By Macy Gen Veterinary AssistantMacy Gen Last updated: 27th October 2022

Coton de Tulear


Macy Gen Veterinary Assistant Macy Gen
Last updated: 27th October 2022

Coton de Tulear is a small-sized, appealing breed of dog, getting its name from the Tulear city in Madagascar where it was said to have originated. Besides its cotton-like soft coat that gives it a cute, fluffy look just like a toy, other features that define it include its short, triangular shaped head, dark, round, widely set eyes, thin, triangular ears set to a height, round nose, straight muzzle and a low set tail, curved to its back and raised at the tip.

Coton de Tulear Pictures

Quick Information

PronunciationCo tawn day too lee are
Other namesCoton, Cotie
CoatMedium to long, soft, fluffy and cotton like
ColorWhite and black with markings of yellow, tricolor, white and gray
Breed typePurebred
GroupToy, Companion
Average lifespan 14 -19 years
Size (How big do they get)Small
Height of a full grown Coton de tulearMales: 25 to 30 cm; Females: 22 to 27 cm
Weight of a full grown Coton de tulearMales: 13 to 18 lbs; Females: 7.7 to 11 lbs
Litter size4 to 6 puppies
Behavioral traitsIntelligent, fun loving; curious; sweet, cuddly
Good with childrenYes
Climate CompatibilityCompatible to varied weather conditions including rain and snow
Barking tendencyModerate to low
Shedding (Does it shed)Low
Competitive Registration Qualification/ InformationFCI, AKC, UKC, KC (UK), CKC
CountryMadagascar (Patronage: France)

Cute Coton de Tulear Puppies

Coton de Tulear Mixes

History and origin

Developed in the Madagascar Island, it is also considered as the national dog of this place. Their ancestors were believed to be transported here in the 16th and 17th centuries when the pirate ships touched the port. Though the exact origination of the Coton is unknown with different stories circulating about the same, it was said to be a pet of the Merina and Malagasy nobles, who were so possessive of these dogs that they had passed a law against it to be owned by any commoner. It was quite contented to be in its place of origin until the period of the 1960s when it came under the recognition of the French people. Dr. Robert Jay Russell discovered it in 1973 in Madagascar and imported them to the United States, also naming them, the Royal Dog of Madagascar. The Coton de Tulear Club of America was formed in the year 1976 by Mr. Russell. It was entered into AKC’s FSS in 1996 and gained complete recognition as a breed in 2014.

Havanese vs. Coton de Tulear

  • The Havanese is smaller than the Coton.
  • Havanese has a silky, fluffy, wavy or curly coat, the Coton has a long straight and fluffy coat.
  • The Coton is a rare breed than the Havanese.

Temperament and Personality

Affectionate and intelligent, it makes for a perfect companion dog any owner would love to have, all because of its cute and cuddly demeanor.

They enjoy being amidst the members of their family, loving to cuddle and snuggle into the laps of their loved ones. Because of his friendly attitude, he is even known as the kissing dog.

Their clownish, light-hearted antics and the manner in which they cock or tilt their head is enough to amuse anyone.

Another interesting trait if the Coton is its habit of moving about on its hind legs to please all those around him. Though they are not that yappy in comparison to other toy breeds, they could grunt, bark and make a lot of noise while playing or even out of excitement. They are known to be friendly towards strangers and are anxious about meeting new people,  but can emit a bark to alert its owner if it senses anything unusual, thus not being good enough for a watchdog.

They share a friendly equation with kids of all age and are even know to modify themselves in such a way that the little ones do not trip and fall on them even while playing. They would also get along with other animals without much hassle.



They love playing and need to be exercised on a moderate basis to maintain a sound physical and mental health. Taking the Coton on a brisk walk regularly alongside letting them play a game of fetch or even taking your pet on a hiking spree would keep them energized.


The cotton-like coat of this breed which dries quite quickly is easy to maintain. Brush it gently at least two times in a week using a medium sized slicker brush to prevent the formation of any mats and tangles particularly when the coat changes as it is transitioning from puppyhood to adulthood. Using a spray conditioner during the brushing session would prevent any hair breakage. Cleaning its ears and eyes, brushing its teeth and trimming its nails are the other hygiene needs that are required to be implemented.

Health Problems

Though mostly healthy with an average lifespan of 14 -19 years, it might encounter certain issues like heart ailments, liver problems, and eye diseases. Being a small breed, it could also be prone to luxating patella and issues of the spinal cord.


Being an intelligent and loyal dog, this is a highly trainable breed, though a firm trainer is needed to handle it tactfully.

Housebreaking: Like other small dog breeds, your Coton might also take some time to potty train. Hence impart housebreaking training to the puppies right from the time they have been brought home. Maintain a fixed feeding schedule and avoid giving him tidbits in between his mealtime. The minute he wakes up take him out to eliminate and repeat the same thing after every half or one hour. You must also take him to excrete his wastes the moment he gets up from a nap and also post his meals. Make sure you take it to the same place each time as in this way he would get accustomed to it and associate his need to eliminate with that particular spot. Every time he listens to you praise it or reward it with a treat. Learn to identify your puppy’s needs and if you see him scratching the floor, barking, circling or sniffing, take him out at once. Never rebuke it in case of an accident, instead continue with the training schedule.

Crate training: Since they are prone to separation anxiety, start crate training as early as possible. Put its personal belongings within to give it a sense of comfort. Never use a crate for punishing it and also avoid keeping it within throughout the day.


Dry dog food in measured amounts alongside a nutritious homemade diet is essential to keep your Coton in sound health.

Interesting Facts

  • It features on a postage stamp in Madagascar, where it originated.

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