The Coton de Tuléar dog breed

The Coton de Tuléar dog breed originates from Madagascar; its name comes from the port city of Tuléar, located in southern Madagascar. The first part of the name, coton, refers to the consistency of its coat, which is very reminiscent of cotton. Until 1970 this dog was only known in Madagascar, where it was the favourite pet of the island’s lords. In 1971 it arrived in the United States, while in Europe it only appeared in 1977 in France.

Its ancestors are thought to be bichons, who arrived on the island on traders’ boats, on which they hunted mice, and dogs already present on the island. Some experts also speculate that his ancestors include the bedlingtown terrier and the papillon, which is thought to be the cause of the spots on his usually snow-white coat. And again, because of his love of water, it is assumed that his ancestors also include the barbichon.

In any case, this small dog is enjoying a certain success in the United States and Europe, even though there are still very few specimens at the moment, which is a pity because it is a small, tender and beautiful companion dog.

Character of the Coton de Tuléar dog breed

The Coton de Tuléar has a very lively character and is always full of energy. It is very attached to its family and owner and is very affectionate with them. It is a curious little dog, easy to train; it loves running and swimming, it also enjoys long walks and plays very happily, especially with children.

It is therefore a companion dog in all respects and also a flat dog, given its size and also because it barks very rarely and only when it is really needed. With strangers he initially keeps to himself, but almost immediately socialises. Also with other dogs, cats and other animals living at home with him he is usually adorable. When outside, however, with strangers and even older dogs, he tends to be overbearing and wants to prevail. For this reason, early socialisation is advisable.

It does not like to be alone, it always seeks the company of its family members, it is therefore not suitable for those who are out of the house for many hours a day, it would suffer greatly. It is, however, a well-balanced dog, does not bite and adapts easily to any environment.

Appearance of the Coton de Tuléar dog breed

The Coton de Tuléar is a small dog; the height at withers is between 25 and 32 centimetres for both males and females. The males weigh between 4 and 6 kilograms and the females between 3 and 5 kilograms. Due to its proportions it appears to be a longer dog than a taller one. It has a tonic appearance and is well proportioned, the limbs are muscular, with a good bone structure, the feet are small and round. The tail is a little over 15 centimetres long, is attached low and is thick at the root. The preferred gait of this dog is a light trot.

Its head, when viewed from above, looks very much like a triangle. The truffle has wide nostrils, and is usually black, sometimes also brown.  The ears are triangular in shape, set high in the skull, covered with thick hair, and tend to fall forward downwards. The eyes are well spaced, round in shape and black in colour, with a particularly lively and intelligent light.

The main characteristic of the Coton de Tuléar is its coat. The coat is long, thick and slightly wavy. As its name suggests, it feels like stroking a cotton ball. It does not shed and has no undercoat, which is why it is considered a hypoallergenic breed.

In most cases the basic colour is white; sometimes there are grey-yellow shades at the level of the ears. These shades on the body are almost absent and disappear with age. It can also be found in black and white.

Care and health of the Coton de Tuléar dog breed

The Coton de Tuléar is a generally healthy dog with no particular genetic diseases.  Rare cases of luxation of the patella, hip dysplasia and retinipathy.  Its life expectancy is rather long, there are reports of specimens reaching 20 years.

Its ears, which bend forward, and its eyes, which tend to water frequently, must be cleaned regularly to avoid infection. It does not suffer much from heat or cold, but it is good to make it sleep inside.

For what the mantle is concerned, it is to be brushed daily to avoid knots and felting. A bath when necessary and a cleansing shampoo to keep the coat shiny and moisturised.

As far as feeding is concerned, there are no particular problems, it is not a dog that tends to eat too much, it does however need a little daily exercise.

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