1 year, a male Papillon should weigh between 7.9 and 9.9 lbs (pounds).
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Growth Of A Female Papillon
- The weight of a female Papillon at 3 months should be between 3.3 and 3.9 lbs (pounds).
- At 6 months, they will likely weigh between 5.7 and 7.2 lbs (pounds).
- At 1 year, a female Papillon should weigh between 7.05 and 9.1 lbs (pounds).
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As you can see, these really are not big dogs. Even though they double in size during the first year of life, it happens so slowly it is not overly noticeable throughout this time.
If anything, you need to be careful of them during their first few months of life.
You need to be aware they are at all times; being sure not to accidentally sit on them (if they are on the sofa), or kick them if they are running around.
When Does A Papillon Mentally Mature?
Papillons reach their full size between 9 and 12 months but don’t become mentally mature until between 12 and 14 months. This is when you can expect them to start acting less like a puppy, and show signs of adulthood in their behavior and temperament.
When your dog is this small, you don’t mind that they’re a puppy for a little longer, and most often you may not notice a big difference with such a small breed.
Males and females, in addition to being the same size, tend to reach mental maturity at about the same time as well.
While it might feel like a long time, not mentally maturing until 14 months old, it’s not a large portion of time for a breed that lives to be 16 years old.
Medium sized dogs usually reach mental maturity at the same rate as Papillons, so not only do they grow physically at the same rate, but they also tend to grow mentally at the same rate as well.
Early training and socialization for your Papillon can help with their maturity levels. They will learn from both people and other dogs as to what is acceptable behaviour.
This doesn’t mean that your puppy will all of a sudden stop doing puppy things and know exactly how to act. But extra training can’t hurt as you don’t want them to develop unwanted behaviors that they can take with them into adulthood.
What Contributes To A Papillon’s Full Adult Size?
There are several factors that contribute to a Papillons full adult size. The most obvious being genetics and the size of its parents.
Generally, if the parents of a particular Papillon puppy are on the larger end of the size scale, then it’s safe to assume that your puppy will grow to be on the larger end of the average size as well.
Genetics only plays a part, and it’s not 100 percent reliable, as any runt of a litter will attest to.
Another factor can be the amount of exercise and activity the Papillon gets. Again, some of this may be linked back to genetics and how predisposed a particular dog is to obesity, though with dogs it is usually tied to a particular breed.
Papillons have some predisposition to obesity, so keeping an eye on your dog’s weight and food intake would be recommended, especially if they aren’t getting the recommended exercise.
For a Toy Breed, Papillons need more exercise in comparison to other breeds their size. Papillons should get at least two twenty-minute sessions of exercise per day. In addition, they will probably burn off more energy by running around your home.
How and what you feed your Papillon can go hand in hand with exercise as both can lead to obesity, however, improperly feeding your Papillon can actually make them grow more than the average size.
This would disqualify them from competing in the American Kennel Club shows, such as the world-famous Westminster Dog Show.
If you feed your Papillon puppy food for too long they can grow too fast, which can also cause health issues.
Papillons should be switched to adult dog food at about 9 months of age. Speak with your veterinarian about what type of food your Papillon should be on.
They will probably suggest one specially created for Toy Breeds so that your dog gets the balanced nutrition they need to grow in a correct amount of time.
Toy Breeds are very easy to spoil, which could also affect their size when they are older.
Feeding them extra treats, or not the proper food, as well as carrying them everywhere, instead of letting them walk are two other factors that could lead to them being overweight and above the maximum 9 pounds.
Though they may be small, growing to a maximum of 11 inches tall and tipping the scales at 9 pounds, the Papillon has a giant-sized personality. The breed loves to stick close to you, and being as small as they are, there aren’t many places that you can’t take them with you.
The Papillon likes to be unique and not go with the flow when it comes to things such as the time it takes to reach full size and mental maturity.
Most dogs the same size can reach adulthood between 6 and 8 months but the Papillon takes about 9 to 12 months to reach their full size, and between 12 and 14 months to reach full mental maturity.
There are several factors that can contribute to the size of a full grown Papillon. The main factors include genetics, exercise, and food.
There isn’t much you can do about genetics, but you can keep your eye on your dog’s exercise routine and food intake, to ensure that they don’t become obese, rising into double digits when it comes to their weight, or grow too quickly.
Luckily these dogs are so small as Papillons want to follow you everywhere and they’re easy enough to carry in your purse or bag, so that you can take them with you when you go different places.
Always check your local laws and business policies before bringing your Papillon into public establishments.
If you’re looking for a constant companion with a massive personality, then this petite pooch could be a great choice for you. If you do need to leave your Papillon at home, having another dog or a cat for them to have as a companion is highly recommended.
Papillons love to have company and while another dog or cat will suffice, their number one choice is their owner.
They love to go everywhere with them and ‘help’ them with a variety of chores. Luckily for this toy breed, they’re small enough that they could go just about anywhere with their owners.
Looking to learn more about the Papillon breed? Check out my guides below!
- Can Papillons Swim? [What You Absolutely Must Consider]
- How To Groom A Papillon [Step by Step Owners Guide]
- Are Papillons Hypoallergenic? [Does This Breed Shed A Lot?]
- Do Papillons Shed? [Are They A Hypoallergenic Breed?]
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.