Phalene Spaniel

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The Phalene Dog Profile

The Phalene is a toy dog breed that is the drop-eared version of the Papillon (“butterfly[-eared]” dog). Both types can come out in the same litter.

The Phalene is a little, muscular toy dog with a friendly, attentive, and active demeanor. Although the breed is named after the butterfly-like appearance of its erect ears, it is also available with drop-eared ears. The breed originated in France as tiny spaniels, and they did not have the upright ears that the breed is currently known for. Because the ears are a personal choice, dropping them is not considered a flaw or defect. Each type of puppy could exist in the same litter.

Phalenes are bright canines that can be trained to compete in obedience competitions or dog sports. Despite their diminutive size, they are more lively than your typical lap dog and will want to go exploring.

While the bright, active, and inquisitive Phalene may be categorized as a lap dog due to his small stature, he is far from a shrinking butterfly. If you want a dog to sit on your lap while you watch TV, he’s probably not the best choice. 

He’ll be darting around looking for anything to do, and he’ll gladly get rid of any little rodents that may be lurking in your home or yard. And this small dog in a tough package takes his responsibilities as a family member and a guardian extremely seriously. 

He has a big-dog attitude and a high level of attentiveness, which makes him an excellent watchdog, but when it comes to protecting you, make sure he doesn’t bite off more than he can chew. He has no idea that he just weighs a few pounds.

The Phalene is a boisterous and extroverted species. He enjoys being around people and is a happy dog that lavishes kisses on everyone. The Phalene is easy to handle because to his small stature, and his coat, while thick, is easy to care for and does not shed excessively.

All Phalene owners should take an obedience lesson, even if it’s simply to make sure they don’t spoil their cute pals. Phalenes may acquire a defiant personality if they are not taught early on that such behavior will not be tolerated. On the plus side, their desire to please and achieve enables children to learn skills and anything else a creative person may teach them. Phalenes can even learn to drive a little cart and parade with it.

Phalenes get along well with other family pets, including cats, if introduced at a young age. Phalene’s fearlessness causes her to routinely boss about larger dogs, which may or may not cause difficulties. Even the smallest dog is unlikely to get into mischief.


Phalenes adore children, but the combination of a small dog and a little child can be disastrous. If a Phalene is not correctly held, he may leap from the child’s hands and injure himself, and he will not hesitate to defend himself if abused. When dogs and children are around, regardless of breed, they must constantly be supervised.

This is a breed that lives a long time. It’s not rare for Phalenes to live long into their adolescence, so keep that in mind if you’re considering getting one. The dog will be a member of your family for many years to come.


His energy level ranges from moderate to high, and he’s a fantastic choice for canine sports like agility or rally because he’s incredibly trainable. Phalenes are also excellent obedience competitors, and they are the most popular toy breed in the sport.

Phalene Highlights

  • In circumstances where there is little time for the dog, Phalenes do not thrive. They will choose to remain with their human companions at all times. 
  • Puppies are delicate creatures who can be hurt by rough and tumble play. They are not appropriate for families with young children. 
  • Phalenes are one of the breeds that are particularly susceptible to anesthetic. When scheduling any surgical treatment, keep this in mind.
  • Never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store if you want a healthy dog. Look for a trustworthy breeder that thoroughly vets her breeding dogs to ensure that they are free of genetic illnesses that could be passed on to the puppies and that they have good temperaments.

Phalene Breed Features & Ratings:
Rated base on a 5 Star Scale
ENERGY LEVEL:                                4 Star
EXERCISE REQUIREMENTS:           1 Star
PLAYFULNESS:                                  5 Star
AFFECTION LEVEL:                           5 Star
FRIENDLINESS TO DOGS:                4 Star
FRIENDLINESS TO OTHER PETS:    4 Star
FRIENDLINESS TO STRANGERS:     4 Star
WATCHFULNESS:                               1 Star
EASE OF TRAINING:                           5 Star
GROOMING REQUIREMENTS:           3 Star
HEAT SENSITIVITY:                              3 Star
VOCALITY                                             5 Star

Phalene Breed Profile:

Dog Breed Group:  Working Dogs

Height: 

Male: 8-11 inches (20-28 cm)

Female: 8-11 inches (20-28 cm)

Weight:  

Male: 8-10 pounds (4-5 kg)

Female: 7-9 pounds (3-4 kg)

Life Span: 13-16 years

AREA OF ORIGIN:  Belgium

DATE OF ORIGIN:  1500s

OTHER NAMES:  Epagneul Nain, Phalene, Continental Toy Spaniel

Temperament: 

Alert

Energetic

Friendly

Happy

Hardy

Intelligent

Type: Purebred

Color: 

White & Black

White & Lemon

White & Red

White & Sable

White Black & Tan

Litter Size: 2-4 puppies

Puppy Prizes: 

Average $1000 – $2000 USD

Usually, the average price of a Phalene puppy from a reputable breeder is between $1,000 and $2,000, while a top-quality Phalene puppy can cost as high as $3,000 and upward. Their price depends upon the pup’s age, sex, quality, pedigree, and breeder’s location.

Phalene Health:

Phalenes are typically healthy, however they are susceptible to some health issues, as are all breeds. Although not all Phalenes will contract one or more of these ailments, it’s crucial to be aware of them if you’re thinking about getting one. 

Find a good breeder who will show you health clearances for both your dog’s parents if you’re buying a puppy. Health clearances demonstrate that a dog has been checked for and cleared of a certain disease. You can expect to find health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for hip dysplasia (with a fair or better score), elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand’s disease in Phalenes, as well as thrombopathia clearances from Auburn University.

  • Patellar Luxation

This condition, sometimes known as “slipped stifles,” is frequent in tiny dogs. It is caused by a misalignment of the patella, which is made up of three parts: the femur (thigh bone), patella (knee cap), and tibia (calf). This results in limb lameness or an irregular gait, similar to a skip or a hop. It’s a condition that’s present from birth, albeit the actual misalignment or luxation doesn’t necessarily happen right away. Patellar luxation causes friction, which can lead to arthritis, a degenerative joint condition. There are four grades of patellar luxation, ranging from grade I, which is a minor luxation that causes brief joint lameness, to grade IV, which involves the tibia twisting.

  • Hypoglycemia

All toy breed puppies are susceptible to hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Hypoglycemia is manageable in the early stages, but if not addressed, it can be fatal. Because this ailment is frequently misinterpreted by vets as viral hepatitis or encephalitis, it is critical that breeders and owners of toy breed puppies identify the signs and symptoms. Hypoglycemia causes a puppy to slow down and become listless, as well as shaking or shivering. Put some honey on his mouth and take him to the vet right away. He’ll eventually collapse, go into convulsions, slip into a coma, and die if the condition is allowed to continue. 

  • Collapsed Trachea 

The exact mechanism is unknown, but rapid inhalation causes the trachea to flatten and make it difficult for air to enter the lungs, similar to a soda straw being sucked on too vigorously. This condition is inherited; it affects particular breeds, and dogs with it have a chemical imbalance in their tracheal rings, causing them to lose rigidity and become unable to maintain their circular shape.

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

This is a degenerative eye disease that results in the loss of photoreceptors at the rear of the eye, eventually leading to blindness. Years before the dog shows any signs of blindness, PRA can be detected. Fortunately, dogs can compensate for their eyesight by using their other senses, and a blind dog can live a full and happy life. Simply avoid moving the furniture on a regular basis. Reputable breeders have their dogs’ eyes examined by a veterinary ophthalmologist on a yearly basis and do not breed dogs with the condition.

  • Open Fontanel 

Phalenes have a sensitive place on the top of their heads from birth. The soft spot usually closes, much like a baby’s, but it may not close completely in some cases. A Phalene with such an exposed soft spot on the head could be killed by an unintentional blow to that spot.

  • Major concerns: none
  • Minor concerns: patellar luxation, seizures, dental problems
  • Occasionally seen: vWD, PRA, open fontanel, intervertebral disk disease, allergies
  • Suggested tests: knee, eye, (vWD), cardiac
  • Life span: 12–15 years

Phalene Grooming:

The Phalene’s long, flowing coat is straight, fine, and silky, with no undercoat. Cascading down his chest is a frill of hair. His beautiful butterfly-like ears are fringed with hair, and the insides are covered with medium-length silken hair. Feathering covers the backs of the forelegs, and the hind legs are dressed in breeches, a fringe of longish hair on the thigh area, also known as culottes. Topping it all off is a long, flowing plume of a tail carried proudly arched over the body.

The Phalene is always parti-colored, white with patches of any color. On the head, any color other than white covers both ears back and front and extends without interruption from the ears over both eyes. The ideal Phalene has a clearly defined white blaze and nose band, but one with a solidly marked head still makes a great companion. The nose, eye rims, and lips are black.

Although the coat is resistant to matting, it should be combed and brushed once or twice a week to distribute natural skin oils and keep the hair and skin healthy. Bathe the Phalene only when necessary because he doesn’t have a canine odor. He’s more of a wash-and-go dog. Trim your nails every two or three months, or as needed. They’re too lengthy if you can hear them clicking on the floor. Periodontal disease is more common in little dogs, therefore begin dental hygiene as soon as possible. Brushing your Phalene’s teeth two or three times a week, preferably daily, will keep them clean and tartar-free.

Phalene Exercise:

Phalenes make excellent inside pets due to their petite size, but that doesn’t mean they don’t require activity. They are lively, intelligent dogs who enjoy playing with their owners. They enjoy retrieving a little ball or toy indoors, and a Phalene will quickly learn to return it so you may throw it again. Phalenes, true to their spaniel lineage, will joyfully chase squirrels, chipmunks, and even insects about the yard. Phalenes don’t understand how small they are, so owners must keep a close eye on them if they chase after a larger dog or even a cat.

Phalene Training:

Phalenes are intelligent creatures who are eager to please the humans with whom they have formed bonds. Smaller breeds, on average, take longer to housetrain than larger breeds, but Phalenes make the process much easier. Early socialization is crucial, and obedience courses are an excellent idea’”your Phalene will learn to obey your commands, and you will learn not to overfeed your adoring friend. Remember that the Phalene is a companion dog at heart; if left alone for lengthy periods of time, they may become sad and acquire unwanted tendencies. Fortunately, a Phalene may form bonds with both other pets and people.

Phalene Food and  Nutrition:

1/4 to 1/2 cup of high-quality dry food each day, divided into two meals, is the recommended daily quantity. 

The amount of food your adult dog consumes is determined by his size, age, build, metabolism, and degree of activity. Dogs, like people, are unique individuals who require different amounts of food. It practically goes without saying that a dog who is very active will require more than a dog who is sedentary. The type of dog food you buy makes a difference as well; the better the dog food, the more it will nourish your dog and the less you’ll have to shake into his bowl.

It’s tempting to overfeed a Phalene, but his knees are sensitive, and he shouldn’t gain weight. Rather than leaving food available all the time, measure his food and feed him twice a day to keep your Phalene in good form. Give him the hands-on test if you’re not sure if he’s overweight. Place your hands on his back, thumbs running down the spine and fingers splayed outward. Without pressing too much, you should be able to feel but not see his ribs. If you can’t, he’ll need to eat less and exercise more. 

See our buying the proper food, feeding your puppy, and feeding your adult dog guides for additional information on feeding your Phalene.

A high-quality dog food, whether professionally created or prepared at home with your veterinarian’s supervision and consent, should be fine for the Phalene. Any diet should be tailored to the age of the dog (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to becoming overweight, so keep an eye on their calorie intake and weight. Treats can be a useful training aid, but feeding too much might lead to obesity. Discover which human foods are suitable for dogs and which are not. If you have any concerns regarding your dog’s weight or diet, consult your veterinarian. At all times, clean, fresh water should be available.

Phalene Temperament and Personality:

One of the most obedient and responsive of the toy breeds, the vivacious Phalene is also gentle, amiable, and playful. The breed is friendly toward strangers, other dogs, and pets. The dog is very good with children but due to the small size can be injured by rough play. Some can be timid.

Phalene Care/Upkeep:

Phalenes are housedogs who do not perform well in the outdoors. They are lively, however, and will love having a yard where they can run around in rounds in circles in circles in circles in circles in circles in circles in circles in circles in circles in circles in circles in circles in circles in circles in circles in circles in If that isn’t an option, they’ll have to make do with tearing through your house and jumping on and off furniture. Mountain goats are common names for them, so don’t be shocked if you find yours on the kitchen table or another high position. 

Adults require two or three 20- to 30-minute walks or playtimes every day, and they will appreciate it even more if you are able to supply them. Begin by taking two or three 10- to 15-minute walks with your puppy, gradually increasing the time and distance. They’ll let you know if they’re fatigued, whether they’re a puppy or an adult.

Phalene pups can appear vulnerable, even though they grow up to be tough little dogs. They can easily break a leg soaring off the back of the sofa or jumping off the bed, so teach them to utilize steps to get on and off furniture or to wait until you lift them down to prevent such situations. 

If you keep them on a routine, housetraining Phalenes is simple. When they first wake up in the morning, after every meal, after naps, after playing, after a grooming session or bath, and shortly before bedtime, always take them out. When you can’t watch them, kennel them or put them in a puppy-proofed room.

Every dog benefits from crate training, and it is a gentle approach to ensure that your Phalene does not have accidents in the house or get into things he shouldn’t. A crate is also a good area for him to take a snooze. If your Phalene is crate trained from a young age, he will be more accepting of confinement if he ever needs to be boarded or hospitalized. However, never leave your Phalene in a crate all day. It’s not a jail, and he shouldn’t stay in it for more than a few hours at a time unless he’s sleeping. Phalenes are social dogs who should not be confined to a crate or kennel for the rest of their lives. 

Use positive reinforcement strategies like food rewards, praise, and plowing to train your Phalene.

Phalene Relationship with Children and Other Pets

Phalenes adore kids, but the mix of a little dog and a small child can be disastrous. If a Phalene is not held properly, he may leap from the child’s hands and damage himself, and he will not hesitate to protect himself if he is abused. For fear of the dog being damaged, many breeders refuse to sell puppies to families with toddlers. 

Make it a rule that small children can only hold or pet the Phalene while seated on the floor. Always teach youngsters how to approach and touch dogs, and supervise any interactions between dogs and small children to avoid biting or ear or tail pulling on either party’s side. Never allow your youngster to approach you.

If introduced at a young age, Phalenes get along well with other family pets, including cats. The fearless Phalene will frequently boss around larger dogs, which may or may not cause problems. It’s fairly uncommon for the tiniest dog to be the boss.

Phalene Names
RankBoy NamesGirl Names
01MaxLucy
02BuddyLuna
03TobyLola
04BanditZoey
05RileyMaggie
06TeddyLayla
07SamZoey
08MiloCoco
09BrunoMaya
10CodySasha

Phalene  History:

The Phalene originated in France, where it was named for its signature ears. Phalene means butterfly in French. However, not all of them have erect ears: The drop-eared variety is known as the phalene (moth).

Phalenes were developed as beautiful and devoted companions for noblewomen, and these delightful lap warmers were popular in European royal courts for hundreds of years. Many pictures of long-ago queens and princesses by Europe’s most known artists feature them. 

Phalenes were used in paintings by Rubens, Rembrandt, Goya, and Toulouse-Lautrec, among others. Paps were created during the Renaissance by breeding existing toy breeds with spaniels (the breed’s early progenitors were known as “dwarf spaniels”), in response to lords’ desire for miniature replicas of their favorite breeds.

The breed was once known as a dwarf spaniel and may date back as far as the thirteenth century. Phalenes gained popularity in Spain and Italy over time, where they were often depicted in classic paintings. Those were the drop-eared variety; Phalenes with erect ears didn’t appear until the late 1800s. Famous owners include King Louis XIV of France and Marie Antoinette. 

Phalenes arrived in the United States in the late 1800s. The American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognized the breed in 1915, and their own breed club was formed in 1935. 

The dog that became known as the Phalene is a 16th-century dwarf spaniel that is represented in several paintings by Masters of the time. Although the French are responsible for the Phalene’s name and much of the breed’s history, it was Spain and Italy that gave the breed its appeal.

Loteki Supernatural Being (Kirby), a Phalene, was selected Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show in 1999. In Canada, he also won the World Dog Show and the Royal Invitational.

All About Phalene:

The Phalene dog breed is descended from toy spaniels, which have been shown in Old Master paintings dating back to the 16th century. They’re very active and excellent agility and obedience competitors. 

Even though these are purebred canines, they may end up in shelters or rescue organizations. Keep in mind to adopt! If you want to bring a dog home, don’t go shopping.

The breed’s bright personality makes these canines a hit with everyone they encounter. Phalenes, despite their reputation as lap dogs, are lively and playful creatures who will not be pleased to spend all day with you on the couch. 

It is a little, friendly, elegant toy dog with fine-boned structure, light, graceful, and dynamic motion, and stunning butterfly-like ears that set it apart from other breeds. 

Dimensions, proportions, and substance: Size: 8 to 11 inches tall at the withers. Over 11 inches is a fault. Over 12 inches is a disqualification. Body length should be slightly longer than the height at the withers. It’s not a dachshund. The weight of a person is proportional to his or her height. Substance – A structure with fine bones.

The backline is flat and straight. The chest is average in depth, with well-sprung ribs. The stomach is tucked in. The tail is long, raised high, and arched considerably above the body. A large, flowing plume hangs from the tail. The plume can be draped over the torso on either side. Faults include a low-set tail, one that is not arched over the back, and one that is excessively short.

The muzzle is fine, tapering to the nose and dramatically thinner than the head. From tip of nose to stop, the muzzle is around one-third the length of the head from tip of nose to occiput. Black nose that is tiny, rounded, and flat on top. The following transgression will be harshly punished: Nose is not black. Lips are tiny, tight, and black. When the jaws are closed, the tongue must be hidden. In a scissors bite, the teeth must connect. Overshot or undershot are two common mistakes.

They do, however, enjoy company and will always seek out their human partners. If you spend a lot of time away from home, this is not the breed for you. If you meet the breed’s requirements, you’ll have a loyal companion who won’t leave your side!

Where to Adopt or Buy a Phalene:

The Phalene Club of America is an excellent place to begin your puppy hunt. To identify a member breeder, look through their breeder referral list (arranged by state). You can look into local rescue groups or try the PapAdopters & Placement Service, which is a volunteer organization dedicated to saving and rehoming purebred Phalenes.

More Dog Breeds and Further Research:

Before you decide whether the Phalene is the right dog for you, be sure to do plenty of research. Talk to other Phalene owners, reputable breeders, and rescue groups to learn more.

If you’re interested in similar breeds, look into these to compare the pros and cons:

  • Pomeranian
  • Havanese
  • Maltese
  • Chinese Crested
  • Schipperke

There’s a whole world of potential dog breeds out there. With a little research, you can find the right one to bring home.

FAQs:

Are Phalenes apartment-friendly? 

Although they can be wonderful city dogs, they are not always good apartment dogs. This is because dogs have a strong instinct to protect their property, and many will bark excessively at neighboring noises, failing to distinguish between those that are harmless and those that are alarming.

Are Phalenes child-friendly? 

Good with Children: This breed is recognized for being fun, energetic, and friendly among children.

How much exercise do Phalenes need?

A daily stroll is required for Phalenes. Play will provide a lot of their activity needs, but it will not satisfy their basic urge to walk, as it does with all breeds. Dogs who do not have access to daily walks are more prone to exhibit behavioral issues. They’ll also appreciate an off-leash frolic in a safe open area, such as a large, fenced-in yard.

How much grooming do Phalenes need?

Grooming should be done on a regular basis to keep the fur in good condition. Trimming or stripping is required on occasion.

How much do Phalenes shed? 

This dog will shed very little. Owners who don’t want to deal with dog hair in their cars and homes should use this product.

How much training do Phalenes? 

Phalenes react well to a soft approach to training. Because of their eagerness to learn, training is a relatively simple process. They are both intelligent and well-behaved.