Coton De Tulear
Originally from the Island of Madagascar, legend has it that in the 15th century little white dogs escaped from a shipwreck, bred with the local terriers and populated the island.
Ownership of the Coton was restricted to the King and noble families therefore the breed became known as the royal dog of Madagascar.
The breed was recognised by the FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale) in 1970 and is now a very popular breed on the continent.
Although still a comparatively rare breed in the UK it is slowly becoming popular as a family pet and companion for couples and single people as it is an intelligent little dog, has a happy, affectionate temperament and becomes very attached to its owner.
The Coton needs company and can suffer from separation anxiety so they are not recommended for people who work full time.
It is a breed, which is a good choice for allergy sufferers due to its non- shedding coat and lack of doggy dander.
Some Cotons can be quite vocal, some can be wary of strangers and all appear to keep their lively personality into old age.
Not all Coton puppies are born white some are born with a degree of colour this colour does tend to fade to white or cream. However some puppies will keep their colour throughout their lives. Although the coat does not grow to the ground this is a high maintenance breed, the unique, slightly wavy, cotton-like hair, needs regular attention. Owners of pet Cotons tend to keep them in an attractive pet trim so a good groomer is a must.
The Coton is a natural, unexaggerated, unaltered breed and relatively healthy although as with any breed, health issues can and do crop up occasionally.
Research on Coton health is being done and tests are becoming available to breeders.