Coton de Tuléars Breed Information
The Coton de Tulear (pronounced Cah-tohn deh Tu-lay-ahr) are a rare ancient purebred originating from the island of Madagascar, off the coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. The breed standard describes a medium- to long-hair, fluffy, cotton-like coat that is hair rather than fur. They are a non-shedding breed with low dander and are considered hypo-allergenic.
The breed was revived from extinction, and Madagascar has now banned the export of these amazing animals. They are very special and excedingly rare creatures.
The Coton de Tulear's name is a tribute to their their cotton-like coat and the port of Tulear, now also known as Toliara, the capital of the Atsimo-Andrefana region in Madagascar.
The Coton is a playful, affectionate, and intelligent breed. Known for their happy, stable, and sociable personality, they become strongly attached to people. Most Cotons love meeting new people and are very curious in new situations. The dogs are very trainable with praise. Cotons are great with kids and love to play. Many claim the Coton is "the anti-depressant dog." They are calm and yet very confident. They will pat their paws on the floor and perform humorous antics, like a big dog in a small body. Coton dogs are hardy, robust, enthusiastic and celebrate your homecoming after separations. They exude happiness and harmony and even though they love their family to pieces, they also have an independent spirit.
The Coton de Tulear developed on the island of Madagascar and remains the island's national dog. The ancestors to the Cotons were brought to Madagascar as companion dogs in the 15th and 16th centuries by European merchants. The Coton is of the Bichon dog type, linked most closely to the Bichon Tenerife, and Tenerife Terrier. The Coton de Tulear was never feral on Madagascar, they were a companion dog of the Merina (the ruling tribe) in Madagascar. They have very little prey drive, and were not a hunting dog.
In the 17th century, the Coton de Tulear was adopted by the ruling "Merina" tribal monarchy, and it was forbidden that anyone other than royalty own the breed. When Dr. Robert Jay Russell brought the breed to America from Madagascar after discovering them in 1973, he coined the phrase the Royal Dog of Madagascar and the name stuck.
The Coton de Tulear was first formally recognized as a breed by the Societe Centrale Canine (the French national kennel club) in 1970, and was accepted by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, which published the breed standard in 1972. The Coton de Tuléar is recognised internationally through the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, and is also recognized by major kennel clubs; The Kennel Club (UK) in the Toy Group, and the United Kennel Club (US) in the Companion Group, using standards based on the Fédération Cynologique Internationale standard.