The breed originates from the island of Madagascar, and the name of these dogs is largely associated with their soft fur - "coton" translated from French means cotton.
The ancestors of Coton de Tulear were brought to Madagascar in the 16th century on pirate boats. Probably the dogs were used to chase rats, or as companion pets for long trips, or maybe they were stollen from other ships.
The Coton de Tulear is a Bichon dog type, very similar to Tenerife Terrier and Bichon Tenerife. Today the Coton de Tulear dogs are a rare breed.
Representatives of the breed resemble a Bichon Frieze. They have small bodies covered with medium length white or black and white, soft as cotton coat. The height varies from 25 to 31 cm, and the weight is about 5-6 kg. The eyes, nose and lips are dark in color. The ears are triangular in shape and are set high. The tail is fluffy and worn high.
Character and behavior
The Madagascar Coton is a very social, fun, playful, thoughtful, friendly and a great companion, who is highly attached to his owners. Representatives of the breed relate well with children and other pets in the family and love to travel and swim. Although quiet by nature, this dog can be very noisy – barking, grunting etc, while having fun.
Training and education
These dogs are susceptible to training, but can sometimes be stubborn. They have the ability to walk on their hind legs. They use it as a way to beg for a treat or food. They love their family and will learn the basic commands fairly easily.
The breed has a very good health and a life expectancy around 14-16 years. Still, there are a couple of health problems, such as: liver shunts, heart problems, eye problems and back issues. Like all dogs, the Coton de Tulear must be bred to keep and save his distinctive features.
The Coton de Tulear is a really rare breed and was accepted and recognized by the American Kennel Club 3 years ago. This breed was almost extinct and today puppies for sale are very expensive - prices may reach $1,500.00-$3,600 per puppy.
Grooming and care
The Madagascar Coton is a small dog, who does not require a lot of walking and exercise, making him suitable for growing in small homes and apartments. They are susceptible to training, but at times may show stubbornness. Their fur must often be brushed and clipped periodically to look good, but overall the coat does not fall a lot, which makes the puppy a perfect choice for allergic people. Bathing is not recommended unless it is necessary, not more than two or three times a year. Their ears should be checked frequently to avoid infections.
Children and other pets
This is a very social breed that gets along well with children and other family pets. They are energetic and fun-loving enough to be game companions for older children who treat them respectfully, but they will probably hide from clumsy younger kids who may slap them or accidentally step on them or kick them.
The Coton de Tulear was first recognized by the French national kennel club in 1970 and was later accepted by the FCI, which published the standard in 1972. The breed is recognized internationally through major kennel clubs (The Kennel Club, the United Kennel Club in the Companion Group.
Another standard for the Madagascar Coton was created in the United States, based upon the research of Robert Jay Russell. He established a USA breed club in 1976, opposing the AKC recognition.