Male vs. Female Papillon: Which Is Better?

Male and female Papillon sitting on a dead tree

For most potential fur parents, choosing between male and female Papillons can be a real challenge. Because these dogs are so similar in appearance, some differences are often subtle and difficult to determine.

While both sexes are equally adorable, there are some differences between male and female Papillons. For starters, male Papillons are more attached and more likely to show affection toward their owners. On the other hand, female Papillons are known to be more self-reliant and calm-natured.

There are a lot of dissimilarities between them, so if you’re trying to figure out which gender would suit you better, continue reading this complete guide. Let’s jump right in!

Physical Differences

Male and female Papillon getting some sun

Male Papillons

Papillons, in general, are known for their small build, elegant coats, and butterfly-like ears. While both genders of this breed look nearly identical, I’ll help you spot a few key differences to tell them apart.

Initially, male Papillons can grow from 8 to 11 inches in height and weigh between 5 and 10 pounds. However, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC), male and female Papillons possess the same average figures.

However, some people believe that male Papillons tend to be on the heavier side due to their muscular build and larger size. They also have longer legs than females, which gives them a more athletic appearance.

In addition, you may notice that their movement is more agile and energetic compared with female Papillons.

Consequently, they often have better stamina when running after their toys or even playing with other dogs in canine competitions.

Female Papillons

Likewise, female Papillons have an average height ranging from 8 to 11 inches and can weigh as much as 10 pounds. With their tiny size, these pooches can be ideal for owners living in small houses and compact apartments.

One of their defining characteristics is their rounded, slender body type, making them look delicate and dainty compared to males. However, these characteristics don’t make them fragile at all.

Moreover, they’re also quite graceful, and their movements are a little on the elegant side. You’ll be amused by the sight of these female Paps trotting around with their tails held high.

As for their coats, females tend to have more elegant-looking fur than male Papillons. It can come in different colors and markings, such as solid white, red, sable, tricolor, or parti-color, like those for males. Expect the same long coat as well for both genders.

Furthermore, this is a single-coated breed, so you can expect to deal with a low to average-shedding furry friend.

However, if your male or female Papillon does not meet the breed standard for white markings, it is automatically disqualified.

Temperamental Differences

Male Papillons

The debate about whether or not gender influences a dog’s temperament remains a hot topic. 

Some people believe that hormones and genes are factors, while others insist that upbringing has a more direct influence.

Male Papillons are more likely to display hostility and overprotectiveness than their female counterparts.

They will do their best to guard their owners and belongings against strangers and other canines they don’t know well yet.

Additionally, males have a dominant nature, so they may try to assert their superiority over other pooches in your house or even humans. If this bad habit is not corrected early, it can lead to behavioral problems later in life.

One of my friends, who have been taking care of Papillons for more than 15 years, can attest to the rowdiness and the alpha-like behavior of male Paps, which are very distinct from their female counterparts. She has also observed that her male Paps are more inclined to protect the entire household.

Despite these instances, male Paps are more affectionate and attention-seeking in contrast with females. They’re the type of fur babies that will follow you all over the house, waiting for you to give them some love.

Female Papillons

On the contrary, female Papillons are more reserved and often display an introverted attitude compared to males. As a result, they would prefer to be left alone than be around people all the time.

Aside from that, they show their affection to one person in particular rather than every member of the family. This disposition can lead to them being more attached and loyal to their chosen individual only.

Subsequently, female Paps will try to show their sweet side by nuzzling your hand or laying down gently on your lap. They’re less expressive than males, but they still have their ways of showing how much they care about you.

However, they can become moody and unpredictable once they’ve reached puberty. Females in heat will behave aggressively and seem distressed, so careful monitoring is required during this period.

Nonetheless, spaying can help minimize these issues and make them easier to control.

Behavior and Training

Male Papillon during training

Male Papillons

Although the Papillon is one of the most intelligent and trainable breeds, some owners may find their sex-specific behavior challenging to handle.

The most common behavioral issue in Papillons is the territorial trait of males. When left unchecked, male Papillons will mark their territory by urinating on objects and furniture in your home.

Fortunately, neutering your male Papillon will prevent this kind of trouble. But if you choose to keep it intact, make sure to train your fur baby from an early age.

During training sessions, a male Papillon can be more responsive and eager to please than its female counterpart. They are more likely to follow directions and be more motivated to perform commands.

However, they can become easily distracted by several external factors, including unusual sounds, scents, and other animals. It also helps if training sessions are kept short and frequent.

Furthermore, first-time fur parents should look into using positive reinforcement techniques to help their male Paps adjust to the learning process.

Female Papillons

On the other side, female Papillons can be more cranky and bossy due to their aloofness. If this attitude is not controlled, your female pet can become distant and unfriendly towards new people and other animals.

Early socialization is the answer to prevent this behavior from developing. Training your female Pap at a young age will help them learn how to interact appropriately with others.

However, you should expect the process to be equally exhausting with female Papillons as it is with training males.

Female pooches can be stubborn and get uncooperative when they’re tired or bored, so make sure you have plenty of patience for training sessions.

Despite that, they tend to reach their mental maturity very quickly, making them easier to train than their male counterparts. Still, using treats and praises can be worthwhile.

Regardless of gender, your furry companion’s behavior will rely immensely on how you raise them. It’s best to devote your time and energy to ensuring they become well-behaved adult canines.

Health Differences

Male Papillons

The average lifespan of male and female Papillons is around 14 to 16 years, which is pretty impressive. Unfortunately, many gender-related health concerns can decrease their longevity.

Testicular tumors in male Paps can develop from different germ cells such as seminoma, sertoli, and Leydig tumors. Although the cause of their development is unknown, they primarily affect intact senior canines.

In addition, you should also be aware of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). If it’s left untreated, it can eventually lead to kidney failure.

Because some of these diseases are brought about by an overactive reproductive system, neutering male Papillons can help lower the risk of issues.

Luckily, this procedure also prevents them from marking their territory in restricted areas and leaving urine all over the house.

Female Papillons

Comparably, female Paps are prone to reproductive problems as well. Once these pooches reach their sexual maturity, they can catch fatal diseases, including malignant mammary tumors and uterine infections.

Most of these conditions are associated with hormonal changes during their heat cycle and pregnancy. So, owners should pay close attention to all the symptoms in case they notice something unusual with their female pets.

However, like with male Papillons, females can also dodge these alarming health issues by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and undergoing spaying procedures.

Still, male and female Papillons can get other illnesses such as elbow and hip dysplasia, seizures, bloat, and hypothyroidism. Of course, all of these require expensive treatments and medications.

Fortunately, pet insurance companies exist to help you afford the best possible care for your furry companion.

With Other Dogs and Pets

Female Papillon sitting beside another breed

Male Papillons

You may be wondering if a male Papillon is more sociable and upbeat than its female counterpart. The answer is yes, but only in certain situations.

Typically, you can expect a male Papillon to go along with other dogs and pets in your household just fine. However, if it’s a canine of the same sex, you may have some trouble with aggression and territorial traits.

In particular, they may start occasional dog fights due to their dominant nature. That’s why obedience training and early socialization are essential to help them be comfortable with other animals.

You can also train them to play well with other pooches by taking them to the park or letting them interact with other pups from an early age.

If you want to see male and female Papillons in action, watch this video:

Papillons - Bests of Breed

Female Papillons

On the contrary, female Papillons are less likely to show an easygoing attitude toward other pets and dogs. Because of their independent streak, they find it hard to get along with others.

They’re often distant and aloof, which can lead to them lashing out when they feel like they’re being pushed too far. Also, female canines can become sassy and emotionally unstable at times.

Nevertheless, the best way to handle a female Pap is with patient training and calm discipline.

They’re more focused and trainable than males, but it takes consistency and proper socialization to make them approachable.

Additionally, female Paps are less likely to become aggressive or territorial, which means they’re great choices for families or individuals with other pets.

With Children

Male Papillons

When interacting with kids, male Papillons are more energetic, friendlier, and more active than females. These fur babies demand the constant attention that children can provide.

On top of that, they have this cuddly attitude that makes them ideal family pets.

However, it’s best to keep an eye on your kid when playing with male Paps, as the latter tend to get clumsy during their playful mood. If they get excited, they might suddenly bite or scratch their playmates.

To avoid such accidents from happening in the future, train your pup with basic commands so they can learn how to control their excitement around children.

Moreover, I’d recommend you start training them as soon as possible to ensure they become well-behaved companions.

Female Papillons

On the opposite side, female Paps are reserved and likely to be cautious when interacting with children. Therefore, they can be more reliable and trustworthy playmates than their male counterparts.

Even though they’re prone to mood swings, these female dogs are also known for having a strong maternal instinct. You can expect they will protect a kid from danger and harm if necessary.

In addition, females may not be as playful as male Paps, but they’ll still go out of their way to ensure that their owners and families are well taken care of.

Despite that, training is still needed for your pooch to become an excellent companion for your child. However, it will take time because it requires consistent effort from both parties involved.

To ensure that they play safely together, you should also teach a child how to interact with female Papillons appropriately as well.

Pros and Cons of Male and Female Papillons

Male and female Papillon sitting side by side

Male Papillons

As a potential pet owner, it’s crucial to understand that owning a canine is a lifetime commitment. To help you decide, let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of adding a male Papillon to your family.

Starting with their benefits, having this male pooch will bring lots of energy and fun into your life. It will be happy to spend most of its time running around with you or even just relaxing at home on your lap.

They’re friendly and playful, making them perfect companions for active singles or families with children. They also love attention and affection, so they’ll never leave you wanting a cuddle session.

However, they’re less cautious when interacting with children, which is why parents should always keep an eye on their playtimes and train their male Paps.

While most male dogs are capable of learning basic obedience training, they can have a difficult time focusing during the process. They want to please their owners, but they’re quickly distracted by many superficial factors.

Furthermore, poorly socialized male Papillons are more likely to show their aggressiveness and hostility, especially when there are canines of the same gender nearby.

The following table provides a brief overview of the benefits and drawbacks of owning a male Papillon:

Cuddly, friendly, and upbeatHas a hard time focusing
Energetic and eager to learnThrives on attention and interaction
Devoted to pleasing its ownerMaintenance is more extensive
Physical maturity comes soonerMental maturity takes longer to develop
More playful, agile, and athleticExtremely protective and more likely to display hostility if threatened
Good at getting along with othersLess cautious when around children

Female Papillons

Now, let’s talk about the pros and cons of bringing a female Papillon into your home.

For starters, these female doggies are self-sufficient, calmer, and composed — so expect that they won’t need constant attention from their fur parents.

Moreover, they have a faster maturity rate and will grow to be reliable companions for children.

Despite having a protective streak, they won’t be as territorial and aggressive towards other people and animals as opposed to their male counterparts.

Even so, socialization and training are mandatory to ensure that your female Pap is well-adjusted when faced with unusual situations.

While training them may be pretty straightforward, fur parents will still encounter some hurdles along the way. For instance, they can be stubborn or less enthusiastic in training sessions.

Additionally, once female pups become bored, they quickly lose interest or exhibit unresponsiveness. They’re also less energetic than males and experience emotional ups and downs, especially during their estrus cycle.

Another drawback for some people is the aloofness of the female Papillons. They prefer to be left alone because they’re known to be independent and strong-willed. Still, these traits can make them challenging to handle.

Here’s a summary of the pros and cons of owning a female Papillon:

Independent, gentle, and composedBoredom sets in easily
Doesn’t crave constant attentionAloof and prefers solitude
Less likely to become territorialCan be emotionally unstable at times
Generally less aggressive and will not start a fight with other petsLess enthusiastic and has a low energy level
Faster mental maturity rateUsually slower to reach full physical maturity
Extra careful when dealing with childrenGets intimidated when introduced to other people and pets

Should You Get a Male or Female Papillon?

As one of the most dependable companion canines, Papillons are known for their loyalty and obedience. However, deciding whether you’re better off with a male or female Pap will mostly depend on your lifestyle.

If you’re a highly energetic person or have an active household, I’d suggest you go for male Papillons. They can perfectly match the energy levels of their owners and will always be ready to go on adventures.

But if you’re more of an indoor-focused type of person, go for female Papillons — they’re calmer than their male counterparts and make great buddies at home.

Consequently, females will do well with fur parents who have a lot of activities to attend to or those busy working most of the time. They can be trusted to keep themselves entertained while you’re out and about.

Frequently Asked Questions

Male and female Papillon with a red umbrella

Are Male or Female Papillons Calmer?

Female Papillons tend to be calmer as opposed to males. Due to their introverted disposition, they are less likely to have issues with hyperactivity and other behavioral problems.

Male Paps, on the other hand, are more likely to be dominant and reactive to different stimuli in their environment.

Are Male or Female Papillons More Affectionate?

When showing their fondness for their owners, male Papillons will often display their playfulness and outgoing nature. 

As previously mentioned, they will constantly demand attention and follow their companions wherever they go.

However, the traits that make male Paps feel secure around their owners can lead to destructive behavior or separation anxiety when left alone. Keeping them stimulated is needed to prevent such problems from developing.

Are Male or Female Papillons Easier to Train?

The truth is both male and female Papillons can be trained, but each requires different techniques.

Due to their fast maturity, the latter is more tenacious and focused during the learning process. They may sometimes show resistance, but female Papillons are more receptive and quick to grasp commands.

Final Thoughts

Without a doubt, both sexes are equally adorable and make awesome companions for people of all ages.

However, you should carefully evaluate your lifestyle and consider if you have the time and commitment to care for your potential fur baby.

Aside from that, it’s noteworthy that gender has a bearing on the pup’s personality, possible health issues, trainability, and overall behavior.

Nonetheless, after taking stock of the facts I’ve provided in this guide, you should be able to make a sound judgment about whether a male or female Papillon is best suited for you.

Which of the two do you think would make the best pet? Leave your thoughts about male and female Papillons in the comments below!

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