Country of Origin: Madagascar
Height: Male: 25–30 cm, Female: 22–27 cm
Weight: Male: 4–6 kg, Female: 3.5–5 kg
Color: Black, Gray & White, White, Tri-color, Black & White, Lemon & White
Life Expectancy: 14 – 16 years
Temperament: Lively, Playful, Vocal, Intelligent, Affectionate, Trainable
Litter Size: 3 - 6 puppies
Health Problems: N/A
Coton is the French word for cotton. Like the name suggests, the most conspicuous feature of the Coton de Tulear is its coat, which is cottony or fluffy rather than silky. It has a long topcoat.
The fluffy hair covers the thin, lightly-muscled forelegs. Colors come in white and black, and white and tri-colored. (White is preferred by show breeders.)
Some have slightly yellowish markings on the ears. The Coton is a Bichon-type related to the French Bichons and the Italian Bolognese.
It is even possible in some cases that native dogs of other types were crossbred. It most likely arrived in Madagascar with French troops, or with the administrators who followed.
The breed was virtually unknown until it was reintroduced to Europe and America in the last 20 years.
For centuries, the Coton was a favored companion of the wealthy residents of Tulear, in southern Madagascar, where it continued to breed to type. A dog with similar origins was popular on the French island of Reunion, off the east coast of Madagascar, but became extinct. The original Bichon-type extended back possibly one thousand years ago or more.