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Coton de Tulear

Coton de Tulear Breed


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Energy Level

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Physical Characteristics:
Height: 9-12”
Weight: 7-13 lbs.
Energy Level: Moderate
The American Kennel Club recognizes the Coton de Tulear in only one color:

  • White

Health & Longevity

Average Life Span: 14-16 years
The Coton de Tulear, also known as Cotton Dogs, boast fantastic overall health throughout their pup phase, but genetic health issues can become prominent around 5 to 6 years of age. These pups share some of their health problems with another breed, the Bichon Frise, because of their close genetic relations. Of course, along with breed-specific health conditions, the Coton de Tulear are also prone to the usual health issues that can plague any dog of any breed, such as heart disease, bone cancer, and severe urinary infections.

Two of the most common health problems that the Coton de Tulear could suffer from are:


This condition occurs when thyroid hormone levels are out of whack, throwing off the entire metabolic system of your pup. Symptoms include severe weight gain, hair loss, problems healing wounds, lethargy, and weakness. Vet-prescribed medications are required to restore hormones to natural levels. Lifelong treatment is necessary in most cases.


This condition, often caused by an excess of fatty foods, results in inflammation and swelling of the pancreas and digestive system. Depending on the severity of this health issue, treatment may include insulin injections, hormone supplements, or even surgical intervention.

Other health problems that you should watch your Coton de Tulear for are bladder stones, Legg-Calve-Perthes, diabetes, and epilepsy. Despite a few severe health conditions that could occur during their lifetime, the Coton de Tulear boasts a lengthy average lifespan of 14 to 16 years.

Temperament & Train-ability

Nicknamed the Cotton Dogs, the Coton de Tulear is a mild-mannered, quirky, no-nonsense pup with a sweet face and affectionate nature. These purebreds are clever all the time and playful some of the time. She would make a great family dog if you have older children, but younger children might be a little too much for her. These pups, especially as they age, are prone to grumpiness and snippiness. If you have her around younger children, make sure you teach your kids how to respectfully, carefully play with your Coton de Tulear. Otherwise, their roughhousing or chaos might earn them a warning nip from a less-than-tolerant breed.

For exercise, the Coton de Tulear would be just as happy with a fenced-in backyard to romp in as she would be with a couple of walks throughout the day. These pups are versatile when it comes to their exercise levels. Most Cotton Dogs love wide-open spaces, where they can run and dig and play for an hour or so. But those same pups would do well at a dog park, where they can romp around with other playful canines.

Training-wise, the Coton de Tulear is a confident pup with an independent, stubborn streak. She is sweet-natured, but her natural senses tell her that she is dominant too. Establish your role as alpha of the pack with a clear, concise voice in positive, kind tones. Be compassionate when she fails to understand your commands, but rewarding when she complies with your instructions. Never hit or yell at your Coton de Tulear. These pups are sensitive; therefore, harshness would break her spirit.


Coton de Tulears are called Cotton Dogs because their lengthy, white hair is soft and lightweight like cotton. These pups are low shedders mostly, but most Coton de Tulears turn into moderate shedders in the summer heat. Brush her fur once a day, sometimes twice in hot weather, to eliminate excess hair and kinks. Keep the lengthy fur between her feet pads and around her ears trimmed and neat.


Coton de Tulears have a hearty, healthy appetite for such small, dainty dogs. These purebreds need high-quality, nutrient-rich kibble to keep them satisfied throughout the day. Feed her twice per day with ½ cup of nutritious, dry dog food for each meal. You should also keep a bowl of water filled to the brim at all times for optimum hydration.

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When it comes to the Coton de Tulear, it can be true that you get what you pay for. These pups, commonly used at the forefront of puppies mills, are best known for their AKC show qualities and well-bred bloodlines. This is why most reputable, trustworthy breeders are asking buyers to shell out steep prices that represent generations of documented breeding and an AKC guarantee of showmanship. In other words, most of the time, these pups are pampered, well-trained show dogs, as well as companions.

On average, a Coton de Tulear from a reliable breeder costs between $2,000 to $3,000. For an AKC show pup, it could be upwards of $4,000 or more, depending on how far the breeder is capable of tracing back the Coton de Tulear’s lineage. The American Coton Club warns pet owners of paying too little for these pups, as many Coton de Tulears under $1,000 have been interbred and suffer from severe health issues.

The exception to the $1,000 rule is a local animal shelter. Many of the Coton de Tulears rescued from puppies’ mills find their way to animal shelters, so check there if you want to give one of these beautiful pups a second chance at a happy, healthy, loving home. Adoption fees range from $75 to $250, but vaccinations, a spay or neuter service, and first vet check-ups likely raise that price to around $500 before you bring your new companion home.

Paws ‘N’ Pups Ranking

Paws ‘N’ Pups ranks every breed out of 4 with 1 being easiest to integrate into your life and 4 being the toughest – The lower the ranking the better.

Ranking takes into account a few basic factors including cost, skill level needed, high vs low maintenance and how critical regular training is to success. On the integration scale, the Coton de Tulear ranks a 2 for upkeep, cost, and trainability. These pups, while they make great, friendly, affectionate companions, need extra socialization and training to turn into well-rounded purebreds. These canines are highly intelligent, so their willfulness can become a challenge. Stick with your training regimen to ensure your Coton de Tulear is a happier, healthier pup, better suited to be your companion.


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