Coton de Tulear Breed Information – All You Need to Know

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The Coton de Tulear is a charming companion dog best known for its natural long, white coat. The breed derives its name from the port of Tulear in Madagascar, where it originated, and the French word “coton”, meaning cotton. Today, the Coton de Tulear is ranked number 81 out of 193 dogs recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Their exact history remains uncertain, but it is rumored that ancestors of the modern breed were introduced to Madagascar by European merchants. The dogs were prized by the noble class of Madagascar, who forbid that anyone other than royalty own the breed, inspiring the title “Royal Dog of Madagascar”.

Characteristics of the Coton de Tulear

Coton De Tulear Breed Information – All You Need To KnowLet’s take some time to go into detail about the appearance and temperament of the Coton de Tulear.


The Coton de Tulear is classified as an AKC small dog breed. The Coton’s height ranges from 9 -11 inches and its length from 12-16 inches. The Coton’s weight ranges from 8-15 pounds, with males being on average slightly larger than the females. The Coton de Tulear is a long-lived breed with a life span ranging from 15-19 years.

The coat of the Coton de Tulear is soft, shaggy, and attractive, primarily white with some fawn or grey colored hairs around the ears and face. The Coton’s dark eyes and expressive smile give it a happy expression. Their coat can be kept in a long, classic style or a short “puppy clip”. The longer the hair, the more brushing the dog will require, and the more it will shed. Check out our recommendations for dog brushes and dog shampoo to help keep your Coton’s coat in top shape.


The little Coton de Tulear can be both calm and boisterous and loves to exercise. They will happily transition from running outside one minute to curling up on the couch the next. Cotons love attention from their humans but are relatively independent and not demanding.

Often described as clownish and inquisitive, the Coton de Tulear loves to explore and play. Cotons are adaptable to new environments and make great traveling companions. They are highly sociable but can be shy with strangers, especially if not properly trained. However, they will quickly warm up to any new acquaintance. The Coton’s adaptability and lack of aggression make them a great addition to households with children or other pets, including cats and big and small dogs.

Cotons are prone to suffering from separation anxiety and will be happiest in a household where a human companion is always around. If left alone for too long, Cotons often exhibit undesirable behavior such as chewing and crying. They are also naturally territorial dogs that are sure to let you know when someone is at the door. Excessive barking can be an issue if your Coton is not properly trained.

Cotons are also known for their ability to walk on their hind legs for unusual distances, as well as their unique and amusing vocalizations.

Caring for a Coton de Tulear

To ensure you are providing your Coton de Tulear with everything it needs to live a long and happy life, it is essential to understand the quirks of the breed and what works best for them. Following are preliminary tips on health and training your Coton so you know what to expect. However, remember that each dog is unique, even within a specific breed.


A high-quality dog food specific to the Coton de Tulear and the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior) will fulfil all of your Coton’s nutritional needs. However, even small increases in caloric intake can lead to weight gain over time, so consistency is key. Avoid feeding your Coton table scraps or an excessive amount of treats, which can lead to weight gain and related health problems. As a small dog, the Coton will require relatively few calories, but its good health and longevity still demands a balanced diet filled with vitamins and nutrients.


Coton de Tulears require regular exercise to stay in shape and healthy. They have moderate exercise needs compared to other dogs and will be happy with two walks per day at a slow speed. Cotons will also benefit from regular off-leash time in a dog park or fenced backyard and enjoy playing chase and fetch with their humans. Cotons enjoy playing with toys, which will also help keep their mind and body active. Consider investing is one or more interactive dog toys or puzzle dog toys.


Eager to please their humans, the Coton de Tulear is easy to train on most fronts. Cotons respond best to reward-based training and positive reinforcement. Cotons will become fearful and nervous in response to aggressive or harsh commands, and any sort of negative-reinforcement is best-avoided. Occasionally stubborn and distracted, it is best to keep training sessions focused and exciting.

Expect a longer-than-average effort to house-train your Coton, as they are notoriously slow to understand the concept. Be sure to include obedience and socialization exercises in your training regimen, which the breed responds to well. They also enjoy learning agility exercises and can be trained to be excellent therapy dogs.


The Coton de Tulear is a healthy and long-lived dog, fairly free of genetic health issues. Breeding Coton’s is a carefully monitored process to maintain this standard. Eye problems and hip dysplasia are the most common genetic health issues among the Coton de Tulear. Luxating patellas and spinal disc disease are known to occur in all small dog breeds, with the Coton being no exception. Ear infections are common, which can be avoided by checking ears weekly and removing any excess hair, wax, or debris. The National Breed Club recommends these health screenings for Coton de Tulears: a patella evaluation, ophthalmologist evaluation, hip evaluation and cardiac exam.

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Best Dog Food For Coton De Tulears

Diamond Naturals Chicken & Rice Formula All Life Stages Dry Dog Food

The best dog food for Coton de Tulears is Diamond Naturals Chicken & Rice Formula All Life Stages Dry Dog Food as it meets the nutritional requirement for any life stage. Made of cage-free chicken, the food combines proprietary canine prebiotics. This superfood is designed with barley, poultry fat, eggs, etc.

  • Coconut, papaya, blueberry, oranges, etc., boosts immunity.
  • Salmon oil makes the food DHA rich.
  • This nutrient-rich diet follows all the food safety protocols set by the American government.

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Best Puppy Food For Coton De Tulears

Taste Of The Wild Pacific Stream Puppy Formula Grain Free Dry Dog Food

For the healthy lifestyle of little puppies, a good quality puppy food is a must, and the best puppy food for Coton de Tulears is Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food. This delicious recipe is made with smoked salmon, ocean fish, potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, etc. Taurine is a vital component of the recipe, and it is good for a healthy heart.

  • This vitamin D rich diet diminishes the chance of falling sick.
  • The addition of natural fiber acts wonders to a puppy’s digestion.
  • Chicory root and real fruits provide prebiotic support.

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Best Dog Bed For Coton De Tulears

FurHaven Comfy Couch Orthopedic Bolster Dog Bed w/Removable Cover

The best dog bed for Coton de Tulears is FurHaven Comfy Couch Orthopedic Bolster Dog Bed. There is an elegant print on the edge of the bed, and this supportive dog bed ensures maximum airflow. This cushiony foam reduces pressure on the joints, thereby helping the dog to relax on it.

  • The surface layer is configured with smooth and soft faux fur.
  • Owing to the water-resistant base, the bed stays put when the dog jumps on it.
  • You can remove its zipper cover for cleaning purposes.

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Best Dog Crate For Coton De Tulears

Firstrax Noz2noz Sof Krate N2 Series 3 Door Wire Dog Crate

A good dog crate facilitates the owners in house training and keeps the dogs safe during their absence, too, so the best dog crate for Coton de Tulears is Firstrax Noz2Noz Sof-Krate N2 Series 3-Door Collapsible Soft-Sided Dog Crate. This black and green crate has one door on ceiling. The ventilated mesh panel doesn’t make the dog suffocate inside the crate at all.

  • Built with strong steel, the crate can survive any weather extremities.
  • All four holed windows can be rolled up to help the light come inside the crate.
  • The five sizes of the crate cover height from 15 inches to 32 inches.

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Best Dog Harness For Coton De Tulears

Puppia Vest Polyester Step In Back Clip Dog Harness

The best dog harness for Coton de Tulears is Puppia Vest Polyester Step In Back Clip Dog Harness, as this walking harness helps the owners to keep an eye on the dog always. Available in various sizes and colors, this fashionable vest harness is constructed with polyester material. This high-quality air mesh harness combines two D rings for easy tag attachment.

  • This comfortable harness doesn’t strain their neck at all.
  • This soft, breathable mesh features padding for ultimate comfort.
  • The practical design of the harness consists of a quick-release clasp and a convenient fastener.

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Best Dog Collar For Coton De Tulears

Frisco Patterned Nylon Reflective Dog Collar

Dogs need a stylish collar to enhance their physical appearance, and the best dog collar for Coton de Tulears is Frisco Patterned Nylon Reflective Dog Collar. There are animal prints, wavy lines, Hawaiian floral, or Diamond Tile to make the collar trendy. Ideal for the nighttime outing, the flexible collar has a plastic buckle along with nickel-coated part.

  • This reflective collar can be properly adjusted to fit the dog.
  • For superior comfort, the edges have been rounded.
  • One can simply hand-wash the collar to clear off the debris.
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Best Dog Muzzle For Coton De Tulears

Petsafe Dog Muzzle

The best dog muzzle for Coton de Tulears is PetSafe Dog Muzzle. This padded muzzle features a mouth opening design, and it prevents your reactive sidekicks from attacking anyone on the road. Even with the muzzle on, dogs can easily breathe.

  • The neck and snout strap ensures a comfortable fit.
  • This durable muzzle reduces stress and anxiety in dogs.
  • This lightweight muzzle is safe to wear for multiple hours.

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Best Dog Toy For Coton De Tulears

Nina Ottosson By Outward Hound Tornado Puzzle Game Dog Toy

To improve dogs’ level of intellect, the best dog toy for Coton de Tulear is Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Tornado Puzzle Game Dog Toy. This blue and yellow-colored puzzle toy has four rotating discs. The manufacturers also provide some white blocks to confuse the dog when they are in a higher level of difficulty.

  • Once the dog clears the levels, it receives its hidden treat as a reward.
  • Such a tricky game can occupy the dogs for hours.
  • You can wash the toy with a mild cleaner or spot clean it.

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Best Dog Brush For Coton De Tulears

Hertzko Self-Cleaning Dog & Cat Slicker Brush

To control the shedding and to manage the coat, the best dog brush for Coton de Tulears would be Hertzko Self-Cleaning Dog & Cat Slicker Brush. This bright blue slicker brush has a push button on top of its handle, and it instantly releases all the hair from the brush. The handle reduces the amount of pressure on the canine skin.

  • This massaging kit improves blood circulation also.
  • This universal brush can penetrate a dense coat.
  • This eliminates loose fur from furniture and surface coat.

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Best Dog Shampoo For Coton De Tulears

Tropiclean Luxury 2 In 1 Papaya & Coconut Pet Shampoo And Conditioner

The best dog shampoo for Coton de Tulears is TropiClean Luxury 2 in 1 Papaya & Coconut Pet Shampoo and Conditioner. This dye-free pet shampoo deeply moisturizes the coat and leaves a sweet fragrance behind. The coconut and mango extracts help in relaxing the crazy knots and softens the coat.

  • The papaya juice brings back a lustrous coat and healthy skin.
  • Simultaneously with this shampoo, one can continue to tick or flea treatment.
  • The rich botanical conditioners promote healthy fur and reduce shedding.

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