Coton de Tulear: Your New Pet
The Coton de Tulear is a toy dog breed that has gone unnoticed for a long time. It has its origins in the Madagascar Island. It was isolated for many generations and it was not until the 20th century that it started to breed in Europe and started to be known worldwide.
Due to this particular origin, one can only speculate about its ancestors and how they arrived in this island. There, they were surely an inserted species that survived the environmental difficulties that they had to face in a wild and completely different environment to one of the continents.
This particular historical aspect gave them physical and temperamental characteristics that turned attractive to many of the people that are today lovers of the breed, but also earned them the love of the island inhabitants, who bred them for different purposes. Besides, they earned the position of royalty dog when the families of the highest positions in the island adopted them as their own.
For being their most characteristic feature, their white color and the texture of its fur that looks like a cotton cloak gave them their name. In addition to being a very attractive fur, it is also hypoallergenic so they rarely lose hair.
This, in addition to an affectionate and affable temperament, makes them companion dogs with great qualities. They do not cause allergies but they create close ties with their owners, with whom they always want to stay close, and they get stressed if they spend too much time alone.
This aspect of its temperament, the attachment to its owners and the necessity of a company, has two faces, a positive one, given for the ability to adapt to live in shared spaces with others. It has a social sense with people and animals with whom it creates links and develops in a very friendly way.
On the other hand, the negative aspect is that if you do not have enough time to spend with your dog, this will start developing behavioral disorders product of anxiety. With certain guidelines, it is possible to manage this to prevent these types of behaviors from arising.
As a breed, the Coton de Tulear is starting to have more and more popularity in the modern world, this is the result of its multiple qualities as a companion dog that people have started to value in the last decade. They are adaptable, affectionate and playful, capable of living in any environment and live with children and with other pets.
History and Origin of the Coton de Tulear
The Coton de Tulear is a small breed dog very little known currently. This is the product of its particular origin that confined it for generations to Madagascar Island in western Africa. This is an unsuspected origin for a dog with a name like this.
Its name and emergence to the world were in hands of the French that visited the Island in the 17th century, but it would be centuries before they were formally introduced to the European continent and its breed was disclosed to the modern world.
Two theories intend to explain its origin, one of them can be considered as a romantic legend that could have some truth, and the other is more supported by historic registers that can be tracked in time. Both theories put them as descendants of European dogs that for one reason or another arrived on the island.
They had to evolve to adapt to a wild environment, which helped them to develop their characteristics and particular temperament. This has earned them rising popularity as a companion dog. Their probable ancestors and the circumstances of their development are factors that allowed to create the Coton just as it is today.
A Romantic Story
To narrate the origins of this breed, the two classic theories have their hypothesis, the most interesting of the two has become a poorly sustained legend. It is known only by the oral tradition of the locals of Madagascar that passed to the French, which registered the dog’s origin.
According to this legend, in some moments of the 21st century, a Dutch shipwrecked near the west African coast and from that ship, only 3 dogs survived and somehow they managed to reach the island. The origin of this breed is attributed to these specimens.
They were 2 Maltese Poodle females and 1 a rat-hunting male dog. This 3 mated with each other and the Coton inherited the strong body of the rat-hunting and the aspect of the Poodle.
Almost miraculously these dogs survived to the wild condition this island offered with its particular wildlife with which the dogs had to compete. They managed to establish a bloodline of feral dogs that would be the ones the French met when they got to the island.
The bases of this story are a little vague and have as much truth as any other history inherited by oral tradition. It could be completely true or could be just a legend that the breed lovers enjoy telling.
A More Likely Story
The story considered more accurate about the origin of the breed coincides with the legend in the fact that Coton’s ancestor arrived in Madagascar in some moment of the 21st century. However, the stories diverge in the way that the dogs arrived. They could have reached the island as the result of a shipwreck, or they could have been abandoned by explorers that were passing through the island.
Likewise, the Maltese Poodle is considered the ancestor of this breed because they share many characteristics. These dogs had to evolve in a very much different environment than the one they were bred in, imposing in wild conditions. They probably crossed with other local dogs.
The locals of the island were the first ones to familiarize themselves with this new dog that lived wildly. They domesticated them and used them as shepherds, thus getting back to their relationship with humans, keeping the role of worker dogs, more than companion ones.
By the year 1648, the news of this small dog with cotton fur arrived in Europe and it was then when the islanders learn about its existence. Many people wrote about these dogs and gave their opinions about them.
Among these first chroniclers was the French commander Etienne Flacourt who wrote about these white dogs like cotton that ran in packs around the island. Another French, Guillarme Grandinier wrote about the breed. They were both fundamental to make this breed known.
Arrival to Europe
Although the breed was already known for the letters sent during the 17th century and for the commercial deal that existed between Africa and Europe during that time, they did not arrive in the old continent more than three centuries after the first news of their existence was known.
It was not until 1977 when the breed was finally introduced out of Madagascar by the hand of the French. Little by little the breeding became more stable and the legislations of the different countries accepted the breed.
Their physical characteristics and the temperament earned them a place among the small breeds as companion dogs, since it adapts and adjusts well to the new housing exigencies of the modern society.
Despite this, it is still almost an unknown dog, this is to be expected from a breed that spent centuries locked in an island and it has not been 100 years since its breeding starts in the European continent. Their popularity has been growing recently due to the diffusion of the breed.
Characteristics of the Breed
The Coton de Tulear is a small-sized companion dog that possesses a characteristic aspect resulting from its evolution in the wildlife of Madagascar Island. This adorable and particular appearance made them cherished to the local tribes where they became dogs of the nobility.
The first noticeable thing in these little ones is their shinny and attentive eyes, that in addition to their kind and gentle nature make them extremely attractive dogs. Of course, as companion dogs, they possess features that are very appreciated by the lovers of the breed.
Another distinctive feature of the breed is the fur, which is white and dense, similar to the cotton, for that the French gave them their name. Their size and characteristic features of a small strong dog, making them a unique dog among the companion dog breeds.
Size and Proportion
The size of the specimens is one of the most characteristic features of the breed and it will be something to consider in the dog competitions and for the standards accepted by different dog clubs that admit them as official dog breeds.
The ideal size for male and females is well defined:
Females: from 22 to 25 cm or 9 to 10 inches.
Males: from 25 to 27 cm or 10 to 11 inches.
They accept a variation of 2 cm above or below the established rank.
As for the weight, it is considered that it must be according to the height, however, the adequate weight in general for males and females is the next:
Females: from 3,5kg to 9kg or from 8 to 13 pounds.
Males: from 4kg to 7kg or from 9 to 15 pounds.
This rank of weight allows them to keep a balanced appearance that will be preferred in the competitions.
As for the proportion of the body, it must have a rectangular appearance. The height will be measured from the floor to the top of the cross 2/3 of the total length of the body measured from the shoulder to the tail base. The appearance must never be of a small and long dog.
The head of these dogs has a triangular aspect when you see it from above. The relation of the length of the head and the length of the body is from 2 to 5. Likewise, their full of life, attentive, smart and joyful face expression reflects the nature of its temperament.
The eyes are rounded and dark-colored, brown or black. They have a vivacious and joyful look, with distanced eyes. They are well-positioned and do not look dropped or torn. The borders of the eyelids must be completely black-pigmented.
Their ears are triangular-shaped and are held like pendulums from the insertion in the top of the skull and fall on the line of the eyes. They are thin in the tip and hang to the cheeks and even reach the lips. They are covered by a fur of white, grey for a combination of white fur with black traces, or light toasted color for a combination of toasted and white hair.
Their skull has a rounded shape and it is wider than longer. The superciliary arches are not so developed and the face has an aspect slightly flattened. The occipital crest is slightly more developed, but the cheekbones are well defined.
The snout is longer than wider, according to the skull it has a proportion of 5 to 9. It has a strong chin. The nose is rounded and completely black, with wide nostrils. The bite is scissored or level, where the upper teeth are in contact with the lower
The neck is slightly arched, is medium long, and it couples softly to the shoulders. The loin starts in the shoulders that are the only ones noticed pronouncedly. From here it makes a subtle and slightly pronounced arch that reaches the rump, this arc is continuous without faults
The body is longer than it is tall, the chest is wide, well developed and deep that reaches the shoulders. The front part of the chest is well-formed and you can see it pronounced from the front. The ribs are well arched and the extension to the back.
The rump is strong and muscular. The tail starts down at the end of the spine. It is so long that reaches the hock easily. The tip of the tail must be always curved up, and when your dog feels happy, it will rise it.
The shoulders are inclined to 30 degrees approximately. The front paw extends straight just below the shoulder, leaving the shoulder close to the body when you see it from the side.
The front paws are parallel one to the other. These are muscular and well-developed. The articulation of the wrist continues with the paw and leaves an arch between this and the pastern. The last one is strong and looks slightly arched when you look at it from aside. It may or may not have a spur, if it does, it could be removed.
The feet are small and rounded with the fingers together and very arched. The pads are strong and all black. The nails are also black.
The hip and the thighs, inferior and superior, form well-defined angles. The thigh is very muscular from the hip to the hock. This articulation, which divides the member into two sections, superior and inferior, is the same length, this is covered by few tissues and it looks well defined.
The back pasterns are perpendicular to the floor from any angle that you look at. They could have or not spur but if it is present, it will be better to remove it. The feet are small with well arched grouped fingers. The pads are completely black.
The main characteristic of these dogs is exactly their fur that as for texture and color gives their name to the breed. The fur is dense and has the texture of cotton. It is not hard or heavy, it is very abundant and can be slightly curly.
As for the color, it must always be white. There are some variations on the ears in which a light grey or lightly toasted tone is accepted, although it is not wanted in a specimen.
Equally, dogs that present this type of combination of colors are less than 5% on their bodies are accepted. If happens that in a competition there is a specimen with a larger extension of this fur of another color, the one that has more extension of white in its body will get better punctuation.
This consideration of color is valid only for adult dogs. Any animal younger than 12 months can have color variations on its fur that goes from black, brown, nut or grey, especially in the head and the body. With time, these tones will disappear.
The behavior of the Coton de Tulear with other dogs
Besides of their adorable physical aspect, another characteristic feature and particularly attractive of the Coton is its temperament. It is considered as a dog with an affable and extremely friendly character, for this reason, it earns more popularity as a pet day after day.
With its humans it will behave with a lot of affection, trying to socialize with people frequently. Similarly, when you teach it from a young age, it will look for the company of other dogs and pets from different species. It rarely has difficulties with other animals and does not possess a marked instinct of predator.
The early socialization is the way you have to go to the personality that your dog develops is enough confident and capable of achieving positive conduct to dogs and other pets, even getting an excellent coexistence with different animals.
If you do not do this process adequately, your dog will tend to be retracted, fomenting the more introvert and distrustful aspect of its temperament, which makes it shy and anxious. This makes more difficult its ability to adapt and its interaction with a stranger, whether is human or animal.
Its temperament, its tendency to give affection and also the fact of being …… dogs that can spend the whole day sharing with its owners inside the house or resting on a sofa makes them not very great at being alone and have a better time being in the company of someone.
Similarly, they are playful and keep a happy attitude in life, so having game partners is very beneficial for them. Being distracted with some animal friend turns very beneficial for them to deal with the times where their owners are away from home.
For the interaction process with a different animal to be always positive and the Coton can grow with a sociable personality at any moment and so it can accept other animals easily, you have to start the socialization process early. Introduce social conduct to its life as something normal and common.
As the social habit in the life of the dog creates, certain negative aspects of this breed’s temperament are pulishing as can be extreme shyness and anxiety. These can be controlled to a point where they will act a little distrustful at the beginning, but more friendly as time goes by.
This way, the dog creates a trust link with its owner, who gives it security to explore and get to know other individuals, animals and humans, all the same, in a safe environment. This gives it the tools to its adult time to get in contact with new dogs.
Therefore, you will guarantee the adequate socialization between these dogs and other animals, preventing unwanted conducts from developing or that they get intolerant or fearful. Part of this depends a lot on the potential development of a Coton de Tulear that must be a frankly friendly dog.
Coexistence with other pets
The Coton de Tulear is a very friendly and playful dog, for this, being with other dogs is naturally easy for them. Besides, if you taught it to interact with other dogs from a young age, this will be much easier and your dog will completely enjoy it.
The biggest problem that can arise is when you relate it to other bigger dogs than the Coton since it could have some problem if the games are too rough. Your dog could somehow get hurt or harmed.
Although this, they can get along very well with bigger dogs than them, particularly when the bigger dog is older and it will not see the Coton as a toy for its entertainment. However, a well-educated Coton will know how to put on its place to an impetuous dog that tries to overstep the mark.
Similarly, if they have grown up or had contact with felines from a young age, they can adapt to coexistence with this partner of a different species. Being small dogs, they can see them as their equals, respect their differences, and coexist happily next to them.
Of course, a cat and a dog are very different animals with different habits and needs. Therefore, even though they are both tolerant and prudent, you have to keep a watching eye the first days of the interaction between the two animals, until you can guarantee neither of both is in danger with the other.
You have to remember that both a cat and a Coton are animals that somehow keep some wildness on their veins by their nature and history of the origin of their breed, so there must never be the competition and survival instinct between them.
These are characteristics that are expected of the breed in general as the result of years of natural selection and then selective breeding and based on a long experience with the breed. However, every specimen is different and has its own characteristics. The ideal thing is to always keep them in contact with a different incentive so they can be flexible when socializing in their lives.
Diet and Feeding of the Coton de Tulear
The base of the diet of any dog is directly related to the physical activity it performs, its age and its health state. The Coton de Tulear is a small dog that can perform a lot of activity and that actually can be very energetic. It needs a diet that adapts and fits it.
For your dog to be healthy and happy, it is precisely that it counts with every micro and macronutrient that is indispensable to achieve all the daily corporal functions, just like the energy to keep its playful and active attitude.
Besides counting with the correct concentration of nutrients in the commercial compounds for its consume, it is necessary to keep in mind that its size makes it impossible for it to eat big portions of food in just one meal. So, the frequency with which you feed it is as important as the quality of the food you give to your dog.
Among all the existent alternatives to feed correctly our dog, there always could be a doubt about which product is the best, certainly, this will depend much on each dog individually. Although to decide between dry or wet food, it will depend more on the taste of the dog and yours, each one has its benefits and negative points.
Feeding the Coton de Tulear during its growth
As every small dog, this one has a small stomach and when they are pups they require much more energy than its stomach is capable of containing in one portion of food. Therefore, they will need more frequency in feeding than big breeds.
Since they are born until they are a year old, the frequency of feeding is extremely important because this will influence its correct growth. Likewise, as it grows, it will adjust to the amount of food for every meal and the frequency with which you feed it.
When they are little, since the first month until the third month of life, the best would be to feed it 4 times a day with portions that go from a quarter to half a cup each meal. As it grows, the amount increases until it is ¾ to 1 cup of food. Since the third month, you can separate more the meals, getting to 3 meals a day.
When you select the food your Coton will consume, you must always consider the age of the dog and its size. When it is a puppy you have to give it products specially made for small dog breeds.
When we are talking about dry food, this has to be enough small and soft for their jaws and growing teeth, besides having an adequate concentration of nutrients. If, on the other hand, you prefer wet food, this also has to be well formulated and the portion already measured for each meal.
During this period it is also important to create habits regarding the moment of eating. It is not recommendable that you allow your dog to eat when and how it wants to, so establishing schedules and a sense of respect for the moment of eating, allows them to create a hierarchical system at home.
Healthy Diet: Healthy Adult
Just like the healthy and rich diet during the period of growth is fundamental for a strong puppy, so it is for an adult. Therefore, a correct diet will be very important through all the dog’s life, always adapted to the daily exigencies of its life.
Even, if they reach their maximum size, they would still be small dogs whose stomachs cannot contain big portions of food at a time. So, as it grows you will have to reduce the frequency until reaching a diet of two meals a day when it reaches the adult age at 2 years old.
Likewise, the food for small breeds must be a part of its daily life because, even though when it is an adult its jaw and teeth reach their higher strength, it could still be hard for them to eat dry food with big and tough croquettes. Also, a wet-dry for large breeds could result in too big portions and insufficiency in its nutrition.
Therefore, whether you choose wet or dry food, it must always be formulated for small breeds, this way you can be sure that it will be easy for your dog to eat and that it has everything it needs for its adult life. Equally, when they get to their old age, there is softer food formulated for that period.
If well they are very active dogs, some specimens prefer to spend the whole day sitting on a sofa next to their owner before getting out to have fun on their own. So, if you do not stimulate it they can become into actual hairballs, so taking care of the amount of food is fundamental to prevent obesity.
Snacks are the principal cause of obesity in these dogs since many times are not considered as a part of the daily meal and so they exceed the number of calories. Therefore, getting fat results easy especially and particularly during the period of training.
You must always keep in mind that you must never give them food from the table since many of the ingredients used in the kitchen can be toxic for them as spices and onions. Likewise, if you only give the dog this food, it could suffer from a nutritional deficit.
Necessary Care and Health
The nature and history of the breed make it have a genetic heritage very wide. Although it surged from a probably reduced group of animals, the fact of being confined for so long to an island in addition to being in a practically wild state, the natural selection imposed so only the best specimens could survive.
This has granted them health envied by many other small dog breeds more popular than the Coton. This gives them a long life expectancy that also improves with physical and general adequate care, allowing it to live fully from 16 to 20 years.
To keep your dog in the best possible conditions, you have to dedicate time to its care, especially the hygiene and its hair care, which is one of its bigger attributes. It requires regular attention and commitment.
A particular characteristic of this dog is that it barely loses hair, so it is hypoallergenic, thus it is very good for people with several allergies to dog’s hair. This also implicates greater care for the fur, which besides being from a color that gets dirty easily, also gets entangled easily.
It is a breed that does not possess diseases associated to its own genetic, therefore it is one of the healthiest breeds you can get. Like any other dog, they present diseases common in small breeds, but these will be related to its life quality.
Therefore, it is always recommendable that you take your dog to periodical check-ups at the veterinarian. The schedules of vaccinations and deworming are extremely important for a healthy dog. Besides, the evaluation of a specialist can detect invisible problems in the eyes of an inexpert owner.
This marks the difference when managing the possible diseases these dogs could present, especially when we are talking about infectious conditions in which time can be extremely valuable.
Other problems are the falls and hits they can suffer since as it is a small breed, it can be fragile to this kind of event and trauma can be even fatal. Therefore, you must always be alert and careful before these circumstances.
The dog’s health and life quality depend a lot on the care you give to the animal when managing its hygiene, physical activity, and fur maintenance. Besides, this is even more important since these are dogs that enjoy contact with humans. Keeping them clean becomes a priority.
The point of more dedication with these dogs is exactly fur care, which can get entangled and dirty very easily. Its skin is delicate and the baths must be distanced, for that reason, the brushing and fur maintenance becomes a necessity.
Hygiene of the Coton de Tulear
Bathing these dogs is only indicated when they are extremely dirty, the rest of the time is only recommended to bathe them once or twice a year as a maximum. Their skin is delicate and too many baths could dry it out and damage it since they make it lose the oils that protect it.
The dental hygiene is one of the most outstanding concerns in small breeds since these accumulate too much bacterial plaque and can make it develop bad breath problems and even losing teeth or making the feeding a painful process.
For this, you must teach them to accept brushing their teeth at least once a week since they are puppies. Besides, this will allow the owner to detect any problem before it gets hard to treat.
Equally, you must clean its eyes and ears with wet towels at least once a week. If well baths are not frequent, the general hygiene is maintained easily following these simple steps that allow you to control the dirt that could cause infections in these areas.
Brushing and Haircuts
Brushing the dog’s hair results extremely important because the hygiene of the dog depends a lot on it. The frequency and hairbrush you use to the maintenance are very important factors. We recommend you to use a metallic hairbrush of thin strands. This type of brushes is very useful for cleaning the fur.
The frequency of the brushing must be at least every two days to prevent tangles and to eliminate death hair. Besides, if the dog went out and its fur got dirty, the brushing will eliminate the dirt. So, brushing the dog’s hair is a fundamental hygiene process in this breed.
The hypoallergenic characteristic consists of the fact that they do not lose hair, which means that their hair grows constantly and when the hair dies, it does not fall spontaneously, which improves the entanglement. For all this, the haircuts and visits to the hairdresser are necessary at least every 8 weeks.
Exercise and Company
The Cotons are dogs with a lot of energy and are more active than other small dog breeds so they are very eager to participate in activities with their owners, especially if these challenge them psychologically and physically. Your dog has to go out for walks or spending some game hours inside the house, but always in the company of someone it appreciates.
To stimulate this breed and keeping them happy you have to know that they need to take at least three walks a day, especially if you do not have a yard where it can stretch its legs. They get used to relieving themselves when they go out for walks, so in addition to exercising, it is very important for the cleaning of your house.
These animals are extremely attached to humans so they need to be in the company of a person or at least another pet. For them, the company is as important as it is the food, so to assure the company is as important as any other aspect of its care.
How to Train a Coton de Tulear
The Coton de Tulear is a dog easy to train and this is due to its characteristic docile and easy-to-manage temperament. Besides, they are extremely smart animals, so the challenge that implicates to learn determined behaviors stimulates them positively.
They are very good following routines this helps them feel safe at home besides creating habits that will be of a lot of help to their owners to teach them fundamental conducts to keep the order in the house.
Once they learn the basic conducts of coexistence and obedience, you can teach them to do tricks, of course, to achieve this is necessary to dedicate time and to be constant, is not something any owner achieves without some experience. However, it can represent a project for someone with interest in managing the dog training since they are good to learn and are willing to please.
The best way to teach them is through positive reinforcement. They answer very well to this training technic. It is with this kind of orientation that you take the more advantage of its native intelligence and its interest in pleasing its owner.
Education for using the bathroom
Knowing where and when to relieve themselves is something very important to any dog to prevent awkward moments inside the house but it is not something that they learn on their own. You have to teach them what places he is allowed to use inside or create habits so that it does it outside the house during its daily walks.
To achieve this goal, you have to seize the moments of the day when its body gives it the sign naturally to evacuate. This happens after it eats, so it is in this moment when you have to leave it in the space of the house you want it to use or to take it out for a walk. With time it will create the habit.
If you habituate it to do it during the walks, it gets more important to keep and get back to the routine of the 3 daily walks. This maintains the house clean but you have to complete the walks so your dog does not go through awkward moments and to keep them healthy, especially regarding the urine.
Once you achieve that your dog learns the limits about where it can evacuate, you will start to create in them the structure of limits and hierarchy that any dog must have to be correctly educated for coexistence in the house.
They look for learning with interest
Something very useful for the owners of a Coton is its character, great intelligence and sense of pleasing, which makes it very easy to train. For them, the process of training represents a challenge with which they stimulate psychologically.
Although this, they do not accept any order just like that. They have to feel that what you are asking them to do is useful and is something necessary. This makes them focus on the activity and keep interested in the process.
If you achieve that this kind of motivation with activities and orders keeps the dog focus, you can make it learn almost anything. The important thing is that you are constant and patient, that is the key to success in the training of any dog.
The method of positive reinforcement in training is also very important because the dog answers very effectively to this technic and this helps them learn much faster. To achieve the effectiveness of the method, the most important thing is to have clear what behavior we want to reinforce and how we want to do it.
The method of positive reinforcement consists of awarding the conduct that you want to incentive in the dog. It tries to create constantly the behaviors that somehow are useful to daily life. For example, teaching them when to evacuate if they do it where we want them to, they get an award and they will know that there is where they have to do it.
That is the fundament of this kind of reinforcement. For it to be completely effective is extremely important that whoever applies it is sure about what conduct it wants to reinforce so when it appears, that person can immediately award the dog.
The awards that you use will have an impact on the effectivity of the training since the motivation of the dog depends a lot on what is going to get. It is always a good idea to use some snack that your dog likes a lot, of course as long as it is adequate for it to consume it.
To guarantee the safety of the snack and the health of the dog is good to consult with the veterinarian about what food is safe to give your dog. In general, cheese, carrots, sausages, and especially dog cookies, homemade or commercial, are good options.
The correct way of giving it the award is just after the dog performed the conduct that you wanted of it. That means that you have to be very attentive to their behavior. When you are trying that your dog learns orders of obedience, you must show it what you want it to do when you say the order and then awarding it.
Once you are strengthening the behavior concerning the order, you have to go distancing the awards. This way it will learn to do it without giving it awards and the behavior will set in its behavior. You have to be very careful because if you do not control the number of snacks according to the food, your dog can grow fat.
With this method is very easy to achieve the animal’s training. That is why it is considered the most effective to train the Coton and any dog in general. However, you have to be committed to the whole process of constant learning so you can achieve all your expectations.
The behavior of the Coton de Tulear with humans
When we talk about the relation between the different dog breeds with people, we have to consider the characteristics of their temperaments. In general, the different specimens of the same breed will have the same behaviors.
In the case of the Coton, the principal temperament characteristics of this breed are that they are very affectionate animals and in general, will be very affectionate to any person they interact with and gives them trust.
They are very attached to their humans and they can actually feel stress when they are alone for a long time. They could even develop unwanted conducts for these situations when they do not have company in the house.
This is the main reason why this breed is not recommendable for people who do not have enough time to share with these little dogs. Isolation affects them deeply and they could even suffer from health conditions related to the stressing situation.
The great recommendation is that you evaluate very well the conditions of the dog before deciding to adopt a breed or another and get a new partner in the house. A new pet has certain needs that must be satisfied, in the case of the Coton, the company is one of them and if you can not satisfy it, the best thing will be to consider another breed.
Relation with Children
Children answer very positively to the Coton de Tulear. This answer is corresponded by the dog since this breed is extremely playful and affectionate. Together they find in the other a loyal friend and a game partner for life.
Since they are very affective dogs in general, both parts create a close link. It is very important to keep in mind that during infancy, the need for affection and the affective resonance that kids have is so big that they can always create friendship ties with those who have a similar affective tone. Many times this is easier with pets than with persons.
This breed is very good for families with children. Both the children and the dog benefit from the relationship between them. For kids to have a game partner helps them developing social abilities like empathy and respect for others. Equally, for a puppy to grow up with kids makes them more sociable and gives them a partner to share time with.
These game sessions must be supervised, especially when the kids are very little because accidents like falls, hits, and bites could happen. You have to keep in mind that communication in dogs is different from humans’.
Likewise, with an adequate orientation, you can use the presence of the dog as a way to educate the children, giving them the responsibility of some care of the dog. Besides, you can teach them about the fragility of the dog’s body and how to prevent harming it. These things are unique experiences that allow the kid to grow as an empathic person.
Anxiety for Separation Syndrome
This is a conduct disorder that appears in dogs of different breeds and it is characterized for a state of anxiety that appears for permanence without human company for a long time. This syndrome appears as constant destructive conduct during these periods of loneliness.
Sometimes the syndrome can be so intense that, besides being destructive and ruining the shoes of its owner or turning the house into a total mess, some dogs can even get sick and suffer pictures where its health condition is affected in a higher or lower grade.
This is based on the necessity of these dogs to always have some kind of company, and if they have to spend some time alone, it must not be for long periods. Their favorite company will always be their owners, however, if they get used to since they are puppies, they will feel comfortable with other people and even with other pets.
When this is not possible and you can not help the dog from spending a few hours a day alone, certain steps can help them manage the anxiety it suffers. Mostly these are simple measures that you can apply without much effort and that will improve your dog’s life quality.
A good idea is using food dispenser toys. You fill these with a portion of dry food and you leave it to your dog. This way, besides serving as a distraction, it allows your dog to feed during the hours of your absence. The Coton will focus on getting the food out of the toy and is not very probable that it turns destructive.
Another alternative is that they have a dog partner to play with while the masters are not home. A good idea is to choose a more independent breed that will get motivated to look for the company of your dog when there are no people at home.
Equally, choosing toys with which it can entertain or simply drain its energy on, is enough to manage the feeling of anxiety or even completely distracting them from it.
Ideal Environment of the Coton de Tulear
Something very attractive nowadays about this dog breed is exactly its size, which results in practical and adaptable for life inside apartments and small houses without backyards, but in general very adaptable.
They do not lose hair so they are ideal pets for people with allergies. With the adequate care, they are very clean and as they are affectionate and linked to their people, the fact that they do not cause allergies is very helpful since they can sit on the lap of their owner and the sofa without leaving a coat of hair, complicated to clean or simply antiesthetic.
They adapt very well to big houses. They enjoy big spaces to run and play, this gives them a freedom that otherwise they would rarely have. However, they do not like being alone, so if you live in this kind of space, you must allow it to wander the house to be in the company of their owners.
They are also happy living in an apartment. Although they are very active and spend the day looking for something to entertain, with a little exercise, they spend the day quietly in a room, even more, if they get to be with their master.
Buildings and Apartments
Since they are a small dog breed, their need for space is little, so living in an apartment is no challenge for them, on the contrary, it represents an adequate space for them. These dogs are a good option for those that live in these spaces.
They are capable of adapting easily, with constancy they learn to evacuate when they go out for walks which is extremely important for them in any space they live in, or well in determined spaces in the house. Besides, they need a space in the house they can call their own.
In an apartment, this space must be close to the company of the owner, so they will be very happy if at every turn they are close to their persons. This is an advantage from the point of view of the Coton that at any time it can be close to its owner.
It is very important to keep this in mind when you decide to adopt a Coton. You have to give it the freedom to share the spaces of the house with the owners, on the contrary, they could develop conduct disorders related to anxiety. These are codependent animals and their principal company in most of the cases are humans.
For all this, an apartment is perfect for them. A small house where they can always be with someone is the environment these dogs enjoy the most. They can spend some hours a day alone but in general, it will not be isolated in the yard on its own or will get lost in a room.
This may result calming for those people that think that since they live in a small apartment, having a dog could be difficult for the lack of space, however for this breed it is an advantage.
The counterpart are big houses in which the dogs can have lots of fun. In these, they can be fully satisfied, especially if they have the company of someone to enjoy and seize the wide spaces of a backyard with, whether it is the company of a dog or the company of energetic children to run and play with.
A backyard is an ideal playing field for any dog, and so it is for a Coton. If well they can live without it, if they have the chance to enjoy it, they will fully do it, especially if their owners spend time playing with them.
Besides, the dog will not only have the backyard, but the spaces inside the house will be really good too, especially on warm days when being outside may result in uncomfortable for it. So, there will be various spaces that the dog could use, which is one of the advantages of this type of house.
They are capable of adapting to different weather, as long as these are not extreme. They may stay in different parts of the house in different seasons of the year. It is prudent that they always have fresh water so they can refresh, and also shelters that give them warm, although they rarely spend much time without their owners.
It is important to consider this, because in general, they look for a company, but especially if they have dog partners with more independent attitudes they can dedicate to explore the yard or the rooms of the house. If by mistake they get locked inside a room or in some space of the house without any company, it will be a bad moment for them.
This circumstance could cause an anxiety crisis if you do not manage it on time. So, it is extremely important to make sure that the Coton does not get locked in rooms or that it spends too much time alone in any place if is not necessary.