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Papimo (American Eskimo Dog & Papillon Mix) Info, Pictures, Traits

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By Nicole Cosgrove

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Height: 8-12 inches
Weight: 8-15 pounds
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Colors: White, fawn, black, red, sable, brown
Suitable for: Active families looking for a small friendly dog
Temperament: Lively, playful, affectionate, alert

The Papimo is a unique mix between the dainty Papillon and the hardworking American Eskimo Dog. Both parent breeds bring a long list of desirable traits, such as being loving and outgoing. They also are loyal pups that will forge strong bonds with their owners. However, their backgrounds couldn’t be more different.

The Papillon has been a favorite of royalty and celebrities. This pooch has many ardent admirers. The American Eskimo historically was a versatile farm dog. He was an all-purpose pup, doing all kinds of tasks from protecting his home to hunting for game. Both are active dogs, each having a colorful past that makes owning them even more enjoyable.

The Papillon started as a companion animal because of his size and sweet manners. However, this pooch also has a sporting side to him that goes back hundreds of years to his ancestor, the Continental Toy Spaniel. Despite his name, the American Eskimo hails from Germany as part of the Spitz group of canines. The United Kennel Club (UKC) recognized the breed in 1913 as part of the Nordic Breeds.

The origin of the hybrid Papimo is unknown. However, both the Designer Dogs Kennel Club and American Canine Hybrid Club recognize the mixed breed for its unique qualities. It’s a pooch that is sure to catch anyone’s eye.

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Papimo Puppies


Researching the breed of a dog is an essential part of the buying process. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the Papillon in 1915. The organization didn’t bestow that honor on the American Eskimo until 1994. The latter has three categories: toy, miniature, and standard. Therefore, his height can range anywhere from 9–19 inches. We recommend verifying which one the parent is to help you decide.

The Papimo is a lovable mix between these two different breeds. There are several traits they share. Both are active pups that enjoy playing as often as they get a chance. They are loyal pets that are quite affectionate with anyone in the family. These dogs are also smart and relatively laid-back. Maintenance for your pooch will vary, depending on the dominant breed.

In any case, the Papimo is a friendly pooch that is suitable even for the novice pet owner. His intelligence and willingness to learn will make the job easy for you. Grooming needs and health concerns will also differ. We recommend asking the seller to see the sire and dam before you buy a pup. That will help you gauge the size of the adult.

Divider 83 Little-Known Facts About the Papimo

1. Both parent breeds caught the fancy of famous artists.

Both the American Eskimo and Papillon are handsome dogs. It’s no wonder that artists thought they were excellent subjects for paintings. Goya and Rembrandt immortalized the Papillon while Gainsborough chose the American Eskimo for several of his works. The Old Masters knew what it took to make compelling art.

2. The Papillon epitomized loyalty.

We all know the story of steadfast Lassie, who stood by her owners and saved the day so many times. Legend has it that the Papillon of Marie Antoinette stood by her to the end—literally! This breed allegedly was with the queen on that fateful day in October of 1793. It doesn’t get much more loyal than that. While Marie Antoinette perished, the Papillon survived the ordeal.

3. The American Eskimo Dog once accompanied the circus.

You just know that a dog as good-looking as the American Eskimo Dog was meant to be in show business. It turns out that he was. They were part of the circus in their native Germany. Local Gypsy populations had these pups, which would guard their camps. They also performed tricks since they were so easy to train. These traits continue to define the breed to this day.

The parent breeds of Papimo
The parent breeds of Papimo: Left – American Eskimo Dog (KA_Richer5171321, Shutterstock) | Right – Papillon (Blue Bird, Pexels)

Temperament & Intelligence of the Papimo🧠

The petite size of the Papillion comes through in the small body of the Papimo. However, that doesn’t mean he’s short on personality. This pup is a firecracker! He gets the elegance of the Papillon, combined with the hardworking and loyal nature of the American Eskimo. The mix is a winner through and through. Both parent breeds are intelligent and eager to please.

The Papimo will make life interesting for your household. Their outgoing temperament and playfulness are infectious. He is moderately nippy, putting it in the same category as most puppies. He forms strong bonds with his human companions. Thus, he has a high propensity for separation anxiety. This pooch needs attention to be happy.

Are Papimos Good for Families?🏡

Both parent breeds are quite social and will get along with just about anyone, including kids. You should supervise young children with your Papimo, especially if he has more of the delicate Papillon in him. The American Eskimo side of him used to watch the young ones in the family—along with the livestock. This pup knows how to herd, whether it’s sheep or the kids.

Do Papimos Get Along with Other Pets?🐶 😽

The Papimo is generally dog-friendly, a trait he gets from his parents. However, as with all dogs, we recommend early socialization. Take care if he is around with larger canines since the Papimo doesn’t always realize how small he is. Historically, the American Eskimo did hunt varmints, giving him a moderate prey drive. It’s probably enough to keep the family cat on edge.


Things to Know When Owning a Papimo:

The most important thing to understand about inviting a Papimo to your home is that he needs human interaction. He is not a pup to leave along for long stretches. He is a loyal companion that will return the love you give him. The Papimo is an adaptable dog that will do well in the country or the city. The American Eskimo in him means he is quite cold-tolerant, too.

Food & Diet Requirements🦴 

The Papimo shares a lot of the concerns of all toy breeds when it comes to eating. Small dogs mature more quickly than large ones. Hence, their food is more nutrient- and calorie-dense to support this rapid growth. That means it’s imperative to give them a diet formulated for their size and life stage. That will ensure your pup gets all the vitamins and minerals essential for good health and proper development.

The other issue involves maintaining stable blood sugar levels. Because he’s growing fast, the Papimo’s metabolism is equally high. It’s crucial to ensure that your pup doesn’t miss a meal. As a puppy, you can feed him three or four times a day. That will give your pooch a reliable source of energy. You should monitor your dog’s intake to make sure he eats and doesn’t gain too much weight.


This little spitfire has lots of energy to keep you and the kids active all day long. Regular exercise will keep him mentally and physically fit. It’ll also control his weight. If you’re a city dweller, take your Papimo for daily walks. It’ll foster a stronger bond between you and your pet. It will also give him opportunities to socialize with other people and dogs for maintaining his canine manners.

The Papimo is a playful pup. We suggest encouraging this behavior with tricks and toys to keep him occupied. It’ll help him burn off some energy so that you both can sleep at night. This pup is easygoing and doesn’t take his play that seriously. Don’t be surprised if he has fun running around on his own and making up games as he goes.

Papimo Training🦮

The intelligence of both parent breeds combined with the Papimo’s eagerness to please make training a breeze. He’ll catch on to new tricks and commands quite quickly. We recommend using treats as training aids only. That will help keep his blood sugar levels from spiking and give your pup another reason to obey.

Despite his feistiness, the Papimo is also a sensitive dog. He doesn’t handle harsh words well. Instead, we suggest that you use positive reinforcement to help him learn how to behave. The treats, of course, will make it easy, too. Consistency is the hallmark of a well-behaved pet. Repeat lessons will ensure that he remembers your commands and his tricks. It will also cement the bond between you two.

Grooming ✂️

The parent breeds are quite different coats. The American Eskimo has a dense, double coat. He also sheds—a lot. The Papillon, on the other hand, has fine, long hair. Each dog requires particular grooming routines. Suffice to say that regular brushing is necessary to control the shedding and prevent mats, no matter which breed is dominant in your Papimo.

If your pup takes after the Papillon, he’ll have the large, hair-covered ears that are characteristic of the breed. You should clean them frequently and pull excess hair to ensure good air circulation for preventing ear infections. The name, Papillon, by the way, means butterfly in French. Also, trim your pup’s nails frequently, paying particular attention to his dewclaws.

Health and Conditions❤️

Many of the health issues that the Papimo may have are shared by many small breeds. We strongly urge you to buy your Papimo only from a breeder who does the recommended tests for each of the parent breeds. Fortunately, the American Eskimo is a robust dog with few known health conditions. Regular vet examinations are necessary, nevertheless, to ensure that your pet stays fit.

Minor Conditions
  • Gum disease
  • Ear infections
  • Deafness
Serious Conditions


Male vs. Female

Male and female Papimos are equally delightful dogs. They both have the liveliness that makes owning one such a joy. If the Papillon is the dominant breed, you can expect a female to be more feminine. If the American Eskimo is the one, your pooch might be stronger and more athletic. No matter which sex you choose, we recommend spaying or neutering your dog on the advice of your veterinarian.

Divider 3Final Thoughts: Papimo Dogs

The Papimo is full of surprises that come from this interesting match. He is a playful dog that will make you smile and glad every day for bringing him into your home. Many would say he is the perfect size with the right mix of playfulness and love. We couldn’t agree more. His loyalty and affectionate nature are the traits that make owning a pet such a rewarding experience.

The Papimo’s story reads like Romeo and Juliet, with two very different breeds that somehow got together. The match is a winner, bringing two pups with desirable traits together in an adorable package.

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Featured Image Credit: gayleenfroese2, Pixabay

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