Acquiring a Coton
The American Coton Club is committed to providing education to enable you, the buyer, to determine for yourself how to evaluate breeders. We have prepared questions to help you and the breeder come to a mutual understanding. These questions will lead naturally to more dialogue as you and the breeder begin to understand each other, which allows you to gain confidence that you are selecting the right breeder for your situation.
The American Coton Club does not recommend breeders. However, we list breeders associated with the American Coton Club for the convenience of buyers. This is not an endorsement or a recommendation.
We are all interested in selecting the best possible breeder for the dog we want. Read further for suggestions on how to begin a dialogue with one or more prospective breeders of your puppy to find out all you can about the health of the dogs, the care the breeder gives to the adult Cotons and the puppies, how the breeder tests for temperament and personality, and how the breeder matches puppies to the requirements of the new homes.
Where to Start
When opening a dialogue with a breeder, it is best to ask open ended questions, that is, questions which require some discussion and which cannot be answered with a simple yes or no. We present some suggestions on the American Coton Club web page "Questions to ask a breeder". In many cases these are designed to allow a breeder to elaborate on his or her particular policies and practices.
There are generally considered to be three types of breeders:
1) a professional or commercial breeder who breeds a large number of dogs, perhaps 30 or more per year for Coton breeders, and who makes a living at it. This breeder may breed more than one breed of dog.
2) a hobby breeder who has one or a few Cotons and breeds them for the joy of introducing new families to Coton puppies, for showing, for improving the breed, or other personal reasons. This breeder often has a special expertise and interest in the breed.
3) a backyard breeder, has one or more Cotons which may be pet quality, does not know or care much about breeding properly and breeds indiscriminately without regard to genetics.
Companion Cotons from reputable breeders range in price from $2000 to $3000. Show or breedable quality Cotons may cost between $3000 and $4000. Does this seem high? Ask yourself: do you know what it costs to maintain breeding dogs with access to good medical care? There are many expenses involved in health testing the adults, continued socialization and training classes, showing if the breeder does that, and properly caring for the puppies. Beware if the price is $1000 or less. Although $2000-$3000 may seem high, particularly if you have not been in the market for a purebred dog in recent years, a healthy Coton will live for 15 years or more with minimal veterinary care, and so the total cost of a health tested Coton seems quite reasonable. Sometimes those who call themselves breeders are merely brokers. They buy puppies from other breeders either in the U.S. or in Europe at low prices and sell them at high prices. These people are in it for the money. Your problem is that you have no access to the actual breeder for questions of responsibility. Do you want to buy from a broker?
There are no right answers to these Questions to Ask a Breeder, but they may be useful in learning whether the breeder practices and policies are in accord with your preferences.
We invite you to visit American Coton Club Code of Ethics Breeders to discuss Cotons and learn more about the delightful and charming Coton de Tuléar.