Tips for Coton de Tulear coat problems or coat changes

by Lana
(NYC, USA)

Never in my life have I read so many books about dogs & grooming like I do now. My Cotons are 6 months apart - a boy - Gio & a girl - Natasha. They look spectacular all the time. It takes a lot of love & effort to keep them looking that way. After few unfortunate visits to different professional grooming salons I made a firm decision to learn how to take care of my Cotons myself. Not an easy decision, but they SO worth it.


When it comes to brushing puppies it was a lot of fun. Later on they reach the coat-changing time & I felt like crying while brushing them...with all the best brushes in the world I still was struggling to do it right. I could not bare the thought of shaving them or cutting their beautiful coat to a short one.

The key is to keep the coat clean."A healthy coat is a clean coat," -Sandra Bearden-. I cannot stress it enough. I did not want to dry out the coat of my dogs & was afraid to wash them too often. My mistake!

The trick is to see when your dog is starting to develop mats - it's a warning for you - get him/her washed, do not use too much shampoo(to use 1/2 shampoo + 1/2 water mixed in the bottle, spray it on the moist coat), never put shampoo directly on the dog's skin.

Isle of Dogs - No. 10 Evening Primrose Oil Shampoo or No. 16 White Coat Evening Primrose are great!

Rinse a few times & spray your favorite coat conditioner, (1/2water+1/2 conditioner mixed)- make it feel like a mist. I use Isle of Dogs - No. 51 Heavy Management Conditioner. Rinse many times!

Before using your favorite plushy towel - spray Chris Cristensen - "Ice on Ice Concentrate" - also mixed with water as directed on the bottle. Do not rinse!

Find professional towels if you can - they absorb more water. Let the long coat dry a little.

Brushing is next with good demating spray:
"The Stuff" - Silicon Dog Conditioner and Detangler
Kelco "DeMat" Dog Grooming Spray
CHERRY KNOLL "COAT DRESSING" - lately my favorite one!

Grooming can be Fun!
Lots of thanks to Sandra Bearden website, I learned so much. Here is the link:
http://www.cotondetulearbreedersclub.com/grooming.html

More detail to deal with coat change:
http://www.americancotons.com/files/File/The%20Dreaded%20Coat%20Change.pdf

Comments for Tips for Coton de Tulear coat problems or coat changes

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Jun 02, 2014
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My Coton does not have enough coat NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi everybody,
I have 3 month old Coton girl. I got her when she was 10 week old. I noticed then, that under her chin, when she will hold her head up, that her coat is not that full, i can see her skin on her neck under chin. Is this normal? She is still small puppy, but....Please someone tell me.

Jul 22, 2013
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Matting NEW
by: Coton Mama

Ok, so My Coton girl is 15 months old now and was fixed about 2 months ago, her hair has changed dramatically.

I was able to wash her and dry her without any complications... But the last 2 or 3 times , she's matted up horribly! I am talking about the entire side of her body matting up right next to the skin.

Has anyone else had this happen? I am going to buy the Ice on Ice and the other detangler mentioned here but is there anything else recommended??

OH! And I completely brush and comb her out before I wash her. Now I'm terrified to wash her for fear of this happenning again. (I had to take her to professionals to get the matting out)

Nov 12, 2012
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Thank You
by: Gale

Lana, thanks so much for taking the time to update us on how to care for our babies, especially during this crazy time after the storm. I know you (and many other wonderful visitors to this site) live on the east coast and hope you haven't suffered too much damage.

Nov 07, 2012
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May God keep us all safe & warm!
by: Lana

Dear Coton owners,
I hope everyone was safe during the Sandy storm. So many devastating & heart braking stories ...elderly, children, dogs & all of us are still trying to get back to normal life, one day at a time. May God keep us all safe & warm!
The streets are still very dirty all over NY, NJ, Long Island, and Staten Island which makes it almost impossible to keep our beloved white Cotons clean. But we try.
Not all products work the same way for Cotons, what works for my dogs might not be perfect for yours, but I would like to share one great product that is on the top of my list after Hurricane Sandy storm:
Nature's Specialties Quicker Slicker Detangle & Condition- spray
Nature's Specialties Plum Silky Shampoo & Conditioner
Works 100% for my Cotons, so easy to brush out matts/tangles even if you did not brush your dog for a while due to the storm.
God Bless all Rescue teams ... God Bless You All!
God Bless America!

Sep 20, 2012
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Thanks
by: Deede

Thank you so much for the information on the brushes, etc. I have bookmarked the page until I make my purchase.

Sep 19, 2012
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New Grooming Products & mats
by: Lana

I read how much people struggle to brush their Cotons and hope you will not give up at some point & cut amazing Coton De Tulear coat …So sad.
Yes, brushing could be challenging & frustrating if you do not have right tools.It takes 10-15 min daily to keep Coton’s coat tangles free.
If you read about the history of the breed you will see that common people did not have the privilege of having a Coton for a long time, only ruling tribe in Madagascar was able to enjoy this wonderful dog.

I realize we live in 2012 but considering how much love & joy we all get from Cotons maybe it’s time to step up and be worthy of being called Coton De Tulear Owner.
Little Cotons does not like PINS brushes, even great ones. Be gentle with your little puppy, buy him/her a good Wood pin brush. Oblong Wood Pin brush works better for me & a couple of my friends who has long haired dogs like Havanese & Cotons. See link below:

Brush your dog for FUN when he/she is little, the idea is to get them feel safe & comfortable during grooming sessions. Let them sniff the brush first. Tell them how much you love them, kiss them, whatever it takes… have their favorite treat in your hand...

Make no mistake pin brushes could be very painful, if you have no clue how to use them, don’t. Try every brush on your skin before you brush Coton. Never touch Coton’s skin ever.
That is shy I got Les Poochs Pin brush for puppies(Yellow) – it does not let you come close to the skin even if you try. I use Wood pin on a regular basis & Les Poochs after bath when the coat is almost dry. Les Poochs Pin brush has 2 sides: 45 degree - Straight Pins – easy to separate hair – other side - Slicker Pins - help to pull out mats fast & easy.

I also have DeMatting Les Poochs - Red brush – but my dogs does not like it. Yellow Puppy Brush does the job.Even though Puppy bruch is soft enough - still it is a PIN brush – be careful, please.

I always search for new/better products. Let me update you:
After Bath Spectrum 10 Conditioner by Cris Christensin – good but not great.
Spectrum 10 Hypro Pac Intensive Treatment – good one – must be used not too often – very creamy, help to deal with mats, making brushing sessions easy. I would not use it more then ones a month.
Thick N Thicker Volume Response Foaming Protein – is great – must dilute it with water, same way as Concentrate. Coat feels so soft & very easy to brush for weeks !

See link below:
http://www.lespoochs.com/brushDetail.asp?inpItemCode=BS%25
http://www.groomerstore.com/dog-brushes.aspx?page=2
http://www.showdogstore.com/search.aspx?find=Thick+N+Thicker+Volume+Response+Foaming+Protein

Hope it would help to keep long coat for your Coton.

Aug 08, 2012
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Wow!
by: Tara

Does anybody else bathe once a week or is that ONLY with LONG hair?


Aug 08, 2012
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Bath every week
by: Deede

I really do bathe him once a week unless we're on the road and I can't do it. We've got two other dogs and they all run and play a lot. I try to brush him everyday, but that doesn't always happen. After about a week those mats start creeping in and I don't dare let them get any worse. The shampoo I use is used on show dogs that get bathed everyday so I don't worry about it being too harsh.

Aug 08, 2012
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Bath Once a Week ????
by: Tara

do you seriously have to wash this dog once a week?

Aug 08, 2012
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Love this thread
by: Deede

I'm so glad this thread is going. The comments, suggestions, and encouragement from everybody is a real boost ... plus knowing that I'm not the only one whose little angel requires so much time in keeping him mat-free. On most days, I feel like we're winning the battle. That's a real improvement! I use Coat Handler Maintenance Shampoo and Coat Handler Conditioner. Both are concentrates that you dilute way down with water. I'm amazed at how well the shampoo cleans in spite of producing very little suds. Gabry needs a bath about once a week and we're down to about an hour and a half total shampoo and brush-out time ... from 4 hours!

Aug 07, 2012
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hair/grooming
by: Marty

My Coton is a 20 month female who has a long, thin, fine coat. At an event I met someone with a male Coton that was fluffy and very full. Is there a difference in males and females?... what's up with the variance of coats... I seldom have matting and she is easy to maintain... are there different blood lines? Very curious!

Aug 01, 2012
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Happy for Desi & you
by: Lana

Dear Audrey,
I am so happy for you, some times it is not easy to keep Coton mat free especially in NY. It's great that you found a grooming place to take care of it.
I was away last month & was not able to meet you both, sorry. But we can do it if you have time.
My Gio's coat got very dry last month when I was away...& he got more mats then I need.
I purchased new Spectrum 10 Hypro Pac Intensive Treatment by Chris Christensen. It's not expensive. Plus we begin to take coat supplement - No. 91 Royal Jelly Coat - to keep health coat.
I will let you know if it works.
Keep in touch & good luck.



Jul 30, 2012
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GROOMING/MATTING
by: Anonymous

Lana, Thanks so much for the info you provided! Desi is about 1.5 years old. I had a groomer I trust take out the mats slowly and it did cost a fortune and I brought him in for two days, as she worked very slowly, but I cannot let him get like that again. it has been about two weeks now and i have been combing/brushing religiously. I did purchase the book from the breeder from Denmark (that was mentioned on this site), who advised a Mason Pearse brush as the last step of the brushing process. i purchased a similar type brush (that wasn't $190) and i do think this brush is important, as it seems to remove the lose hairs that get left in the coat and cause tangling. I am going to bathe him myself this week, and HOPE I don't create any mats in doing so...as mentioned he is mat free now. Wish me luck and thanks again for your thorough response!!

Jul 17, 2012
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Grooming Powder
by: Lana

Hey Tara,
Please talk to the breeder first, before using any coat products... you might never need to use grooming powder, just good coat conditioner & grooming spay.

http://www.groomerstore.com/Cherry-Knoll.aspx
http://www.showdogstore.com/
http://www.iodogs.com/
http://www.cherrybrook.com/

Cherry Knoll - Grooming Powder is good.

Good puppy shampoo & conditioner is more important for you at the beginning:
Isle of Dogs - No. 01 Evening Primrose Oil Puppy Shampoo
Isles of Dogs - No. 50 or No. 51 Conditioner
Chris Christensen - BUTTERCOMB FINE/COARSE & Pin Brushes - will help a lot.
Good Luck!

Jul 17, 2012
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Powder
by: Tara

This IS the BEST INFO EVER!!!

Can someone please tell me where and brand name of powder?

And, great news for me I have a confirmation the female Coton is pregnant. Coton puppies due Sept. 10th. Hopefully one little girl in there for me!!!

Yipee!!!

Jul 16, 2012
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Hope it works for Desi
by: Lana

Hi Audrey,
Unfortunately I did not find any Grooming Place I would like 100%. They all claimed they KNOW HOW...but
Time is Money - they will try to do it fast - meaning your dog will lose a lot of hair...& will have lots of pain during the process I am afraid.
I met some honest people at grooming place ones who opened up to me and explained that it is very time consuming to take care of any long haired dogs, especially Coton. The hair is fragile and soft.
It would take 5-6 hours just to brush Coton with tangles/mats, & it would cost a fortune...
Not many people can afford it, if you need to do it almost every week...while Coton is changing coat.
Let me know how old is your Desi?
How many tangles/mats... ?
How long ago was she brushed or groomed without trouble?
I understand that sometimes it looks like all mats pup out in one day...I've been there...If the hair is not crispy clean they build up pretty fast during the coat changing time.
I would get grooming powder right away, & comb out slowly one mat after the other, it might take time but you will never make the same mistake again...brush one inch at a time,if you have to, get a good comb.( BUTTERCOMB COMB FINE/COARSE)
I do not know how bad it is but I would try it anyway...sprinkle grooming power over tangle/mat, then try to separate it with your hands into 2-3 smaller pieces or you can use blunt scissors to cut it through into a small manageable piece.
Try to brush it out softly, do not pull.
Sprinkle more grooming powder if you have to. Some mats are stubborn.
Once Desi is combed & brushed she would need a bath right away with good shampoo & conditioner.
Shampoo cannot have Lanoline (check the label please!), it creates Mats...!!!
See my notes about bath...it's simple.
Every day counts now, please let me know...
Always happy to help.

Jul 16, 2012
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Hi Lana- Matting/Groomer Question
by: audrey

Lana,
I live in NYC (actually weehawken NJ, but do everything in the city). is there a groomer you recommend in manhattan who is familiar with the Coton I am having a tough time keeping up with the matting and would love to ask you more questions. Perhaps your cotons and mine (Desi) could meet up. I'm afraid even to bathe him now, and think I just need him to get groomed more regularly from a groomer. Thx!!

Audrey


Jul 14, 2012
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Great gooming video
by: Lana

Hello Peggy,
I know what you mean, it seems impossible to be prepared for everything but with generous help of the best Coton breeders & Coton lovers I feel we can do it.
From the start I wished to keep my Cotons look like Show Dogs - if you do not Show your dog there is no reason why he/she should not look like one.
The best part of being a Coton lover for me is I get to meet pretty amazing people while learning about the breed. Everyone is so generous to share video tips and priceless advice, it helps me a lot. Thank you ALL !!!
Thank you Gale for Coton-de-Tulear-Care.com! It's a great comfort to know that Coton-de-Tulear is loved by so many people.

Sometimes you need to visualize grooming step by step process, watch this amazing video: it helped me a lot:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekItvtSPJeM

Next video is great for your baby-Coton at home:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vasMz8pcueg

I think if you find right shampoo & conditioner before your Coton starts to change the coat - you win half the battle with tangles & mats...

Good luck!

Jul 14, 2012
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Great Info
by: Gale

Lana, thank you so much for sharing this wealth of information. This is going to help so many others who are struggling to find the best way to take care of this unique beautiful coat.

Jul 13, 2012
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Tange-free coat...
by: Lana

Hi Deede,
God bless you to taking care of the Coton rescue.
Grooming Power is a big help with mats. I wish I got my hand on it sooner.
When my dog started to change the coat nothing really helped as mush as the powder to brush out big mats for the first time. It worked! I did not have to trim the coat short & was very happy. Now I try to keep the coat fresh, clean & conditioned at all times – it does prevent new mats to build up…
Let Pooch brushes are pretty famous & they are great, I have one for puppies & one in case of mats: The Mat Zapper .
Here is the site: http://www.doodlecountry.com/
I can tell you how I fight mats when I see them: sprinkle grooming power over it, then try to separate it with your hands into 2-3 smaller pieces or you can use blunt scissors to cut it through into a small manageable mats.
Try to brush it out softly, do not pull, it will hurt your dog. I like to use a very small face comb, it works for me: Chris Christensen - BUTTERCOMB #006 FACE COMB FINE/COARSE ;
AS the coat grows back try to comb it every other day, get The Stuff de-matting spray, it is not expensive & works!.
Do not comb dry coat ever, use pure water spray or, or A CHERRY KNOLL (Aerosol) to eliminate tangles and mats.
You have to trim the coat & keep it from the ground from time to time.
I hope it'll work for you!



Jul 13, 2012
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Brushes & more...
by: Lana

Thank you Tara,
Of course it is a very personal decision: how long should the coat be ...
Not every Coton has problems with mats, especially if you care & brush your baby.
My boy’s coat is a bit dry & needs more work but the girl’s coat is as silky & light as it can be, hardy any mats EVER. She is almost 1 year & half now. God bless her!
Do not worry too much about your future baby-Coton. She will be perfect!
There is so called The Traditional Puppy Cut, to even out the length & let it grow back nicely, it will work for the beach & hot summer around the lake, great for swimming every day, easy to brush. You can ask for mid length or a little shorter, up to you. I did it once & it grows back in no time…
Cotons should be trimmed with scissors only. Never let anyone shave your Coton! (Unless it is medical emergency).
I do not brush my dogs every day, maybe twice a week, except for the face. We clean eyes every morning & comb long hair into a ponytail, so they can see well. Coton’s eyes are so beautiful, keep them healthy & clean.
I like to use Top Performance Dog Grooming Band, 3/8-Inch, Neon - grooming bands that will not break or damage dogs coat. You can find them on Amazon.com
Here some links for brushes & more …
http://www.showdogstore.com
http://www.cherrybrook.com/
Or simply go to Amazon.com, some products are much cheaper on Amazon.
Chris Christensen Oblong Wood Pin Brush 20mm- great brush for me.
Coton’s coat is soft & fragile – go easy while brushing, save as much coat as you can.
Let it grow and be as long as you like, you can always trim it if it is too long…
I use Chris Christensen - BUTTERCOMB #006 FACE COMB FINE/COARSE – every day.
Whole body can be brushed with: Chris Christensen - 9 3/4" "THE BRAT" Buttercomb LONG TOOTH COMB
I also use:
Chris Christensen - MARK I X-SMALL SLICKER BRUSH &
Chris Christensen - 20MM GOLD SERIES PIN BRUSH & 27MM Brush.
See this video about grooming Coton de Tulear puppy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vasMz8pcueg

Have Fun!

PS
In case of mats – Grooming Powder works for me, it is possible to brush out even the worst mats with powder & save the coat.

Jul 12, 2012
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More!
by: Tara

Please give more info!

I love the second link and I have read the first one before. I am trying to get really educated about these coats before my girl comes home.

What do you do if you go the beach though?

Can you keep it long or does it need to be cut short?

Jul 12, 2012
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OMG! Totally Love This Article!
by: Tara

I have been waiting to hear from someone about the long coats! I am waiting for my Coton baby girl to born!

I wanted to know how to care for the long coat as that is how I would like her to be.

Do you brush every day?

What type of comb and brush do you use? where did you get them?

I have heard of Chris Christianson products before. Those will be on my Christmas list!

I have a Ragdoll kitten and have strated to groom her myself. She is so beautiful and soft. I look forward to my Coton. I hope I can keep her hair long...

Jul 11, 2012
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Coat length
by: Deede

We have a beautiful Coton rescue and keeping his coat tangle-free has been a challenge. We were told that he was two-years old back in January, but I doubt that he was quite that old. He had just been neutered and groomed when we got him and I couldn't wait until his hair grew out because they didn't know what he was and groomed him accordingly! My question is about hair length. Does it ever reach a point where it quits growing or will I eventually have to trim it? He's rather tall and it will be really long at some point if we can both survive the process.

Jul 11, 2012
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Coat care
by: Peggy

Thank you for your post. My baby is 3.5 months and still has a fun, beautiful coat. I love to brush her and she tolerates me! I am scared to death for when that all changes. I am trying to read, read, read but feel pretty unprepared; I really don't want to have her cut . Thanks again for the information, I am planning to start purchasing the correct products now.

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