Conflicting Info on the Coton de Tulear

by Emma
(Canada)

I am not currently able to get a dog right now, but am searching for the right breed. Out of all the breeds I've seen, the Coton De Tulear is the cutest and one that would fit our lifestyle the most.


The only thing is, I'm hearing a lot of conflicting information. I've been told that Coton De Tulears are both good at being house broken (for a small dog with a small bladder) and bad at being house broken. I've heard that the grooming is relatively easy and that the grooming is a daily struggle (though I am unsure if this is only for Coton's without a short haircut like your Luc). What have you heard about this?

Also, I keep on hearing that a black Coton De Tulear is "unacceptable". I'm not sure if that's just for shows or in general. Does that mean that they're rarer then the white/whitetan/whiteblack ones? That they're not wanted/desirable? (and would it be cheaper to get a black one if possible?) Or does it mean something else?

One last question: from your experience, is it true that there isn't as much of a wet dog smell on Cotons?

Thank you for the useful information, and your dog Luc is ADORABLE :)

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Feb 20, 2017
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Grooming Coton Issues NEW
by: Anonymous

I thought after reading a lot about Cotons that they were easy to groom. My puppy, however was/is not. He hated being brushed, although working with him over the last 4 months he has gotten to like it a bit better. I let him chew a bully stick while I brush and comb him. I even purchased and use the wood pin brush (he likes the tiny tot size) and the butter comb. Only brushes he will permit me to use.

I'm not sure about others, but I have to brush him every day to keep him matt free (at least as a puppy). I plan to always keep him in a long coat. Cutting their hair sort of defeats the beauty and look of the Coton.

We absolutely adore him (7 months), but it was quite challenging in the beginning.


Apr 12, 2014
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the truth about black cotons
by: Anonymous

Genetics will, from time to time produce an all black Coton. It's in the gene pattern of the breed. It has happened in the breeding programs of some of the most reputable breeders of the breed. They are still bonafide Coton de Tulear! Just as there are dapple dachshunds, White mottled Yorkies, etc., a standard for any pure breed zeros in on preserving the form and function of the breed's historical origins. It's no doubt that down the line, a black Coton, even predominantly black with white patches, and combinations thereof are going to continue to emerge. It is not common, however not unheard of, either. It all goes with pairings, recessive and dominant genes, loci and anomalies. Their gene for color dilution is one of the breed's hallmark and therefore protected, high in priority among the breed's avid preservationists, since it is from color in pups that would have served as camouflage from predators in the wild, and into adulthood, to dilute out to predominantly white coat to not only protect from the hot sun's rays, but the texture would remain as cotton for insects to fail in their attempt to get down to the skin. A black coat would not serve those purposes and its texture would change as well. It would get a heavier,and probably feel a tad on the silky side, which defeats the purpose of a Coton having an absence of oils, again to detract from burning in the hot, sun-beaten climates of the malagasy beaches and highlands. Black Coton are just manifestations of whatever breeding combinations went before, as it takes awareness of color patterns, knowledge of dominance in genetics and a desire to preserve the qualities that served the form and function of the Coton in their native land over human fashion. Even with the best of breeding practices, one does come through just so nature can remind us who is really in control! Your Coton is a coton, bar none. His genetic propensity to dilute that color has been lost somewhere along the lines. It doesn't make him any less of a Coton, just not one to add to the gene pool for preservation purposes. love him and enjoy him! he doesn't care about his color combinations as he is licking you to pieces!!

Feb 26, 2014
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Training & acceptability of the black coated Coto
by: Anonymous

Wow.....I have to say this: It is EXTREMELY difficult to get ANY Coton de Tulear breeder in ANY country who will tell you that a solid black coated Coton with white markings is in any way, shape, or form..... Ever Be ACCEPTED or recognized AS A VIABLE COTON DE TULEAR breed. They will tell you it is impossible to have any coat color but white...some creme....maybe a patch of black or brown on the coats etc....but because early on the Aristocracy bred the color out so white would be the dominant color....it is impossible to have a coat of black. Yet......we have a black coated Coton with white hairs on chin & chest. He has the flat shaped head....the adorable small face/snout....the tail that curls over the back....the beautiful cottony coat that does not separate but is full and fluffy. And he looks just like all the posted beautiful white coated Cotons on the internet by recognized breeders. Who cares? We love him and in the end....after all the arguing back and forth...we will still tell anyone who asks...He's a rare Coton De Tulear!!! Potty training....easy! Small crate with adjustable sizing devider. Potty mats in front....small bed in back. When they pee on the mat....take pee mat outside on grass...same place...then remove mat from grass after several potty sessions. Put puppy in same place...they pee...the smell is there...take out often!!!! Potty training over! Coton r smart! Riding in car....take in car EVERY day...even if around block...gradually take on longer drives....Car trained! Takes patience and a steady schedule of doing training every day. Hope this helped! Shrank

Jan 03, 2014
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Black cotons
by: Anonymous

I rescued my black white gray coton at 8 months old... We love him to death but he has been a real challenge ... he is almost 4 and is finally totally trained...When we first got him from the "BREEDER "..he did not know what grass was or even how to get up our one step stair into the house.... He has been a real challenge as he doesn't like anyone but me... His mom...he tolerates my husband and cuddles up to him at night but I know it is only to protect me .... He loves water...does "pretty dance" on his hind legs and seems to have the traits of a coton but we really don't know.. His legs are a lot longer than most of the cotons I have seen... I would recommend to get this breed only as a puppy so he can be socialized....this is very important...our Paco is the love of my life

Jun 14, 2013
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Coton de Tulear Potty Training
by: Anonymous

I have a 7 year old Coton. He was potty trained at 12 weeks. They are a very clean breed and if the owner starts early, they are very easy to potty train. We have a doggie door and Polo used it the minute we brought him home from the breeder. We travel all the time and he will go potty on command even in in-climate weather!
The do not have a doggie smell, but we take Polo to the beach and sailing and if he's wet, he will have a "slight" wet smell.
This is truly the best breed in the world. I could sell a trunk load every time I take our Coton somewhere.

May 17, 2013
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Coat Colors of the Coton de Tulear
by: Anonymous

Well this is a age old problem with the Coton de Tulear. If you do the research/history of the breed you will find that the Europeans began importing this rare breed in the early 1950's. Europeans began asking the FCI [ largest dog kennel registry in the world, but not offered in the USA] in the 1960's to accept the Coton de Tulear into their club. The breed was accepted fully by the FCI in 1970. Long before Americans had many of the breed. In all of Europe, Finland, Iceland, Argentina, Canada and Brazil the solid coat colors of black, tan and brown are unheard of in the past or current date. The American version of the breed has changed the look and colors of the coat of the Coton de Tulear. There is a large number of breeders now in the USA that have the solid coat colors and there is no way possible the breed has coat colors other than a base coat of white. Tri colors are pure bred, but their coat fades as they mature. Most of the color coats found today are a mix breed. This is my experience after numerous years of resarching the breed before I adopted my fist Coton in 1999. It is common place for Americans to change breeds, other countries do not get inovlved in the designer/mixed breeds.

Aug 05, 2011
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Info
by: Ashley

I've read a lot of conflicting information as well, but I've learned quite a bit by being a new owner of my pure black coton, Lola.

House breaking isn't so awful, you just have to kennel train, and take them outside AS SOON as you get back, or wake up. Then lots of praise when she potties outside. Also wait for her to go poop, it may take a while, but in the long run, you and your coton will be much happier. And always take her to the same spot!

And grooming seems to be no problem, I just run a comb through her coat once a day. Takes a whole two minutes at most. So no big deal.

And yes black cotons are rare, and many qualified breeders will sell them at a cheaper rate because of their inability to be shown. But watch out, unqualified phony breeders will make you ooooh and awwww at the beautiful rare black coat and attempt to squander money out of you. I've seen black cotons for ad much as 2500. A complete rip off! But my black coton was a reasonable 700.

To be honest, I love white cotons best, but black is SO much easier to clean. (can't tell when theyre dirty!) haha oh and no cotons don't smell bad! I bathe mine every two weeks however. But they DO have a slight wet puppy smell after a bath.

Hope this helps!! -Ashley

Nov 08, 2010
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Conflicting info
by: Anonymous

We have a 2 year old supposedly purebred Coton we rescued as a puppy. I think a lot of conflicting information comes about because when you rescue a dog you have no idea about ancestry.

Cooper is a great dog, and we love him to death. However, much that I have read about Cotons does not apply to him. He is not a good apartment dog. He is a barker and when he feels like barking he does. We live in a condo and people have complained about his shrill barking more than once. We have tried everything short of a shock collar to discourage this. I'm sure he thinks his name is "quiet!" rather than Cooper.

He needs lots and lots of exercise. A fast paced one hour walk will leave him panting for about ten minutes and then he is ready to go again. He does not like children (who,naturally,love him) and will bark ferociously at them. He seems frightened of all black dogs for some reason we cannot understand. He has to be where ever I am and if I go out for even an hour or two, he will lay in front of the door until I return.

He is quite prone to skin allergies and we must feed him a very expensive dog food and giver him Omega 3 caps to keep him from constant scratching. His coat was a nightmare for the first two years but has seemed to thin some as he gets older and is much easier to take care of.

Even though he was well socialized as a puppy, he does not take to new people. He torments our cats constantly and sometimes fiercely. He licks non-stop, everything from my arms, neck and legs to his own body.

With all this said, one look in those big brown eyes and your heart melts. When he is good he is funny, smart (sometimes too smart) loving and a delight to be around. He loves to do tricks and show off. I can't imagine my life without him.

Oct 27, 2010
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my coton
by: Anonymous

Just from having my coton, My coton is 14 weeks old and I have no problem brushing his hair. his hair is getting longer now, but I find if I brush it everyday at least once, I have no problems. he does not get matted, he loves to have his hair brushed.

Potty training is now a different story. He knows to take a poo outside and will sit and bark at the door when he needs one. But a wee he will go and sit by the door and if you do not see him he will wee in the house, but I do keep paper on the kitchen floor in case of mistakes.

I don't know too much about the color of a Coton but I would think the color of the dog would not make his personality. Just because it is black does not mean it will be cheaper. They are a rare breed therefore are expencive dogs. But My coton is the best thing I could do for our home he is loving and kind. the perfect addition to our home. Hope this helps a little


Oct 02, 2010
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Conflicting Coton Info
by: Gale

Emma, I agree with you about all the conflicting information available about this breed. Some of it is pure misinformation. For instance, there are several websites that report that the Coton only needs to be bathed once a year. Well, anyone with a Coton will tell you that's ridiculous.

But some of the conflicting info is just due to the fact that even within the same breed there are different dog traits, personalities, and experiences. Having said that, let's see if I can answer some of your questions - and I hope other Coton owners will chime in as well .

Housetraining - In my experience, my Coton was extremely easy to train, especially compared to other small dogs I've had. Like any dog, you have to put in the time in the beginning to make sure you've got a well trained dog. Cotons are smart and with proper training, this shouldn't be an issue.

Grooming - Because Luc has allergies and has periods where he scratches a lot, I have to keep in a puppy cut so he doesn't get matted. This is extremely low maintenance. Keeping the hair in the standard long hair doesn't have to be a struggle, but it does require regular brushing. My dog actually loves to be brushed and it's a great way to bond with your dog. The grooming costs can be a factor if you go to a professional groomer every 4-6 weeks.

Black Cotons - The unacceptable status you hear about comes from the show ring. Even that is not all across the board. The CTCA welcomes the all three color varieties of the breeds, but apparently the French do not accept any black markings. Of course, if you don't show your dog, it's not an issue. The black Cotons do seem harder to find and often the black markings will fade or even go away completely by the age of 2.

Wet dog smell - I've read that the Coton is not a "smelly" dog and I can definitely attest to that.

Good luck with your Coton search. Because there's a lot of conflicting info, make sure to ask your breeder lots of questions. Here are some sample breeder questions that may help.




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