Coton De Tulear Dog Breed
|Life Span:||14-18 years|
|Litter Size:||5 puppies per litter on average|
|Group:||FCI Companion dog|
|Recognized By:||CKC, FCI, NKC, APRI, ACR|
|Color:||White, black and white and tricolor (white with cream, gray, light brown or light lemon and black).|
|Male Height:||10-12 inches (25-30 cm)|
|Male Weight:||12-15 pounds (5.5-7 kg)|
|Female Height:||10-12 inches (25-30 cm)|
|Female Weight:||12-15 pounds (5.5-7 kg)|
|General info courtesy of terrificpets.com. Additional information about this breed can be found on their website.|
|Living Area:||The Coton de Tulear does very well in a small apartment or a house. They do require regular exercise and are not considered an outside dog, they do best when inside with the family.|
The Coton de Tulear is most easily identified by the soft, fluffy, cottony looking coat that is typical of the breed. They are a relatively uncommon breed outside of their native homeland of Madagascar but are gaining in popularity with dog fanciers the world over. There are actually different standards for the Coton de Tulear depending on which registry is being referenced. A general description is found below.
The Coton de Tulear has a rounded skull and a well defined face that is highlighted by the soft, cottony hair that frames the dark features. The muzzle is tapered and short and there is a noticeable stop between the forehead and the start of the muzzle. The eyes are dark, lively and intelligent and are framed by dark skin. The nose is also very dark, black in color and very noticeable against the white or light colored coats. The lips cover the teeth tightly and are not loose or overlapping. The lips, like the nose and skin around the eyes is black in color. The ears are moderate in length and drop or fold over approximately two and a half to three inches and then there is an additional fringing of hair on the ears that makes them appear fuller and longer than they actually are.
The head is carried very high, proud and erect on the long neck, which flows nicely into the shoulders and well developed chest. The topline of the back is straight to somewhat outwardly arched, although this arch is not predominant or highly noticeable. The legs are straight, somewhat on the shorter side and well muscled for the overall size of the dog. The pads of the feet are black in color and nicely rounded and compact.
The tail of the Coton de Tulear may be carried straight or slightly curved, but will always be covered with longer, cottony hair. The breed has a noticeable beard and moustache of longer hair, plus the eyes of the mature Coton de Tulear will be covered with the long hair from the forehead. In pets this may be trimmed to help with upkeep, but in show dogs the coats and faces may not be trimmed or clipped. The overall appearance of the coat should be windblown and free, not slicked or flat against the body. They should closely resemble a fluffy cotton ball that has been slightly pulled apart.
The Coton de Tulear is different from most breeds of dogs in that the cotton, dry textured coat is more like hair than it is like a traditional dog fur. This makes the coat appear very fluffy and light, almost tussled in appearance. The coat is moderately long and very full, with mature dogs often clipped or trimmed when not being used as show animals.
The Coton de Tulear is originally from Madagascar, more specifically the port of Tulear. It is believed that a dog closely resembling the Coton de Tulear was found after a shipwreck off the port city, although there is no record of the name of this ship or where it was sailing from. Many breeders believe it is more likely that the European ships sailing to this African port likely had small companion type dogs of various mixtures with them, that then were left behind as gifts or simply left behind to mate with other dogs already in the city.
The result was a small, athletic and uniquely coated dog that came to be known as the "Royal dog of Madagascar". They were then brought back to Europe and reintroduced, giving rise to the debate as to whether they are originally a European breed rather than an African breed of dog. Regardless they are a relatively rare breed of dog that is slowly but surely becoming more popular around the world.
The Federation Cynologique Internationale or FCI accepted the breed in 1971 and has since moved to change some of the standards used by the other breeding associations and kennel clubs. They have moved to a more Maltese looking breed standard that is not accepted or recognized by other associations.
The Coton de Tulear has a wonderful, lively and intelligent personality that makes them ideal for any type of home or family situation. They are a great dog to interact with children or the elderly and can adjust to the amount of exercise that the home can provide. They are also very easy to train, very willing to please, and enjoy being with their families as much as possible. Not a toy dog, the Coton de Tulear, despite its fluffy and somewhat toy like appearance is a very sturdy small breed that loves to play, fetch and romp around with the family.
The Coton de Tulear is an excellent companion dog for either smaller or larger breeds. When properly socialized the Coton de Tulear will accept other dogs into their area without being overly protective or dog aggressive. Of course intact males are more likely to be problematic with aggression especially in the presence of females that are in heat. Neutered males and spayed females are typically the calmest of the breed when interacting with other dogs. They are also excellent with non-canine pets and tend to interact very well with cats and other household pets.
The Coton de Tulear is a very happy breed. They seem to constantly be smiling, wagging their tails and wanting to be around the family. They do best when they are left alone only for brief periods of time. The Coton de Tulear is not a good breed for a family that will be gone more than they are home or that don\'t have time to spend with their pet on a regular, daily basis.
Thyroid Disease - Low Risk
The Coton De Tulear ranks #100 among all breeds for autoimmune thyroiditis prevalence. This is considered a low risk breed so your chances of obtaining a dog with the disease is small. It is still suggested that dogs meant for breeding still be tested to help bring the incidence of disease even lower (or even eliminate it).
|Rank Among Breeds||Number of Dogs Tested||Percent of Dogs With Disease|
You can download the full report (on all breeds) by the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Here
Other Health Problems
The Coton de Tulear is one of the healthiest breeds of dogs with no known health problems, likely due to breeders continued efforts to closely monitor and select the best possible breeding programs. All Coton de Tulears in the United States must complete a blood chemistry test as well as general health test to qualify for breeding status in the Coton de Tulear registry. Some conditions that the health exam looks for include:
- Cherry Eye - prolapsed gland in the third eyelid, usually corrected by surgery.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy - progressive blindness.
- Patellar Luxation - dislocation of the kneecaps.
- CHD - canine hip dysplasia is a progressive weakening of the hip joint causing pain and limited movement.
- Legg Calve Perthes Disease - bone and circulatory disease of the hips, can be treated by removing the joint and constructing a new joint of muscles and tendons. It is genetically transmitted condition that is common in most small breeds.