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Welcome to our website!  We have gone to great lengths to make our website both enjoyable and informative.  Following this brief introduction to our website, you will find information about the coton breed on our "Home" page.  To learn more about us, click the "About Us" tab at the top of the page. 

If you click the "Puppies" tab you will find announcements about current and/or upcoming litters.  Scroll through the page and you will learn even more about the process of adopting a puppy from us.  If you hover over the "Puppies" tab you will see the names of our breeding females.  Click on a name and you will see pictures and videos of their most recent litter.  We keep pictures and videos posted of a litter until a new litter arrives. 

To get acquainted with the dogs in our breeding program, click on the "Adults" tab.  You can read general information on that page.  If you hover over the "Adults" tab you will see tabs for "Our Girls" and "Our Boys".  Click on a tab and read about our darling pets and view their pedigrees.  Keep in mind these are our personal dogs and not for sale unless specifically noted on the "Adults" page.

Our "Breeder's Recommendations" page is full of information to get you off on the right foot with your new puppy.  We give information about food, supplements, grooming, training, and more...

The "Frequently Asked Questions" page answers common questions that we have received time and again from our puppy buyers. 

We also have pages where we brag on the accomplishments of our puppies and display pictures of puppies from the past. Hover over the "More" tab to view those pages.

When you are ready to contact us, simply click the "Contact Us" tab and you will see our email address and contact numbers. If you have any questions, we are always happy to speak with you.  Enjoy!


The Heavenly Coton de Tulear
































Allow us to introduce you to the rare, ancient, and pure-breed dog called The Coton de Tulear (pronounced coe-TAWN day TULE-ee-r).

The history of the Coton de Tulear is poorly documented. But, the most common belief is that they are descendants of dogs who survived an ancient shipwreck near the Madagascar coast. Madagascar is the world’s fourth largest island, and lies in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Africa. The little white dogs who swam ashore to the port of Tulear were the now extinct Coton de Reunions. The dogs settled on the island and bred with the local terriers resulting in what we now know as the Coton de Tulear. During the 17th century, the Merina, who were the ruling tribal monarchy in Madagascar closely controlled the breed. They forbid both coastal tribesmen and non-noblemen from owning the dog. The Coton became known as the “Royal Dog of Madagascar.” Later, conquering French colonists adopted the dog as well, and only those persons in the top echelon of society were allowed to own a Coton de Tulear. Political and economic crises in Madagascar now threaten the dog with extinction in its own native land. The Coton was honored on a Madagascar postage stamp in 1974.

Also in 1974, Dr. Robert Jay Russell, a biologist studying Madagascar’s lemurs, sent Coton breeding stock to America. Three years later they were introduced in Europe. The dogs were enthusiastically received, and are quickly becoming one of the fastest growing rare breeds in America and Europe.

The name Coton derives from the French word for cotton, thus, the name means "cotton of Tulear". The Coton de Tulear earned this name in part for a port city in Madagascar called Tulear and because the look and texture of their coat resembles a wad of cotton wool, a trait that causes it to stand out from almost all other dog breeds.  Their coat has a wind-tossed appearance and, though it requires regular grooming, is probably among the easiest to maintain of any long-haired breed.  Cotons shed very little, have little or no dander (a cause of allergies in people), qualifying it as a hypoallergenic dog. They have little or no doggy odor, a dry hair-like coat that sheds dirt-essentially this is a dog clean enough to sleep in your bed!

          Ideally, the companion Coton has a relatively easy to care for coat. Many Coton de Tulear owners make a run for the groomer when their Coton is between 6 and 18 months of age for a "puppy cut". This is the "blowing coat" stage in their development when it seems all the under hair comes loose at once.  Don't worry-your Coton will still look adorable with a puppy cut. Most, but not all, Cotons have undercoats. This is the fine, downy hair under their coat that mats as it loosens from the skin. These loose hairs are held in by the coarser and longer outer hair and stay locked in the coat instead of being shed all over the house.  This sounds ideal, however, without frequent brushing and/or combing mats and knots will form close to the skin and can be difficult (and painful) to remove. Coats vary and many Cotons have long, thick hair that may require a bit more attention to care for.  Many owners easily get by with an overall combing once or twice a week although many families enjoy the social experience of daily grooming.

          There are three color varieties seen: White (often with champagne color patches); Black-and-white; and Tri-color. A Tri-color often is born with a lot of color which gradually fades so that the adult is mostly white with champagne patches and a faint, irregular "dusting" of black hairs. Black & White Cotons retain their color throughout their lives.

Eliza, Emma, and Fabien are...  




Unfortunately the link is not live anymore.

They were featured on

Fox 10 Arizona Morning Show

on October 1, 2014.


At Cathy's Coton Cuties all of our Cotons are professionally bred from championship stock and are home-raised to ensure optimum socialization. Our puppies and parents are health tested and guaranteed to ensure quality and long life.  We run a Wisdom DNA genetic test for each of our dogs to ensure that we are not breeding genetic defects into our lines.



The Coton de Tulear Standard


What is a Breed Standard?

     "A breed standard is a written document, approved by a kennel club or breed club that details the breed's physical characteristics, temperament, and abilities necessary for its intended original purpose" (Knorr, 2006).  Standards are used by breeders to assist them in maintaining the integrity of the breed.

View the Coton de Tulear FCI Standard

View the Coton de Tulear CTCA Standard

Divergent opinions exists over the standard for the Coton de Tulear.  On one side of the controversy is  Dr. Jay Russell, who sent the first Coton breeding stock from Madagascar to America in 1974.  The Coton de Tulear Club of America (CTCA), the first Coton club in the United States, was founded by Dr. Russell.  The CTCA maintains its own breed standard, which is derived from the original Malagasy standard for the breed. 


     Other clubs abide by the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) standard.  The FCI is an international kennel club that originally included only five European countries.  Today membership includes nations on six continents and they recognize over 300 breeds of pure-bred dogs. 


     The main disagreement between the two standards is over color and size.  The FCI standard maintains that a Coton is primarily a white dog.  Although slight color on the ears is "tolerated", it is not desirable.  The CTCA standard on the other hand argues that the original Coton comes in three color varieties.  They include the Black and White and the Tri-Color in their standard. 


     Size is the other issue.  The FCI standard states that the Coton height should be in the range of 9.8"-12.5".  Although the CTCA standard is very similar they also recognize what they refer to as the "tall Coton".  Dr. Russell has initiated a scientific experimental breeding protocol in an attempt to understand the genetics of Coton tallness and has a few breeders working in cooperation with the experiment to purposefully try to produce tall Cotons.


     At Cathy's Coton Cuties we have adopted a balanced philosophy in relation to the standards. All of our dogs that are used for breeding meet the FCI standard and were obtained from knowledgeable, reputable breeders who adhere to the FCI standard.  However, we have seen the three color varieties mentioned in the CTCA standard in puppies produced by some of the top European Coton kennels, making it difficult to discount the existence of such variation in the breed. As stated by the CTCA, a "cookie cutter look" for this breed is not the goal.  Although we do not breed for extreme color variations, where white is no longer the dominant color of the Coton, we are not opposed to the look of the tri-color.  Many people find this variation very beautiful.  If you check out our scrapbook you will see everything from pure white to tri-color in our puppies.

Another hottly debated issue in the Coton world is AKC (American Kennel Club) acceptance of the Coton breed.  For years a majority group of Coton breeders resisted the acceptance of the Coton as a recognized breed by the AKC.  Breeders worried that such recognition would cause the Coton to be overbred, allowing faults into the breed that do not commonly exist at this time.  There is nothing inherently wrong with the AKC.  We were Chihuahua breeders for 12 years before breeding Cotons.  I found the AKC to be a noble regulating force in my breeding practice.  A representative from AKC would visit our home twice a year to inspect our paperwork, our kennels and the living environment we provided for our dogs.  We never felt threatened by this.  We welcomed these visits as we knew we were providing the best of care for our dogs. We always passed those inspections with flying colors and earned the respect of the AKC representative that visited our home.

I say all that to demonstrate that AKC truly attempts to educate breeders and protect the dogs that they accept into their registering club.  We made the decision in the summer of 2015 to move all our registrations to AKC.  So when you buy a puppy from us, you will receive an AKC puppy registration application (except for a few of Liliana's dogs.)  If you have any questions or concerns about this issue we are happy to chat with you about it. It is our belief that it is up to us, as lovers and breeders of the Coton, to help to mentor new breeders and uphold the standard of the breed.

Coton de Tulear - The Jewel of Madagascar



     The Coton de Tulear, indigenous to Madagascar on the continent of Africa, possesses a beautiful all-white coat that distinguishes it from most other breeds.  Although documentation on the Coton is sparse and sketchy, it is generally accepted that the breed originated from Europe and Africa. 

Today's Coton de Tulear is believed to have originated from these Bichon-like native dogs. Like the Bichon, the Coton is predominantly all-white.  Unlike the Bichon, the Coton is noted for slight variations in color markings. It is believed that the native to Madagascar interbred with stray terriers indigenous to the island, which explains the Coton's insatiable curiosity and the "Coton's inability to resist going after the neighbor's poor chickens," (Coton de Tulear, by Wolfgang Knorr).  According to Knorr, this terrier known as the Bedlington Terrier, brought along by French colonists, contributed to the Coton's characteristically arched back, longer legs and two distinct skin colors:  gray and pink.

All That Jazz of CCC

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