|Epagneul Nain Continental
|Country of origin
|Classification and breed standards
|Not recognized by any major kennel club
|This breed of dog is
The Phalène is the drop-eared version of the
a toy breed also known as the Butterfly Dog or the Continental Toy Spaniel (Epagneul
The Phalène is the earliest form of the Butterfly Dog; the appearance of the
erect-eared variety was not documented until the 16th Century, by which time the
Phalène had been portrayed in numerous
in portraits of the
wealthy by Old
Masters and their students.
Italy have all been credited
with the creation or development of Butterfly Dogs; there have even been
theories of its origin in
or Asia. The Papillon gained
popularity after the turn of the nineteenth century.
By the middle of the 20th Century, the Papillon’s popularity had far
outstripped that of the Phalène, which sank low enough into obscurity to become
endangered. Fortunately, the breed had its fanciers and did not slip into
extinction. At some point the variety was named phalène, or ‘moth’.
The 21st Century has seen a revival of interest in the Phalène, with its
fanciers pointing out that in countries where it is judged together with the
Papillon, judges must be familiar enough with the breed standard to appreciate
the qualities of a well-bred Phalène, and not confuse its dropped ears with
those of a semi-erect eared Papillon, which would suggest a
The Phalène is considered a variant of the Papillon in the
where they are registered as Papillons and shown and judged in the same classes.
standard is the same with the exception of the dropped ear, which does not
sit as low on the head as that of other
spaniel types. In nations
where clubs follow the guidelines of the
FCI, the Phalène is considered a separate breed.
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