Coton de Tuléar

The Coton de Tuléar is a small companion breed and the official dog of Madagascar. It is believed that the Coton was brought to the port of Tuléar by Spanish and Portuguese sailors in the 16th century. The breed was frequently used as a companion for sailors, merchants, pirates, and noblemen in travel. The breed may be linked to the Bichon family of dogs.

The Coton is not widely recognized by the public, but is quickly increasing in popularity. The CKC, UKC, FCI and the Coton de Tuléar Club each maintain separate standards for the breed.

The breed has a medium-length fluffy coat which feels like cotton. The coat is required to be white in some standards, but lemon, light brown, or gray markings are allowed. The Coton de Tuléar Club allows for six colors: white, black and white, tri-color, honey bear, ferret, and black. It can weigh anywhere from 8 to 18 pounds according the various breed standards and typically stands from 8.5 to 12 inches tall, but the rare Tall Coton can stand up to 17 inches tall.

The eyes of the Coton are dark, round and wide set, and its expression happy. Its ears are high-set and triangular. It has tight lips that are typically the same color as its nose. The Coton’s neck, chest, and legs are strong, and the tail tapers.

The Coton de Tuléar is clearly meant to be a companion; it is a playful, loving breed which is prone to separation anxiety. It can be shy around those it doesn’t know, but still enjoys being around people, and thrives to please them. The breed tends to be very vocal and is wonderful with other dogs.

The breed is fairly high maintenance, and needs daily grooming. It needs to be bathed once monthly. The Coton needs regular exercise and enjoys playing often.

The breed is generally healthy with no prevalent genetic diseases. Occasionally the Coton de Tuléar has stomach problems, but it is typically pretty healthy and lives to be between 14 and 18 years of age.

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