Coton de Tulear: Characteristics, Temperament, Grooming & Health

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The coton de tulear dog is an intelligent and happy companion. According to the United States Coton de Tulear Club, the breed once survived in packs in the wild on the island of Madagascar. Also known as the royal dog of Madagascar, this breed has served as a lapdog to nobility before eventually being taken off of the island. If you are looking for a small dog with moderate exercise needs, this elegant dog may be for you. You may see this dog's name spelled as the dog breed cotton, with two t's, but that's not the official name.


Coton de tulear characteristics

The small coton de tulear size means that these dogs will fit right into your apartment or home. Female dogs grow 9 to 10 inches tall and weigh 8 to 13 pounds. The males are slightly larger, growing 10 to 11 inches tall and weighing 9 to 15 pounds.


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The breed is a member of the American Kennel Club's non-sporting group. The breed has a sturdy build with a body that is slightly longer than it is tall. Dogs have long white hair that, as the name implies, is cotton soft. They have rounded eyes and triangular-shaped ears that fall down the dog's cheek to the level of her lips. The coton de tulear has black pigmentation on the nose, lips, and around the eyes.


Coton de tulear temperament & training

Breed is not a reliable indicator of personality, however, the coton dog breed is often described as happy-go-lucky. They are joyful and amusing companions. The breed is also easygoing, so with proper care and exercise, you won't need to worry that they will be too demanding.


The coton de tulear dog can be territorial, so early socialization and obedience training are critical. They are easy to train with positive reinforcement and be sure to keep training sessions interesting to hold the dog's attention.

Coton de tulear grooming

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Coton de tulear dogs only shed occasionally but still need to be groomed frequently. Start brushing puppies young to acclimate them to the process. Adult dogs should be brushed out daily, ensuring you remove all tangles and knots. A spray conditioner can help you comb out and prevent knots.


The breed does not need professional hair cuts but if her fur gets matted, you may have to shave her. Keep her nails trimmed and check and clean her ears a couple of times per week.


Coton de tulear exercise & health

A bored coton de tulear can be a destructive force in your household. Regular daily walks or games of fetch are sufficient to meet the dog's exercise needs. Obedience training and agility are good ways to keep things interesting for you and the dog.


Some members of the breed have a tendency to be overweight. Exercise will help prevent this as well as feeding high-quality dog food in the amount recommended by your veterinarian. Avoid feeding people food and limit treats.

Genetic health problems are rare in this breed. Hip dysplasia and eye conditions sometimes occur and should be tested for by responsible breeders. Other rare conditions include spinal disc disease and luxating patella.


Coton de tulear puppies

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A puppy coton de tulear won't reach her full size until 12 months of age. At three months, female puppies weigh 3.4 to 4.9 pounds. Male puppies at the same age weigh 3.9 to 5.8 pounds. By the time they reach six months, female pups weigh 6.2 to 8.8 pounds while males weigh 7.1 to 10.5 pounds.



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