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Coton De Tulear

The Coton de Tulear is a bright, happy-go-lucky companion dog whose favorite activities include clowning, cavorting.

Overall Status

Height 9 to 11 inches
Temperament Charming, Bright, Happy-Go-Lucky
Weight 9 to 15 pounds
Life Expectancy 13 to 16 years
Coat Color Black, Gray, White
Barking Level Medium

Quick Factors

Dog Friendly
Exercise Need
Grooming Needs
Strangers Friendly
Family Affectionate
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Daily Care

Grooming Tips

Grooming the Coton puppy is a breeze. During that time you should groom him regularly and ensure that he learns to see grooming sessions as positive times of bonding with his person. Unless you are going to keep your Coton in a short “puppy clip,” your dog will require a great deal of brushing. You must be careful to get your comb and brush all the way to the skin (gently) during daily brushing, or the hair next to the skin will mat and if this is too extensive your dog may need to be shaved down. You should use a spray conditioner while brushing to avoid breakage.

Check the ears on a weekly basis for signs of infection, irritation, or wax build up. Cleanse regularly with a veterinarian-approved cleanser and cotton ball. Brush the teeth at least once per week to prevent tartar buildup and fight gum disease. Additionally, nails should be trimmed once per month if the dog does not wear down the toenails naturally.

Exercise Tips

The Coton is a fairly active dog who requires a moderate amount ofexercise. Daily walks with his human at a slow speed will keep him in good weight and condition. Chasing a tennis ball around his backyard can keep his mind active as well as his body. Bored and unhappy Coton can become destructive. He does best when provided with enough exercise, lots of attention from his owner, and plenty of interesting toys to keep him occupied.

With this said, Cotie puppies should not be over exercised because their joints and bones are still growing and too much pressure on them could result in causing a dog a few problems later on in their lives. They should not be allowed to jump up or off furniture nor should they be allowed to run up and down the stairs for this very reason.

Feeding Tips

If you get a Coton de Tulear puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.

Older dogs are not known to be fussy or finicky eaters, but this does not mean you can feed them a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It's also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years so it's important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.

Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times. Like many large breeds, Saint Bernard can experience bloat, a life-threatening condition where the stomach distends and twists. The causes of bloat aren’t fully understood, but experts agree that multiple, small meals per day and preventing vigorous exercise around mealtimes may help reduce the chances of it happening.

Health Tips

The Coton de Tulear has remained fairly free of genetic health issues. That is not to say that they do not exist, but that any incidences are of an extremely low percentage. In the Coton, known incidences are usually in the one- to the five-percent range. Coton breeders are working diligently to keep the breed as problem free as possible by doing a genetic screeningof all breeding stock. Occasionally eye problems and hip dysplasia do occur in the breed.

As with all small breeds, there is a chance of luxating patellas, and spinal disc disease has been known to occur.

  • Patella Evaluation

  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation

  • Hip Evaluation

  • Cardiac Exam


The Coton de Tulear is a real people-pleaser and he’ll want to please you when it comes to training. Because this breed is intelligent, you’ll find that your Coton picks up on basic training quickly. Use positive training techniques and be sure to reward him with praise, play, and treats. After the basics have been mastered, move on to other challenges, such as agility training, doggy dancing and tracking exercises.

Although they are easily trained, the Coton can have issues picking up the finer points of house-breaking. Crate training will help your dog learn where it’s okay to do his business.

Puppies should be properly socialized to develop the amiable, outgoing personality that is characteristic of the breed. They’re successful in performance and companion events such as earthdog, barn hunt, obedience, and agility.


The Coton de Tulear originates from the island of Madagascar, off the coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. The breed derives its name from the French word coton, meaning "cotton," and from the Madagascan port of Tulear. Tulear was once a popular port of merchant ships sailing the Indian Ocean, and it is believed that around the 15th or 16th century, European merchants introduced various Bichon-type companion dogs to Madagascar.

It is probable that the breed evolved from the interbreeding of those Bichon strains. It is presumed that because of their beauty and affectionate personality, these dogs were offered to the King and Malagasy nobles.

The Coton lived in its splendid isolation until the 1960s, when French tourists discovered the breed. It was an immediate hit in Europe, where generations of selective breeding further refined the breed into the Coton we now know. The AKC registered its first Cotons de Tulear in 2014.

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