Purchase a Papillon

Purchasing a Papillon:
Information to Know

This is general information for anyone who is unsure of how to purchase a Papillon.
If you know you want a Denzel Papillon, please click here

Sources to find a Papillon
By Lori Bovee
Reprinted with permission

There are basically four possible sources for a Papillon:

A reputable breeder, characterized by:

  • an on-going breeding program using dogs screened for genetic problems;
  • one or both parents of every litter are show Champions (after all, don’t you want your Papillon to look like a Papillon?);
  • well-socialized puppies old enough to be safely separated from their mothers and siblings;
  • willingness to support you, the new owner, and take the puppy back if ever you cannot keep it;
  • extreme interest in you and the type of home you intend to provide for their puppy;
  • absolute provisions for the reproductive future of the animal; and
  • solid references from others who’ve acquired puppies from them.
  • has dogs registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) , not alternate “internet” registries such as ACA, APR, or Continental Kennel Club.

A “backyard” breeder, characterized by:

  • little or no knowledge about the breed standard or genetic issues of the breed;
  • little or no knowledge of the dogs they’re breeding – bloodlines, good and bad points, etc. – other than the fact that they’re registered;
  • neither parent has been shown, or otherwise independently assessed by someone familiar with the breed’s characteristics, although Champions may be evident generations back in the pedigree;
  • little interest in you beyond your ability to pay the price asked for the puppy;
  • little interest in your future plans for the puppy, reproductively or otherwise; and
  • no guarantee of support or willingness to take the puppy back if needed.

Pet stores and commercial breeders , characterized by:

  • large volumes of puppies produced and sold, often in multiple breeds;
  • no assessment of quality or conformation to the breed standard;
  • typically little evidence in the pedigree of conformation to the breed standard, i.e., no Champions or they’re several generations back;
  • sales through pet stores (almost always the source of pet store puppies);
  • little or no regard for required socialization of puppies;
  • little or no knowledge of the dogs used for breeding beyond the fact that they’re registered; and
  • nominal concern for optimizing health or quality of life for dogs bred – after all, they’re not pets, they’re livestock.

A rescue group:

These come in a variety of flavors too, but a good group is interested in informed adopters well-prepared to provide forever homes – they will screen thoroughly, keep dogs in foster care for thorough assessments, never place intact animals, and are available to support the new owner and take the dog back if needed. However, rescue groups generally have only adult dogs available for adoption, and there may be behavioral issues behind the dog losing its original home. A thorough understanding of any possible problems associated with a dog, provided by someone who has lived with the animal, is a key component in maximizing the potential for a happy placement.

Many people become interested in Papillons after seeing one on TV. Please realize they are not manufactured on an assembly line, and registration papers from any registry are typically only as good as the integrity of the breeder. Prospective Papillon owners usually initially try to find a dog through three sources – we call them them “the three P’s” – Paper, as in local newspaper – some reputable breeders do advertise, but most do not. The typical newspaper advertisement for Papillon puppies for sale is a listing from a “backyard breeder” (see above). Pound – the local shelter – the Papillon is a relatively rare breed and (thankfully) not well represented in shelters. Pet store(s). Pet stores are sourced by puppy mills (see above).

Other Websites to Help Find the Right Dog

How to Find a Quality Puppy and a Reputable Breeder:

Long Distance Buying (Purchasing a Dog From Out of State:

Choosing a Dog:

Purchasing or Adopting an Older Dog: