Let me address two items that continue to be discussed on and off line.

1. Ear set. Ear set is vital for the correct butterfly look. Think of what a butterfly looks like with its obliquely set  wings. This is the correct angle - about 45 degrees to the head. You are all correct that earset too low is a wrong look. However, the more common fault is ear set too high. The word "moderate" is not what is wanted in an ear; the words LARGE and ROUND are the words for size and shape. They cannot be too large or too round. This hallmark of the breed is an exaggeration compared to other breeds.

2. Fringe. Again, this is a hallmark of the breed. Let me quote two standards on the subject of ears:
* U.K. "Ears: Very large, mobile with rounded tips, heavily fringed; set towards back of head, far enough apart to show the slightly rounded skull shape. Leathers firm but fine. When erect each ear should form an angle of approximately 45 degrees to the head."
* U.S. "Ears- The ears of either the erect or drop type should be large with rounded tips, and set on the sides and toward the back of the head.
    (1) Ears of the erect type are carried obliquely and move like the spread wings of a butterfly. When alert, each ear forms an angle of approximately 45 degrees to the head. The leather should be of sufficient strength to maintain the erect position.
    (2) Ears of the drop type, known as the Phalene, are similar to the erect type, but are carried drooping and must be completely down. Faults - Ears small, pointed, set too high; one ear up, or ears partly down... Ears well fringed, with the inside covered with silken hair of medium length."

In both cases, there is a request for fringe. The English are very clear - Heavily fringed. The U.S. - well fringed, with a request for the double fringe which includes the inside of the ear as well as the outside. The medium length phraseology refers to the inner fringe. I personally think this muddies the waters as it could lead some to believe that "well fringed" is only "medium." The English make it clear - heavily fringed.

Here I insert some observations. As I said, the Papillon is an international breed and various characteristics have been perfected in various places. Certainly the Swedish have had great success with breeding very large, round, very heavily fringed ears. They have also come up with quite a few larger dogs and have struggled with PRA. The English have got fringe and quite a lot of it as well as a lot of body coat, sometimes needing a better texture, sometimes not single. U.S. breeders are a very diverse lot. Probably as a general rule, we do not have the extravagant ears and fringe seen elsewhere, though we do have it in some kennels. We also have a few structurally very good dogs. Ears are not the be all and end all, but they are a defining breed feature. The best judge will judge the whole dog, but hopefully the best judge will see the Papillon as a dog both SOUND and FANCY, and the fancy has to do with exaggerated type points that are correct. The structure is that of a well made, sound, balanced (fore and aft) dog. The type points such as Ears, fringe, single coat, hare feet, arched tail, daintiness, elegance and lively temperament along with the correct head (1/3 to 2/3, defined stop, tapered muzzle) are a unique combination that set the breed apart. These points should be recognized and appreciated. Do not fault ears with voluminous fringe or gigantic ears. Judge the whole dog, treasure the exaggerated type points, but don't judge parts and pieces over the whole dog.


In response to comments related to the age old "type vs. and/or soundness" discussion that always seems to come up in talking of this breed or many others, I do think  the seminar made a point to say that the ideal Papillon is both SOUND and FANCY, and both words were highlighted. In any search for the ideal, there should not be the "either/or" feeling. The seminar tried to paint a picture of the ideal Papillon, for certainly we hope our judges will value all the needed structural and type virtues.

After all, the art of judging is assessing animals which inevitably lack perfection in some part. The judge has to look at the whole dog, value the virtues, weigh the deficits and in the end, pick the animal which, in his or her mind, comes closest to the ideal.

Personally, I could never agree to saying that one must of necessity, get into the type vs. soundness argument. I want it all. I want a sound, athletic, friendly, intelligent dog that is unmistakably a Papillon, never to be confused with another breed. If general competition fails  to approach the ideal, then breeders must work harder, and if judges are presented with dogs that do not approach the ideal, they have to deal with them. That is what judging is all about. However, the seminar attempted to paint a picture of the ideal Papillon so that should one very close to the ideal appear, judges will recognize its perfection.