The Coton de Tulear is a loving and caring pup from the African island of Madagascar. They love being with their owners and their idea of a perfect day is one spent playing and cuddling with humans. Coton de Tulear are adorable, have fluffy hair, and the best part is that they’re low maintenance when it comes to grooming.

If you’re looking for a family puppy who loves being around people, you’ve found the perfect small dog for you.

The 411 on The Cutest Dog

Coton Tulear dogs are people’s dog. Seriously, a companion dog doesn’t get much sweeter and human-loving than this. Coton de Tulear dogs love following their owners around like, well, puppies! They’d go anywhere with their human — be it to the bedroom or on a long walk to the park.

This sweet and intelligent breed has a cotton-like coat and cocks their head when spoken to. They will even try to respond when humans are talking to them! They’re definitely a precious breed.

History of the Fluffy Clownish Dog

There’s a lot of speculation about how these dogs evolved and how they got to where they lived. But one thing is certain: this breed developed mostly in the island of Madagascar, off the Eastern coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean, many years ago.

Some people say that ladies brought these adorable puppers with them on their sea voyages. Others say that they arrived at the island after a shipwreck of which they were the only survivors.

No matter how they got there, they were immediately welcomed into the island. The Coton de Tulear breed was so loved by the native population that it was given the title of “royal dog of Madagascar.”

The royal family and wealthy families of the island took them on as family and companion dogs. Who could resist their adorable temperament?

In the 1970s, a French visitor brought back to France with him some Cotons. His intent was to establish the breed. As of yet, the American Kennel Club (AKC) has not yet recognized them as a breed. But the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) has and they accept their breed standard.

They’re also known by the name Malagasy Coton de Tulear. Their name comes from not only his coat’s similarity to cotton, but also to the port city of Tulear (now known as Toliara).

These dogs are pretty rare, but you can still find them in the United States. There are clubs dedicated to this rare breed, such as the Coton de Tulear Club.

Appearance and Personality

The Coton is a hardy and sturdy companion animal. They’re small dogs who have their signature white, dry, cotton-like coat all over their bodies. They’re longer than they are tall and the topline is slightly arched, ending in a curved tail. They also have strong and muscular hind legs.

This dog’s ears droop down and are covered in white, fluffy fur. The eyes are either brown or black and stand out from their white-covered head.

This dog’s coat is their signature.

You can tell a Coton de Tulear from other breeds by simply checking their fur. If it’s soft and has the same texture as cotton, you’re probably looking at a Coton. Coton puppies have much softer coats than adult coats, but they’re always dense and profuse, sometimes being very slightly wavy.

When puppies are born they may have light tan, fawn, or black hairs on their body and head. These go away as the puppy matures. The dog’s coat is overall white but there might be some shadings of light gray or red-roan.


These dogs are as sweet as can be. They love being around their owners and the definition of a good time is spending the day with their favorite humans. They will do anything to please them, which makes them very easy to train.

Coton de Tulear puppies are also extremely intelligent. They can learn virtually any trick at the drop of a hat. But they’re not serious all the time. These are pups that know how to have a good time and how to entertain a room full of people. They love clowning around to get a laugh and some love from their family members.

Because they love company so much, they should never be left alone for long. Otherwise, they will get separation anxiety. This breed doesn’t howl or bark much, but if they’re sad they’ll put on the loudest show they can.

How Big Do These Pups Get?

Male Cotons grow to be between 10 and 12.5 inches tall and to weigh around 9 or 13 pounds. Females, on the other hand, can measure between 8.5 and 11 inches in height and weigh between 8 and 11 pounds.

5 Facts You Need to Know About This Small White Dog

Here are five facts that are just as fascinating as the Coton de Tulear itself.

  1. Barbra Streisand cloned her late Coton de Tulear. The two Coton pups she now has are clones of the one she had before they died. Companies such as the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation clone dogs per the request of an owner. They come with a price tag of more than $100,000.
  2. These dogs are related to the Bichon Frise and the Maltese dogs.
  3. Coton dogs do particularly well in obedience and agility competitions because they’re so smart.
  4. Puppies need to be brushed more frequently than adults until they get their mature coat.
  5. There’s a breed club’s code of ethics that your breeder should sign when selling this breed.

Looking for Dogs for People With Allergies? This Pup is One of the Best Hypoallergenic Dogs

While there’s a chance someone can be allergic to Coton de Tulear, it’s unlikely. These dogs are perfect for people with allergies because they’re hypoallergenic. If your allergies have stopped you from getting a pup, you have struck gold with this breed.

They don’t produce as much dander or saliva as other breeds, which is what makes people sneeze and have running noses and teary eyes. In short, they aren’t as likely to trigger allergic reactions in humans.

3 Best Dogs for Allergies

Besides the Coton de Tulear, there are other hypoallergenic breeds. Among them are the Portuguese Water Dog, the Bichon Frise, and the Shih Tzu.

Grooming the Pretty Little Coton

These dogs shed very little, dropping more fur in the spring. When they’re not shedding, you should brush them three to four times a week to prevent their coat from becoming matted. Pay special attention to the ears, legs, and elbows, as these areas get the more knots.

Puppies should be brushed more often than adult dogs. Their adult fur will start to come in between seven and fifteen months of age. During this time you should make brushing a more regular activity.

You can opt to get them professionally groomed. Ask for the puppy cut, as it’s the most popular cut among the breed.

Bathing should only be done when they get dirty. How often you do it depends on your pup. You could do it once a week, twice a month, or only once every four weeks.

Coton de Tulear Puppies: Are These Pups Easy to Train?

Coton de Tulear dogs are a breeze to train. They’re incredibly smart and learn tricks and commands very fast. Positive reinforcement using treats, love, and encouragement is particularly effective.

They also love pleasing their owners. This means that they’ll take any chance they get to obey the owner’s orders. They’re lovely pups you can easily train as long as you don’t give up and do it properly.

As Fit as Can Be! Health Status

These are healthy doggos. But like every other breed, they’re more at risk of developing some diseases than other dogs. The only way to avoid getting a sick pup is to get them from reputable breeders and not from puppy mills.

Some of the illnesses they might have to fight against are luxating patellas (dislocated knee joints), hip dysplasia (bone and joint problem), and progressive retinal atrophy (eye problem).

Other than that, they’re a healthy breed. In fact, they usually live for between 15 and 19 years!

Coton de Tulear Puppies for Sale!

Have you made the decision of getting a Coton de Tulear for your family? If so, you might be asking yourself, “But where do I find one?”

Coton de Tulear Breeders

You should always get your dogs from a trusted dog breeder. Stay away from puppy mills at all costs. Instead, opt for well-known and establish breeders such as the Renaissance Cotons, from Connecticut, or the Peachtree Cotons, from Georgia. Send them a detailed message with your request and the process moves on from there.

The Coton Club has come up with a document that all respectable breeders must sign. It’s a code of ethics and it guarantees the safety and well-being of the Coton pup.

You can expect to pay anywhere between $2000 and $3000 for a puppy from a reputable breeder. Dogs ready for showing and for breeding cost between $3000 and $4000.

Adopt Don’t Shop!

You can always save thousands of dollars by not buying a dog and adopting one that doesn’t have a home. You should check with your local animal shelter or with rescue groups across the country if they have Coton pups up for adoption.

5 Tips for First-Time Fluffy Coton Owners

Taking care of a Coton de Tulear isn’t too difficult, but here are some crucial tips to make your pup happy.

  1. Don’t leave them alone for long. They’re people’s dogs and get separation anxiety easily.
  2. Take your pupper on daily walks. They don’t need to be intensive but make sure your Coton dog is getting some exercise in.
  3. Feed them a well-balanced nutritious diet.
  4. Socialize your puppy from a young age so they can be the most easy-going dog possible.
  5. Go easy on them during the training stage. They don’t react well to being reprimanded.

A Man—And Woman’s Best Friend! This Cotton Ball Pooch is Perfect for Any Dog-Lover!

Coton de Tulear dogs have come all the way from Madagascar into the hearts of the American people. This human-pleasing and human-loving dog is equal parts adorable and intelligent. Their white, fluffy coat makes them hard to resist, as do the lengths they go to just to please their humans.

Common Questions

Where did these fluffy white dogs come from?

Are they friendly?

Are Coton de Tulear dogs healthy dogs?