Caring for Coton de Tulear

Written by on April 16, 2013 in About Cotons de Tulear


puppy coton de tulear The official FCI (Federation Cynologique International) Standard describe the Coton de Tulear as a small dog, suitable for apartment living, with a long cotton-like coat and round, dark expressive and intelligent eyes.

The Coton females are approximately 9–11 lbs. and the males are approximately 10-13 lbs.  Males tend to have a thicker coat than the females.  Their coats are about 6 inches long; however, this varies among Cotons.  It is soft, not silky.  The coat is hair, not fur, so it does not produce the “doggy smell” that most dogs have and you do not have the dander problem.

They are a great delight for those people who are allergic to animal dander and thought they could never own a dog.  It has been our experience that these wonderful little dogs are able to co-exist even with people who have severe allergies and asthma.

Cotons are silly!  They love to play and kiss and will entertain you for hours.  They are very affectionate!  Each has its own personality.  They are merry little souls, a bit of a clown and very attached to their masters.  Cotons are happy little furry babies and are loyal to the family, but will pick one person to follow (hint:  ye who feeds them!).  Once a Coton adopts  you, there is no turning back!  They get along with other family pets, such as dogs, cats, etc.

puppy coton de tulear 5YOUR LIFESTYLE:
Cotons live approximately 18-22 years and they NEED people.  They are not content to be kept in a dog run, backyard, garage, crate or house for multiple hours a day, day after day only to be brought out to be fed and relieve themselves.  They are bred for companionship.  Everything in their very being drives them to want to be with you.  Once denied of this as a way of life, they will not thrive and will suffer emotionally.  They do fine in apartments, but do need to be taken for walks to get some exercise.

Food, annual immunizations, unexpected vet visits, licensing, grooming products, groomer (?), and those adorable toys, beds and accessories!!

Training is a must!  The world you shape for your puppy now will dictate the type of adult you will have in the future.  Bad habits are hard to break, so start off on the right foot and join in on a puppy kindergarten class from a reputable trainer.  The time and effort you spend on training now will be rewarding for you and your dog in the future.

puppy coton de tulear GROOMING
Cotons have long hair.  To some  it’s a treasure and to others a curse.   People love the “look” of the Coton with its’ long flowing hair.  This hair takes care!  You must brush almost daily from 6 months to  15 months while the adult coat is coming in.

Coats vary as will the amount of time you need to brush and how  often.  The hair stays in the coat until  you brush it out, so to avoid disastrous mats, Cotons must be brushed.

The alternative is keeping them in a “puppy  cut”.  A professional groomer can cut the  usual 6 inch coat down to 1 to 3 inches.   You still need to brush your little one, but the coat is more manageable  and does not take the time a fully-coated Coton would take.

Depending on the Coton’s lifestyle, bathing  may be in order.  When they’re out and  about in the backyard they tend to get dirty faster.  Those kept mostly indoors may only need an  occasional bathing.

Ear hair needs  plucking, nails need clipping, teeth need cleaning and, if your Coton has tear  staining, you may want to discuss it with us as to what we have done to get  beyond this issue.  Some staining may be  due to teething, the type of diet they are on, whether your water has iron in  it or, it may be an indication of other issues.

TIME TO VISIT:   Now that you have some information about the breed, it is a good idea to  visit with a Coton.  Spend some time with  a breeder and their dogs.  It’s a great  opportunity to familiarize yourself more with the breed and talk with someone  with experience.  USACTC has a list of  very good questions to ask breeders, so you might want to visit their website,, and take a look.  We love potential parents that ask lots of  questions, so bring your notes!!!



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