As a dog parent, you will often hear people say a dog’s personality matches their owner’s. If that is true, that means I am a lazy, sleepy, chubby person who loves snacks and belly rubs.
Whether or not that is true is something only my husband is allowed to know the answer to!
Hey dog moms and dads, my name is Bri and while I love my American Bulldog, Bruce, I kind of hope we don’t share the same personality traits.
Maybe just the sweet loving ones, but I could do without the chubby part. Anyway, I have always heard people get dogs who share similar behaviors and personalities as their owners.
If someone is spunky, active and full of energy, they should seriously consider bringing home a Papillon! Papillons are sassy little pups who love to be loved.
While they are an extremely popular and fairly easy to care for breed, their fur can be surprisingly high maintenance.
To help potential Papillon parents (say that five times fast) learn more about caring for their fur, I put this shedding guide together!
I will cover the history of the breed, what their coats are like, how much and how often Papillons shed and some of the best ways to maintain their fur.
We will also talk about health concerns and things to look out for with this breed’s shedding!
First, let’s talk about the history of the Papillon breed.
History of the Papillon
I’ll start with a fun fact about Papillon; the breed’s name is the French word for “butterfly.” They got this name for their distinct ears that look like wings!
You probably could have guessed this, but Papillons were not bred as working dogs. They were actually (and not surprisingly) bred to be the companions of noblewomen.
They were lap dogs for royals all over Europe and were eventually recognized as a registered breed by the American Kennel Club in 1915.
Although they might seem like they are too good for exercise, Papillons are incredibly agile and smart!
They are superior dogs in the show ring for their abilities in obstacle courses and the tricks they can be easily trained to do.
What is a Papillon’s Coat Like?
Papillons have long, silky, elegant coats that are typically white in color with numerous color patterns of browns, blacks and grays. When full-grown, their fur will be a couple inches long and is extremely fine.
With all this long, thin fur, Papillon’s coats can become very matted very easily. They need regular grooming, which is best to be left to a professional groomer.
Unlike many dogs, Papillons do not have an undercoat which makes grooming out their dead fur much more important! We will cover that in more detail later.
Do Papillons Shed?
As I said earlier, Papillons have very thin, fine and long fur.
While Papillons do not shed the way most short-haired dogs do, Papillons do still shed.
How Much do Papillons Shed?
The American Kennel Club categorizes Papillons as seasonal-to-frequent shedders on their shedding scale, which goes from infrequent, to seasonal, to frequent.
Especially with the amount of brushing that they need, Papillons do shed like crazy.
There are many long-haired, small dogs that do not shed consistently throughout the year.
However, the Papillon is not like some of those breeds and actually shed about the same throughout the majority of the year.
We will talk more about when these pups shed the most in the next section.
When do Papillons Shed the Most?
Many dogs shed consistently throughout the year and throughout their lives. However, there are several factors that influence how much they shed.
Let’s talk about those factors:
Time of year
Time of year makes a huge difference in the shedding of any dog breed, but especially the Papillon.
There are two times in a year that are called “shedding season” because its during these times that dogs shed the most.
Shedding season happens during the transition from winter to summer and again from summer to winter.
Dogs grow a thicker, warmer coat in the colder seasons to keep them comfortable and a thinner one in the summer to keep them cool.
When those seasons change, they shed their seasonal coats to make room for the new coat to grow in. During these two times of the year, grooming is even more important than usual!
Without proper grooming, all that dead hair can easily become matted which can lead to even more issues that we will talk about later.
Stage of life
A dog’s stage of life might not seem like it would make a big difference, but it does! Especially when they are transitioning from the puppy stage to adults.
Puppies have puppy coats that they shed when they mature into adults. This can last several days and often causes them to shed fairly heavily.
Papillons, like all dogs, are more likely to shed more as senior dogs, too. As a dog gets old, one of the signs of aging is excess shedding.
Diet and exercise
Just like a person, a dog’s health relies immensely on their nutrition and the exercise they are getting. They need the proper nutrients to keep up with their active lifestyles.
Without these nutrients, Papillons will start to show signs of poor health, one of which is often an unhealthy coat. Their fur can become weak and brittle, which will cause it to shed more than it should.
Exercise also makes a difference! If the Papillon (or any dog) is over or underweight, their skin and coats will most likely be affected by it. Their health makes a huge difference, and it starts from the inside out!
Skin conditions and pests
Dogs can be affected by a multitude of skin conditions. It could be something relatively simple and mild, such as allergies, or more serious like mange or alopecia.
These skin conditions along with many others will typically cause excessive shedding or complete loss of fur. The same is true when it comes to pests that terrorize pups.
Fleas and ticks are the most common pests that bother dogs, but there are also mites (which cause mange and other skin issues), biting flies and many other bugs that can change the health of their coats.
These pests cause licking and scratching that can lead to fur loss but can also bring diseases to the dog’s skin.
We will get more into health conditions that relate to shedding later which is probably one of the most important sections of this article.
Ways to Combat Papillon Shedding
I constantly try to remind people not to take any measures that would keep a dog from shedding or reduce it to a certain extent.
Shedding is a natural, important part of a dog’s life and if they do not shed properly, it can be unhealthy for their skin.
That being said, there are definitely ways to manage their shedding. Grooming is obviously going to be your best friend here.
Papillons should be brushed daily if possible, but at least a few times a week to keep their fur from tangling and matting. Brushing them will keep that lose, dead fur off your furniture, clothes and floors.
They don’t need frequent bathing but should get a good bath every few months. Baths will also help loosen up dead fur, and a good dog conditioner will help you be able to brush it afterward.
Once a Papillon has a bath, it is important to let their fur fully dry before brushing them. This will help avoid pulling their fur which can be painful!
Tools and Equipment to Help Maintain Papillon Shedding
No matter what kind of dog you have, whether it is a Papillon or a Saint Bernard, you need to have the right tools to take care of them. That includes grooming!
Having a good brush, a good lint roller and a good vacuum will help you keep your home, and your sanity, under control. For long-haired dogs like the Papillon, a long-bristled brush is key!
You need a good brush that will reach between their long hairs to detangle them gently but effectively. There are plenty of great brushes out there that are made specifically for this purpose.
Hertzko’s Soft Pet Brush is a great choice for Papillons! The bristles are soft and flexible but sturdy enough to comb through their long hair and remove tangles and mats.
Plus, brushes like this are typically cheap which is great for us dog parents.
A Good Lint Roller
Your next purchase should be a solid lint roller or lint brush. I prefer the Magik Brush, which is a two-sided lint and pet hair capturing brush.
I really like this brush for several reasons, but mostly because it is not your typical lint roller with sticky sheets that you have to replace over and over again while creating unnecessary waste in the environment!
Plus, it WORKS! This brush gets Bruce’s fur off of my clothes, my furniture and even the seats in my car. I would never use anything else!
The Vacuum of Choice
Last, but absolutely positively certainly NOT least, any dog parent should have a great vacuum. My top choice will always be the Dyson Pet Hair Vacuum.
This vacuum is the best purchase I have ever made. It is cordless so I can take it all over the house with me, which is where Bruce’s fur gets. All. Over. My. House.
But seriously, it gets all the fur off of EVERYTHING. I even use it directly on my furniture and it works like a charm (yes Bruce is allowed on my furniture because he is like a child to me!).
I use my vacuum at least twice a week and I have had it for three years and it has worked perfectly every time. Bruce sheds like nothing else I have ever seen, so I fully endorse this vacuum!
Health Considerations in Papillon Shedding?
Unfortunately, increased shedding in dogs can be a bad sign of some underlying health issues.
While it can be a sign of smaller issues such as allergies like I said before, more serious conditions can also cause shedding to increase.
Cancer and other internal issues are known to cause hair loss in dogs, which is why it is so important to keep an eye on how much your dog sheds.
If you notice any odd or sudden changes, it is always better safe than sorry!
Have a conversation with your vet about the changes you notice. It just might save your dog’s life!
Are Papillons Hypoallergenic?
Nope! Did you know that no dog is fully hypoallergenic? Even if they were, Papillons shed too much to be considered anything close to hypoallergenic.
All dogs shed pet dander, which is a huge allergen trigger in people. Papillons shed both their fur and dander, so they can be a double whammy for people with allergies.
If you are anything like me, your allergies will not stop you from owning a dog. Bruce typically would trigger my allergies like crazy, but I don’t mind taking allergy medicine to keep myself comfortable.
He is definitely worth it to me! I’m sure any Papillon would be the same, so don’t let allergies hold you back from bringing one of these sweet little babies home.
Final Thoughts: Do Papillons Shed?
I have never been one to want a small dog; I have always had bigger breeds. However, after the research I have done on Papillons, I can’t help but want to know more!
These spunky little pups are full of life, love and energy that would make an incredible addition to any home. If you are thinking about bringing one home, GO FOR IT!
Seriously, these dogs shed but what dog doesn’t? They are very easy to take care of and their shedding is easy to control.
Hopefully this information is helpful in your search for the perfect Papillon! Happy pup parenting!