All About the Breed Coton De Tulear

Have you recently fallen for the Coton de Tulear or do you simply love rare breeds? Learn all about the breed here, including: Breed History, Personality Traits, Train-ability, Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed, and Common Health Concerns.

Also known simply as the Coton, the Coton de Tulear is an affectionate and playful breed.

But how do you know whether you are ready to purchase a pet and if this breed is right for you?

This information is absolutely necessary in making the decision to purchase a pet.


While the exact origin of the Coton de Tulear has not been well documented, it is stated that these dogs survived a sinking ship off the coast of Madagascar in the 17th century. Enthusiasts believe the Coton de Tulear to have descended from the now extinct Coton de Reunion, though this has never been proven scientifically or otherwise.

Throughout its history, the Coton de Tulear has been most commonly kept as a companion. The breed was once known as the "Royal Dog of Madagascar", and was only allowed to be owned by those among the very top of society, which threatened complete extinction of the breed during the 1800's.

Credited for introducing the Coton de Tulear to the United States in 1974 is a biologist named Dr. Robert Jay Russell. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club's Foundation Stock Service in 1996.

Today, while the Coton de Tulear has attained an underground popularity as a companion dog, the breed remains rather rare world wide.

Personality Traits

Best known for its loyal and affectionate nature, the Coton de Tulear thrives on strong and dependable relationships with humans. This breed can be somewhat shy to strangers, but generally makes friends quickly. These dogs are somewhat excitable and known to bark, grunt, jump, and walk of their hind legs when happy.

This breed is very intelligent and easily trainable. As a pet, the Coton de Tulear is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate. The Coton de Tulear enjoys spending time outdoors and playing games such as fetch.


Due to its need for human relationships and eagerness to please and impress its owner, the Coton de Tulear generally responds well to basic training and commands. These intelligent dogs have the ability to learn to perform most any task their trainer is willing to take the time to teach.

Establishing immediate trust is key to successfully training the Coton de Tulear. This breed can be somewhat sensitive to criticism and responds best to a gentle approach, positive reinforcement, and reward-based training.

Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed

There are many benefits to owning a Coton de Tulear. These active dogs are often quite amusing and entertaining to watch while at play. This breed is very bright, easily trainable, and capable of learning to perform many impressive tricks and tasks. When properly socialized from a young age, the Coton de Tulear gets along well with small children and other pets.

The Coton de Tulear is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate, making an excellent family pet and companion alike.

Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to owning a Coton de Tulear. This energetic breed requires large amounts of daily exercise and room to run and play. Anyone wishing to purchase this breed lacking the adequate amount of time and space to dedicate to the dog is strongly advised against doing so.

A Coton de Tulear not receiving the proper amount of exercise and space will often act out by destroying property, digging, chewing, barking, whining, and ignoring basic training such as housebreaking.

The Coton de Tulear is a somewhat excitable breed and is known for its loud barking, grunting, and squeaking. While some owners find this very cute, others may become irritated by this breed's constant vocal expression.

Like many companion breeds, the Coton de Tulear is known to suffer from separation anxiety. Individuals seeking to purchase this breed who travel frequently, have full time work, or are away from the home on a daily basis are advised to begin researching another breed. During an attack of separation anxiety, the Coton de Tulear will act out of nervous destruction and may destroy property, dig, chew, bark, whine, and ignore housebreaking training.

This breed's thick and full coat requires almost constant attention, brushing, and grooming to prevent tangling and maintain its attractive appearance.

As previously mentioned, the Coton de Tulear remains rather rare world wide and can prove quite difficult to obtain. Individuals wishing to purchase this breed often encounter such challenges as inability to locate a breeder, extremely high prices, and being placed on long waiting lists.

Common Health Concerns

While the Coton de Tulear is typically known as a healthy and hearty breed, they do suffer from a few health problems, including: patellar luxation - dislocation of the knee, congenital heart defects, degenerative disk disease, and bloat.

Now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own a Coton de Tulear?

Remember, purchasing a pet is a big decision and should be discussed thoroughly and seriously with your entire family.