Bred in Madagascar in the 17th century, the Coton De Tulear stands out as a great companion dog. Small in size, it has been gaining some space outside its place of origin and are now among the most well-known dogs today.
Considered as one of the best companion dogs, Coton De Tulear is typically sweet and affectionate with a clownish personality. They will cock their heads everytime to listen to the words which are spoken to them and are as likely to prance on their hind legs while walking as well. Though most of the toy breeds are known to be yappy, Coton De Tulear is not one of the them. Yet, they will bark to sound an alarm you if they have found something highly suspicious. Coton De Tulear simply love to play with their family members especially little children. Also, they are dogs who do well with training and may often grunt while they are excited.
With a fine and long coat, the Coton De Tulear can be confused with some other breeds by those who do not know it. His name was not chosen by chance, after all, his hair to the touch is very reminiscent of "Cotton". Cute by nature, this pet needs to be brushed daily and despite not having an “official grooming” of the breed, it usually has its hair trimmed with scissors. Whites are the most common, but variations in black and white and black and gray are also accepted, always having the “snow color” tone as predominant. It is suggested to owners to groom them from a young age so that they get accustomed to it very quickly. A full brush out 2 to 3 times a week coupled with bath every 1 to 2 weeks can keep their skin healthy and shiny. Last but not the least, owners should never brush a dry coat and always do while hydrating the hair with a spray.
As Coton De Tulears are known to quickly gain weight, their diet should be balanced and should consist of adequate amount of nutrients. To start with, they need high quality protein as it helps in building lean muscle mass and strength in them. Protein can be provided to them through foods like meat, eggs, salmon, vegetables, cereals etc. Coton De Tulear also need fats in their diet as it supplies good energy to them while also keeping their skin in healthy and supple state. Lastly, fibres are also beneficial because it supports excellent digestion and nutrient absorption as well. When it comes to the feeding amount, it completely depends upon the age and activity level of Coton De Tulears. Still as a rule of thumb, Puppies can be fed 3 meals a day while adults can be fed around 2 meals. Again, it is important not to overfeed these dogs as they can gain a lot of within a short span of time.
As their name itself suggests, Coton De Tulear has a "cotton" like hair which is dry and wind tossed. Though Coton De Tulear's coat is not that difficult to maintain, you still need to invest a little bit of time for their grooming. One good thing about their hair is that it dries quickly and hence, require relatively little brushing and doesn't shed that much. In order to keep their coat looking nice, you need to brush their coat few times a week. As they are small dogs, you may also brush them while you are watching TV as well. It would take around 20 to 30 at maximum to completely brush these dogs. Moreover, it might be a good idea to trim the hair over their eyes if you notice the hair is hampering their vision. When it comes to bathing, you can bathe these dogs twice every month using a mild pet shampoo which can effectively cleanse their skin and coat.
The coton's coat is probably the one that requires the most care. Because they have very fine hair, they can easily tangle them, so brushing them needs to be part of the daily chores required. Preventing their fur from getting too wet (even if only with the water they drink) is important so that there is no presence of fungi, bad smell and stains on the coat.
Coton De Tulear has been here for over 2000 years. Being a portable dog, they quickly spread throughout the world and inherited different physical features depending upon the place. What still baffles most of the dog experts today is about their origin in Madagascar, a place which is surrounded by water. Most of the experts believe that these dogs swam ashore after a shipwreck and then mated with the local dogs there in the island. Others claim that these dogs where brought to Madagascar probably by the Sailors.