Cotons of Adam's Eden

Funtastic Facts

Funtastic Facts


  • Barbra Streisand, Debra Messing, Glenn Close, Jane Fonda, and Catherine Zeta-Jones are proud Coton de Tulear Owners!
  • In France, the Coton is sometimes referred to as the 'Anti-Stress' dog of the 21st Century.
  • Native Madagascans refer to the Coton de Tulear affectionately as the "comedian" or "royal dog".
  • In Madagascar, the Coton's country of origin, the breed has been portrayed on a postage stamp.
  • The tall Coton is very rare and can come in 3 different colors. These dogs can be up to 17 inches tall and can come from normal sized parents.
  • The Coton dog usually does very well in agility training. Despite their relatively small size, they do well because of their desire to please their owners and their enjoyment of jumping and climbing.
  • Many Cotons are good swimmers and take to water naturally. They are kissing cousins to the Bichon breeds who are related to the water dogs.
  • The most similar breed to the Coton de Tulear is the Bolognese of Italy.
  • Owning a Coton de Tulear can improve your health.

Coton de Tulear History (sort of...)

Coton de Tulear history is spotty at best. As with any information on this rare breed, its origin is somewhat unclear. There are a number of interesting tales about how these dogs came to inhabit Madagascar several centuries ago but they are mostly unsubstantiated. So keep this in mind about the Coton de Tulear history on the below timeline.

  • 15th or 16 Century - It is thought that the Coton de Tulear originated in the port city of Tulear in Madagascar (currently named Toliara). One account is that the Coton's ancestors (thought to be related to the Bichon family of dogs) were shipwrecked during storms steered by Spanish and Portuguese sailors and these dogs washed up in Tulear.
  • 17th Century - France claimed Madagascar and these dogs became very popular with the new French aristocracy. It became illegal for commoners to own this rare breed and today they are known as the "Royal dog of Madagascar".
  • 1970-71 - The breed gained official recognition from the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) when they accepted them into their registry.
  • 1974 - The breed was honored on a postage stamp in Madagascar. The first Cotons came to America when Dr. Robert Jay Russell sent breeding stock over from Madagascar.
  • 1975 - The first Cotons appeared in Europe.
  • 1976 - The Coton de Tulear Club of America was formed by Dr. Jay Russell to maintain the "original" Malagasy breed standard, pedigrees, and registrations.
  • 1992 - The Madagascan government imposed an export stop to prevent the threat of extinction of the breed.
  • 1994 - Four Coton clubs were formed in the U.S. and Canada.
  • 2005 - According to the CTCA, nearly 2,000 Coton de Tulear dogs produced by 80 breeders worldwide were registered by the CTCA (in contrast, more than 70,000 Cotons have been produced in Europe since 1977).
  • 2010 - the USACTC announced its intention to pursue AKC recognition of the Coton de Tulear. The American Coton Club and the Coton de Tulear Club of America have strongly opposed this, as they feel it will impact the overall health and well being of the breed.

All of the above information was taken from

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