Papillon Colors

Use these photos and descriptions to help you determine what color of Papillon you want. By learning the proper color names you will know what color to ask for when requestiong a Papillon.



Keep in mind Papillons can change drastically in color from the time they are born to when they get their adult coat in. They typically have their true coloring by the time they are around 6 months of age, but they can still change slightly even after this. For an example of the color changes a red Papillon can go through visit our Breed Information page. You can also click on the links below to see some of the changes other coat colors can go through while maturing.


 

White, Black and Tan (Classic Tri color)

"Zoey"

This is a nice example of a tri color Papillon. The body will be white with black markings and tan highlights above the eyes, on the cheeks, in the ears and underneath the base of the tail (provided there is a black marking on the base of the tail). The tan highlights will only show up where there is first a black marking. (For example: If the dog DOES NOT have a black marking over one eye or around the base of the tail then the tan highlight in that area will also be absent).


White, Black and Tan (Classic Tri color)

"JoJo"

This is another nice example of a classic tri color Papillon. This example shows the same look without the solid blaze (white face markings). As you can see in comparing the 2 Classic Tri Papillons the tan markings can be any shade from a light tan to a dark mahogany, but they are all still labeled White, Black & Tan.


Click here to see more photos of this dog as he matured and changed.

White, Black and Tan (Hound Tri)

"Carrie"

This is also considered a tri Papillon. Many breeders will refer to this color as Hound Tri while some will refer to it as Sable. This color occurs when the classic tan markings on a tri color Papillon spread out leaving most of the head and sometimes all of the head tan in color, but the body spots will remain black. On a true sable the body markings will have sabling within them as well instead of remaining black. A hound tri Papillon is labeled White, Black and Tan just as a classic tri would be. Photo taken at 8 months.

Click here to see more photos of this dog as she matured and changed.

White, Black and Tan (Hound Tri)

"Carrie"

This is the same hound tri color Papillon as above. This photo was taken at 1 year 7 months (a year after the one above). As you can see her head turned even more red/tan as she continued to mature, but her body markings are still pure black.

Click here to see more photos of this dog as she matured and changed.

White, Black and Tan (Hound Tri)

"Merlin"

This is another example of a hound tri color Papillon. Again, the head is mostly tan while the body markings remain pure black. This is CH Gail's On Thin Ice owned by Gail Howard.

Click here to see more photos of this dog as he matured and changed.

 

Hound Tri or Sable


"Okarina"

This Papillon could be considered either a hound tri or a sable. From the face markings she appears to be a classic Sable and many breeders would call her a Sable. However, she does have true black body markings so some would call her a hound tri. Either description is accurate, but we would label her as a hound tri because of her black body markings.

Click here to see more photos of this dog as she matured and changed.

 

Hound Tri or Sable


"Okarina"

This is the same Hound Tri Papillon pictured above. In this photo you can see the true black body markings making her truly a Hound Tri, but some breeders would still refer to her as a Sable.

Click here to see more photos of this dog as she matured and changed.

 

Sable


"Timer"

This Papillon is a true sable. From the face markings in this photo you may think she is a tri color, but if you look at the body markings you can easily see they are sable, not black. In person the sable markings on the head are even more obvious.

 

Sable


"Lilli"

This Papillon is also a true sable.

 

Sable


"Wyatt"

This 6 month old boy is another example of a true sable Papillon. A true sable is sometimes hard to photograph acurately for color because of the light and dark tones, but in person you can easily see the color is truly sable and not black.

White and Sable or Black Sable

"Shaker"

This is an example of a Sable Papillon. Some breeders would refer to this as Black Sable. On the surface and from a distance he appears to be Black, but when you look closely at the coat you can see some sabling showing through the black. Notice the slightly sable coloring on the body spots. In person it is also noticeable on the backs of the ears. In most cases when you part the dark color hairs and look closely you can see sable coloring on the hair shaft.

Click here to see more photos of this dog as he matured and changed.

 

White and Sable or Black Sable Again

"Shaker"

This is the same dog as pictured above. Before the coat comes in it is much easier to see the sable coloring mixed in the black.


Click here to see more photos of this dog as he matured and changed.

 

White and Red

"Faith"

This is a classic example of a Red Papillon.

Click here to see more photos of this dog as she matured and changed.

 

White and Red

"Blondie"

This is another classic example of a Red Papillon.

Click here to see more photos of this dog as she matured and changed.

 

White and Red

"Prince"

Here is another example of a Red Papillon although this one has a touch of sabling on his ears making him genetically a red sable.

Click here to see more photos of this dog as he matured and changed.

 

White and Red Sable

"Annie"

This girl is a classic example of Red Sable. Notice the black mixed in with the red.

 

White and Red Sable

"Annie"

This is the same Red Sable girl pictured above, now at almost 3 years old.

 

White and Red Sable

"Lint"

This boy is a Red Sable. Notice the black mixed in with the red. Compared to a true red the difference is obvious.

 

White and Red Sable

"Jazzy"

This is an example of a Red Sable with only a nose band. Notice with or without the white face markings known as a "blaze" a quality Papillon can still be VERY pretty and elegant.

Click here to see more photos of this dog as she matured and changed. This will show you the drastic changes a red sable can go through in coloring.

 

White and Red Sable

"Gaea"

This girl is a more extreme example of a Red Sable. Notice the head markings show the red coloring while the body markings and fringes are very dark sable. In this photo you might confuse this dog for a hound tri, but in person it is obvious the body markings are truely sable and not black.

 

White and Black

"Maggy"

This girl is a classic example of a White and Black Papillon.


 

White and Black

"Millie"

Another classic White and Black Papillon.

Click here to see more photos of this dog as she matured and changed.

 

White and Lemon

"Foxy"

This is a less common color known as White and Lemon. The lemon coloring is just a much lighter version of Red. This color can also come with Sabling and will then usually be called Lemon Sable.

 

White and Lemon

"Pixie"

This is another example of a White and Lemon Papillon. This one has a touch of sabling around the muzzle.

 

True White and Lemon

"Toby"

This is an example of a genetically true White and Lemon Papillon. A true Lemon will be born almost solid white and the pale coloring starts showing up a few days later.

 

True White and Lemon

"Toby"

This is the same genetically true White and Lemon Papillon as pictured above. As you can see in his ears he is actually a lemon sable. Looking close at his younger photo above you will see the touch of sabling starting to show.

 

True White and Lemon

"Tink"

This is another example of a genetically true White and Lemon Papillon. This is a pure lemon with no sabling. She would have been solid white at birth. The lemon coloring is much less common and only posted here as a color representation. Notice this girl is also considered a mismark because the coloring does not extend over both eyes. This will be discussed further in the next example.

 

Mismark

"Rocky"

This young boy is an example of a tri colored mismark. The term "Mismark" indicates the lack of color over ears and/or eyes. This does not in any way affect the quality of the Papillon as a companion, however, this color marking can not be shown in conformation. A mismark can lack color over both eyes, both ears, one eye, one ear or any combination mentioned. This boy is mismarked on one eye and a tiny bit inside one ear. As you can see a mismarked Papillon can be very pretty.

 

Mismark

"Bu"

Here is an example of a fully mature white and black mismark. This boy is mismarked on both eyes and one ear. As you can see a mismarked Papillon can be very pretty. With such an abundance of fringe it is not uncommon to see a lower ear set, but this has nothing to do with his markings.

 

Non-Standard Color
White and Blue

"Zamuraii"

Here is an example of a nonstandard Papillon color known as blue. This color is not an acceptable color in the breed according to the breed standard. This is known as a dilute color and as a you can see the genetics of this color also affect the pigment of the nose and eyes. Blues can often have blue flecks in eyes or even a blue eye. The rest of the eye color will often be lightened or even gray. The nose will also be diluted to a blue/gray color instead of black. This is the biggest reason diluted colors are not accepted in the breed as the standard states the eyes must be dark and the nose black. Other than the nonstandard coloring this boy has lovely structure.

 

Non-Standard Color
White and Blue

"Zamuraii"

This is the same blue Papillon as pictured above. Here you can see this one actually has a blue fleck in the eye and you can also see a closeup of the blue coloring and nose pigment.

 

Non-Standard Color
White and Liver Sable

"Tango"

Here is another example of a nonstandard Papillon color known as liver sable. To the untrained eye this may look like a standard red or red sable Papillon, but look closely and you will see the differences. This color is not an acceptable color in the breed according to the breed standard. This is known as a dilute color just as the blue example above. Again, you can see the genetics of this color also affect the pigment of the nose and eyes. Notice the light yellow/green coloring of the eyes and the brown nose. The sabling on the side and cheeks are brown instead of black tipped.

 

Non-Standard Color
White and Liver Tri color (White, Liver and Tan)

"Rusty"

Here is another example of a nonstandard Papillon color known as liver tri color. The term liver refers to a chocolate brown color. This color is not an acceptable color in the breed according to the breed standard. This is known as a dilute color just as the blue and liver sable examples above. Again, you can see the genetics of this color also affect the pigment of the nose and eyes. Notice the light yellow color of the eyes and the brown nose. Since this is not an acceptable color for showing it is quite rare so is only posted here for reference.

 

Non-Standard Color
White and Liver Tri color (White, Liver and Tan)


Here is another example of a nonstandard Papillon color known as liver tri color. In this example you can really see the nose pigment. Since this is not an acceptable color for showing according to the breed standard it is quite rare and is only posted here for reference.
 




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