The Coton de Tulear is a "rare breed" not a mixed breed.
Cotons are playful, out going and loyal to their family. They are silly at times, loving to entertain and comical.
The Coton de Tulear always wants to please, they love people of all ages, are very good with children and other animals. And they are very alert.
Cotons are highly adaptable and can live in most any home environment.
Cotons are a breed standing alone and is accepted by the FCI, UKC, ARBA, CKC and other registries for rare breeds in the United States --- but not accepted by the AKC.
Don't be mislead by a breeder telling you they have AKC registered Coton de Tulear's as the breed is not accepted by the AKC see the official site of the AKC at this link : www.akc.org/breeds/fss_breeds.cfm
Projected time frame for the AKC to accept the Coton de Tulear still remains vague, simply due to the fact the breed remains rare and there are very limited blood lines.
The FCI is an international kennel club that is open and offering dog shows, agility, dance and other activities for Cotons. The United States is the only country not involved with the FCI.
The last Coton de Tulear imported into the United States legally from Madagascar was in 1992. The government in Madagascar stopped exporting because they feared extinction.
History is limited when it pertains to this wonderful breed, stories of Cotons reaching the island of Madagascar and arriving on the shores from ship wrecks, then there are notes in history where the breed developed on the island of Madagascar mating with Bichon Frise and Maltese over the period of many years. One thing is true the breed is different in their coat texture which can not be compared to any other breed.
The hair of the Coton de Tulear is soft like cotton and possesses a feeling totally owned by the Coton de Tulear. The hair does not need to be cut monthly like the Bichon and Maltese. Our adult Cotons have not had a hair cut and their hair never drags the ground/floor.
The Coton is very loving, alert, gentle and they love people, life and every thing around them. As well they are intelligent and do not possess any terrier or spaniel behaviors. When a Coton walks into a room, they are the center of attention without even trying. They have such a graceful walk and prance --- what you see is what you get with a Coton, they are as beautiful inside as they are beautiful to the human eye.
The Europeans have been involved with the Coton de Tulear since the 1950's, the Coton is known as the "anti-stress dog" in Europe. There is limited history that Americans discovered the Coton in Madagascar in the late 1970's, but the Europeans make claim to finding and importing the Coton many years earlier.
During the 1960's the Societe Canine de Madagascar sought breed recognition of the Coton de Tulear from the FCI. In 1970 the breed was accepted as a distinct breed on the island of Madagascar with the distinction of the first original breed standard. The name of the club was Malagasy Kennel Club of the island of Madagascar.
Cotons touched the lives of Europeans and importing was a huge undertaking in the 1960's through the 1970's and very limited. The Madagascar government stopped the exporting of the breed in 1992 to Europe or America because of the limited population of Cotons in Madagascar. So it is important when dealing with a breeder to make sure they are not mating and creating puppies from relatives, this type of breeding only opens the door for health issues at birth or in the young lives of a puppy. Even worse breeding the Coton with other breeds that are related to the Coton de Tulear, which is very common in the United States.
The Coton de Tulear is not a petite breed, they are sturdy, loving to run, follow their master on long hikes. They even love a true game of retreiving.
Our dear friend/veterinarian has a cattle ranch and adopted two of our Cotons several years ago. The Cotons have been known to help her cattle dogs round up cattle in the evening hours on her ranch in Nevada. As well, she takes her Cotons with her when she goes on trail rides and the Cotons keep up with her, never missing a step.
We were very lucky to meet an elderly lady in the Las Vegas airport back in 1999. Mrs. Jacques was born and raise in Paris, France. She told us that when she was a child she visited the island of Madagascar with her parents and she fell in love with the local dog that was at that time only allowed to be owned by nobility. Her father was in Madagscar on a business trip for several weeks. She vowed to return some day and take home with her one of the friendly dogs. This occured in the 1940's, today Mrs. Jacques lives in a small town in Nevada, near Las Vegas and has four beautiful Cotons that are her the light of her life and her daily companions.
Cotons also make excellent therapy dogs and always have a crowd gather around them when in public, learn about the breed, they are a show stopper -- to say the least.
The FCI guidelines/confirmation for show and breeding Coton de Tulears can be found on the official web site of the FCI at www.fci.be The Coton de Tulear is listed under the "companion" dog division, from that location you can click the button for "EN" and that will take you to a file written in English.
Don't be mislead by breeders who tell you the Coton is small/petite, that is not the case. On rare occasion breeders do have a "runt" of the litter and that does not happen with each litter. The Coton is on the average at the top of the weight scale 10.0-15.0 pounds. There are Cotons available standing as tall as hunting breeds, but we are not involved with the "tall Coton".
Sad to say the Coton de Tulear is going many different directions, changes in their height, color and overall appearance, we do not agree with these changes in the breed. Changes are made by mating a pure blooded Coton de Tulear with other breeds, there are many mixes today that are presented as Cotons but believe me they are not Cotons. We have seen Cotons that are guaranteed to be under 6 pounds as adults, Cotons that have solid coats of black or solid coats of brown. Then we have seen Cotons that stand as tall as a Lab --- they are very unusual looking to say the least. It is upsetting to see people changing the breed that is already perfect.
The very best with your research of this unique, intelligent and loving breed --- they are special and one of a kind breed - for sure! There are dogs and then there is the Coton de Tulear!