This small white dog is slightly longer than he is tall and has a long, cotton-like coat. He is 25-32cm tall when fully grown and adults weigh around 4-6kg.
The Royal Dog of Madagascar, as he is also known, is a long-established breed that takes its name from Tulear, a port town on the south-west coat of the island. It's said that in the 15th century some little white Bichon-type dogs survived a shipwreck and swam to Tulear where they bred with the local terriers to produce the Coton de Tulear dog breed. He became a popular dog in the royal household and a law was passed forbidding anyone other than nobility to own the breed.
Bred for centuries to be a companion dog, the Coton de Tulear is a loving and loyal pet who thrives in human company and doesn't like to be separated from his family. He enjoys lapdog duties, but is fun, playful and lively, too.
The Coton de Tulear generally seems to be a healthy breed with few widely recognised breed specific health problems.
A small breed, the Coton de Tulear doesn't need vast amounts of exercise – about half an hour a day will suffice. Do ensure the coat is dried thoroughly after a wet walk .
Toy dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.
The Coton De Tulear is so called because of his single, cotton-like coat, which is about 8-9cm long. A daily brush through will keep it tangle-free. Pets are often trimmed, to make the coat less high-maintenance, but show dogs are kept in full-coat.