Phalène Breed description: Character & Co


Origin and history of the Phalène

The Phalène, closely related to the Papillon, is an old European dwarf spaniel breed whose roots go back to the 16th century. Originally bred as a lap dog for the nobility, this breed enjoyed great popularity in France and Spain, as numerous paintings from this period show.

Development of the breed

Over the centuries, the Phalène has developed into a graceful and elegant companion dog. In contrast to the Papillon, whose ears stand upright, the Phalène is characterized by its characteristic drooping ears. This distinction meant that the two varieties were originally regarded as separate breeds. Today, however, they are recognized as two varieties of the same breed.

Suitability and use

The Phalène is an ideal family dog and companion. Its small size makes it perfect for indoor living. It is known for its intelligence and adaptability and is well suited to dog sports such as agility and obedience. Despite its small size, it is an active and lively dog that needs regular walks and mental stimulation.


The Phalène is a historic European Miniature Spaniel characterized by its elegance and graceful character. Originally bred as a noble lapdog, it has developed into an intelligent and versatile family dog. Its characteristic feature is its drooping ears, which give it an unmistakable appearance. This makes him an ideal companion for dog lovers looking for a small but active and intelligent dog.

Banner: Depositphotos / slowmotiongli
Funny Phalene young dog in the garden Phalene or Continental Toy Spaniel, dog standing on sofa Phalene or Continental Toy Spaniel dog Phalene dog in front of a white background
Alternate Name Continental Dwarf Spaniel (Phalène)
Origin France
Life expectancy 13 - 15 years
Care requirements high-maintenance
Activity level average
FCI group Kromfohrländer
AKC group not recognised
KC group not recognised

Character and nature of the Phalène

The Phalène, a small, elegant companion dog, is known for its lively and affectionate nature. This breed often develops a strong bond with its owners and enjoys being part of family life.

Intelligent and eager to learn

The Phalène is intelligent and eager to learn, making it a great candidate for various dog sports and activities. His receptiveness makes training an enjoyable experience for both parties.

Friendly and social

With its friendly and social nature, the Phalène gets along well with children and other pets. It is known to approach new people and situations with curiosity and enthusiasm.

Adaptable and versatile

Although the Phalène is an active dog, it is surprisingly adaptable and can adapt well to different living situations, whether in an apartment or a house with a garden.

Attentive and alert

An alert dog, the Phalène will alert its family to unusual noises or visitors, but without barking excessively.

Empathic and sensitive

This breed is known for its empathy and sensitivity. Phalènes are often able to sense the moods of their owners and react accordingly.

Playful and energetic

Despite its small size, the Phalène has a lot of energy and loves to play. Regular walks and playtime are important to keep him happy and healthy.

Overall, the Phalène is a balanced and versatile companion, characterized by its adaptability, intelligence and loving nature. Ideal for families, couples or individuals looking for a loyal and active little dog.

Phalene or Continental Toy Spaniel, dog sitting on sofa Phalene and Papillon dog portrait as a nice intelligent animal

Care of the Phalène

Grooming the Phalène is uncomplicated, but requires regular attention. Its silky coat should be brushed at least once a week to prevent matting and knots. This is particularly important around the ears and pants (longer coat on the hind legs).

Bathing is only recommended when necessary to preserve the coat's natural oils. The ears should be checked regularly for dirt and signs of infection as the Phalène's long ears can be prone to problems.

Health and breeding

The Phalène is generally a healthy breed, but like all dogs there are certain health conditions that should be looked out for. These include, among others:

  • Patellar luxation (knee joint problems)
  • Heart problems
  • Eye problems, including cataracts

Regular veterinary check -ups are crucial to ensure that these and other health problems are identified and treated early.

When breeding, particular attention should be paid to the health and welfare of the animals. Responsible breeders will have their breeding stock tested for the most common health problems and ensure good genetic diversity to keep the breed healthy.


Regular grooming and attentive health care are crucial to having a healthy and happy Phalène. When choosing a breeder, care should be taken to ensure that they place emphasis on the health and temperament of the dogs. With the right care and attention, the Phalène will be a loyal and happy companion.

Phalene or Continental Toy Spaniel

The Phalène is characterized by its silky, smooth coat, which is pleasantly soft to the touch. It is neither too long nor too short and covers the body evenly. The breed displays a variety of colors and patterns, with white often being the base color, combined with splashes of color such as black, brown or red. Particularly characteristic are the distinctive, colored patches around the eyes and ears and distributed over the body.

Size and weight

The Phalène is a small, elegant dog. The size usually varies between 20 and 28 cm shoulder height. The weight usually ranges from around 4 to 6 kg, which makes it an ideal companion for living in an apartment or in a house with a small garden.

Special features

The moth ears, from which the name "Phalène" (French for "moth") is derived, are the most striking feature of this breed. Unlike its cousin, the Papillon, the Phalène has drooping ears covered with long, flowing hair.


The Phalène is characterized by its elegant appearance and soft, silky coat. The breed is small but well proportioned, with a weight that is easy to handle. Its unique butterfly ears and colorful markings make it a special and eye-catching companion.

With its compact size and charming appearance, the Phalène is an ideal companion for dog lovers looking for a small but lively companion.

Fur length long
Fur wavy
Ear shape Floppy Ear
Tail lang
Anatomy sporty
Size ♀ 20 - 28 cm
Weight ♀ 3 - 4 kg
Size ♂ 20 - 28 cm
Weight ♂ 4 - 5 kg
Suitable For Children, Seniors
Phalene dog in front of a white background
Phalene or Continental Toy Spaniel, dog sitting on sofa
Phalene and Papillon dog portrait as a nice intelligent animal

Other small dogs

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