The Coton De Tuléar is a small breed of Bichon type dog with an average weight of just 5 kg. It is classified under the Toy group by the Kennel Club. This “Royal dog of Madagascar” got its name from the port city of Tuléar (modern-day Toliara) and for its soft cotton-like hair. This breed is predominantly white with a prominent black nose, round, dark and expressive eyes, and pendulous ears covered in fine long hair. It also has black lips, a well-feathered tail that is carried above the back when it is in motion, and an arched loin which gives the breed a distinctive outline. The body of the Coton De Tuléar is slightly longer than it is high. It is covered with a soft cotton-like single coat, between 8-9 cm long, fine and slightly wavy hair (not fur). It is a non-hair-falling, slight shedding breed with low dander so it is a very good choice for people suffering from allergies or asthma. It also has very little to no dog odour. The typical height of the breed is between 25 – 32 cm at withers.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
The Coton De Tuléar was developed in Madagascar and is the island’s national dog. It is believed to be a cross between a breed of dog endemic to the island and the Tenerife dog brought to the island during the 16th and 17th by pirates. It is most closely related to the Bichon Tenerife and the Tenerife Terrier and was bred as a companion dog by the Merina tribe in Madagascar. It used to be a royalty-only dog and no one was allowed to own a Coton except for the Malagasy royalty. It was first discovered by a Westerner when biologist Dr. Robert Jay Russell went to Madagascar in 1973 and eventually was able to bring one to the USA and coined the name, the “Royal Dog of Madagascar”. It was also brought to Europe, particularly in France during the 1970s where it was officially recognised as a breed by the Societe Centrale Canine and the Federation Cynologique Interntionale (FCI) which published the breed standard in 1972.
The Coton De Tuléar is affectionate, independent, lively, and playful. It has a very little prey drive and it does not hunt because it was purely bred as a companion dog. It is a quiet dog that rarely barks, only making noise when it is playing. This clownish breed can stand up and walk on its hind legs as a way to please people. This eagerness to please makes it very easy to train. Socialisation is never a problem as the Coton loves meeting new people and other dogs. It also loves to swim whenever it gets the chance. Its small size means it can live practically in any home setting – be it in a small apartment in the city to a large estate home in the countryside. A common demeanour of the breed is to come alive in the evening.
The Coton de Tuléar is an absolutely wonderful dog breed to have as a family companion. Not only is it good for someone suffering from allergies, it is also a fairly easy to train dog. It is highly intelligent and has a penchant for pleasing and will quickly pick up on basic training. Positive training is the best approach when teaching this breed, reinforced by praise rewards or food treats. After the basics, training can move on to more advanced challenges such as dog agility and tracking. The ability of the Coton to stand up on its hindquarters makes it easy to train on doggy dancing.
The soft, silky, cotton-like coat of the Coton De Tuléar requires daily brushing and combing. This breed moults but unlike other dogs, the hair does not fall out and is trapped within the silky coat, which means it needs frequent brushing in order to remove the loose hair. Failure to regularly groom the coat can lead to quick mattings which are hard to remove and will require trimming or shaving. Although this breed does not have a strong doggy smell, bathing once a week is still recommended especially if it is kept as a show dog.
The Coton De Tuléar is generally a healthy breed and has few health issues compared to other dogs because it is a generic-type dog which did not inherit serious diseases from its ancestors, unlike other dogs developed from multiple breeds. However, like any other canines, health issues cannot be prevented. Among the few health problems that are known to affect the Coton are heart problems, liver shunts, disc problems and eye problems. However, the good news is that these diseases are still relatively rare in the breed mainly because the Coton is bred true to type and retained its unique healthy characteristic. It has an average lifespan of 14 – 16 years.
This feisty little breed requires a minimal amount of exercise. Short daily walks up to 30 minutes are enough to satisfy the exercise requirements of the Coton De Tuléar. It will appreciate a good quality time with any member of the family especially if it involves a play session. Never underestimate this small breed because it has a great deal of stamina and has the endurance to go on a long hike. However, exercise should be kept to a minimum during the first few months, gradually increasing the pace after the dog has reached past six months of age in order to prevent any injury.
This lovely family companion is excellent with children regardless of age. However, like any other breed, adult supervision is required when children play with it. Its small delicate size needs careful handling or it can easily get hurt, particularly if it involves rough play. Children must be taught to handle and treat the dog properly. The Coton De Tuléar thrives on companionship and is great with other dogs. It does not have a strong prey drive so it goes quite along well with other pets.