Coton de Tulear

Published: Last updated: by Coton de Tulear with a pink food bowl

The Coton de Tulear is a small, sweet dog who loves to play and entertain. They need the affection of their owners and a medium amount of exercise to be happy.

Average size and lifespan

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Height: 0ft 8in - 1ft 0in
Weight: 8-15lbs
Lifespan: 14 - 19 Years


  • Affection5/5
  • Kid-Friendly4/5
  • Stranger-Friendly5/5
  • Dog-Friendly5/5
  • Barking Amount1/5


  • Grooming Difficulty4/5
  • Shedding Amount2/5
  • Easy to Train4/5
  • Can Be Alone1/5
  • Exercise Need3/5


  • Cold Tolerance3/5
  • Heat Tolerance3/5
  • Apartment-Friendly5/5

Coton de Tulear Information

If you’re looking for a funny, intelligent, impossibly charming dog who loves to entertain and provide comfort, the Coton de Tulear is your pup. Pronounced “coTAWN day two-LEE are,” this sweet dog boasts a fluffy white coat that feels as soft as cotton – hence the name. The breed is surprisingly robust for only weighing 8-13 pounds and standing a mere 9-11 inches. You have to have a heart of stone not to smile when you see their adorable, happy faces!

While the history of this breed is not well known, it is strongly believed that they descended from a line of dogs who survived a shipwreck near the Madagascar coast. Talk about an adventurous past.


The Coton de Tulear hails from the island of Madagascar. Madagascar is located 250 miles off the southeastern coast of Africa.

It is thought that the dog was brought to the island by pirates in the 16th and 17th centuries and then mated with a dog native to the island. The dogs may have traveled with the pirate ships to help catch rats or as companions on the long voyages. Madagascar was a favorite location for pirates and still has pirate landmarks and graveyards today.

The breed is the island of Madagascar’s national dog. They are named for the seaport town of Tulear. Its closest relatives are the Bichons, such as the Bichon Tenerife.

Coton de Tulear Training & Temperament

Cotons are outgoing but territorial. They should be socialized from a young age, so they are comfortable in any setting. They’re happy to learn anything but expect excitement in their training. The breed is playful, affectionate, and loyal. They love to run, swim and play.

coton de tulear breed laying down

Coton de Tulear Exercise

The Coton needs a medium amount of exercise and attention. It’s best to give them a daily walk to maintain their energy level and health. They do well playing fetch in a yard. They can become bored and destructive without proper exercise, so it’s a good idea to have some activities and toys to keep them occupied.

Coton de Tulear Grooming

It would help if you started grooming your Coton as a puppy, so they become used to it. As they get older, you’ll need to brush them often to prevent matting. Alternatively, you could keep them in a short puppy clip to avoid the matting issue. A spray conditioner can be used to prevent breakage when brushing. Be sure to clean your dog’s ears to avoid infection and brush their teeth!

Coton de Tulear Health

The Coton is a breed with few genetic issues when coming from a reputable breeder. Points to watch out for include eye problems and hip dysplasia. These issues are relatively uncommon.


All dogs have their own personality and unique training, causing them to differ slightly from these breed stats. However, please let us know if we made an error in the stats, we appreciate your help!

Breed FAQs

Can Coton de Tulears be apartment dogs?

The Coton de Tulear is an excellent apartment dog. They don't need as much space for activity and will be happy in a condo or apartment.

Can Coton de Tulears be left alone?

Coton de Tulears are extremely social and need lots of interaction with their owners. They don't like being left alone and will likely become destructive or anxious if left for long periods.

Are Coton de Tulears good with kids?

Coton de Tulears do well with kids. As with any dog they should be monitored closely, they're unlikely to become aggressive.

Are Coton de Tulears friendly with strangers?

Coton de Tulears love other people and will tend to run up to them for affection. They quickly become great friends with anyone.

Do Coton de Tulears get along with other dogs?

Coton de Tulears get along great with other dogs. They are very social and tolerate other dogs, where you typically need to watch the other dog more than your own.

Do Coton de Tulears bark a lot?

Coton de Tulears don't bark very often of may never bark. Most barking is trained or in extreme situations.

Do Coton de Tulears shed a lot?

The Coton de Tulear isn't a heavy shedder. Some limited brushing and occassional cleaning should help prevent much hair build-up.

Do Coton de Tulears need a lot of grooming?

The Coton de Tulear requires continued maintenance to keep their coats in healthy condition. They're not the most demanding but are on the higher end.

Do Coton de Tulears need a lot of exercise?

A Coton de Tulear will need a moderate amount of exercise to be happy. You'll need to plan some basic walks or fetch during the day.

Are Coton de Tulears easy to train?

Typically, Coton de Tulears are easy to train. They enjoy the bonding process with their owner and are quick to learn.

Can Coton de Tulears handle cold weather?

Although Coton de Tulears can handle the cold weather when out with you, they may not want to stay out for long periods of time.

Can Coton de Tulears handle hot weather?

Although Coton de Tulears can tolerate hot conditions, be careful not to expose them for too long.

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