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The Papillon Information Center       
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Papillon Cost

In factoring the cost of a Papillon, many elements come into play.  We will discuss each in detail so that you will have an understanding of why price varies so much.

The following elements should be taken into consideration:

•    If it is a purchase from an established breeder, a private sale or a rescue
•    The quality of the Papillon, either show or pet quality
•    The bloodline of the puppy
•    The age of the dog, for example 8-week-old pup VS 4 year old adult
•    The market demand in a specific region
•    The type of registration that the dog has [AKC or CKC (Canadian Kennel Club) makes quite a difference]

Let’s look at each element:

Breeder VS Private Sale VS Rescue

Obtaining a new Pap puppy from an established, reputable breeder versus a private sale by someone who’s female had a litter makes a huge difference.  Prices can vary from $500.00, to $750.00 to $1000.00 …to as high as $2500.00…and we will look into this more as we go along.

This is not to say that a private sale cannot yield an excellent pup; however with ethical, proper breeding, much thought goes into pairing dam to sire… Bloodlines are researched, dogs are matched based on small faults… what one may lack, the partner may make up for, etc.

With unplanned breedings or with litters that were produced without much research, the quality of the puppies most often will decline.  Private sales may actually offer prices that match those of recognized breeders; however a potential buyer should look into the dog’s pedigree before agreeing that the cost is fair.  Prices can vary from $500.00, to $750.00 to $1000.00

Purebred, quality Papillons are not often found at shelters, however this does not mean that one cannot be found.  If so, most often the dog will be older, with the average rescue Pap being over the age of 2-years-old.  Shelters and rescues do not often give away dogs for free.  Normally, a price point is set that covers the cost of food, vaccinations (if needed) and cost deferred to cover the actual operation of the establishment.

Regional Price Differences

The price of particular purebreds will vary depending on where in the country you buy one. A reputable breeder in the Northwest will charge from $500 to 800 where in the Northeast a Papillon puppy may be as much as $1500.  Sometimes price is not determined by how good a breeder is but how the market is in a specific location.

If an area of the country has very few breeders of a certain type dog, the price will be higher since there is a demand, yet a small supply.  In states with many puppies available, prices are often competitive, and a potential puppy buyer may see a varying range…There are those who will set lower competitive prices and those who remain in the higher bracket, often due to having champions in the bloodlines, etc.


Even in what is anticipated to be an exceptional litter, there can be a pup or pups that have certain faults that take them out of the “show” category and place them into pet category. Alternatively, a litter that was planned to produce mostly pet quality Papillons may turn out an exceptional puppy that shows great promise for excellent conformation.  

The goal of many top breeders is to produce show quality Papillons… Many times very high quality pups will be kept… Or if they are to be sold, the price may be as high as $2500 and sometimes with a stipulation that in the case of a future litter of a female, the seller will have the right to choose a puppy and/or co-own the original dog that was sold.
We should note that many pet quality Papillons are beautiful and often will not have obvious faults; however it is suggested that if thinking about purchasing a Pappy dubbed “pet quality” to ask specifically what the reason(s) are for that classification.


The age for females to be in programs is between 2 and then to be retired no later than 7-years-old.  Many older females are kept as pets; however for a variety of reasons, an adult may be sold.

This holds true for males as well. While male Papillons can serve as stud dogs for a longer window of time than their female counterparts, adults may be sold as well.

Another reason why an adult may be sold is that a genetic issue showed up during routine health testing therefore disqualifying the dog from the program.
One must proceed with caution; although in many cases the dog will be perfectly healthy, the issue will be that he or she is carrying a recessive trait that would be passed down if bred…. If this type of sale is done, the pricing will be reduced quite a bit, and the dog will be sold with breeding rights restricted.

There are some pluses to obtaining an older Papillon: The dog will be housebroken (which is a huge plus for some people), know certain commands and new owners will know the adult personality and appearance of the dog.
Type of Registration

In the United States, there is a good reason why AKC puppies are sold at higher prices than CKC (Continental Kennel Club).  The AKC has strict guidelines that breeders must follow to ensure the integrity of the breed and essentially guarantee that a dog is indeed purebred…The CKC has very loose standards in regard to qualifying a purebred.  One must only send in a photo of a dog, along with several “witnesses” to confirm that any particular dog is 100% purebred.

If your goal is to obtain a high quality, purebred Papillon, it is suggested, whether you choose pet or show quality, to look at the type of registration that is offered.  In the U.S., one would want to see AKC, in Canada one would want to see CKC (Canadian Kennel Club- not to be confused with the CKC in the states)…and in Europe one would want to see FCI papers.
Rescue Dogs

Not all rescue dogs are mixed or of unknown origin.  If one searches, it is possible to find purebreds that for one reason or another ended up in a shelter or with a rescue group. Often, the dogs are not free; cost often includes a donation to the group and it usually involves a base fee to help cover the care of all animals.  Prices can vary from $100 to $400.

Do be aware of the many scams that exist (It’s helpful to remember the saying that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is).

Due to a former owner’s neglect or abuse, a dog may have behavioral issues…You’ll want to ask questions and many shelters will have done a behavioral analysis along with a health check.

A Final Thought

If a person is overly worried about the cost of a Papillon, one may want to consider putting a pause on a purchase… The cost of ownership will far exceed any initial payment.  If you factor in food, supplies and veterinary care, having a pet does take up a good portion of one’s budget.

While we cannot foresee future financial situations, for the sake of everyone involved, it is best to resist those “puppy dog eyes” until one feels secure that there is enough money to cover not only the purchase of a Papillon puppy but for the care of one as well.

Looking for a Papillon breeder?  La Ren Papillons  is a wonderful Papillon breeder located in Camas, WA.  They are the home of the 2005 PCA Golden Butterfly Winner and Co-Breeder of the Winner of the PCA Top 20 Competition of 2012.