How to Cut a Papillon's Hair

The French compare a papilllon dog's ears to butterfly wings.
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"Leave my papillon alone," you cry as the groomer in your dream stands over him, scissors in hand. "He's beautiful." So beautiful his name is French for butterfly. So beautiful the only hairs you need to cut are hiding in his ears and on the pads of his feet.

Step 1

Lift your papillon onto a table and ask a friend to try to keep him calm while you concentrate on the job of making him look and feel good. Normally an energetic, boisterous creature, he will need to keep perfectly still for his visit to the barber.

Step 2

Check the bottom of his feet. If any tufts of hair are covering the pads you will need to cut them off with the round-headed scissors. This is not a job that requires the delicate touch and fine finish of a beautician. These hairs are basically weeds, restricting your papillon’s grip. Never, however, cut the hair between the pads, as these protect the sensitive areas of his foot.

Step 3

Pluck out the hair around and inside your papillon's ear cavity with the tweezers. This hair attracts bacteria and can cause infection. Don’t dare touch the hairs on the flap of the ear, as these are a big part of the papillon's identity and success—your papillon probably never lets you forget that his "butterfly" ears were once revered by the French courts and the reason famous artists such as Rubens and Goya included his ancestors in some of their most famous works.

Step 4

Trim the all hair from the tops of his ankles to the tops of his nails with the thinning shears. The hair here can grow unevenly and drag on the floor; it's the only part of his coat that owners agree looks unattractive. To get an even cut, make sure you brush the hair out first with the bristle brush. The aim is to make your papillon look as if he has feet and not as if he is wearing carpet slippers.

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