Updated 19-08-2023

Coton de Tulear

The Coton de Tulear dog breed is always up for a good time because of its sweet and loving demeanour. A cross between the Bichon Frise and the Maltese, this clever little dog has a soft, cottony coat and its ancestry dates back to Madagascar.

As the name suggests, Cotons are amiable and easygoing dogs who get along with everyone. All of us, including children and dogs, are included. As long as they aren't left alone for lengthy periods of time, they can fit in with apartment residents or people who live in larger homes. Those who are fresh to the dog world will be able to care for these low-maintenance dogs with ease. 

There is no better breed of dog to add to your family if you're seeking for a lovely, intelligent, and lively companion. Coton de Tulears characteristics and information can be found in the table below.


  • Maltese and Bichon Frise cousins, as well as the Coton de Tulear, can be found on Madagascar.
  • The Coton enjoys the company of other people and finds it difficult to be apart from them.
  • The Coton is intelligent and adaptable. In his spare time, he likes to compete in agility and obedience events.
  • It's true that the Coton is a sturdy breed, but he's best suited as an indoor pet. In terms of apartment life, he's a natural.
  • Cotons enjoy playing and going for a stroll, but they alter their activity levels to suit their human companions' needs.
  • To avoid matting and tangles, Cotons should be brushed many times a week. Bathe them as often as necessary, weekly or monthly.
  • When the adult coats of Coton puppies begin to develop, between the ages of seven and fifteen months, they require additional care.
  • No Coton should ever be purchased in any form from a breeder or puppy mill that does not provide health certifications or assurances. If you're looking for a healthy puppy, you'll want to choose a reputable breeder that checks her breeding canines to ensure they're free of hereditary disorders that they could pass on to the puppies.


Social Appearance 


It's a common misconception that a little dog is better suited to living in a limited space. Many tiny dogs have too much energy and are too yappy to live in an apartment building. An apartment dog's best attributes include being quiet, low energy, somewhat peaceful indoors, and respectful to the other inhabitants. Your dog's personal space in your apartment can be improved by purchasing one of these fantastic dog cages.

Sensitivity Level

Depending on the dog, a strong rebuke can be taken in stride by some, while others regard even the tiniest hint of disapproval as a personal attack. If you have a loud or pushy owner, a chaotic home, or a routine that is unpredictable or variable, your low-sensitivity dog, often known as "easy-going," "tolerant," "resilient," or even "thick-skinned," will be able to handle it better. Do you have young children, host a lot of parties, or have a hectic lifestyle? Choose a dog that isn't overly sensitive.


You can't tell from looking at them whether or not they're hyperactive, but when they do anything, they do it vigorously. They tug at their leashes (unless you teach them not to), they push their way through barriers, and they down their meals in huge, gobbling gulps. A home with young children or an elderly or feeble person may not be the best place for these dynamos to learn proper etiquette. On the other side, a dog with poor vitality adopts a more reserved demeanor.

Potential for Playfulness

The playful nature of certain dogs never fades away, and they're always ready for a game, whereas the reserved and serious tendencies of other dogs develop through time. Think about how many times a day you want to play fetch or tag with your dog, and whether or not you have children or other dogs who can act as substitutes.

Personality Appearance


In the same way as working dogs, such as those that herd sheep, are bred for intelligence and decision-making, working dogs like those who run all day need to exercise their bodies. The two most common activities that a bored pet engages in are digging and chewing, both of which require mental stimulation. There are several ways to keep a dog's brain active, including obedience training, interactive dog toys like tug of war, and dog sports like agility and search and rescue.

Energy Level

Energy-draining dogs are always on the lookout for a new activity. There are several jobs that require a lot of stamina from dogs, such as herding livestock or recovering prey for hunters. Children are more likely to engage in activities such as jumping, playing and exploring new sights and smells as a result of this change in their environment

A low-energy dog is more like a couch potato than a dog that needs a lot of exercise. Think about your level of physical activity and whether or not you find a hyperactive dog irritating before making your final choice.

Easy To Train

Easy to train dogs can more easily form associations between a cue (like "sit"), an action (like sitting), and a reward than dogs that are more difficult to train. Dogs that require more time, patience, and repetition are more difficult to train.

Getting your dog interested in training will require incentives and games because many breeds are intelligent but have a "What's in it for me?" mentality when it comes to learning new things.

Family Affection Level

Affectionate With Family

Since puppyhood, some breeds remain aloof and independent; others form deep bonds with one individual but are uninterested in the rest of the family; still other types shower their entire family with affection. Canines raised in homes with people tend to be more open to human interaction and develop stronger ties, regardless of their breed or upbringing.


Kids-friendly dogs are calm, strong enough to bear the hefty hugs and pets kids can dish out, and have an unfazed attitude about rushing, scream-inducing children. There are several names you may not expect to see on the list: Fierce-looking Both Boxers and American Staffordshire Terriers are regarded as family dogs (which are considered Pit Bulls). Chihuahuas, which are small, sensitive, and potentially sharp, are not always family-friendly.

Dog Friendly

Dog friendship and human friendship are two entirely different things. The fact that a dog is friendly with humans doesn't mean it's immune to aggression or aggression from other dogs; some canines choose to play rather than fight; others will just run away. The type of animal isn't the only consideration. Dogs who have spent a lot of time playing with their littermates and their mother at the age of six to eight weeks are more likely to be socially competent.

Physical Appearance

Amount of Shedding

Having a dog in the house means that you'll have to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothing and in the home. It's worth noting, however, that shedding varies widely among breeds. Some dogs shed all year long, while others ``blow" just during specific times of the year, and still others don't shed at all. If you're a stickler for cleanliness, you'll need to choose a breed that sheds less or lower your expectations. You can use a deshedding tool to keep your house a little cleaner.

Drooling Potential

While greeting you, some dogs may cover their arms with ropes of drool and create large, wet patches on your clothing. If you don't mind a little drool, go for it; but if you're a stickler for cleanliness, you may want to look for a dog with a low drool rating.

Easy To Groom

Some breeds of dogs can simply be brushed and left alone, while others require frequent washing, trimming, and other grooming in order to maintain their health and appearance. If you don't have the time or money to take care of a dog that requires a lot of grooming, you may want to look into hiring a professional.

Exercise Needs

Evening walks around the neighbourhood are perfectly acceptable for some breeds. Others, particularly those trained for physically demanding vocations like herding or hunting, require regular, rigorous exercise.

They can gain weight and release their pent-up energy in ways you don't like, including barking, chewing, and digging, if not given enough exercise. Those looking to train their dog for an energetic canine activity, such as agility, should consider getting a dog that needs a lot of exercise.

Average sizes and life expectancy of the breed


8 to 13 pounds


Starts at 14 years


8 to 12 inches tall at the shoulder


There are many strange and wonderful creatures to be found on Madagascar, a large island off the southeast coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean, but one of them has become a cherished export to all corners of the globe: the Coton de Tulear, a member of the Bichon family that probably arrived in Madagascar hundreds of years ago.

There are rumours that the little white dogs were either utilised as ratters on ships or that they accompanied ladies on long sea voyages. A shipwreck is also said to have left the dogs stranded on Madagascar, where they've been credited as the sole survivors.

Regardless of how they got there, they quickly made themselves at home. Some of the dogs were kept as pets by the royal family and other well-to-do families in Madagascar, while others ended up as strays on the streets.

When a Frenchman visiting the island brought back several Cotons for breeding in France in the 1970s, it was too late. At the same time, Cotons were introduced to North America.

Even though he still lives in his homeland, the Coton de Tulear has become a worldwide sensation thanks to his charming demeanour.

The American Kennel Club hasn't recognised him yet, but he's registered with the Foundation Stock Service (FSS) of the AKC, the United Kennel Club, and the Federation Cynologique Internationale de Europe (FCI).

Personality & Temperament

Playful and joyful, the Coton de Tulear is an exceedingly friendly breed. The breed is well-mannered and a wonderful companion. With children and other pets, the Coton de Tulear is an ideal choice. For this reason, the breed is susceptible to developing separation anxiety because of its gregarious temperament.

So, because of this, they shouldn't be left alone for lengthy periods of time and aren't suitable for families where guests aren't frequently around. Because of its small stature, the Coton de Tulear is not commonly used as a guard dog, although it will bark and make a lot of noise to protect its family in the event of danger.


When it comes to grooming, the Coton de Tulear is a low-maintenance dog if you stick with it. Your family will be able to get along with them because of their friendly nature.


Health The UK Kennel Club classifies the Coton de Tulear as a Category 1 breed, meaning there are no known health issues with this breed. None of the dog's medical tests are mandatory or recommended.

This does not, however, mean that the breed is completely free of health issues, since there are still a few health issues that might plague the breed. Here are a few examples:

Hip Dysplasia (HD)

In larger dogs, this is a prevalent problem, but it can also be found in the Coton de Tulear. Joint issues later in adulthood are caused by hip aberrant development, which can include a variety of developmental disorders or anomalies.

When a dog reaches the age of a year, a hip x-ray is performed, and the results are evaluated by a team of veterinarians who follow a set set of guidelines. Dysplasia can be rated on a scale of one to ten, with the higher the number, the more severe the condition. HD is a hereditary disease, but it can also be influenced by the environment.

Patellar Luxation

Patella (the kneecap) is temporarily dislocated when the dog's hind limb knee joint, which is analogous to ours, is afflicted. One or both hind legs may be affected by the illness, depending on the severity of it. In some cases, surgery may be required to treat the problem.

Canine Multifocal Retinopathy Type 2 (CMR2)

It is a hereditary disorder that can cause moderate retinal folding to complete retinal detachment and complete blindness in dogs. Symptoms begin to appear at the age of four months and proceed to complete blindness as the puppy ages.

Degenerative Myelopathy

Gradual loss of coordination and eventually immobility are symptoms of this degenerative condition, which typically affects older dogs. The sickness is identified by rejecting other possibilities and is not painful, however there is currently no known cure.

Neonatal Ataxia

The cerebellum, the portion of the brain responsible for coordination and movement, is damaged as a result of a genetic mutation. When a dog is infected, he or she is unable to stand or walk. Puppies with this condition will never be able to walk again, and there is no treatment or cure.

Recommended Health Tests 

  1. Patella Evaluation
  2. Hip Evaluation
  3. Cardiac Exam
  4. Ophthalmologist Evaluation


Make sure your Coton has access to clean, fresh water at all times. Also, feed your dog high-quality, nutritionally balanced canine food. Two metered meals a day are the norm when feeding a baby. However, you should talk to your doctor about the amount and type of food you're giving your dog so that you're confident you're meeting all of his nutritional requirements. If your dog gains even one pound in weight from treats or any extra food, you should keep an eye on him closely.


A pin brush should be used to brush the Coton de Tulear's long, dense hair at least three times per week because of this. Keep an eye out for tangles around the ear, leg, and elbow areas of the coat. Using a conditioning spray and your fingers, try to detangle any particularly stubborn mats or tangles in your Coton's coat.

The amount of dirt and dust your Coton de Tulear has been exposed to, as well as how often you brush it, determine how often it needs to be bathed. In most cases, brushing more frequently equals fewer showers. The best way to avoid tangling Coton's hair is to pat it dry rather than rub it after a bath.

At least once a week, check your Coton's ears for wax, dirt, and inflammation. And you should check its nails every month to see if they need to be trimmed. Brush its teeth every day as well.


Cotons are a breed of dog with a moderate amount of energy. Their modest stature means that an hour of exercise every day should be plenty. The best times to go for a walk are in the morning and evening, when the weather permits, as are fetch and other fun activities. Obedience, rally, and agility are popular among this breed's many devotees.

Cotons benefit greatly from mental and physical exercise with puzzle toys. These dogs can become bored fast if they don't get enough exercise, and they may resort to destructive methods of amusement. As a result, be sure to set aside enough time each day to walk your dog.


It is best to begin obedience training with your Coton as soon as possible in order to avoid the formation of negative habits. These dogs are eager to please and usually react well to positive training approaches. But if you employ severe corrections, they may stop learning.

Aim to introduce your Coton to a variety of people, dogs, and environments from an early age in order to help it develop a sense of security and self-confidence. When it comes to meeting new people, most Cotons are friendly and curious by nature, and having positive interactions with others may only serve to encourage this trait.

Children and Other Pets

Coton is a nice companion for children if the children are also good companions. Playmates for older children who treat them politely, but they'll learn to hide from clumsy younger children who may pat them too forcefully or accidently kick or walk on them, so they're a good choice for older children.

Keep an eye out for any incidents of dog biting or ear or tail-pulling by children when they engage with dogs.

Teach your youngster to never disturb a sleeping or eating dog, or to try to take away the dog's food, by approaching him or her. Regardless of how friendly a dog is, it should never be left alone with a youngster.

Cotons enjoy the companionship of other Cotons as well as dogs of other breeds and cats, but they prefer human company. A Coton will enjoy the companionship of another animal if his owners aren't always nearby.


A typical litter of Coton de Tulear puppies consists of two to five puppies. The breed's high cost is a result of its dwindling gene pool and tiny litter size. Puppies and young dogs from rescue organisations may be less expensive.

Dogs Similar to Coton de Tulears

Dog breeds most similar to this breed are the 

  1. Maltese
  2. Havanese
  3. Bichon Frise
  4. Bolognese