Dog Breeds

Coton de tulear

The small size and calm character make Coton de tulear the perfect dog to live in. Let’s not forget, however, that under a spectacular robe is … a real athlete! Coton de Tulear does not like loneliness and requires a lot of attention.


Coton de Tulear has a great temperament, a cheerful disposition, is energetic and full of the joy of life until old age. He is very attached to his family, he doesn’t favor anyone.

He doesn’t like loneliness and requires a lot of attention, which is why people spending most of their time outside the home should not opt ​​for a representative of this breed. Neglected and left alone, the pooch can suffer from separation anxiety, which is manifested in the destruction of things, persistent barking or howling.

Coton is friendly, easily contacts the surroundings and is happy to accompany the owner everywhere. Although usually open and self-confident, there are also shy individuals who need more time to accept strangers.

Coton de tulear

The dog of this breed is alert and always signals when something suspicious happens. Sometimes, however, overzealous, and therefore sometimes overly noisy.

He is an excellent friend for older children – patient, gentle, and tireless at play. However, he may not work as a companion of several years old toddlers – like most small dogs, he does not like rough treatment.

He feels good in the company of his compatriots (especially of the same breed), he also gets along with foreign quadrupeds. In general, he accepts small pets, but you must remember that he still has a hunting instinct.

The small size makes the Coton de tulear a perfect dog for living. Let’s not forget, however, that under a spectacular robe is a real athlete. This animal does not like idleness – he is energetic, active, requires a lot of movement and exercise.


In their homeland, the cotons lived in freedom and had to take care of themselves, in which they were helped by inborn cleverness, agility and endurance. They hunted small animals to get food.

The modern representative of the breed is a typical companion dog. In many countries, including in the United States, Canada or France, cotons are used in dogotherapy. They are called antidepressant dogs, they are great as visiting animals in hospitals and nursing homes. You can do some sports with them, e.g. agility, obedience, flyball, dancing with a dog.

Coton de tulear. Training and education

Coton is intelligent, smart and likes to learn. His willingness to please the owner and good appetite means that the training should not cause any major difficulties. It’s best to start learning with a small puppy, e.g. in a dog kindergarten.

Coton is happy to follow the instructions if he is properly motivated – his favorite delicacy or praise will encourage him to cooperate. Too harsh treatment can, however, intimidate the pooch and damage his trust in the owner.

Puppies require a gentle but firm upbringing. Despite the small height, dogs of this breed are quite strong, so you should not allow them everything. The guardian’s weakness or indecision will quickly be used.

Coton de tulear

Up to the age of 12 weeks, all dogs undergo a period of socialization. They must then be provided with as many stimuli as possible – they should get to know other animals, people of all ages and new situations. During this time, anxiety reflexes also appear, so make sure your toddler doesn’t get scared or gets hurt by another quadruped.

Who is this race for?

Coton de Tulear is an excellent family dog. It does not require much experience, but it needs a lot of attention from the owner, regular movement and systematic care. It can adapt to different conditions, so you can recommend it to families with children and the elderly.

Coton de tulear. Advantages and disadvantages


  • the exhibition dog requires careful care
  • it can be noisy


  • attached to the family
  • a good friend for children
  • alert and smart
  • intelligent, eager to learn
  • you can do some dog sports with him
  • accepts other dogs and pets


Coton de Tulear is a hardy, long-lived and rarely sick dog. In the breed, there are predispositions to dislocation of the patella (patella luxation) and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). The only way to prevent these diseases from spreading is through testing animals used for reproduction (in many countries, ophthalmological testing is a condition for admission to breeding).

Cotons – like most white-colored dogs – can suffer from skin allergies, most often caused by eating errors. In old age, back problems sometimes occur. It is also worth systematically cleaning your teeth with a special paste and brush and if necessary remove tartar at the veterinary surgeon.

Coton de tulear

Cotons tolerate all weather well. For walks in the rain or snow, you can wear orthalionic clothes that will protect long hair from getting wet. In severe frosts, haircut quadrupeds can wear fleece. In the summer – as with all dogs – they need to be protected against overheating and have constant access to water.


Coton has a tendency to gain weight, so the diet should be adapted to the degree of activity of the dog and not overfeed him. Good quality medium-protein dry foods can be given, preferably for long-haired breeds; Dog allergy-prone products are also good. This way of eating facilitates care, because while eating, the beard and mustache do not get dirty.

If we decide to prepare food ourselves, we must remember to supplement the diet with appropriate calcium, vitamin and mineral preparations.

If necessary, you can also specify specifics that improve the quality of the coat. The daily dose is best divided into two meals.


Coton de Tulear does not molt, but if we want to exhibit it, the coat will require careful and systematic care. In order for a pet to endure all treatments patiently, we have to get used to them from the puppy. Metal combs with different tooth spacing and wooden brushes with metal wires are best for combing.

At the beginning of a small coton, it is enough to comb once in a while for a few minutes, rewarding him for calm behavior. Around the age of 10, he starts exchanging hair for an adult. From now on, it will even require daily combing, because its fur is easily tangled. If this happens, special preparations for combing or conditioner diluted with water will be useful.

Gently separate the tangled hair with your fingers and comb it out, being careful not to tear it out (we never cut tangles). We should also remember not to comb the dry dog ​​- the coat should always be sprayed with plain water, otherwise, the hair may break.

We cut the fur between the tips, around the intimate places and pluck the hair growing inside the turbinate. To attach a pony on the head, it’s best to use specially designed rubber bands – do not put on metal clips (cut the hair) or small buckles (especially for puppies), because the animal can swallow them.

We show a coton (previously thoroughly combed) at least once every two weeks in shampoos for white long-haired dogs. Repeat the procedure twice, and then apply the appropriate conditioner for a few minutes (we do not use cosmetics containing mink oil, because they can cause yellowing of the coat) and rinse thoroughly. Squeeze your hair into a towel and dry your pet with a dryer set to medium temperature.

We present a representative of this breed on a matching ring. From a puppy, we also get used to the touch of strangers, behavior in the ring and standing on a table in the exhibition position.

Coton de tulear

The care of a non-exhibit coton looks similar, but it does not require such frequent bathing. Such a pooch can also be cut short, which will greatly help maintain a neat appearance.

Coton de tulear. Accessories

Cotons are quite obedient, but they should not be loose in busy places. It is best to take them out in soft, strong collars (they should be removed at home so that they do not tangle the robes) and on a long leash. The collar should not have a colored instep, because under the influence of moisture it can permanently stain the fur on the neck. It is not recommended to use braces (they can wipe the coat) or chains (cut hair and get them dirty).

Coton will be occupied by balls (they cannot be too small so that he does not swallow them), plush mascots, squeaking toys. You can also serve natural chews – smoked ears, rumen, dried meat. It is worth getting the dog used to the transport cage, especially if you intend to go with him to exhibitions.

Coton de tulear. History

Coton de Tulear belongs to the group of bishops – small quadrupeds, most often of white color, whose pedigree dates back to ancient Rome and Greece. The breed comes from an island in the Indian Ocean off the southeast coast of Africa. Madagascar was a French colony for many years. From 1960 it is an independent republic.

There are several legends about the origin of cotons. The first of them dates back to the 15th century and speaks of a pair of white dogs, which after the sinking of the ship were the only survivors of the catastrophe and reached the island near the city of Toliara (Friar Tulear). However, it seems unlikely that they will be able to do this in shark-filled waters.

According to another story, the cotons arrived in Madagascar together with the Portuguese traveler Bartolomeu Diaz. There is also talk of dogs from the Spanish royal court that European merchants brought to the island.

The first part of the breed’s name refers to the appearance of quadrupeds – the color and structure of their hair resemble cotton fluff. The second part refers to the city of Tulear, near which plantations of this plant were located and where these quadrupeds were most often found.

Probably in the veins of the Coton, the blood of Mediterranean bishons, papillonsMaltese and Bedlington terriers flows (the latter is connected to it with a similarly arched ridge line).

In Madagascar, the cotons lived in the wild, like other species of the local fauna. This changed when the upper realms became interested in them. They gained the nickname of “royal dogs”, and only rich and influential inhabitants of the island could become their owners. Probably the first cotons left Madagascar on merchant ships.

In the 1950s, native breeders drew their attention to them and began to cross dogs with specific characteristics. Many of them went to France, where they were refined and given a contemporary look. The French Kennel Club recognized them in 1970. FCI published the first standard in 1972.

The growing popularity of these dogs in the world made them almost extinct in their homeland. To protect a small population, the Madagascar authorities issued an official ban on their export. It has now been relaxed, but permission is still required to export this breed.

Coton de tulear robe can be completely white or have gray or fawn markings. In puppies they are quite dark and brighten with age (sometimes they remain dark also in adults).

There has been a tendency in Europe to grow only white cotons. This is not good for the breed, because it leads to a brightening of the pigment and even its complete disappearance. That is why specialists recommend that white and marked dogs be used equally inbreeding.


Coton de Tulear – group IX FCI, section 1.2, reference number 283

  • Origin:  Madagascar ( patronage: France)
  • Size:  height at the withers of dogs 26-28 cm, bitches 23-25 ​​cm (tolerance 2 cm up and 1 cm down); dogs weight 4-6 kg, bitches 3.5-5 kg
  • Coat:  characteristic of the breed – very delicate, soft, cotton-like hair, dense, abundant; may be slightly wavy
  • Color:  white; on the ears a few light gray or red sifted streaks are allowed; on other parts of the body such meanings are not desirable
  • Maturity:  1.5 years-2 years
  • Lifespan:  12-15 years
  • Weather resistance:  high

Interesting facts

Cotons are excellent friends of children. They are always willing to play, patient and gentle pooches who quickly find a common language with them. They will accept other pets without any problems. They feel just as well in the company of a dog, cat, guinea pig or rabbit.

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