(scroll down for Breed Standard)
T he Coton de Tulear originated in
Madagascar, an island situated off the east coast of Africa.
Dating back as far as the 16th century, there are many legends
surrounding the origin of this breed. It is believed that sailors
from Spain and Portugal had small white dogs in the galleys of their
ships. Ultimately some of these Bichon type dogs remained on the
island of Madagascar where they bred with indigenous dogs. Over
time the Coton de Tulear emerged. Named after their cottony coat
and the main port city of Tulear, the Coton de Tulear has been a
charmer ever since.
T hrough time the Coton, an intelligent little dog,
was able to sustain himself through hunting; towards the end of the
19th century, recognizing the qualities of the breed, people set out to
capture and domestic the Coton.
While the breed's origin dates
back several centuries, the Coton de Tulear's offical recognition did
not come about until 1975 when the Fédération Cynologique Internationale
(FCI) accepted them into their registry. It is at about this time
that the first Coton de Tulears arrived in North America. To date
the Coton de Tulear is recognized worldwide. However, the
Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) have not
yet given full recognition to the breed. Thus, there are several
registries in the U.S. that register the Coton de Tulear, and in
Canada, the Coton de Tulear is registered with the Canine Federation of
SECRETARIAT GENERAL: 13, Place Albert I — B 6530 THUIN (Belg.)
FCI-Standard N0 283 / 04. 02. 2000 / GB
TRANSLATION Mrs. Pamela
Jeans-Brown. Mrs.Renée Sporre-WiIles, Mr. Raymond Triquet.
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE
ORIGINAL VALID STANDARD : 25.11. 1999.
CLASSIFICATION F.C.I. :
Group 9 Companion and Toy Dogs. Section 1.2 Coton de Tuléar.
Without working trial.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY
Introduced to France long before its official recognition in 1970. this
newcomer from Madagascar quickly acquired a prominent position amongst
the companion dogs of this country; today it is widespread all over the
Small, long-haired, companion dog with a white cotton textured coat,
with round, dark eyes and a lively, intelligent expression.
The height at the withers in relationship to the length of the body is
The length of the head in relationship to that of the body is 2 to 5.
The length of the skull in relationship to that of the muzzle is 9 to 5.
BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT
Of a happy temperament, stable, very sociable with humans and
with other dogs; it adapts perfectly to all ways of life. The
temperament of the Coton de Tuléar is one of the main characteristics
of the breed.
Short, seen from above triangular.
Skull : Seen from the
front slightly rounded; rather wide in relation to its length.
Superciliary arches only slightly developed. Slight frontal groove.
Occipital protuberance and crest only slightly accentuated. Well
developed zygomatic arches.
Nose : In the extension of the nasal bridge; black; brown is
tolerated; nostrils wide open.
Lips : Fine, tight, of the same color as the nose
Jaws/Teeth : Teeth well aligned. Scissor bite, pincer bite or
inverted bite without losing contact. The absence of the PM 1 is not
penalized; the M3s are not taken into consideration.
Cheeks : Lean.
Eyes : Rather rounded, dark, lively, wide apart; the rims of the
eyelids are well pigmented with black or brown according to the color
of the nose.
Ears : Pendulous, triangular, high set on the skull, fine at the
tips; carried close to the cheeks, reaching the corners of the lips.
Covered with white hairs or with some traces of light gray (mixture of
white and black hairs giving a light gray appearance) or red-roan
(mixture of white and fawn hairs giving a red-roan appearance - lemon).
Well muscled, slightly arched. Neck well set into shoulders. Proportion
of neck to body = 1/5. Clean neck with no dewlap.
Topline very slightly convex. Dog longer than high.
Withers : Only slightly pronounced.
Back and loin : Strong back, topline very slightly arched. Loin
Croup : Oblique, short and muscled.
Chest; Well developed, well let down to elbow level,
long. Ribs well sprung.
Belly: Tucked up but not excessively.
Low set, in the axis of the spinal column. At rest : carried below the
hock, the tip being raised. On the move : Carried ((gaily))curved over
the back, with the point towards the nape, the withers, the back or the
loin. In dogs with abundant coat, the tip may rest on the dorsal-lumbar
The frontlegs are upright.
Shoulder and upper arm :
Oblique shoulder, muscled. Scapulohumeral angle about 120 degrees. The
length of the upper arm corresponds approximately to that of the
Lower arm : Humero-radial
angle : about 120 degrees. Lower arms vertical and parallel, well
muscled, with good bone. The length of the lower arm corresponds
approximately to that of the upper arm.
Carvus (Pastern joint) : A
continuation of the line of the lower arm. Metacaroals (Pastern):
Strong, seen in profile sloping very slightly.
Forefeet: Small, round,
toes tight, arched; pads pigmented.
The hindlegs are upright. Though dewclaws arenot
sought, their presence is not penalized.
Upper thigh :
Strongly muscled; coxo-femoral angle about 80 degrees.
Lower thigh Oblique, forming with the femur an angle of about 120
Hock joint: Dry, well defined, angle of the hock
Metatarsals (Rear pasterns): Vertical.
Hind feet: Similar to forefeet.
GAIT & MOVEMENT :
Free and flowing, without covering a lot of ground; topline retained on
the move. No sign of uneven movement.
Fine, stretched tight over all the body; although of pink color, it can
HAIR This is one of the
main characteristics of the breed from which its very name derives.
Very soft and supple, with the texture of cotton, never hard or rough.
the coat is dense, profuse and can be very slightly wavy.
COLOR : Ground color
White. A few slight shadings of light gray color (mixture of white and
black hairs) or of red-roan (mixture of white and fawn hairs), are
permitted on the ears. On the other parts of the body, such shadings
can be tolerated, if they do not alter the general appearance of white
coat. They are however not sought after.
Height at withers
Males : 26-28 cm, tolerance of 2 cm above and 1
Females: 23-25 cm, tolerance of 2cm above and 1 cm below.
Males : From 4 kg to a maximum of 6 kg.
Females: From 3,5 kg to a maximum of 5 kg.
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault
and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be
in exact proportion to its degree.
• Skull : Flat or too domed, narrow.
• Muzzle Disproportion between skull and muzzle.
• Eyes : Light, too almond shaped; entropion,
ectropion, prominent eves.
• Ears Too short. with insufficient length of hair;
ears folding backwards (rose ear).
• Neck : Too short, too stuffy in shoulder, too
• Topline Too arched, sway backed.
• Croup Horizontal. narrow.
• Shoulder : Straight.
• Limbs : Turned inwards or outwards; out at elbows; hocks
wide set or too close: straight
• Hair Too short, too wavy, curly.
• Pigmentation : Partially lacking or too light
pigmentation of eyelids or lips; discolored nose,
with unpigmented areas.
• Lack of type (insufficient breed characteristics
which means that the animal on the whole
does not sufficiently resemble other examples
of the breed).
• Size and weight outside the requirements and
tolerance of the standard.
• Foreface : Bridge of nose convex.
• Eyes : Bulging, with signs of dwarfism; too light;
• Ears : Pricked or semi-pricked.
• Tail : Not reaching to hock; high set, completely
curled (forming a tight ring); carried flat on
the back or against the thighs: carried
candle like; tailless.
• Hair : Atypical, rightly curled, woolly, silky.
• Color : Heavily marked; any marking of a definite
• Pigmentation : Total lack of pigment on eyerims.
nose or lips.
• Overshot or undershot mouth with lack of contact
between the incisors; vertical gaping of the
• Absence of teeth other than the PMI or the M3s.
• Aggressive or extremely shy specimen.
N.B. : Male
animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended
into the scrotum.