History: The Coton de Tulear is a rare ancient purebred that originated on the island of Madagascar more than three centuries ago. The breed was developed in France, arrived in North America in the mid 1970’s with its popularity growing significantly in the 1990’s.
General Description: The Coton is a small, longhaired companion dog with a white cotton-textured coat, with round, dark eyes and a lively, intelligent expression. They are a sturdy, hardy dog with good muscle. They are happy on the sofa with their owners as well as spending active time outside.
Size: Males average between 9-14 pounds (4-6 kg), females between 7.5-11 pounds (3.5-5 kg). Ideal height for males is 9-11.5” (24-29 cm), females 8-10” (21-26 cm).
Colour: The general appearance of the Coton is white. A few slight shadings of light grey or beige may be found on the ears. Some Coton puppies may be born with black or brown spots. These spots should fade to white or nearly white by the time the Coton is a year old due to a “fading gene” in its DNA.
Coat care: Cotons are non-shedding and require extensive coat care. They may be trimmed short or left long, but in all cases require frequent brushing, combing, and bathing to remove tangles which develop at the base of the hair shaft. Throughout the adult life of the Coton, they will require approximately 2-3 hours dedicated to grooming each week. If using a professional groomer, owners will still need to do grooming between appointments to avoid severe matting.
Temperament: Of a happy temperament, stable, very sociable with humans and with other dogs; it adapts perfectly to all ways of life. The Coton typically gets a long well with humans of any age and other animals. Care should be taken when placing a Coton in a home with young children since Cotons, being a small dog, are susceptible to injury if mistreated.
Feeding: Cotons can thrive on good quality kibble.
Exercise Requirements: Cotons love to be active inside and outside. Many owners will talk about their dogs doing “zoomies” around the house every day. A couple of walks a day will be enjoyed by this breed. They are suitable for apartment living. Being a companion breed, they thrive on being with their family and are not always well adjusted to being on their own for extended periods of time.
Trainability: Cotons love to please their owners and respond well to positive reinforcement including praise and treats.