Coton de Tulear
The Coton de Tulear (pronounced coTAWN day two-LEE are) is a purebred companion dog. The Coton is a small delightful, non-shedding cotton ball, with round dark eyes, rimmed in black, and sparkling with intelligence. The lips are also rimmed in black, and are most often smiling. With a medium length muzzle, which is tipped with a prominent black nose, the Coton stands about a foot from the shoulder and is about a third longer than tall, and weighs no more than fifteen pounds. In France, the Coton is called "petite marionette" (little Puppet) owing to its brilliant liveliness. A happy, alert companion, they quickly bond with their masters, and are quite content to sleep on your feet or snuggle in your lap.
The Coton de Tulear is predominately white and many have a few yellow , black or brown patches. The ears can be tipped with yellow patches more or less dark, a mixture of yellow and black, or black hair giving the impression of grey. Cotons come in a variety of colors and all make great companions. Some puppies are born with heavy markings, these markings fade, as the Coton reaches adulthood.
Genetic Defects and Life Span
Cotons are hearty dogs with a life span of fourteen to nineteen years. They are rarely sick and few genetic defects have been reported. Although they are very resilient and love to play in the rain and snow, they are strictly an inside dog.
The Coton de Tulear earned its name from its unique cotton-like hair. Its dry, wind-tossed coat is probably the easiest to care for of long hair breeds. The hair is about four to six inches long, and when wet, dries quickly. There is no shedding, and seldom bothers people with allergies. Brushing is necessary, as the hair will mat. Gentle brushing 3 or 4 times a week with a special pin brush (without balls at the end of the pins which tear and damage the coat) will help alleviate matting that can occur especially behind the ears, legs and elbow region. Particular attention will be needed with the coat between the age of 9 to l4 months when the adult hair is coming in. Matting can be at its highest during that time. Besides the fact that the dog will love the attention if introduced to grooming as a puppy, less bathing will be required. If you need to bathe the dog, make sure to use an appropriate shampoo for the Coton coat and its hair. How often to bathe depends upon many factors and your own individual choice. There is not a haircut for the Coton and scissoring is not permitted for show dogs. The coat should maintain its natural wind-tossed look. A puppy cut is fine for low maintenance of older dogs or pets, but never for a show dog.