Coton De Tulear

History

The Coton de Tulear originates from Madagascar and dates back several hundred years. The exact origin of the breed is unknown, but it probably arrived to the Island via visiting ships which carried ladies with their companion dogs. They soon became popular with the local people and were even accepted by the Royal court. It was named after the city of Tulear and is famous for it's cotton like coat.

In the 1970's, this Bichon breed was taken to France and work started to establish it further. It soon moved to the United States and became a much sought after breed.

Behaviour

The Coton de Tulear, or Cotie, is a playful and affectionate dog. They love being the centre of attention, are inquisitive and fun to be around. They get on very well with children, other dogs and cats within the house and are generally friendly towards strangers. If proper socialised they will greet anyone coming into the home with enthusiasm, but this needs work at an early age or they can become very shy and almost defensive of their family.

Their loving personality has been compared of that of a Labrador, but in a much smaller size. They are affectionate and will want cuddles on the sofa when ever possible. They need to have people around them for most of the day and dislike being left for too long. It is advisable to leave them little and often to help them get used to being alone. They can suffer from separation anxiety and love the sound of their own voice, so barking when alone can cause a nuisance. If they don't bark or whine when alone, they can be destructive is separation is an issue.

They are quite simple to train as they have a love of pleasing those around them and this makes teaching easier. They like to walk on their hind legs to make you laugh and are quite clownish at times. Positive reinforcement and lots of praise and fuss will have them trained in no time. They respond best if you make training fun and like a games as their mild stubborn streak can rebel against 'formal' training sessions. They are notoriously slow to house train.

They need a short walk every day and are generally happy with games in the house and garden. Fetch & hide and seek are favourite games, not demanding a seriously long daily walk, but are happy and able to if you are. As long as they are near their family, they are quite undemanding dogs, tummy rubs and cuddles on the sofa will keep them happy. They love to run along with you and will swim when ever they are given the chance.

Their coat does not shed the way most dogs do, but loose hair sticks to the surrounding fur, so needs daily brushing. Grooming by a professional should be done a couple of times a year to keep the coat in shape and condition and they will need regular baths to keep the coat clean.

They are a healthy breed but due to the small gene pool, it can sometimes suffer heart and eye problems.

Temperament

Coton du Tulears have an easygoing and comical temperament. They enjoy fun and games in the garden followed by a snuggle on the sofa immensely. Very much a sociable dog who longs for interaction and affection the Coton du Tulear will usually be a friend to anyone. That said early socialisation is still important to help them become confident in meeting strangers. They can be tricky to house train and may make a noisy companion without regular training.

Health Problems

Health problems that may affect Coton du Tulears include allergies, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA: degeneration of the retina which can lead to blindness), canine hip dysplasia (CHD), luxating patella (dislocation of the kneecap), heart disease, epilepsy, Legg Calvé Perthes disease (degeneration of the femoral head which can cause lameness and joint swelling) and dental problems.

Breed Details

  • Status: Common
  • Life Expectancy: 14 - 20 years
  • Weight: 4 - 8.2 kg
  • Rare: No
  • Coat: Long
  • Grooming Requirements: Everyday
  • Town or Country: Either
  • Minimum Home Size: Flat
  • Minimum Garden Size: No Garden
  • Breed Type: Toy Dog
  • Size: Small
  • Energy Level: Medium

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