Coton de Tuléar

Suitable for all lifestyles and climates, the Coton de Tuléar is the small dog par excellence. This small, bushy ball has a stunning appearance and a remarkable character. Able to live anywhere and with anyone, he is the most desirable life companion there is. Whether the legend is true or not, whether the "Bichon - Pirate" mix really took place or not, one thing is certain, these little cotton balls that appeared on the island of Madagascar are pure marvels that today make the joy of all lovers of these admirable four-legged life companions.

Height 22 to 30 cm
Weight 4 to 6 kg
Life expectancy 14 to 16 years
Hair Loss Low
Excercise Need Medium
Home country Madagascar

Quick Overview of the Coton de Tuléar


  • Affectionate
  • Always in a good mood
  • Lively and sociable
  • Intelligent


  • Special fur
  • Silhouette longer than tall
  • Vivid and intelligent expression
  • Eyes generally dark


  • Rustic and very robust
  • Rarely ill
  • Good life expectancy

Temperament of the Coton de Tuléar

The Coton de Tuléar is affectionate, cheerful and very funny. He is an entertained who loves family.

He is completely safe for children. He will be very careful not to hurt them when he plays with them.

This intelligent little dog needs constant contact with his masters. He must therefore live inside and unthinkable to let him live outside.

The contact with his family must be constant because he is exclusively a companion dog who is totally devoted to them.

Despite his kindness and intelligence, he is rather shy towards strangers. Regardless of his small size, he always warns of the arrival of an intruder.

Even if he is naturally sociable, it is still preferable to include socialization in his early education so that he does not become too fearful of visitors.

He is very energetic, receptive and easy to train. His education is therefore not a problem.

coton de tuléar personnalité

Breed Appearance

This adorable little companion dog is easily recognizable by his very special fur.

The Coton de Tuléar has a silhouette longer than high but very hairy. His expression is lively and intelligent. This furry miniature dog has a delightful look.


Between 25 and 30 cm (9.84 to 11.81 inches) for the male
Between 22 and 27 cm (8.66 to 10.63 inches) for the female


Between 4 and 6 kg (8.82 to 13.23 pounds) for the male
Between 4 and 5 kg (8.82 to 11.02 pounds) for the female


His pretty coat has a white background where a few spots are sometimes present, especially on the ears, in pale grey or very pale red shades.


His hair is fine, slightly wavy and about 8 cm (3 inches) long.


His small head has a very slightly domed skull and a light accentuated stop. His round eyes are generally dark.

His thin triangular ears fall close together on the cheeks. His nose is black.

His big bushy tail usually descends below the hock at rest. About 18 cm (7 inches) long, it is set low and has a slightly raised tip.

According to the FCI breeds nomenclature, this breed belongs to group 9, section 1 and is #283

Characteristics of the Coton de Tuléar

Does this dog suit your lifestyle?

Every dog breed has its own characteristics. However, the actual character of a dog can vary from one to another within the same breed.

Find out if the Coton de Tuléar is your ideal dog breed with our quiz.

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Life in an apartment
Good first dog
Tolerates solitude
Tolerates cold weather
Tolerates hot weather
Friendly with children
Friendly with strangers
Friendly with other animals
Hair loss
Drooling level
Easy to care for
Robust health
Easy to train
Tendency to bark
Tendency to nibble
Instinct to hunt
Adventurous spirit
Energy level
Level of intensity
Need for exercise

Price and monthly budget

Price you can expect to pay for a Coton de Tuléar puppy: between and
These prices are indicative and may vary from breeder to breeder

Coton de Tuléar puppies near me

Coton de Tuléar pictures

Health of the Coton de Tuléar

Despite his small size and doggy-like appearance, he is a hardy and very robust dog.

No disease seems to affect him and he is rarely sick.

Small dogs generally enjoy a good life expectancy, but the Coton de Tuléar's is more than appreciable.


He requires a good brushing at least twice a week and a bath every two or three months.

He needs less time than other Bichons, but it is necessary all the same to maintain his coat and check his ears regularly.

It is also preferable to shave the entrance of the ears to avoid potential infections. The Coton de Tuléar requires minimum weekly maintenance time.

History of this breed

The Coton de Tuléar is the result of an adaptation to the rigorous climatic conditions encountered on the island of Madagascar. This funny little dog has naturally adapted to the climate in order to protect himself from both heat and cold.

Truth or urban legend, a wonderful story relates his origins. Tuléar, Madagascar's port in the 16th century, was witness to many commercial exchanges at the time.

Europe, especially France, greatly benefited from this commercial position. One of the ships, that had three beautiful little female dogs, was attacked by pirates. Trésor, Bijou and Belle, the three pretty Bichon dogs, apparently survived the shipwreck.

They found themselves on the beach of Tuléar together with the fourth survivor of the shipwreck, the pirates' ratter. The pretty ladies and the pirates' ratter had together, many small balls of cotton on the beach of Tuléar and thus created the very pretty Coton de Tuléar.

Nice legend but this cute little dog could, more likely, have been crossed with local dogs. The Coton de Tuléar, as we know him today, is nevertheless the result of his adaptation to the island's harsh climate.

His superb fur has truly adapted to become his best protection to enable him to withstand all climate changes of this magnificent island located in the Indian Ocean.

Commercial relations between France and Madagascar still exist and this magnificent little hairy doggie was brought back in the luggage of the French and aroused the curiosity of all. The breed was thus recognized in 1970 and the Coton de Tuléar became a well defined breed.

There are not many of them left on the island of Madagascar nowadays because France is now the custodian of the breed and standard and has about 90% of the world's population.

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