The Coton de Tulear, or simply Coton for short, is a small, fluffy companion breed. The word “Coton” is the French word for cotton, and like the name suggests, the Coton’s coat is cotton-like or fluffy rather than silky like other breeds. It has a long topcoat with fluffy hair. Their coat comes in various colors such as white, white with lemon, white with shades of brown, white with black, and white with gray or tri-colored. A pure white coat is preferred by show breeders. Some have slightly yellowish markings on the ears as well.
The Coton de Tulear is quite friendly, gentle, outgoing, and alert. Being as sociable as it is, this breed gets along well with children and other animals. It can also become very attached to its home and owner; driving it to want to always be in their presence and trying its best to please. Even though it is smaller in size and quite sociable, the Coton makes a good watchdog because of its alert nature.
The Coton is intelligent and eager to please, which makes it a good learner, but it can sometimes be a little stubborn without proper leadership (consistent, firm, and positive). This breed is alert and naturally territorial, so socialize them well starting as a puppy in order to avoid anti-social behaviors as they grow up. Obedience training is also encouraged for socialization as well as reinforcing manners.
Despite its size, the Coton de Tulear is a fairly active breed and needs a moderate amount of exercise such as daily walks and chasing a tennis ball around the backyard. As with all dog breeds, a bored and unhappy Coton can exhibit destructive behaviors such as chewing and digging. They will do best when provided enough exercise, attention, and mental exercise.
Coton de Tulears have a long topcoat comprised of fluffy, cotton-like hair. Because of this, they need regular brushing and an investment of time to maintain the coat. To keep their coat looking its best, brush it multiple times a week. Since their hair is so long, it is also good to trim the hair on the feet between the pads and toes. Sometimes it may be necessary to trim the hair over the eyes as well if it impairs their vision, and of course, keep their eyes and ears clean.
The Coton de Tulear was named for the seaport town of Tulear in Madagascar, where they were the preferred breed of the nobility. Although Madagascar is only about 250 miles southeast of Africa, the population is primarily related to that of Indonesia, and because of a bond with France from former colonial rule, Madagascar developed strong links to the French-speaking nations of western Africa, hence the Coton’s French name roots.
Madagascar’s nobility were also jealous guardians of their fluffy little companions and went so far as to even pass laws that prohibited the Coton de Tulear from being owned by commoners and reluctant to allow any of their dogs leave the island. As a result, the Coton de Tulear remained isolated from the rest of the world for centuries until the 1960s when it was discovered by French tourists. The breed quickly became popular in Europe where generations of selective breeding further refined the breed into what we know today and was registered by the AKC in 2014.
Clubs, Registries & Associations
(Based on breed recognition. See store for details on a particular puppy.)
- American Canine Association Inc.
- The American Canine Registry
- American Kennel Club
- American Pet Registry, Inc.
- Continental Kennel Club
- Dog Registry of America, Inc.
- North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
- National Kennel Club
Average Weight: 12 – 15 lbs.
Personality Traits: Gentle, affectionate, and alert
Country of Origin: Madagascar
Check out the Coton De Tulear puppies for sale we currently have in our stores. If there are none here, please contact us and we’ll be in touch.