Coton De Tulear


A small Coton De Tulear
Coton De Tulear Quick Summary
Also Known As
Height (at withers)8.5-12in (22-30cm)
Weight8-13lbs (3.5-6kg)
Hair Colour(s)White, brown
Lifespan16-20 years
Energy LevelMedium
Litter size3-6
Barking TendencyHigh
Exercise requirementsMedium
Ease of trainingHigh
Suitability for kidsHigh
Animal compatabilityMedium
Aggression levelsLow
Distress if leftHigh

The Coton de Tulear is a small dog with an expressive face. The body is of moderate length with awell developed chest reaching below the elbows, a strong and slightly arched back, a muscular loin, straight legs and a low-set tapering tail. The round head has high-set triangular ears, large and round dark eyes and a black nose. The coat is soft and medium to long and the colouring varies but includes white, white with light brown spots, black and white, and black.


Coton de Tulears are affectionate and playful little dogs with large personalities. These lively dogs make great companions and family pets but can become very attached to people, which can often lead to separation anxiety as they do not like being left alone. They are also quite entertaining and can have a habit of jumping up and walking on their hind legs in order to please, and they are quite vocal, and wll grunt and make other noises when having fun. They can need early socialisation to prevent timid tendencies, and as they are intelligent they are easy to train and so are suited to both novice and experienced owners alike. Coton de Tulears get along well with older, more considerate children, and love to play. They are generally okay around other pets as they have low prey drives, and are often reserved around strangers.

History & Skills

Coton de Tulears originate from Madagascar and are named both after the port of Tulear and their cotton-textured coats. Now the island's National Dog, they were brought there by pirates in the 16th and 17th centuries, who possbily used them for companionship and to kill rats, and became a companion dog of the Merina (the ruling tribe) in Madagascar. They are thought to be related to the now extinct Bichon Tenerife and Tenerife Terrier. These days they make good companions but are relatively rare.

Breed Specific Ailments

Coton de Tulears tend to live between 16-20 years and are a pretty healthy breed due to relatively little inbreeding. Some of the health concerns that have been noted include heart problems, liver shunts, spinal problems and eye problems.


Coton de Tulears are low shedders and so are suitable for those suffering from allergies. Their grooming requirements however are relatively high and the coat will need brushing on a daily basis and bathing once a month or so. If not brushed daily their coats tend to matt up pretty quickly and may require shaving.

Exercise & Environment

Coton de Tulears tend to live indoors and will need a short daily walk and access to a yard or garden area for play. They are relatively adaptable and will also enjoy longer hikes too.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)

Breed Clubs

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Owners Gallery

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