Coton de Tulear

Coton de Tulear

Coton de Tulear is one of five breeds in the Bichon family, which includes the Bichon Frise, Bolognese, Havanese, and Maltese. The ancestors of these five breeds were popular companions and barter items for sailors in the Mediterranean. The dogs that would one day become the Coton eventually landed in Madagascar, where they became the favorites of royalty.

This is a small breed, standing 8.5 to 12.5 inches tall and weighing 8 to 12 pounds. The eyes are round and dark, the ears are dropped, and the nose is dark. The coat is long, soft, and dense. Although the white coat is the most popular, the Coton de Tulear may also be black and white or tricolored. The breed standards vary slightly between registries, both as to size and weight and as to coat colors.

The Coton de Tulear dog breed should be thoroughly brushed and combed daily, as the coat can mat. Many pet owners keep the feet and under the tail trimmed short for cleanliness. The Coton can be quite playful but is generally a calm dog. He prefers snuggling to playing in the backyard. Walks are always welcome, though, as every walk turns into a social event; people are drawn to this adorable dog breed.

Training should begin early. Although this breed is bright and intelligent, housetraining can be a challenge. However, with a good schedule, patience, and consistency, housetraining will happen. Obedience training is also a good idea for both dog and owner, as this breed is easily spoiled.

The Coton de Tulear needs an owner who wishes to have a canine shadow. The owner should also enjoy grooming the dog. This breed is good with children, as long as the kids treat him with respect; he will not tolerate rough handling. He can be good with other dogs, although playtimes with larger dogs should be supervised to prevent injuries. He is usually good with smaller pets, as he has a very low prey drive. Health concerns include knee problems and thyroid disorders.


One reply on “Coton de Tulear”

Happy, clownish, and inquisitive, the Coton de Tulear enjoys clever games of dexterity such as “pull the stale bit of fallen cheese from under the refrigerator with your paw.”
He is both boisterous and calm, dashing around the yard to play, then snuggling in your lap to snooze.
Cotons are very people-oriented and will push for as much attention as they can get. They are so sociable that they don’t do well when left for long periods without companionship. “Not doing well” means unhappiness and boredom, which they may try to vent through barking and destructive chewing.
Though peaceful and gentle with everyone (humans and other pets), this breed forms a strong bond with his family and can be conservative with strangers. Socialization is important to build a confident, outgoing temperament, as there is a potential for excessive caution/timidity.
Though he does have a mild stubborn streak, the Coton de Tulear is normally a “soft” dog and responds well to non-forceful training. He prefers learning tricks to formal obedience and is especially bright-eyed when food treats are offered as rewards. Harshness only makes him wilt.
The most problematic training issue is usually housebreaking — Cotons tend to be slow to housetrain. Barking needs to be curtailed, as well.

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