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Are Papillons Cuddly? Facts & FAQ

Chantelle Fowler

By Chantelle Fowler

woman holding a cat and a papillon dog

Papillons are frisky-spirited little dogs with a lot of energy and affection to go around. This breed is extremely outgoing and was born to be the life of the party. With such a busybody personality, you might wonder if Papillons have it in them to be cuddly lap dogs. While temperament will vary from dog to dog, Paps generally are only cuddly when they’ve exhausted themselves to the point of being entirely worn out. Read on to learn more.

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Are Papillons Cuddly?

The cuddliness of Papillons seems to depend on the individual dog’s personality. Some may be more apt to cuddle up next to you any time of the day, while others won’t show that snuggly side until they’ve worn themselves out through play.

That doesn’t mean that your Pap won’t be affectionate, though. This breed is very loving and friendly, but you shouldn’t expect it to be a lap dog. If you adopt an individual that enjoys a good lap cuddle, consider yourself lucky, as this is not the norm for this breed.

Close up portrait of cute papillon dog with big ears
Image By: Svitlana Sokolova, Shutterstock

What Are Papillons Like?

Papillons may be little, but their personalities are huge. These dogs have sparkling personalities that set them apart from other dog breeds. Don’t let their small size fool you; this is not a lap dog.

Paps are highly active and playful and prefer to have a day of fun activities alongside you than a day full of Netflix binging.

Papillons were bred to be the ultimate companion. They are extremely people-oriented and want to be involved in every aspect of their human’s lives. These gregarious pups are not meant to be left alone for long periods.

When we say that Paps have big personalities, we mean it. However, they can suffer from “Small Dog Syndrome”. While Small Dog Syndrome is not a scientific term, this phenomenon is often seen in small breeds like Paps. It refers to behaviors that small dogs exhibit to compensate for their small stature. They can be prone to bouts of excitability, aggression, growing, jumping, and particularly stubborn pups may refuse to follow commands.

The good news is that this “syndrome” can be corrected, but it takes time and patience.

What Dog Breeds Are Cuddly?

If your heart is set on adopting a cuddly dog, we don’t recommend taking your chances with the Papillon. While some individual dogs may be cuddly, this isn’t a general rule for the breed.

You might be surprised to learn that many larger dog breeds are considered cuddly. If you’re not opposed to adopting a larger breed, the following might be worth considering:

  • Bernese Mountain Dogs
  • Boxers
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • German Shepherd Dogs
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Great Danes
  • Greyhounds
  • Newfoundlands
  • Pitbulls
  • Rottweilers
two people with two golden retriever dogs
Image By: Anna Tarazevich, Pexels

If you have your heart set on a smaller pup, the following small dog breeds are often hailed as perfect lap dogs:

  • Bichon Frise
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Chihuahuas
  • Dachshunds
  • French Bulldogs
  • Havanese
  • Jack Russell Terriers
  • Maltese
  • Pekinese
  • Pomeranians
  • Pugs
  • Shih Tzus
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Final Thoughts

Papillons are friendly, affectionate, and highly energetic dogs. While they may not be inclined to cuddle or be a lap dog, they’ll still be your best friend. Don’t be surprised if your Pap hops onto your lap after a long play session when its energy stores are depleted.

Of course, every dog is different, and just because Papillons are not known to be overly snuggly, that doesn’t mean your pup won’t be.


Featured Image Credit: Reshetnikov_art, Shutterstock

Chantelle Fowler

Authored by

Chantelle is passionate about two things in her life – writing and animals. She grew up on the prairies in Canada surrounded by animals. As an adult, she chooses to share her home with five cats, two guinea pigs, and a bearded dragon. Chantelle, her husband, and their child take great pride in being THOSE kind of animal parents - the ones who spend a thousand dollars on wall-mounted cat shelves so that their cats can ha...Read more

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