Coton de Tulear: The Royal Dog of Madagascar

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Coton de Tulear (KO-tawn Day TOO-lee-ARE) is a small breed of non-sporting dogs. The word ‘Coton describes their white fur which is the french word for Coton and ‘Tulear’ represents the city Tulear (also known as Toliara) they are named after, which is a city on the island of Madagascar located on the southeast coast of Africa in the Indian ocean. They are even portrayed on the postage stamps of Madagascar.

Basic Overview Of Coton de Tulear

Breed Name:Coton de Tulear
Breed Group:Non-Sporting
OriginMadagascar
Cost$300-$2000
Height:9-12 Inches
Weight:8-13 Pounds
Life Span:14-17 years
Type of Coat:Long
Coat Color:White, Black, Tri-color, Black & White, Lemon & White, Gray & White
Temperament:Anxious, Friendly, Gentle, Playful, Trainable
Intelligence:High
Energy LevelActive
Grooming Needs:High
Training Needs:Medium
Good WithChildren, Dogs, Cats, and Families

Coton de Tulear

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They are thought to have originated from a breed of small white dogs that swam to Madagascar via the Malagasy channel following the wreckage of the ship they were being transported in. The people of Madagascar have dedicated 26th November as Coton de Tulear day in honor of these tiny royal species. They are purebred dogs who are related to the Maltese dog breed and Bichon Frise.

Coton de Tulear dogs were the favorite lapdog of the royalties on their island of origin. They were purebred for a long time as the royalties were hesitant about these cuties leaving the island. They even passed a law at one time which did not allow the commoners to own this breed. In the 1970s a Frenchman visiting Madagascar took some of these dogs back to France with him. Also, they were brought to North America during this decade.

Coton de Tulear Breeding And Where To Get Them

Coton de Tulear

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It’s not easy to find a purebred Coton de Tulear puppy in your local shelters or a nearby pet shop as it’s a rare breed. You will need to find a reputable breeder who breeds ethically and produces a healthy litter that is free from genetically predisposed conditions. You’ll also need to make sure that the puppy isn’t a product of inbreeding (of closely related parents or the same bloodline) as this increases the chances of diseases that run in the genes.

During your meet with the breeder make sure he’s open about answering all of your queries. Look at the puppy’s pedigree and it’s better if you meet the puppy parents as this gives you a fair idea of what your Coton de Tulear pup will grow into. 

Make sure that they aren’t bred in a puppy mill or a backyard breeding place by visiting their place of breeding. Look out for any unhygienic conditions, quality of food fed to the dogs, living standards, health of the dogs present, and avoid places that own a large number of breeding dogs because that would mean quantity over the quality of puppies.

Coton De Tulear Cost

Coton de Tulear Puppy

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The cost of Coton de Tulear breed puppies varies depending on the reputation of the breeder and how well-bred they are. Although most Coton de Tulear puppies cost around $300 if you buy from a reputable and standard breeder the cost may go up to $2000.

Coton de Tulear Dog Breed Characteristics 

Coton de Tulear

Source: dog-learn.com

Height: Males grow up to 32cm whereas females may be a bit shorter reaching up to 28 cm.

Weight:  Coton de Tulear weighs around 3.6 to 6 kg with males usually being a bit heavier than the females.

Lifespan: 14-19 years

Coton de Tulear breed dogs are gentle which makes them good around children and seniors. They are family dogs who are friendly towards other dogs or cats. They are extremely intelligent with a desire to please the people they love making them easy to train a puppy. The only thing you need to be worried about is a Coton de Tulear licking you with love until you’re drenched in saliva. They have a high drive for treats and will happily perform your favorite tricks in exchange for the treats.

Coton de Tulears are very loyal, kind, and outgoing which is best exhibited if you socialize a Coton de Tulear puppy well and early on. They get along with people and dogs equally well even though they may be a bit shy initially towards unfamiliar faces. 

They have a very soft personality and are sensitive to tone so make sure to speak softly to them. Make sure the children around them treat them with respect, do not disturb them while feeding or sleeping, and handle them gently.

They are a perfect choice if you want a lap dog who’d love to cuddle or if you’re a novice pet parent. Due to their small size, they can easily be kept in an apartment with little space to run around and play as they are high-energy dogs who love active life. If you are a globetrotter who’s looking for a companion for their trips and vacations, a Coton de Tulear would love to accompany you.

Interesting Things To Know

It is necessary to keep them mentally and physically stimulated as they are intelligent dogs and get easily bored. For this you can take them out on 20-30 minutes of leash walks once or twice daily where they’ll be exposed to various sounds and scents and get ample amounts of exercise. 

The social nature of Coton de Tulears makes them very susceptible to loneliness and anxiety if left alone for more than a few hours at a time. Their high energy combined with separation anxiety can lead to the destruction around the house and excessive barking which can cause deterioration of their health, so make sure there’s always someone around. 

They are a perfect fit if you’re a retired senior, a person working from home who’s willing to spend all their time with a dog.

Coton de Tulears are pretty hardy for a breed this size. Their smart nature takes well to training and makes them enthusiastic participants in agility and obedience competitions. Their size may make them unfit for a guard dog but their vocal nature qualifies them to be great watchdogs as they’ll bark at a stranger or intruder and alert you. Females are comparatively more independent. 

The Coton does not drool much so if you’re a dog lover who hates having slobbery saliva all over the house and yourself, you’re sorted. They have soft, supple, and long hair which is free of dander and cotton-like in texture making it hypoallergenic. They don’t shed much but need to be groomed often to keep their hair in the best form.

Pros And Cons Of Owning A Coton de Tulear

PROS

CONS

Suitable for a range of homes including small apartments to houses with a big lawn.Need moderate amounts of exercise daily so you need to walk them regularly even though they are tiny.
Do not shed much and be hypoallergenic.Regular combing and grooming are a must.
Extremely social, friendly, and loving.Hate being left alone in the house.
Do not drool much.Might lick you excessively if they feel too much love for you.
Will alert you at the sight of a stranger.Too cute and tiny to be a guard dog.

Care Of Coton de Tulear

Coton de Tulear

Source: thebarkspace.com

  1. A Coton is hardy and enjoys playing outside in any weather, but don’t leave them out unsupervised. They should stay in with their people.
  2. Poop training is a must when you get any puppy but it takes time, patience, and consistency. Keep a regular schedule for their outings, observe them know when they wanna go potty, take them to a place where you want them to lighten up, and praise and reward them a lot when they do their business in the right place. Sometimes your dog could eat poop so it is very nessesassy to give a proper training. 
  3. Socialize them with people and other animals from a young age.
  4. Groom them regularly starting with short sessions followed by lots of treats and praise to get them accustomed to it. Use a metal comb or pin brush to prevent damage to their delicate hair. Give them a Puppy cut if you can’t comb them daily.
  5. Give them a good and balanced diet. Choose a dog food that meets all their needs and decide the amount with the help of your vet based on your dog’s activity levels, growth, age, and metabolism. Don’t overfeed your dog as it can lead to various health issues.
  6. Right after you get your Coton de Tulear puppy, take them to a vet. Get your puppy dewormed and vaccinated regularly.
  7. Regular nail trimming, ear cleaning, and tooth cleaning are extremely important to keep your dog free of discomfort.
  8. Cotons love to swim so you can let them in a pool but don’t leave them unsupervised.
  9. The frequency of bathing your dog depends on various factors like grooming and exposure to dirt. Bathe them with a shampoo that’s specifically meant for dogs. Avoid using shampoo on their face as it can go into their eyes.

Things To Keep In Mind:

  • Make sure to not let water enter their ears.
  • Dry your dog completely after a bath to prevent skin infections.
  • Do not feed your dog any oily, spicy, salty, or sweet food. No matter how cutely they sit next to you, don’t feed them off the table to avoid them from developing a habit of begging.
  • Before feeding anything other than dog food, ask your vet if you can give it to your dog. Chocolates, raisins, grapes, avocados, and nuts are toxic to dogs.
  • Do not let them jump from heights to avoid slip knee or palette luxation as small breeds are predisposed to it.

Grooming Needs For A Coton de Tulear

Coton de Tulear

Source: chegg.com

  • Regular hair cuts to prevent their hair from going too long.
  • Regularly get the hair around their eyes trimmed to prevent irritation to eyes which may further lead to infections.
  • Bathe your dog regularly, that is once in two or three weeks.
  • Comb them daily using a metal comb or pin brush to prevent matting and tangling of hair and to boost their circulation which will improve the quality of hair. 
  • Give them a ‘puppy cut’ if you have a hard time maintaining long hair.
  • Clean the gunk around their eye regularly using damp cotton to prevent tear stains. Get their ears cleaned.
  • Get their nails trimmed regularly by a professional as trimming them more than needed without proper experience can lead to pain and bleeding. 
  • Check under their fur often for any ectoparasites like ticks or fleas and get rid of them using spot-on, tick collars, ectoparasiticides, etc.

Coton de Tulear is extremely cute and friendly. They are energetic and playful but they’ll happily cuddle you or be a lap dog. Now that you know all the pros and cons of Coton de Tulear’s and how to take proper care of them, you can easily decide if they are a fit for you and your home.

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