Coton de Tulear: Dog Breed Profile

Coton de Tulear

The Coton de Tulear is a small breed of dogs, very playful and with a look full of mischief. It’s the perfect candidate as a companion dog, thanks to Its very pleasant and affectionate character as well as Its great attachment to its master.

History of the breed

The Coton de Tulear has its origins in the Tuléar region in the south of Madagascar. Like many breeds, the history of this breed remains uncertain. Nevertheless, its descent with various types of bichons, present on the commercial ships of French settlers in the 16th century, is evident.

Physical features

  • Its hair: fine can be slightly wavy. As the name suggests, its coat has a cottony texture.
  • Its color: mainly white which can show gray or tan spots on the ears.
  • Its head: triangular in shape seen from above. The skull is rounded and the muzzle remains shorter than the skull.
  • Its ears: thin, drooping, triangular, and about 3 inches long.
  • Its eyes: round, dark, and sparkling Its body: short on legs with a body a little longer than high
  • Its tail: set very low, but when the dog is excited, it is curved over Its back.

Behavior With Others

The Coton de Tulear is a small dog full of life, who will be very attached to Its masters, so much so that It will not stand loneliness very well. It will therefore require a regular presence and / or educational work concerning the management of loneliness.

Very playful, It will be the perfect companion for a family with children. In addition, the Coton de Tulear can be quite suspicious of people It does not know. You will therefore have to respect Its signals and not force It to make contact if It does not wish to.

It’s not known to be a particularly barking dog. However, their bark can be very piercing.

The Coton is quite inclined to live with other species, nevertheless, it’s important that it has been sufficiently socialized during its period of development. However, the Coton de Tulear is a dog that adapts very quickly as long as it finds its account and that one takes care of it properly.


The Coton de Tulear is a very intelligent dog that will capsize the hearts of its owners to gain access to certain privileges. Education must therefore be firm, while of course respecting the nature of the dog.

Seducer at heart, this dog requires a certain firmness. It knows how to use Its charms to get what It wants. Very intelligent, It quickly assimilates the orders given to It.

Living Conditions

Coton de Tulear is certainly a companion dog but, like all of Its congeners, It needs a daily expenditure outside the garden of at least 30 minutes. Indeed, undesirable behavior could be caused by a lack of expenditure! A dog who is bored and has not been able to externalize Its energy can quickly become hell to deal with.

Being very playful, good educational and fun games sessions will be welcome. Walks will also be essential.

It can live in an apartment as well as in a house. It harmonizes very easily with your lifestyle as long as you don’t forget your walk.

This dog is very well freed from hot climates, similar to that of Madagascar, the island where the breed originates from. They can however quite live in colder temperatures but will need a coat to brave the winter weather.

Health & Maintenance

This dog enjoys excellent health. Very strong and of good constitution, Coton de Tulear remains subject to allergies causing itching of the skin up to the risk of bacterial infection.

Among the hereditary diseases of Coton de Tulear, we can notably mention:

  • diseases of the nervous system such as cerebellar cortical abiotrophy, necrotizing encephalitis or even neonatal ataxia,
  • urinary diseases such as primary hyperoxaluria or ammonium urate urolithiasis (urinary stones),
  • von Willebrand disease which consists of blood clotting disorders,
  • type 2 multifocal retinopathy, which can be the cause of vision disturbance from the first months of the animal’s life.

The life expectancy of a Coton de Tulear is, on average, between 14 years and 16 years.

The coat of the Coton de Tulear requires a lot of attention. Almost daily brushing is essential to prevent irreversible nodes. If the dog’s fluffy coat isn’t groomed regularly, even a professional groomer won’t be able to do anything about it.

They will then have to shave it. Finally, this breed does not experience seasonal shedding, just very little hair loss all year round.

Almost daily brushing is required with a bath per month approximately in order to preserve the texture of its hair and its plush aspect. Coton de Tulear must be used to this healthy lifestyle from an early age. Brushing will quickly become a beautiful moment of sharing between the dog and his master. However, you must make sure to use a shampoo suited to Its hair and dry it properly with a hairdryer.

The Coton de Tulear diet can be made with croquettes, pates, or fresh ingredients as part of a homemade diet. If you opt for industrial products, you will have to pay attention to their quality and, in particular, their content of animal proteins and essential fatty acids.

If, on the contrary, your choice is a household ratio, consider having it balanced by a veterinarian so that it does not lack the nutrients and macronutrients essential for the good health of your dog!

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About Amanda

Passionate about animals, Amanda draws her expertise from her training as an educator, pet behaviorist as well as her extensive experience with animal owners. A specialist in dog and cat behavior, Amanda continues to learn about our four-legged companions by studying veterinary reference books but also university research sites (UCD, Utrecht, Cambridge, Cornell, etc..)

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