Coton de Tulear

July 24, 2020 // 6 minute read

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Coton de Tulears are small and charming dogs known for their cottony white coat, which earned them their name. The Coton de Tulear is known to be lively and sweet. Plus, their sizes make them perfect travel companions.

Cotons love people. They aim to please so you can expect him to keep you happy all day. If it’s grooming you’re worried about, then don’t be. Their long white coats are effortless to maintain. The only thing you need to remember is that they’re the best fit for people who can spend a lot of time with them.

Coton de Tulear Facts

Coton de Tulear Statistics

Dog Breed GroupNon-Sporting Group
Breed SizeSmall
Height10-11 inches (male); 9-10 inches (female)
Weight9-15 pounds (male); 8-13 pounds (female)
Lifespan15-19 years

Coton de Tulear Ratings

Energy level
Exercise needs
Requires attention
Friendly with family
Friendly with kids
Friendly with strangers
Friendly with other dogs
Prey Drive

Coton de Tulear History

Coton de Tulears’ history is known to go way back 2,000 years ago. They are believed to have originated from the Island of Madagascar in a seaport town of Tulear. The Island is known to be home to many unusual creatures, and the Cotons are known to be one of their beloved export dogs.

These dogs initially serve as lapdogs for the nobles and aristocrats of the Island. These aristocrats loved them so much that they even passed a law that disallows commoners to own the breed. A historian even once wrote that the aristocrats don’t leave these dogs anywhere on the Island. This is because of the fear that the dogs would leave the Island.

For centuries, Cotons remained isolated in Madagascar. That was until the 1960s when French tourists discovered the dog breed. These tourists then brought some Cotons back to France, where they became an instant hit in all of Europe.

Not soon after, the dogs became known around the world, including the US. But, the American Kennel Club didn’t recognize the breed until 2014.

Now, they rank 81st as the most popular dog breed in the US. They make excellent family companions because of their sweet personalities.


The American Kennel Club describes the Coton de Tulear as charming, bright, and happy-go-lucky dog breeds. These dogs love people, and if you own a Coton, then be ready to laugh a lot because of their clownish personality.

They love playtime as much as they love cuddling with you on the sofa. It’s safe to say that you can expect them to be boisterous one moment and calm at another moment. But if there’s one thing they’re consistent with – it’s wanting attention.

They are people-oriented dogs, and they will do everything to get your attention. They need to be socialized at all times. If not entertained well, they will get bored and destructive behavior may come out.

Cotons are generally peaceful and gentle with everyone, whether its kids, pets, and adults. They have a great bonding with family, but they tend to be aloof with strangers.

Socialization will make these dogs more confident and well-rounded, so make sure you get him accustomed to anything new – dogs, people, sights, and sounds. Training may also come easy for these intelligent dogs. But, don’t be too forceful on them and treats or foods will be a great help.

Coton de Tulear Care Requirements

Care Requirements

  • Nutrition: The basic feeding requirements of Coton de Tulears are meat and fresh vegetables and fruits. This is something you should note if you plan to go for a home-cooked diet for your dog. Make sure to buy only high-quality ingredients. However, if you’re opting to go the easy way and give him dog food, make sure to buy only the premium ones. These shouldn’t contain any fillers, additives, and harmful chemicals that can affect your dog’s digestion. Always check the label and if there are ingredients present that your dog shouldn’t take.
  • Grooming: The coat of Coton de Tulear may look hard to maintain, but truthfully, it’s a breeze. All you need is to brush their hair daily to remove mats, tangles, dirt, and loose hair. It’s essential to do this regularly, so they get used to the routine, and this will develop to a great bonding. If you want less brushing, you can clip your Cotons’ coat short into a puppy clip. Be very gentle when you’re brushing, though, and do it thoroughly to remove everything that needs to go. Baths can be given occasionally. But once a month will also do if you want to keep them looking their best. Regularly clean their ears too to avoid any ear infection. Keep their nails short to avoid pain and discomfort.
  • Exercise: Coton de Tulears are not very active dogs. You can expect them to be happy lying on the couch all day, but a regular and moderate exercise will keep them healthy and happy. You don’t need to give them a lot of strenuous activities. Daily long walks at a slow speed will suffice. You can give him play sessions as a form of bonding between you two, which will keep him very happy.
  • Health: Coton de Tulears are generally healthy dogs. Since there is not a lot of crossbreeding that went into their development, there aren’t many health problems. You do need to watch out for these three diseases: luxating patellas, hip dysplasia, and progressive retinal atrophy. It’s best to observe your dog’s behavior daily and take him for a check-up if there are any changes detected.
  • Lifespan: The life expectancy of the Coton de Tulears is 15-19 years. 

Coton de Tulear

Famous Coton de Tulears

Miss Scarlet, Miss Violet, and Fanny: Barbara Streisand’s Cotons

Fun Facts About Coton de Tulears

  • Coton de Tulears originated from the Island of Madagascar.
  • The word “Coton” refers to its soft, cotton-like coat, and “Tulear” refers to its city of origin in Madagascar.
  • These dogs are believed to be ancestors of the Bichon Tenerife Dog.
  • They are dogs for nobles and aristocrats of Madagascar; commoners aren’t allowed to own them.
  • The dogs come in three colors: white, black, and tricolor – though most of them are white.
  • They were only recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2014.
  • This breed is rare, and they faced a lot of extinction throughout history.
  • They are referred to as “Anti-Stress Dogs of the 21st Century” in France.

Check Out Other Non-Sporting Dog Breeds:
American Eskimo Dog, Bichons Frises, Boston Terrier, Bulldog, Chinese Shar-Pei, Chow Chow, Dalmatian, Finnish Spitz, Keeshonden, Lhasa Apsos, Lowchen, Norwegian Lundehund, Schipperkes, Shiba Inu, Tibetan Spaniel, Tibetan Terrier, Xoloitzcuintli

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