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   Danny & Ruth Ann Ford, 20 years of Dedicated Experienced  Breeding of Exclusive Quality Butterfly Dogs

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Those Lovely Butterfly Ears!

By Ruth Ann & Danny Ford - Published in TNT Magazine May 2005

The erect or drop ears of the Papillon (Butterfly-Dog) is one aspect of breed type for this small, friendly, fined boned, elegant toy dog that sets them apart from other breeds of dogs. The first paragraph of the AKC Papillon standard notes the “General Appearance” and places emphasis on Papillon ears by saying,   “distinguished from other breeds by its beautiful butterfly-like ears”.   

AKC Papillon Standard " Ears” - The ears of either the erect or drop type should be large with rounded tips, and set on the sides and toward the back of the head.

(1) Ears of the erect type are carried obliquely and move like the spread wings of a butterfly. When alert, each ear forms an angle of approximately 45 degrees to the head. The leather should be of sufficient strength to maintain the erect position.

(2) Ears of the drop type, known as the Phalene, are similar to the erect type, but are carried drooping and must be completely down.

Faults - Ears small, pointed, set too high; one ear up, or ears partly down. "

 Let us start by determining Ears Large & Round, Carried Oblique, and Ear Set.   

Large - well rounded - not pointed - not leafy - not small.  

o·blique - Adverb: At an angle of 45°,  ( 

    Adjective: Situated in a slanting position that is neither parallel nor perpendicular. 

Correct Large Round Ears, Carried Oblique

Set on the back of the head - means just that - not over the eyes and not hanging down off the side of the head.  “When Alert”, They should not look like an airplane!  They should never look as if they are going to touch or be set to HIGH on the head as if to conduct electricity. 

Faults - Ears small, pointed,

Fault -  one ear up, or ears partly down.

Fault – Ears  set too high

Low Ear Set - Note: even though the ears are set is below a 45°, there is no standard fault for a low ear set.  My personal opinion is if  the ears “when alert” can not be pulled up to a oblique 45° it is too low.


When alert : All too often the phrase “when alert” is forgotten.  Remember when evaluating the ear set the Key Words are “When Alert” 

 Ears While Moving:

 When the Papillon is in Motion ears are mobile and can move at will.  There is no fault for ear carriage while moving.  

Movement with Ears Forward

Movement with Ears Pulled Backward

Movement with One Ear Forward & One Ear Back.

 Phalene Ears:  If you would like to read about Phalene ears you can visit Phalene Information and read the article originally printed in the March 2003 issue of TNT. 

*All rights reserved, No part of this article, pages, either text or image may be used for any purpose other than personal use. Therefore, reproduction, modification, storage in a retrieval system or retransmission, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, or otherwise, for reasons other than personal use, is strictly prohibited without prior written consent of Danny & Ruth Ann Ford and Forevr Papillons.



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