Coton de Tulear is a small type of dog which is very lively and a clownish personality. The name is derived from the city of Tulear in Madagascar where this dog originates from. The cotton part is because of its appearance as the dog has long fur and looks like a cotton toy. It is a small dog but yet it is very smart and this dog enjoys the company of its owner.
History & Origins
Coton de Tulear originates from Madagascar, or from the city of Tulear from which it gets its name from. It originates way back in the 16th and 17th centuries when various settlers came to Madagascar. It is believed that the Coton de Tulear is a crossbreed from a Tenerife dog and a local breed that existed back then.
The crossbreed created a unique mutation which resulted in a cotton-like appearance of this dog breed. The Tenerife dog is believed to have ended up on Madagascar on pirate ships which came to the island in abundance back then.
The dog became a part of the Madagascar royal court and was often kept there. This is why this dog is also known as the Royal Dog of Madagascar. Later on, this breed was carried to America and other parts of the world as well. The breed was officially established in 1970 when it was recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale.
Coton de Tulear Characteristics & Temperament
Coton de Tulear is a very lively, playful and affectionate dog. They are also very intelligent and enjoy spending time with their masters with whom they can create a strong bond. They are generally very quiet but sometimes they can become lively and get very vocal. This can lead to barking and grunting and unfortunately, they tend to come alive during the evening.
But Cotons are very prone to jumping and frolicking around and sometimes they even try to walk on their hind legs in order to attract attention to them. They are very good with people and are very curious dogs and they can adapt to strangers very easily. This also means that they are good with children and enjoy playing with them very much.
Coton de Tulear Appearance, Colors, Size
A Coton de Tulear should, as its name says, look like a cotton ball. It is a small dog and it has very curly hair, as opposed to fur, which is long and reminds us of cotton. It is also very soft and curly which gives the Coton its very unique appearance. These dogs have big and expressive eyes and short legs. The nose is prominently black while its curly tail is curved towards the back.
As said this is a breed that goes on the smallish side. So male Cotons usually stand 10 to 12.5 inches tall, while females grow to 8.5 to 11 inches. Male Cotons also grow to weigh about 9 to 13 pounds while female ones are 8 to 11 pounds.
Cotons usually come in three different colors, black, white and tricolor. But these colors usually remain only when the dogs are still puppies. White ones will become tan, black will fade to gray and the fur will generally change until they reach maturity.
Are They Healthy Dogs?
A Coton de Tulear belongs to a healthier breed of dogs. They do suffer from certain ailments, but their lifespan is longer compared to other types of breeds. The life expectancy of a Coton is anywhere between 14 to 19 years, giving them a huge life period. They do suffer from certain illnesses in conditions which include heart problems, eye problems, liver shunts, and back (disc) problems. But breeders have tried to create healthier breeding pools in order to keep this breed alive and keep it healthy as it already is.
Coton de Tulear Grooming & Shedding
Even with its long strides of hair, the Coton de Tulear is a non-shedding type of a dog with low dander. When they are puppies they have the tendency to shed more while they are changing their coat, but once they grow up you will have to trouble to maintain them. Daily brushing and combing are still necessary so you remove the excess hair. It can be challenging to groom a Coton as it has very fine fur and you need to bathe it to maintain it. It does not have the usual doggy odor and you will get used to it or even remove it with regular baths.
Price and Breeders
A Coton de Tulear is considered as a pricier type of a dog. There are breeders located in various places, with Madagascar not only being the leading one. There are breeders in America, Canada, and France which have helped make this dog available to more people. The price tag of a Coton puppy may go somewhere between $1,800.00 and $3,500 per dog.
Rescuing a Coton is also a possibility. Although there are fewer chances for you to really adopt this breed as it is considered to be exclusive. But there are still some shelters which will allow you to do so. Look for United Coton de Tulear Association for Rescue and Education (UCARE) and United States of America Coton de Tulear Club for more help.
Can a Coton De Tulear Be Left Alone?
These dogs do not like being left alone. They prefer companionship and are tied to their human owners a lot. If they are left alone for too long or quite often the dog may even develop a separation anxiety disorder. This can lead to destructive behavior and they might start to destroy things around the house as well as start to bark all the time. Thus, it is inadvisable to leave them alone often.
How Smart Is a Coton De Tulear?
Besides Coton de Tulear is an active and energetic dog, they are also characterized by being very smart. They possess a high level of intelligence which also means that they are highly trainable. It is not difficult to train them and teach them how to behave and this is all due to how smart they actually are.
How Long Can a Coton De Tulear Be Left Alone?
A Coton de Tulear is a companion dog and as such, it needs people or other dogs around it. It mostly thrives when it is around its owner and prefers spending time with them. However, if the owner spends frequent and long periods away from home, like having an 8-hour job plus commute, it is too much time to leave your Coton de Tulear alone. Think about coming up with alternatives as this is too long of a period to leave your dog by itself.
Do Coton De Tulear Like to Cuddle?
Cotons are very gentle and energetic little dogs. They are some of the best companion dogs in the world and are very loveable in nature. Since they are so affectionate, they love to cuddle and play around. Additionally, they have a great sense of humor which makes them great to have around your kids.
How Much Exercise Do Coton De Tulears Need?
Being that the Coton de Tulear is a very small and energetic breed, they do need a lot of exercises. It is advisable that they get at least 30-minutes of exercise a day. A daily walk might suffice but playing around with them is also a great idea. They like toys and being outside so if you do play with them in your yard be very careful. Even if you are situated in an enclosed, the Cotton de Tulear has a tendency to escape since it is really energetic and playful.
Is Coton De Tulear a Good Family Dog?
They are perfect companion dogs and can also become great family pets. Since they are so affectionate and gentle they prefer spending time with their owners. They thrive when they are with other people and mostly want to be close to the family and people that are close to it. It is also really good with children but if you have really small children be sure to train it or set boundaries as it can happen that it bumps into them do to their size.
Do These Dogs Like to Swim?
The Coton de Tulear dog is an active dog and besides playing around they do enjoy an occasional swim. But this is not something that is related to every dog or the whole breed. It is actually an individual type of thing. Some dogs do and some really don’t. But the bottom line is being active and using up a lot of energy an easy day.
What Should I Feed My Coton de Tulear?
In order to keep your Coton really healthy, you need to feed it properly. The more quality the food you give it, the better. In fact, the dog’s most basic way to feed your dog is with a combination of real meat and fresh vegetables and fruits. Be sure to feed your dog naturally and exclude good which contains sugar, artificial flavors, preservatives, or any cheap fillers.