The Coton De Tuléar is a member of the Bichon family and was first developed on the island of Madagascar. It soon made its way around the world and especially carved a niche for itself in France. Today, many lucky people in the United States are fortunate to raise a Coton De Tuléar as a dear household companion. Learn all about the special characteristics, temperament, size, price and other important factors you need to know in order to raise your Coton De Tuléar.
Characteristics and facts about the Coton De Tuléar
- Coton De Tuléar size – Full grown Coton De Tuléar should ideally weigh between 8.8 and 13 pounds and measure up to 9 to 12 inches height at withers for males. Females weigh between 7.7 and 11 pounds.
- Pronunciation of Coton De Tuléar is ‘cotton dee Too-lee-ar’.
- Coton De Tuléar are soft fluffy and cute dogs with a silky coat. The word coton stands for cotton in French.
- It is said that on the island of Madagascar, these dogs lived and roamed freely. They acquired skills to fight off their main enemy: the crocodile. To outsmart the crocodiles, the dogs would bark at one point near the river. When all crocodiles accumulated near that area, the little dogs would run fast and cross the river unharmed.
- This exotic breed is considered quite rare in North America and is not recognized by the AKC. However, there are many clubs in the United States for the Coton; some maintain their own breed standards while others follow the standards laid down by FCI or the Fédération cynologique internationale.
- The Bolognese dog breed from Italy is very similar to the Coton De Tuléar and they are also comparable in size and appearance to the Maltese.
Where to buy/adopt your Coton De Tuléar from
After you have made the decision on getting a Coton De Tuléar, the next step to take is decide whether to buy or adopt a Coton De Tuléar rescue dog. There are many options for you here:
An advantage of buying your Coton De Tuléar from a breeder or private seller is that your puppy will be used to being handled by humans and it is probably raised in litters. This makes him more social. A good breeder will also pay importance to the early vaccinations and health checks. You can also get to meet the puppy’s parents and judge their temperament before buying a one with a personable disposition. On the downside, you may have to wait for a long period before getting the puppy home since ethical breeders only have one or two litters per year.
These are run by organizations that work towards animal welfare. An advantage of adopting Coton De Tuléar rescue is that you can get a fully grown pet that is likely to be house-trained. These dogs are also not as expensive as ones you buy from breeders or private sellers. Disadvantage of getting a Coton De Tuléar rescue is that its temperament is already formed and many dogs tend to suffer from anxiety and other issues. Occasionally, the Coton De Tuléar rescue will not adjust to a family in which case, it has to be returned to the rescue shelter.
How much does a Coton De Tuléar cost?
Price of Coton De Tuléar for sale varies from breeder to breeder. Ethical breeders with papers –health checks and registration – can charge anywhere between $2000 and $3500 for a purebred Coton De Tuléar puppy.
Coton De Tuléar temperament
No one can resist the charm of this cuddly, cute Bichon variety dog. They possess their own pizzazz marked with vitality and good humor. The Coton De Tuléar is a delightful character with a huge personality that belies his small stature. In fact; their mild temperament is one of the main characteristics of the breed. This is a stable, friendly dog that is easy to train and gets along well with other pets and children. They are happy, sociable little dogs that make amazing household companions.
Coton De Tuléar vs Maltese
The Bichon, Maltese, Havanese, Lowchen, Bolognese and Coton De Tuléar all share similar ancestry. There is a lot of comparison between Coton De Tuléar vs Maltese. Both are small, cute dogs, usually white in color. The Coton is probably stronger and sturdier than the Maltese. Maltese hail from Malta, whereas the Coton is from Madagascar. The ideal standard weight range for Maltese is 3-7 lb with height between 7-10 inches. A Coton may weigh up to 15 lb and is nearly 12 inches in height.
Starting off correctly, right from the car drive when you bring your puppy home from a breeder or rescue shelter, is one way to ensure that training of your Coton goes as smoothly as possible. Remember: your puppy is also nervous and excited in the new surroundings. Be gentle and loving, yet do not be afraid to establish house rules firmly. Show your puppy where to void. Most breeders teach newspaper voiding to pups, so you can place newspapers where you want your pet to relieve himself. Crate training is also helpful as it teaches your pet to sleep in its own quarters. Training an adult and training a Coton De Tuléar puppy is more or less the same but in case of a fully grown Coton De Tuléar, you have to take time to teach him to unlearn certain behaviors.
As with all dog breeds, it is very important to provide adequate exercise to your Coton. Puppies need to be walked two to three times a day so that they learn to associate walks with time to relieve themselves. These dogs grow rapidly and you must provide mental and physical stimulation accordingly. However, over-exercising can strain your dog’s joints. Do not allow your young pet to jump up and down the stairs as it can cause irreversible damage to its undeveloped joints. You can include fun and games along with training to keep your pet mentally alert. Cotons get overheated easily in hot weather so avoid exercising during hot part of the day.
Grooming is a must to keep this beautiful dog in top form. Coton De Tuléar has a silky, soft coat which is prone to matting. So combing and brushing should be made a part of regular grooming to prevent mats and tangles. A grooming routine from puppyhood will help your pet get used to it and also help him bond with you. Grooming also provides you with an opportunity to examine your baby’s coat for fleas and ticks. Invest in following grooming tools and use them regularly:
- Brush and comb – Slicker brush, bristle brush, fine toothed flea comb
- Blow dryer
- Ear cleaner
- Cotton balls or grooming wipes
- Dental care products
- Nail clippers
Today the choices of food available in the market for your Coton De Tuléar are varied; you can get different flavors, textures and varieties for puppies, young adults, adults and senior dogs. Some Cotons are allergic to ingredients found in certain dog food brands. For these pets, you need hypoallergenic dog food for sensitive coat and skin. The food you administer to your fur baby will have a direct impact on its coat. So make this decision wisely. Talk to an experienced vet or breeder regarding dietary changes at different life stages and make an informed choice.
Common health issues in Coton De Tuléar
This long coated breed is susceptible to parasites like ticks, fleas, mites and walking dandruff. They also get overheated quickly and are prone to heat strokes or heat exhaustion. In winters, you must use a sweater or t-shirt to cover up your Coton; otherwise he might shiver. This sweet little dog tends to put on weight easily if not exercised. So provide plenty of activities to keep him mental alert and physically active. Older dogs could develop canine arthritis, hip dysplasia, constipation, ear and eye infections. The breed is also prone to cataracts, hypothyroidism, gastric torsion and progressive retinal atrophy. Cotons have an average life span of 14-16 years.