Coton Breed Info

The Coton de Tulear is an elegant rare breed also known as the “Royal Dog of Madagascar” and is related to the French Bichons and Italian Bolognese. The name Coton De Tulear describes the Coton’s coat and point of origin. It is believed that the origins of the Coton de Tulear may have been France and that the initial stock made their first appearance in the group of islands in the Indian Ocean known as the Mascarene Islands (Reunion and Mauritius) possibly by way of shipwreck.

The Coton de Tulear is bred and raised to be a companion dog. Cotons exhibit delightful personalities; they are very friendly, gentle, affectionate and alert. Their compact size, dark eyes, long lashes and super charm quickly win the hearts of all that come in contact with them. The breed is known to be friendly, but needs to be socialized at an early age due to shyness in some puppies. Cotons bond easily to the humans in their life, they are very affectionate and are known to be kissing machines. Cotons are intelligent and athletic and do well in various areas of dog sports such as agility skills trials and catch. They love to swim, run and enjoy long walks. Although active, they adapt well to whatever the family’s situation and can be very athletic or couch potatoes.

Cotons are very sociable dogs that get along well with children, other dogs and animals and become much attached to their home and master; as such the Coton makes a great watchdog. One of the Coton De Tulears most endearing traits is a tendency to jump and walk on their hind legs. The Cotons’ antics will enhance any home willing to spend the time necessary to play with and groom their Coton De Tulear. Cotons have a large-dog personality, similar to a Lab. They are not yappy, like many small breed dogs.

The Coton de Tulear is an adorable fluffy little, white ball, sometimes with patches of color. They usually stand from around 10 to 12 inches and weigh from 10 to 15 lbs. The Coton has a characteristic dry, cottony coat that will stand up unsupported if lifted from the body. They are non-shedding and hypoallergenic.

Three color varieties are common: white (all white with perhaps cream-biscuit/champagne patches on the ears and saddle region); black and white (brilliant black patches which sometimes appear to gray with maturity), and tri-color (white, tan, and black pups which generally turn off-white with a dusting of black hairs later in life). Coat length is about 3-5 inches and does not reach the ground from the belly. Cotons are not toy dogs, but rather muscular small dogs with excellent angulation for speed, maneuverability, and endurance.

The long, oil free, light-textured hair requires regular grooming every other day or so. Excess hair between the pads of the feet and in the inner ears should be removed. The coat should not be sheared. Due to the Coton’s oil free coat, it remains relatively clean without a bath for a long time but most owners prefer a monthly bath or trip to the groomers.

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