Did you know?
In folklore, dreaming of a white dog means ‘victory’ for a man and ‘early marriage’ for a woman.
Coton de Tulear
The average dog is a nicer person than the average person. – Andy Rooney
The Coton de Tulear is a member of the Bichon family of dogs and was bred to be a companion. The word ‘coton’ is French for cotton and is a reference to his coat.
Ancestors of the Coton de Tulear accompanied pirates and sailors to the port of Tulear, Madagascar. Some believe they may have been used to control rats aboard ship. The dogs interbred with native dogs of Madagascar and developed further into the dog we see today.
Established in Madagascar since the 1600s, the dogs were adopted by the ruling tribal monarchy and became known as the “Royal Dog of Madagascar”. Only the nobility were permitted to own a Coton and he is still the national dog of this island nation.
Cotons are relatively rare in North America.
Photos displayed courtesy of Diane Benaroch, Coton Field, British Columbia
Named for his coat, the Coton stands up to 11 inches (28 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs up to 13 lbs (6 kg).
His coat is more hair than fur and can be compared to a cotton ball in texture. He has a long-haired, soft but full coat that is relatively low maintenance. The coat does not shed and dries quickly. It comes in white, and may have a few slight shadings of light grey colour (mixture of white and black hairs) or of red-roan (mixture of white and fawn hairs). The coat will require almost daily brushing and combing to keep it free of mats. Like all “non-shedding” breeds, they retain their lost hair on their bodies in their coats. It is this lost hair that requires brushing out as it can easily mat. An untended coat may require shaving. Weekly bathing is recommended.
As befits a dog bred for companionship, the Coton is long-lived, lively, and loving. Possessing a happy nature, the Coton is very sociable and loves meeting new people and other dogs. He is wonderful with children as he loves to play. He adapts easily to all different ways of life.
The Coton has an amusing and affectionate nature. He will cock his head attentively and even walk on his hind legs to get a laugh! He revels in his status as a lap dog and enjoys nothing more than being curled up with his family. This dog is extremely willing to please and devoted to his family.
An intelligent, alert, easily-trained animal, the Coton benefits from early obedience training and socialization. They are curious and eager to please so training should be less frustrating than with some other breeds.
Some will act as watch dogs, but generally, Cotons are not barkers. Although he is not a loud dog, he can become excited when at play and will grunt, bark, and make other noises when having fun.
Small but energetic, Cotons need a walk every day for exercise and can easily keep up on a hike.
Cotons will coexist peacefully with other pets. They also generally tolerate some childish rough-housing. Cotons can adapt to almost any living style and climate but is an indoor dog. They love to swim, run, and play. The Coton de Tulear will retain his happy-go-lucky attitude his whole life long.