Paperanian

Linda Simon
Dr Linda Simon (MVB MRCVS, University College Dublin)
 
Photo of adult Paperanian
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What do you get when you mix a Papillon with a Pomeranian? Why, a Paperanian, of course! The Paperanian is a refined little dog with a sophisticated appearance. Their expression is always happy and observant, their dark and attractive eyes eagerly surveying their surroundings. Small in size with a slim frame and fine bones, it’s evident that this cross-breed has inherited its parents’ good looks from both sides.

A superb addition to a young or growing family, the Paperanian is not only tolerant of children but actually enjoys playing with them. Suited to small homes, the Paperanian has only moderate exercise requirements and does not need extensive walking.

About & History

The Paperanian, also known as the Pomillon, is a sweet little cross of the better-known Papillon and Pomeranian breeds. While these two small breeds may be diminutive in size, they each more than make up for it when it comes to their sparkling personalities and sociable natures.

As a relatively new ‘designer dog’, there is limited information on the Paperanian and there is no clear evidence as to where and when they were initially developed – though they have likely been around for a few decades. Their parents, however, have a rich history and are both incredibly popular pet dogs.

The Pomeranian originates from much larger, Spitz-type dogs that worked in the Arctic and is thought to descend from the German Spitz. The dog we know today as the Pomeranian is believed to have been first documented in the 1800s and probably comes from a German province called Pomerania. No stranger to the royal treatment, Pomeranians were even owned by Queen Victoria herself, who greatly contributed to their popularity in the dog shows of the early twentieth century. These smiling, fox-like dogs are much-loved today as family pets and certainly don’t lack any confidence.

The Papillon dates back to the 1500s and was initially established in either France or Italy. Their name is indeed French, translating to the word ‘butterfly’ in a nod to the shape of their ears. Adored by aristocrats throughout the ages, this high-flying social ‘butterfly’ continues to be a sought-after breed that makes for a devoted and docile companion.

Appearance

The mixing of the Papillon and Pomeranian has resulted in the creation of a new breed that can vary somewhat in appearance from litter to litter. Regardless of which parent it takes most after; the Paperanian will inevitably be small and dainty with a good amount of plush fur and a tail that curls over the back elegantly. Thin-boned and graceful with a compact body and slender limbs, this dog was built for sitting on laps rather than pulling loads or hunting for hours over the fields.

The head of the Paperanian is delicate with a rounded skull. The medium-sized triangular ears of this breed will stand erect and will be fringed with silky fur. Paperanians have dark brown, alert and expressive eyes and a small, black nose.

The coat of the Paperanian is variable, though is typically medium to long and fairly dense. Dogs can be black, white, fawn or brown and some individuals are bi-coloured. Small dogs, the Paperanian is a ‘toy’ breed that will weigh anything from two to five kg and will measure from 18cm to 30cm at the withers once fully matured.

Character & Temperament

Sweet and affectionate, Paperanians love to be social and will rarely be happy when away from their family. Loyal and kind, they will bond closely with their owner and can often pine for them when separated. Good with people of all ages, this breed enjoys playing with children and will get up to just as much mischief as the next dog. Equally, most breed members will enjoy the company of other animals, including other dogs. Enthusiastic about life, you’ll rarely spot the Paperanian sulking or moping about.

Not suited to being a guard dog, the Paperanian is quite tolerant of new people when well socialised and is not hostile or territorial enough to defend its family. While it may bark in the direction of an intruder, it will rarely do much more.

Trainability

A biddable little breed with brains to spare, the Paperanian is well-suited to training, even for the first-time owner. They enjoy the challenge of a new task and are rarely temperamental, keen to participate in any training session offered to them.

Beware of treating your Paperanian like a toy or teddy bear, and always ensure they are treated the same as any large dog when it comes to their training. There is a risk of them developing ‘small dog syndrome’ if treated inappropriately – something which owners can find hard to resist due to their size. Any attempt to growl or snap must be treated in the same way as we would treat such behaviour in a Rottweiler or German Shepherd. Failing to do so may result in a snappy and unsocial pet.

Anecdotally, this breed can be tough to house train, but with positive reinforcement and a consistent training method, there is no reason that owners cannot be successful in this endeavour.

Health

While the Paperanian is a newly-founded breed and has not had any health studies performed on it, we can look to its parents to give us some clues as to which health conditions we should be conscious of.

Heart Disease

There are several conditions that can affect the heart of the Paperanian and they will often need to be distinguished from each other with advanced cardiac imaging and ECG testing. Patent ductus arteriosus, sick sinus syndrome and mitral valve disease are all reported and may affect individuals to different degrees.

Patellar Luxation

Many small-breed dogs are prone to the orthopaedic condition known as patellar luxation and the Paperanian is no exception. While some dogs may be only mildly affected, others can struggle to get around normally. Patellar luxation is typically graded from a one to a four, with four being the most serious. Conservative therapy may be effective in dogs with lower grade luxations while orthopaedic surgery may benefit those with a more severe form of the disease.

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is often diagnosed in middle age and can cause subtle symptoms that are easily missed in the earlier stages of the disease. A lack of thyroid hormone can lead to obesity, heat-seeking behaviours and chronic skin infections. Diagnosed with blood tests, the treatment of choice is daily medication. Most dogs respond fantastically well to the treatment and regain a good quality of life.

Tracheal Collapse

A collapsing trachea, or collapsing windpipe, is a condition that tends to be seen in toy breeds. The characteristic loud ‘goose honk’ cough caused is sometimes mistaken for kennel cough in the early stages of the condition. The cough associated with a collapsing trachea is chronic and gets worse with time unlike with that associated with kennel cough that typically only lasts a few weeks.

Often, a coughing fit is triggered by excitement. Though there is a surgery available, most dogs are managed medically. Obesity worsens the prognosis – another reason why keeping your Paperanian lean is advised.

Exercise and Activity Levels

Looking to their parents, the Papillon tends to be more active and vibrant than the laid-back Pomeranian and the Paperanian tends to fall somewhere in between the two, with moderate exercise requirements. Given their short stature and small bodies, walks of 20-30 minutes in duration are often long enough and they enjoy one to two walks a day.

This breed is well-suited to apartment living though does enjoy having access to a yard when possible. However, owners should not neglect the basic exercise needs of this dog as to do so could result in inappropriate behaviours, including excessive barking. Not only do they need daily walks, they should also have some form of mental stimulation to keep them occupied. Paperanians love to figure out puzzles and participate in a variety of canine games and play with interactive toys.

Grooming

Brushing the plush coat of the Paperanian should be done several times a week to remove tangles and eliminate dead fur. Brushing also allows the natural oils to spread along the fur, contributing to a healthier coat and avoiding dryness and dandruff. This is not a breed that sheds much.

Paperanians, as with many other small breeds, are prone to dental disease and overcrowding, meaning that they benefit from daily tooth brushing to prevent the accumulation of plaque.

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