Yes, this dog is actually called that. Because he looks like a little ball of cotton when he is well combed: White, fluffy and totally fluffy! True, this requires a lot of coat care, but that’s also the biggest claim this dog makes. You can hold the little sunshine almost anywhere and will be happy to not only play with him, but also cheer him up at any time.
The cotton dog, also called Coton de Tuléar, is a wonderful family and companion dog that actually feels at home everywhere. And because of its coat, it also attracts all the attention.
Character of the cotton dog
Are you looking for a lively, cheerful and playful companion, who despite everything rests in himself? Then you are exactly at the right place with the cotton dog. Because this dog, as serious as his facial expression can be, is somehow always in a good mood and in a playful mood. Fear of man he does not know. He is very trusting. As soon as he gets accustomed, he is the four-legged twin of the owner.
The cotton dog’s calm and sunny disposition ensures that he gets along well with even the smallest and youngest members of the family. Lots of playing and cuddling will characterize their day. Basically, he looks at each person first curious. Distrust is alien to him. However, if he really should not get along with a person once, he withdraws. But he is not offended by this.
On walks or hikes, he is always careful to keep his owner in sight. He will not stray too far from him. However, when it comes to walks and hikes, he is underestimated by most people. Certainly, it would be quite sufficient if two or three small walks of half an hour were taken with him daily.
But if you want to take him on a hike, you are welcome to do so. Because he will do well even the four hour hike, with some small breaks of course. He is much too fond of being with his owner to leave him alone for several hours.
As you would expect, this dog learns quite quickly, as he is very attentive. Therefore, it seems all too natural that you will find him enjoying trick dog, dog dancing, and of course, agility on a regular basis. There is nothing he loves more than doing an activity together with his owner and being successful at it.
The historical background of the Cotton Dog
If you take a closer look at the name of this dog, you will notice that it already describes the whole dog and its name: Cotton of Tuléar. Tuléar is a city located in the south of Madagascar. For several centuries this dog has been there the lap and social dog of the rich upper class.
There is a great similarity, sometimes even a kinship, with several other small breeds of dogs: Havanese, Bichons Frisé, Maltese, Bolognese and the Lion. It was soldiers who brought him from Madagascar to France in the course of time and made him a popular social dog there as well.
Like so many other dog breeds, breeding on the European mainland developed along different paths than it did in the dog’s homeland. And yet, for a long time, the French claimed him as their own. One might think they hid him from the rest of the world. Because it wasn’t until the 1960s that the cotton dog set out to conquer the rest of Europe and the United States.
Certainly, the cotton dog has made a great conquest around the world. Nevertheless, the price for a puppy is still quite high. Even today, every interested party must be prepared for this. The breeding itself is well supervised by the FCI, so that healthy and robust dogs can still be delivered. This is the only way to keep the breeding stable. Exactly as every friend of this dog breed wishes.
The colors of the cotton dog
Even if the puppies are not necessarily born with white fur, the only color accepted in the cotton dog is of course white! Only on the ear there may be tiny gray spots. They are caused by black spots in the lower coat layer and the top coat above.
The coat is silky, long and may sometimes be wavy. Due to the origin of the cotton dog, it has no undercoat. No wonder, because on Madagascar there is no change of seasons. Here it is summery warm during the whole year, so that an undercoat was not necessary.
Because of the conditions of keeping in Europe and today’s possibility to put a warm winter jacket on the dog, this point was never considered or tackled during breeding. As we can see, this is also not necessary. He copes perfectly with the local weather.
Many friends of the Cotton Dog will take the position that he does not have fur, but hair. They use this as an argument why he has little hair and “the hair” does not need to be cut. If you comb the dog, you will find that only a few hairs ever go out. But these are sitting loosely. They are not pulled out. Nevertheless, these loose hairs are not to be confused with the undercoat of other breeds. Once again, there is no undercoat on this dog!
What are the requirements of the cotton dog?
Can you imagine a cute little dog that literally wants to be everywhere? Exactly such a dog is the cotton dog. And he should be allowed to be there as much as possible. Honestly – he does not like to be left alone at all. Of course he can learn it. But these periods should not be too long. No, he does not resent it. But he just doesn’t like it.
For this very reason, it is also important that the basic training and socialization of the dog is done as professionally as possible. If this dog has never learned to carry out the commands of its owner, this can lead to extreme stress situations. What should be self-evident can become a test of endurance, if the cotton dog has not learned the lessons from puppyhood.
Optimally, the breeder has already started with the playful education. But, of course, it is up to the new owner to continue and build on the lessons. A cotton dog that has enjoyed a good upbringing and is also busy, physically as well as mentally, will let itself be sent to the basket when it is necessary and will also not tear apart the apartment if the owner needs a little longer for his shopping trip.
Since he is quite intelligent, you should never stop with the basic lessons and always have new tasks or tricks ready. Lots of variety in the lessons can be a real blessing for the little one.
You see, full-time professionals who don’t have a chance to take the pet to work with them should look for another dog. Because this dog will not bear to be separated from his master for such a long time in the long run.
The cotton dog and his health
Even though the cotton dog has long appreciated the company of man, breeding has always taken care to ensure that he enjoys the best of health. Thus, it is possible that even today he stands before us healthy and lively, without hereditary diseases or a tendency to certain diseases. This is also the reason for his high life expectancy.
Advantages and disadvantages of the cotton dog
If you think that the attentive, yet calm dog would be easy to keep, you have unfortunately bet on the wrong dog. Certainly, this friendly dog rests in himself and knows that people are basically well-disposed to him. He also knows that cuddling, playing, being spoiled is just great and only promotes the bond with his owner or the entire family. Nevertheless, he would like to be exercised. If he starts to get bored, it may well happen that he looks for other activities for his everyday life.
Depending on his disposition or ingenuity, but also on the possibilities given on site, this can start with yapping without cause and stop with dismantling household objects. But this does not have to be. Because this little bundle of energy would like to show what he is made of. So he should be encouraged with one or more dog sports. Among other things, agility, dog dancing, trick dog, but also sniff training are suitable for this. This makes especially the children as much fun as the dog.
But it also means a certain physical and mental flexibility for the owner. Certainly the cotton dog is a good social dog. But who wants to be bored together? So this dog is sometimes called “anti-stress” or “anti-depression” dog. Because he lures his owner out from behind the stove in an absolutely charming way to get something going together.
The coat of the dog requires some care, so you should always reserve a certain amount of time for this. Similar to cotton threads, the coat of the dog can also get bogged down very quickly.
If you don’t take care of the coat for several days, you will find that it gets knotted and matted very quickly. This does not have to be the case. Those who do the grooming regularly will see that very little time is needed every day, if it is really done regularly. The perfect look will set in all by itself with a little daily use.
The perfect person for a cotton dog
- Is home often so the cotton dog does not have to be alone for long periods of time
- Has the option to take the dog with him to his workplace
- Is willing to do all activities together with the dog
- Is aware that he must challenge the cotton dog, both physically and intellectually
- Likes to go with his dog to the dog sports ground, where they do agility, trick dog or dog dancing
- Wants a dog that can get along with all members of the family, young and old alike
- Enjoys the “anti-stress” and “anti-depression” effects of the dog
Buy the puppies of the cotton dog
We all know the problem of first of all to find a reputable breeder. Here there are several ways to find. One is to look at the VDH to see if one of the registered breeders has a litter planned in the foreseeable future. But also word-of-mouth is always a good way to find the right breeder. Always make sure that the chemistry between you and the breeder fits. After all, you will want to visit the future family member a few times after the litter.
Also, it’s always good if the breeder doesn’t just give away a bunch of tips and tricks to get you started. It is also good to know that you can call him at any time, even later, if problems arise or questions still arise. And especially with beginners among dog owners, these will always arise. So it’s better to ask one more question than one too few.
The cotton dog is a small, sunny bundle of energy that will make even the biggest, human sad sack smile. He insists on spending as much time as possible with his owner every second of the day. A solid training makes sense, as he also likes to forget a command once in a while because of his enthusiasm.
All in all, however, the Cotton Dog is a four-legged friend who will go with you through thick and thin. There’s only one thing he resents – when he’s left alone for too long.
If you want to buy a cotton dog, you have to expect a price between 1000 and 2000 pounds.
The home of this dog is to be found in Madagascar, to be exact, in the city of Tuléar. Through French soldiers, he found his way to the European mainland.
The cotton dog can live between 15 and 17 years.
The weight of this small dog is from five to seven kilograms. The males reach a height at the withers of 30 centimeters. The bitches are usually a few centimeters smaller.
The average litter size for the Cotton Hound is 6 puppies. Of course, the litter size can vary. It depends on various components.
The cotton dog belongs to the area of the social dogs. He is absolutely not suitable for hunting. However, if he does want to set after a wild animal, this has more to do with fun and the joy of running than with an incipient hunting instinct.
The cotton dog loves his people. Playing with them, cuddling and adapting to them. He lives by the motto “What pleases my human, pleases me.” Children are part of it for him. How good that he loves to play so much. Not only with his humans, but also with other dogs he loves to play.
Whatever keeps him busy when dog and master are outside of their own four walls, he won’t let his master out of his sight. For sure is for sure. But there is one thing he does not like at all – being alone for a long time. Sure, he can stay alone for a few hours, such as shopping or the like. But this should not be done too often and never extended too much.
This dog is predestined to be kept in an apartment. He is small and loves to spend time with his family. He can also get through the day well with several short walks. Even in the city, this can definitely be done on a regular basis. However, walks on the weekend that last a few hours he will also handle with flying colors.
People in the city do not scare him. In addition, in areas that are too busy, he can be picked up to walk himself later. The many people themselves irritate him less.