The Coton de Tulear was recognised by the FCI in 1971, and AT comes from Madagascar. It is Coton because of the cotton-like hair, and most of the dogs was found around the harbour Tulear. That is why the name of these marvellous dogs is Coton de Tulear. The Coton de Tulear is the member of the bichon family (bichon frise, bolognese, maltese, havanese, lowchen, and coton) and the breed originated from the Maltese-looking bichons, who was carried on big ships at the beginning of the 1500s, and because of disasters, they got to the island Madagascar. There they met many different dogs who were living in the wild forests. They fell in love and lived happily in a big freedom and had a lot of puppies.
At the beginning of the 19th century rich French dukes started to breed these little dogs, and it was allowed to keep this breed only for the royal family and very rich friends of the king.It's only at the beginning of the 20th century that the colonists started to be interested in this little dog who succeed in seducing by his character and his physique.The Coton de Tulear is happy and playful member of the family. He is very intelligent and clever, thanks to the living in the wild forests of Madagascar, where they had to escape from the snakes, from the big alligators and from other dangerous animals. There are lots of legends how they managed to pass the rivers with full of alligators. When a group of dogs arrived to the river, one dog ran a little bit further from the others on the edge of the river and started to bark. All of the alligators went to the noising dog, so the whole group could easily swim across the river. When they arrived to the other side, they started to bark, so the last coton could also join to the group.
The Coton is full of energy, after a long walk he can bring you his favorite toy, hoping to have more fun though he is never disturbing or making you nervous. They are also good alarm dogs, but they don't bark without reason, just sign you the strange things. They only bark if they have a good reason for it. If they recognise some noises, they won't bark.
The Coton de Tulear is a very intelligent breed, they learn everything quickly and easily. Loving the whole family, he will be the best friend of any kind of other pets (dogs, cats...etc).
The Cotons are strong, vivacious, devoted, loving, dynamic and healthy dogs, love long walks. They are small enough to go everywhere with you (restaurant, hotel, office, cabin of the airplane...etc.) but also big enough to take part in every kind of family activities.
They love to travel with the family! If you want, they play with you in the garden all day long, and go for big walks with you, but if you want, they sleep on your lap or on the sofa all day long if you have a "lazy-day".
The hair of the Coton de Tulear must be groomed regularly, but it is not so difficult. You just have to check every week (with a brush and a comb) that there are no knots and mats in the coat of the dog, a quick combing and that is all.
The coat is mostly white, but champagne, light brown, or grey marks (especially on the head) are very usual. Many puppies are born with dark brown or black marks, but as maturing, these marks are getting lighter and lighter, and in most cases totally disappear. Sometimes the colours stay, even if the dog is full grown already, depending on the depth of the colour at birth:
Regarding allergies, many websites are stating that cotons are non-shedding and hypo-allergenic dogs, but this is not true in every meaning. They do shed, just like all other furry animals on this planet, but of course not as much as a retriever or a sheepdog.
If you have allergy to all kind of doghair, including the silky, hair-like fur of the yorkshire terrier and maltese, you will have problems with the cotons, too. But many people are only having allergy for short and medium size doghair (retrievers, rottweilers, spaniels...etc), and have no problem with the silky, hair-like coated dogs (yorkie, maltese, shihtzu, bichon...etc), in this case the coton can be a good choice.
The Coton de Tulear is recommended for every person, he will give you his joy of living and will make forget all your worries. He has enough to distract the most blasé people and to cheer up the most depressed because his spontaneity and generous cheerfulness is madly communicative.
They are very sociable with everyone, small and big, dogs and cats. The coton de tulears are happy to live, and make everybody happy who meets them.