Great at agility who loves to snuggle, the Coton de Tulear loves to be indoors and requires strict grooming


Coton De Tulear Spotlight

  • Loves children and gets along well with other pets in the home
  • Easy to train
  • Good choice for apartments and condos
  • Independent
  • Suffers from separation anxiety
  • Boisterous and vocal
  • Forms strong bonds with family members
  • Royal & elegant


The history of the Coton De Tulear is one that is not well-known or understood. In fact, it is quite interesting and mysterious. The Coton De Tulear is considered to be an ancient breed of dog, even though it is recognized as a modern breed. This breed is believed to have originated in Central Asia.

These small white dogs were considered to be a sign of wealth and class, which meant they were very popular among the Roman aristocrats at the time. The Romans referred to them as “Meletei,” which meant table dogs. The breed was created when a Meletei and Barbet were bred together and the Coton De Tulear is considered to be part of the Barbichon family of dogs.

There are legends of Coton De Tulear that state that the breed came to the United States and other parts of the world due to a ship wreck that occurred in Madagascar. It is believed that all of the humans on board died while the dogs lived and swam their way to shore.

The Coton De Tulear is considered to be a somewhat rare breed within the US and received its recognition from the American Kennel Club in 2014.

Personality & Temperament

The Coton De Tulear is considered to be a happy go lucky pup that has a desire to please you and those around you. This breed likes to hear you laugh and will continue his or her antics as long as you are entertained by them. You will find that this breed does beg for your attention and thrive off of it. If you do not show your pup enough attention, he or she may become destructive within the house due to boredom. Separation anxiety is also a concern, so this breed should not be left alone for long periods of time.

Female Coton De Tulear tend to be dominant and independent, much more so than the males. One of the interesting personality traits about this breed is that they are very vocal, which means they will bark, whine, grunt, and groan to let you know how they feel. Breed owners find that the Coton De Tulear likes to walk on his or her hind legs as well.

This breed does well with children and will play with them as long as you will let him or her. Other dogs and cats are not a concern because this pup does do well with them.

Appearance & Grooming

The Coton De Tulear is a small dog, but do not let this fool you because they are quick and hardy. Their fur is similar to cotton, which is one of their most notable features. The Coton De Tulear is generally white in color, but may also be black in color. The breed is known to have white, yellow, gray, and tri-color markings as well. This small pup has an average height of 9 to 11 inches and weighs anywhere between 8 to 13 pounds.

The coat is one of the most notable features of this breed and with that said, it does require quite a bit of grooming. Once your Coton De Tulear is full grown, the coat will be about four inches’ total in length. It is important to groom your Coton De Tulear regularly and to start early on, so that your pup can get used to the process. You should brush your dog’s coat at least four times per week to remove loose hairs and to remove any tangles or mats.

You only need to bathe your Coton De Tulear when he or she is dirty, so you can use your judgement. When you do bathe him or her, make sure to choose a moisturizing shampoo that will not strip the oils from your pup’s coat and skin.

In addition, you should clean your Coton De Tulear’s ears once per week and trim his or her nails as often as needed to prevent them from growing too long.


The Coton De Tulear is considered to be a relatively healthy and hardy breed with little known health problems. With that said, it is important that you work with a reputable breeder to ensure that your Coton De Tulear was bred properly and that his or her parents did not carry any genetic conditions.

  • Patellar Luxation - is a condition that occurs when the knee cap of your Coton De Tulear slips into and out of place, best known as a dislocated knee. Patellar luxation is a common problem in small dogs and the condition is no stranger to the Coton De Tulear. You will notice there is a problem with your dog’s leg because he or she will hold it off the ground, it may feel loose in your hand, or your pup’s activity level will decrease due to the pain.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy or PRA is a degenerative eye disorder that is considered to be hereditary. PRA can cause blindness in your pup. It is important to have your Coton De Tulear’s eyes screened by a qualified veterinary ophthalmologist since this condition can be detected years before it becomes a problem.
  • Hip dysplasia - is also considered to be hereditary and it causes a lot of pain for your Coton De Tulear. The condition occurs when the hip joint and thigh bone do not fit together correctly. If your Coton De Tulear does have hip dysplasia, he or she may show lameness in the limbs and may have trouble standing or sitting.

Exercise & Care

The Coton De Tulear is an all-around, all-weather pup that does not mind the heat, snow, cold, or rain. You will find that your dog likes to play outside, no matter what the weather looks like. This breed is a good choice for those who live in apartments and condos, as well as houses. It is important for you to keep your Coton De Tulear on a leash, unless you have him or her in a fenced area because your pup may wander off.

Exercise is crucial to help keep your pup healthy and prevent boredom. If you have a fenced in yard, you should allow your Coton De Tulear to run around and enjoy himself. If you live in an apartment or condo, a couple of 15-minute walks per day should do the trick.

This breed is considered easy to train and your Coton De Tulear will try to please you and perform tricks. You do want to avoid a heavy hand when training and remain firm, consistent, and always reward good behavior.

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