Should I Get a Coton de Tuléar?

Read all about the Coton de Tuléar dog breed to find out if he is right for your family.

By Wolfgang Knorr | May 31, 2012, 8 a.m EST

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Coton de Tulear bookThe Coton de Tuléar is a robust, charming small dog with a cheerful disposition. Coton de Tuléars are always balanced and highly compatible with other Cotons. Their hunting instincts, remnants of a time when Coton de Tuléars had to fend for themselves, are still very much alive. It is said that Coton de Tuléars had to hunt small wild animals in order to survive on their native Madagascar, and that they even formed small packs. This behavior is still obvious in the fact that they prefer to live in the company of a few dogs of their own breed.

Signs of aggression are alien to the Coton de Tuléar, and the fact that Cotons are not “yappers” makes their company pleasant. Cotons appear to be always in a good mood and ever-ready for performing as a clown.

Nonetheless, even with its clownish nature, the Coton de Tuléar is very intelligent and will make everybody his friend by learning readily and showing his mild-mannered disposition. With surprising intelligence, the Coton de Tuléar has the remarkable ability to intuitively detect the mood of his owner; if you are feeling down, you can be sure that your Coton will put you in a good mood with his humorous jester-like antics.

The Coton de Tuléar is a perfect dog for apartment living, although this dog surely appreciates long walks. The Coton simply is a dog that adapts very well to his environment, whatever it may be. Coton de Tuléars need to be groomed, and combing and brushing are tolerated with patience. Cotons have a bubbly personality, but keep fairly quiet in the house. If left alone for some time out of necessity, your Coton will look forward to your return with elated anticipation. This dog is dynamite in a small package, not easily repressed. Cotons impress all with their fantastic character, exuding happiness and harmony without end.

Coton de Tulear puppiesHowever, just like any other dog breed, Coton de Tuléars can develop bad habits as well as good ones, and the former may not be what we as owners find tolerable. For example, despite their short legs, the Coton de Tuléar is very much able to jump up and play on chairs and upholstered furniture. Even low tables may be scaled with considerable skill. Normally, your dog will have his own “furniture” in the form of a crate, basket or dog bed, and he needs to be taught, without any misunderstanding, what his domain is. Verbal scolding (firm, not yelling) or clapping your hands may be all that is required to call your Coton to order. If this does not help, more drastic measures may be necessary.

Another bad habit in the Coton de Tuléar is his tendency to beg for food. It cannot be emphasized enough that constant nibbling is the major cause of obesity in dogs and can lead to severe health problems. Don’t let your Coton’s pleading eyes cause you to lose your resolve…do not “reward” your dog with food when he begs, as this will make him think that begging is good behavior. Make sure that everyone in the family knows and follows this rule.

The Coton de Tuléar is an extremely lovable, affectionate housemate that considers himself an important member of your family…and he shows it! You will have a lot of trouble suppressing your smile at a dog that exudes so much pleasure and joy.

Excerpt from Coton de Tuléar, part of the Comprehensive Owner’s Guide series, with permission from its publisher, Kennel Club Books, a division of BowTie Inc. Purchase Coton de Tuléar here.

 

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