Coton de Tuléar: dog breed appearance, character, training, care, health

The cheerful and playful character of the Tuléar cotton is one of the characteristics of this companion breed. It is fearless and unruly at times, but always balanced, very sociable with humans and other animals. With a small body and hair reminiscent of cotton, her physical appearance is beautiful. At Petlifey, we explain the character and characteristics of the Tuléar cotton .

Character of the Coton de Tuléar breed

The character of the Coton de Tuléar is that of a resistant, active, fast and playful dog, it is cheerful and alert , with a pleasant and balanced temperament. It stands out for its comedy and its great expressiveness. It learns easily, it is smart and fast.

Being a lively, cheerful, happy and alert dog, with a very pleasant personality and a comical attitude, it always attracts attention. In fact, its excellent character is one of the main assets it has counted on to achieve its great popularity.

Their humor and expressiveness are well known, because to attract attention, they walk on their hind legs, gesture, shake hands, and perform a series of tricks that come naturally to them.

In addition, it makes a very typical gesture of tilting its head when spoken to. With them who seems to be understanding each of the words that are said to them.

For all this, it has become one of the first choices of trainers who dedicate themselves to different shows (circus, television, cinema or advertising).

  • Energy: Medium / High. It is energetic, active and somewhat boisterous. You need to get a little moderate exercise every day. It likes swimming a lot.
  • Adaptability: High. It adapts well to all lifestyles, but cannot stand loneliness.
  • Sociability: High. Very close to its family, whom it adores, it gets along especially well with children and does not pose problems with other people or animals.
  • Health: Good. It is a very healthy breed.
  • Longevity: High. Live between 12 and 15 years.
  • Utility: Company. It was originally a rodent hunter, but today it is only a companion dog.

Is it a good family dog?

The Coton de Tuléar is an intelligent, fast, spirited, stable and sociable dogIt loves being with the people who make up its family, with whom it feels very close and with whom it comes to identify deeply.

Likewise, it gets along very well with other people and other animals, to the point that some authors have defined it as a Labrador Retriever in the body of a Maltese .

How do you behave with children?

Its relationship with the children is splendid. With them it shares all kinds of games and adventures. In this sense, it is important to teach the little ones how they should behave with their dog. They must be made to understand that it is not a toy or an inanimate object.

In this way, getting to know their pet by the smallest members of the house will lead them to understand it better and make their relationship more fruitful and lasting.

Is it suitable for the elderly?

Its small size and the ductility of its character make it an excellent dog for the elderly.

In the same way, as to act as a therapy dog ​​in hospitals, since there is no better remedy to achieve the smile of a sick child than the humor of a clown and, in canine matters, few breeds perform this function better than cotton. .

Can it be left alone?

Due to its close bond with people, this dog is not a good choice for those who spend many hours a day away from home .

If you are left alone for long periods and repeatedly, you can develop separation anxiety disorders. It can also become suspicious, aggressive and noisy, all of which conditions are completely alien to the natural character of the Dog breed.

Is it easy to educate?

It is the ideal pet for any type of family, even inexperienced owners, since it does not have difficulties to learn and with a little patience and dedication satisfactory results can be obtained.

Of course, its owner has to exercise its leadership with firmness, self-confidence and always following the same criteria and routines, since if not, the cotton can question the family hierarchy, become stubborn and try to get away with it.

Can you live in the city in an apartment?

This breed adapts very well to city life and has no problem living in an apartment. But it enjoys going out to the field, where it takes the opportunity to run and exercise outdoors. Therefore, the coton de tulear needs a little exercise every day, even if it is moderate.

Characteristics of the Coton de Tuléar

The general appearance of the Coton de Tuléar is that of a small and short dog, with long, straight white hair. Its body structure is rectangular, with the upper line of the back somewhat convex and the belly slightly tucked.

It moves with ease despite having short legs, has round and very expressive eyes, and a large, dark nose.

What is the Coton de Tuléar like physically?


The body of the Coton de Tuléar is that of a small, short dog (males are about 28 cm high at the withers), and longer than tall. The legs and neck are short and, seen in profile, the line of the back curves to meet the rump.

The tail is inserted low. At rest the animal carries it below the hock, with the tip raised. In movement, the carriage is bent with the tip in the direction of the nape, the withers, the back or the loin. In addition, in dogs with thick fur, the tip of the tail may fall on the dorsolumbar region.

Their feet are small and round, the feet of the Coton de Túlear have the toes close together and arched, and the pads are pigmented. They support short but muscular legs.


The head is short and triangular in shape when viewed from above, with the skull slightly domed and the stop slightly accentuated. The nose can be black or brown.

The eyes are round, separated and of dark colors, their expression denotes vivacity. The eyelids have black or brown pigmented edges, depending on the color of the nose.

Their ears are pendant and triangular in shape, with a narrower tip. They are inserted high in the skull and fall close to the cheeks. Stretched out, they reach the corner of the lips.

They are either covered with white hairs or with traces of light grey (a mixture of white and black hairs), or of the color called roan red (a mixture of white and tawny hairs).


The hair is abundant and dense. Semi-long, fine and loose, it is white in color and has a soft , cottony texture , hence its name. Although it is not frequent, it can also present grey or fawn tones.

Standard of the Coton de Tuléar breed

  • Origin: Madagascar / Patronage of France
  • Size: Small
  • Height at the withers: between 25 and 30 cm for males and between 22 and 27 cm for females.
  • Weight: between 4 and 6 kg for males and between 3 and 5 kg for females.
  • FCI classification: FCI nº 283. Group 9 – Companion dogs. Section 1 – Bichons and similar breeds.
  • Use: Companion dog.
  • Head: It is small and, seen from above, has a triangular shape. It is short in relation to the length of the muzzle and the length of the trunk.
  • Skull: It is quite wide in proportion to its short length, and is slightly domed at the top.
  • Nose-frontal depression (stop): Not very accentuated.
  • Muzzle: It is straight. The lips, thin and stretched, are the same color as the nose.
  • Nose: It occurs in the prolongation of the nasal bridge. It is black, although it can also be brown. The nostrils are wide open.
  • Jaws: The teeth are well aligned, and their articulation can be scissors, pincers or inverted scissors.
  • Eyes: They are rather round, dark, with an alert look and separated from each other. The edge of the eyelids is pigmented black or brown, in line with the color of the nose.
  • Ears: They are triangular and thin in the puma. They appear high and fall close to the cheeks, reaching the level of the mouth and framing the face with its mantle of white hair.
  • Neck: It is short, although broad, muscular and slightly arched. The skin is well stretched, without forming a double chin.
  • Body: This dog is somewhat longer than tall. The cross is not very accentuated. Back: The back is firm, with the top line slightly convex. The loin is muscular.
  • Chest: It is well developed, long and reaches the level of the elbows. The ribs are well sprung.
  • Tail: It is set low, thick at the birth and thin at the tip. At rest, it reaches the level of the hock and carries it with the tip always upright.
  • Forelimbs: Seen as a whole, the forelimbs are well poised. Shoulders: They are oblique and muscular.
  • Forearms and arms: They are generally the same length, and the forearms are vertical and parallel to each other, muscular and with strong bones.
  • Hind limbs: Well poised.
  • Legs: Oblique, forming an angle of about 120 ° with the femur. The thighs are muscular.
  • Hocks: Thin and well defined, forming a very open angle.
  • Feet : Small in size, round, with arched toes together and with pigmented pads.
  • Movement: It is light and loose, but without covering a lot of ground. During the movement, the upper body line remains firm.
  • Skin: It is fine and adheres well to the body in each of its parts. It is pink in color, although it may be pigmented.
  • Coat: The coat is soft, loose, cottony, and is never hard or coarse. The hair is dense, abundant and may be slightly wavy.
  • Color: The color is always white. On the ears there may be traces of light grey color (a mixture of black and white hairs) or of a roan red color (a mixture of white and tawny hairs).

Health and nutrition of the Coton de Tuléar

The Coton de Tuléar dog breed is very long-lived and healthy. Like the rest of the components of the bichon family, it hardly suffers from serious diseases and it is common to see specimens older than 15 years developing an absolutely normal and active life.

But you have to follow a series of preventive guidelines for the animal to grow up healthy, such as taking it to the veterinarian to be vaccinated, dewormed and made routine controls.

Likewise, it is necessary to give them a balanced diet that contains enough nutrients to keep its muscles in shape and the adequate amount of fat without making them gain weight.

Finally, you have to allow them to get the exercise it needs to be physically and mentally healthy.

With this little care, a lot of affection and a firm and well-managed training, the Tuléar cotton becomes one of the best companion dog breeds that exist, since it knows how to make your family smile every day.

Care and maintenance of the Coton de Tuléar breed

When it is a puppy, the Tuléar cotton only needs a weekly brushing, but its needs increase as the dog grows, since its coat also grows and shows more tendency to tangle.

The most important thing when dealing with the aesthetic arrangement of this dog is to establish good discipline and routines that are unswervingly followed.

Likewise, it is also necessary to acquire the appropriate knowledge, either from the hand of a professional groomer, or from the puppy’s breeder.

How is the hair care of the Coton de Tuléar?


Basic and main routine for the arrangement of the Tuléar cotton, brushing the coat should always be done after having moistened the dog’s hair by spraying water or a specific moisturizing product. Well, only in this way is it prevented from tangling or breaking the mantle.

First, a central line is marked with the comb that follows the entire spinal column and then the animal is combed or brushed starting from that middle line and always downwards. On the other hand, the legs are brushed upside down, starting with the feet or hands and working upwards, using a card for this.

Special attention must be paid to the ears, which are well covered with fringes, and to the whiskers and beard, which can appear somewhat caked due to their habitual contact with saliva, food, water, etc.

To finish, it is convenient to perfectly detangle the hair from the tail, trying to hold it well to avoid annoying and painful pulling on the animal.

When you are sure that the dog is well brushed and that there are no knots or tangles, you can finish the job with the help of a metal comb, leaving the appropriate volume in the hair.


The bath routine is left only for when the animal is really dirty, and it should never be given if the dog has knots or tangles in the fur, since with the water these cakes and then it becomes impossible to undo them, which leads, almost inevitably, to having to cut or shear the affected area.

Once all the hair is well wet, it must be thoroughly soaped using a shampoo suitable for the coat of this breed, that is, it respects the pH of its skin and does not alter the natural texture of its hair.

This is followed by rinsing, which has to be deep so as not to leave any trace of soap, as this could cause dry skin, flaking, eczema or some other skin problem.

In both lathering and rinsing, care must be taken to work gently so as not to tangle the hair.


Once the bath is finished, the excess water is removed first with the help of the hands and then with towels and blotting paper.

Finally, use a good forced air ejector or a dryer at the appropriate temperature and, always using the action of a card, all the hair is stretched, detangled and left very dry.


Tuléar cotton does not have a specific aesthetic arrangement, that is, it does not need a particular cut to give it a specific shape.

But it is advisable that from time to time the excess fringes are trimmed with scissors so that the silhouette of the dog appears sharp, clean and uniform. They are also used to fix the feet and hands, trimming the excess interdigital hair.

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