Coton de Tulear

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 16th and 17th century 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 which existed then. The crossbreed created a unique mutation which resulted in a cotton like appearance of this animal. The Tenerife dog is believed to have ended up on Madagascar on pirate ships which came to the island in abundance back then.


Male Coton de Tulear

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 dog 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 with. 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.


Black Coton de Tulear Puppy

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 it name says, look like a cotton ball. It is a small dog and it has very curly hair, opposed to fur, which is long and reminds us on cotton. It is also very soft and curly which gives the Coton its very unique appearance. It has 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 which 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.


Coton de Tulear Dogs

Coton de Tulear usually com in three different color, 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.


A Coton de Tulear belongs to a healthier breed of animal. 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 they 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.


White Coton de Tulear

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 maintaining them.  Daily brushing and combing is still necessary so you remove the excess hair. It can be challenging to groom a Coton de Tulear 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 reguarl baths.

Price and Breeders

A Coton de Tulear is considered as a pricier type of a breed. 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 made 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.


Coton De Tulear Puppies Four Girls And One Boy

Coton de Tulear Rescue

Rescuing a Coton de Tulear is also a possibility. Although there are less 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.


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