Coton de Tulear


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The Coton de Tulear is a small and adorable dog with a beautiful cotton-like coat. He is affectionate, loyal and playful. He is a perfect companion dog who wants to spend as much time as possible with his owner. It is often confused with bichons as they have many similarities.

Height: 9-11 inches
Weight: 7.7-13.22 Pounds
Fur: Long length
Life expectancy: 12-14 years
Activity Level: Average
Country of origin: Madagascar
Orientative Price: 1200-1600 $

Physical Appearance

  • Weight: The weight of the Coton de Tulear ranges from 8.8 to 13.2 Lbs for males and from 7.7 to 4.4 Lbs for females.
  • Height: Males have a shoulder height between 10.2 and 11 Inches, while females range from 9 to 9.85 Inches.
  • Coat: Their coat is fine, cottony, and dense, about 3.15 Inches long, and may have a slight wave. They do not undergo seasonal shedding and do not lose hair.
  • Colors: The predominant color is white, with some yellow or grayish spots being accepted, especially around the ears.
  • General Build: They are a small and sturdy dog with muscular legs and shoulders, round feet with flat, pigmented pads. Their backline is slightly convex, with a firm and muscular back and rounded flanks that are narrower than the chest.
  • Tail: Their tail is thick at the base and tapers to a fine point; while in motion, they carry it curved over their back.
  • Head: Their head is short and triangular when viewed from above, with a moderately pronounced stop, a straight muzzle, and a black or brown nose.
  • Eyes: They have round, dark eyes with a lively expression.
  • Ears: Triangular and hanging, covered in white hair with some black or fawn hairs that resemble light gray or roan spots.


The Coton de Tulear is a sociable, affectionate, cheerful, and playful small dog.

They love to play and perform tricks, enjoying spending time with their owners, who praise and entertain them.

They require a lot of company and attention and do not tolerate solitude well.

They are lively and intelligent, so their vivacity should be channeled through daily exercise and games.

They are typically very sociable and get along well with everyone, making them great companions for those who can spend the necessary time with them.


  • Guard Dog: They will alert with their sharp barking to the presence of strangers or any anomalies in the environment, making them a good watchdog, although their small size limits their guarding abilities.
  • Hunting Dog: Due to their origin as hunters of small burrowing animals, they have a keen sense of smell and tenacity. They will dig enthusiastically where their nose indicates the presence of prey.
  • Barker: They can become quite vocal if left alone for extended periods.
  • Training and Education: It’s essential to train and educate the Coton de Tulear if they are to live indoors. They can adapt to apartment living but require calm enforcement when necessary and opportunities to express their vitality at the right times. Providing necessary play and activity moments is crucial. Always use positive reinforcement methods to reward desirable behaviors.
  • Socialization: They are usually very sociable and tend to get along well with everyone.
  • Coton de Tulear with Children: They enjoy attention, play, and fun, making them compatible with children who can play with them respectfully and without harming them.
  • Coton de Tulear with Other Pets: They usually get along well with dogs and cats, often initiating play with other pets due to their playful nature. Many owners choose to give them a playmate to satisfy their need for interaction.
  • Adaptation to Solitude: They have a high need for companionship, attention, play, and affection. If left alone for extended periods, they may develop undesirable behaviors like constant barking and separation anxiety. It’s crucial to ensure you have the availability to meet the animal’s needs before acquiring one.


  • Daily Walks and Activity: They need daily exercise, ideally two daily walks and playtime. They also enjoy canine sports such as agility.
  • Grooming: Their coat should be brushed daily to keep it clean and shiny, and occasional haircuts may be necessary, especially if they are to be shown in competitions.
  • Baths: Baths should use a specific shampoo for the breed, with a frequency not exceeding once a month or every three weeks.
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Pros and Cons

Advantages of Coton de Tulear:

  • Coton De Tulear demands a lot of attention, needs constant companionship, daily time to play and exercise.
  • Esta raza no soporta quedarse solo en casa por largo tiempo pudiendo dar lugar a ladridos constantes y conductas indeseables.

Disadvantages of Coton De Tulear:

  • It is an intelligent and affectionate dog.
  • It is very friendly and if you have the time to give it the attention it craves, it will be a friendly, attached companion.


The Coton de Tulear is a robust and healthy breed with no known specific diseases. Nevertheless, regular vet visits, adherence to vaccination schedules, and parasite control are essential.

Regularly checking their ears, paws, teeth, and eyes can help detect and address any health issues.

Keeping their ears and paws clean, removing eye discharge to prevent blockages, and regular nail trimming contribute to the overall well-being of your pet.

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History and Origin

The Coton de Tulear originates from southern Madagascar, specifically from the Toliara province in the 16th century. The breed is related to the Maltese and Bolognese Bichon. In the early 16th century, various ships wrecked near the coast of Madagascar, and onboard were sailors accompanied by Bichon dogs responsible for rat hunting. Some sailors and their dogs survived the shipwrecks and swam ashore. Like the Bichon Havaneses, these dogs were given as gifts to the island’s inhabitants.

Later, these Bichons crossed with other local dogs, leading to a new breed: the Coton de Tulear with its distinctive cotton-like coat. The name refers to the port city of Madagascar, Toliara, and its cottony fur. Since then, the breed has evolved significantly. In the past, the Coton de Tulear had a less refined appearance, medium size, and a more wild and determined temperament that made them good hunters of burrowing animals. Later, they became herding dogs thanks to their vigor and sharp bark.

In 1665, they crossed with other dogs on the island of Reunion, resulting in a new variety with cottony fur. The first Coton de Tulears arrived in Europe in 1977 and found success in dog shows. Breeding efforts began in several European countries, with France being particularly dedicated to it.

The FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale) recognized the Coton de Tulear breed in September 1970 and published the last official standard in November 1999. It was classified in Group 9: Companion Dogs, Section 1: Bichons and Similar Breeds.