Coton de Tulear

The Coton De Tulear is a dog breed that originated in Madagascar. It is known for its fluffy and soft coat that is very cotton-like. These dogs are very playful and loving and those are the characteristics that make them the best possible family pets out there. They have an extremely sweet nature and are known to follow their humans like shadows.

Coton owners like to say that these dogs are able to “talk” to you. That means that the Coton tilts their head when you speak to them and most of the time they will try to answer you with barking.

They are somewhat related to the famous Maltese and Bichon Frise and are named after their cotton-like coat and the Madagascar port named Tulear. These dogs are fairly intelligent, enjoy a good bit of company, and have a coat that is actually easy to take care of. Most of the dogs from the Bichon family are high maintenance but the Coton de Tulear’s coat is easy to maintain. Brushing and bathing will be more than enough to keep their coat healthy and pretty. They can be pretty active if you give them enough exercise or enroll them in dog sports. They have a strong desire to please so they naturally do well in sports like agility or obedience.

Coton de Tulear


9-11 in (23-28 cm)

Coton de Tulear


8-15 lb (3,5-7 kg)

Coton de Tulear



Coton de Tulear

Life Expectancy:

15-19 years

Breed History

Coton de Tulear dogs originate from Madagascar island. There are two theories about what these dogs did back in the day: one of them says that Coton de Tulear dogs were used as ratters on ships and the other that they accompany ladies on the sea. Their sweet temperament allowed these dogs to spread all over the world and today they are extremely popular.

Dog Breed Characteristics

Energy Level
Grooming Needs
Exercise Needs
Kid Friendly
Dog Friendly
General Health

FCI standard

This breed is fully registered and accepted by all 98 members of the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) and all of the 98 national cynology associations adapted the FCI standard for the breed. The FCI standard describes these dogs as having a lively and intelligent expression. These dogs are a small companion breed and that is what they excel at. Coton De Tulear is placed in Group 9 (Companion and Toy Dogs) Section 1.2 (Coton de Tuléar). These dogs are not required to undergo a working trial. This standard has a required size for these dogs and it is 10 - 12 in (25-30 cm) for males and 8,5 - 10,5 in (22 - 27 cm) for females.

They were registered by the FCI on the 2nd of November 1970.

coton de tulear with toy


Coton De Tulear has a beautiful long, soft, and thick coat that can be described as fluffy. These dogs have a white coat although it can have some shadings of light grey or red roan. Coton De Tulear dogs shed a little and mostly in spring. To avoid tangles and matting weekly brushing is required. With regular brushing, your dog will look at his best all the time.

Brush their teeth at least three times a week to prevent tartar buildup and infections. Make sure you use products that are made especially for dogs as human products could potentially harm them. Trim their nails if they don’t wear them down naturally. A good indication is if you can hear them clicking on the floor while they walk. Clean their ears and check for signs of redness or infections. Use a cotton cloth and never insert anything in their ear canal. You can always check with your Vet about the products you should use and the proper technique.


Coton de Tulear dogs are medium active and they will need a proper amount of daily activities to be happy. Playing with his owner in the house, chasing the ball, or just walks can all do the trick and keep this dog satisfied. If you provide him with enough daily activities you don’t have to worry that your dog will miss behaving.


Like any other dog breed, the Coton de Tulear requires early socialization. It is essential to ensure that your dog doesn’t become shy or aggressive. Expose your dog to many different people, dogs, sights, and situations to secure a well-rounded dog. Take your dog to dog parks where they can meet other dogs and people. They can learn to react accordingly and understand that they don’t need to be scared of strangers and other dogs. I

Coton de Tulear and kids

Coton de Tulears are excellent family dogs that will get along with every family member including children. Take note that kids need to be taught how to properly play and interact with a dog so Coton de Tulear can enjoy their company. If they are raised together from an early age they will be their playing parting and they will enjoy spending time together.

They are more suitable for older kids who know how to properly play with a small dog and who will not hurt the dog during play.

Coton de Tulear and other animals

They will get along with just about any breed and with dogs of both sexes. They prefer human company abut they will get along with all animals. If you are absent during the day and your dog will be alone it is advised that you have company for Coton e Tulear dogs.

Health problems

Like any other dog breed, the Coton de Tulear can potentially develop health problems. If you are buying a dog, make sure the breeder can provide you with the necessary health tests and guarantees. Always ask to see the results of tests from the puppy’s parents. The health problems these dogs are associated with are: 

  • Hip dysplasia - Genetic problem affecting hips resulting from an improperly formed hip joint.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy - Group of diseases that affect the retina and cause it to deteriorate over time.
  • Luxating patella

The Coton de Tulear is generally considered a very healthy breed that can live 15-19 years

Coton De Tulear breeders

It is extremely important that the new puppy you get is in the best possible condition - both physically and mentally. That means that you should find a responsible and reputable Coton de Tulear breeder. A good breeder will always answer all your questions about these dogs and will help you decide which puppy is the best fit for you and your lifestyle.

Buying a dog from such a breeder will provide you with a healthy puppy who will not have health and temperament problems. These dogs became very popular, and many unethical and bad breeders started to breed these dogs to earn money without worrying about puppy health, temperament, and well-being.

Buying a dog from a responsible breeder will cost you more money, but you can be sure that you will get a healthy puppy. If you are unable to buy a dog, we advise you to search for local animal shelters because there is a chance you can find a Coton de Tulear dog in it.

If you devote your time and energy to this dog, you can be sure that you will end up with a companion for life.


World Dog Finder team


Updated at28.06.2020.