Phalene Adopt a Phalene Today!
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Country/Date of Origin: Belgium/1400s

The progenitor of the Papillon, the Phalene made its dainty way into the hands of French royal ladies via Italy and possibly Spain. The Phalene came to its refined flowering at the French court of Louis XIV in the 17th Century. The dwarf spaniels were carried to England and then to the U.S. The breed was accepted into the American Kennel Club in 1935. (see Papillon)

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

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Drop eared Papillon, Espagneul Nain, Continental Spaniel

AKC Group: Toy (shown as a variety of the Papillon)

Breed Club: Phalene Breed Clubs

Rescue Club: Phalene Rescue Groups

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Body Type:

  • A miniature spaniel in appearance
  • The pendant ears are not altered
  • The plume of a tail carried jauntily across the back is not altered
  • Height: 8-11 inches (at shoulder) Anything over 12 inches is a disqualification
  • Weight: 8-10 pounds


  • A happy disposition
  • Gets along well with other pets and loves to be around people; craves companionship
  • Can be assertive if it is threatened or stressed
  • Very protective
  • Due to their tendency to bark an alarm, they make a great watchdog


  • Long silky single coat
  • Hair is exceptionally long on the tail
  • Must be primarily white but has to have patches of color covering the ears and eyes. Additional patches of color on the body are allowed
  • Moderate grooming

Health Concerns:

  • Sturdy and healthy in spite of its delicate appearance
  • However, the small size of the Phalene automatically rules out this breed as a pet for active children who might break its bones
  • Slipped patella which gives the gait a "hop and a skip" appearance
  • Low blood sugar
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Tasty Tidbits:
  • Phalenes and Papillons may be born in the same litter
  • Dainty and clean
  • Easily housebroken
  • Requires little exercise
  • Recommended for apartment living or for older people
  • The Phalene's original use was as a ladies companion; it has never had any job other than to grace the home and heart

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