Breed Organization United States of America Coton de Tulear Club Website:
http://www.usactc.org Madagascar Coton de Tulear Club of America - Non
Affiliated with AKC Website:
http://cotonclub.org/ Native Country Madagascar Other Names Coton de Tulear Life Expectancy Approximately 12-17 Years Litter Size Average 3-6 Puppies Breed Group Miscellaneous Class - AKC
Breed Appearance Multiple registries with differing standards
describe the Coton de Tulear, but in general, it has very soft hair
(as opposed to fur), comparable to a cotton ball, a prominent black
nose, large expressive eyes (usually covered by bangs) and somewhat
short legs. The Coton de Tulear's tail should curl over its back
like some other dog breeds
Breed Description Head: Short, triangular when viewed from
the top. Domed skull. Stop not very pronounced. Straight nosebridge.
Thin lips. Black or dark reddish-tan nose. Ears: Set on high, pendulous, thin, triangular. Covered with
white or colored hair (yellow spots, a combination of yellow and
black, or a few black hairs). Eyes: Round, dark, widely spaced. Body: Long. Muscular neck without dewlap. Well-developed chest.
Loin very slightly arched, well-muscled. Standing low to the ground.
Very slightly arched, well-muscled back. Rounded, broad croup. Tail: Set on low, approximately 18 cm long, thick at the base,
thin at the tip. At rest hanging below the hock with the tip raised. Hair: Approximately 8 cm long, thin, slightly wavy, cottony. Coat: White. Some yellow spots, particularly on the ears, are
allowed. Size: Dog: 25 to 32 cm. Bitch: 22 to 28 cm. Weight: Dog: 4 to 6 kg. Bitch: 3.5 to 5 kg.
History It is believed that the Tenerife dog was
brought to Madagascar and mated with a dog of the island, creating
an unexpected result. The Coton's ancestors were possibly brought to
Madagascar in the 16th and 17th centuries aboard pirate ships.
Madagascar was a haven for pirates, and pirate graveyards can still
be seen there. Pirates established a base on St. Mary's Island,
Madagascar and some of them took Malagasy wives. Whether the dogs
were brought along to control rats on the ships, as companions for
long voyages, or were confiscated from other ships as booty, no one
knows. Tulear is a port now also known as Toliara. The Coton is of
the Bichon dog type, linked most closely to the Bichon Tenerife, and
Tenerife Terrier. There have been many stories circulating about the
history of the Coton in recent years; most of them are untrue. The
Coton de Tulear was never feral on Madagascar. It did not hunt wild
boar or alligators, as its size, strength, and demeanor can disprove
easily. It was a companion dog of the Merina (the ruling tribe) in
Madagascar. It has very little prey drive, and is not a hunting dog.
In the United States, another standard for the Coton de Tulear was
developed based on the breed in Madagascar in 1974 by a biologist,
Dr. Robert Jay Russell, and the Coton de Tulear Club of America
http://www.cotonclub.com was formed in 1976 by Russell. The American
Kennel Club has offered Foundation Stock Service to the Coton de
Tulear since 1996, but the Coton de Tulear Club of America is
opposed to American Kennel Club recognition for its breed. As a
result, many other Coton de Tulear breed clubs have been formed,
accepting one or both of the standards for the breed.
Behavior The stout, hardy, very lively Coton de Tul�ar
likes to swim. In Madagascar, he was used as a terrier, watchdog,
and to eliminate pests. He is restless, rambunctious, and
strong-willed but very affectionate and devoted to his owner. He may
be aggressive towards other dogs and barks often. He needs firm,
Health No genetic defects. Other health concerns
include eye problems, kidney disease and thyroid disease.
Advice He can adapt to apartment life. This athlete
needs long walks and hates being left alone. He requires daily
dematting, brushing, and combing, as well as regular baths and
grooming three or four times a year.