Coton de Tular
Would you enjoy a Lab-like dog in a smaller package with almost no-shedding? The Coton de Tuléar could be what you are looking for!
Coton de Tuléar Country of Origin
Madagascar is the country of origin of this adorable breed. The Coton de Tuléar name derives from the word "cotton" because their beautiful white coat is fluffy, and feels like cotton. The word Tuléar is after the port city in Madagascar. Although the breed has been around for hundreds of years, it is close to extinction in Madagascar.
They made their way to the United States in the 70's when discovered by an American doctor, who brought the breed back.
Don't Mistake the Coton for these Breeds
The Coton de Tuléar is often mistaken for the Bichon Frise, Maltese, Havanese, Poodle, or the Bolognese. Particularly because of the most common and preferred coat color being white, and a tail that curls up over onto their back.
Although the Coton is closely related to the Bichon Frise and the Bolognese, they have their very own distinct personality.
Versatile and Ready To Go
This little versatile breed is a delight to have and be around. They are a small package of entertainment, ready to dance (they are known to jump up and prance around on their two hind legs), swim, play fetch, and enjoy long leisurely walks. They are even known to enjoy running along side horses on trails.
This is an active breed even though they are on the small side. If you work long hours all day, consider Doggy Daycare for your Coton. This gives them an opportunity to play with other dogs, and burn off energy while you are at work. This will be especially helpful at nighttime as that is when the Coton is known for getting more "lively."
Great with Kids, Dogs and Everyone!
You really can't go wrong with this little breed. They adore everyone, including children and other animals. Because they are a small breed, only growing to be about 13 lbs, special care should be taken around young small children.;
The Coton thrives in the environment of being with their family. They don't do well if left unattended for long periods. This is a family-oriented breed.
Daily Grooming is a Necessity
If you aren't interested in spending the time or money grooming a dog, the Coton might not be a good match. Their grooming needs aren't huge, but they do require daily attendance. A simple combing once a day will help prevent mats.
Their fur is actually considered to be "hair", so they are an ideal breed for people that are allergic to dogs. They are not Hypoallergenic (there is no such thing), however, their shedding is minimal, which helps keep the dander low and under control.
Every 4-6 weeks your Coton will need a visit with a professional groomer to clean them up, making grooming even easier to maintain. This is an added expense of being a pet-parent to the Coton.
The best thing about this little breed, is they have no "doggie odor" when they are regularly groomed.
Easy to Train
The Coton de Tuléar is a very intelligent breed, making training fun and easy. They can have a little stubborn streak to them, so being patient and working consistently with a Coton will help them to respond with training.
If allowed, Coton's can easily take over running the household, so it is important that training begins early to avoid Small Dog Syndrome. Early training and proper socialization is best for the Coton to keep their awesome personality balanced.
Just remember the Coton likes to jump and dance on their hind legs, so if you don't enjoy a dog that jumps on you or your guest, this might not be a good fit. This is a trait of the Coton and can not easily be remedied with training. So it is best to accept their dancing gestures, and join in!
Vocal or Not?
Coton's will alert to people coming over, but generally are not considered a yappy breed. They will be happy to notify you of people walking by the home, visitors or the mailman, but their barking will quickly dissipate.
Happy, Clownish, and Fun
You just can't go wrong with the Coton de Tuléar. Their overall personality is fun-loving. They are often considered a Lab in a small package, for their love of water, and goofy like demeanor. The Coton enjoys being around everyone and anything. They are easy-going and learn quickly.
The Coton de Tuléar makes a wonderful addition to any family.
The average lifespan of the Coton de Tuléar is 14-18 years. Overall they are healthy, but can have issues with eyes, kidney, and thyroid disease.
As you begin looking for a Coton de Tuléar please check with rescue organizations first. Every year there are millions of dogs being euthanized - not because they are bad dogs, but because there is no home for them and insufficient resources to care for them at rescue agencies. By adopting a dog, you are truly saving a life!
At the very least, NEVER purchase any dog from a pet store. Unfortunately, those puppies almost always come from puppy mills. Instead, look for a reputable breeder to work with.
On a final note, it is important to spay and neuter your puppy by 6 months old to have a healthy and happy pet for many years to come!
Original Dog Bible, 2nd Edition by Kristin Mehus-Roe