Breed of toy dog known from the 16th century, when it was called a dwarf spaniel. A favorite of Marie-Antoinette, it appeared in paintings by Old Masters. It acquired its name (French for butterfly) in the late 19th century, when a variety with large, flaring ears became fashionable. Another variety has drooping ears. A slender, graceful dog with a plumed tail, it stands 11 in. (28 cm) or less and weighs up to 11 lbs (5 kg). The soft, full coat is usually white, with darker patches.