What should you expect from a Rare Breed Coton de Tuléar®
The Rare Breed Coton de Tulear is a wonderful, clownish, happy, adaptable, boisterous Companion dog. It should be an integral part of the family, content to sit on your lap or at your feet, and yet instantly ready for rough house play or to read your mind when you are thinking of a walk or a hike or a ride in the car.
Expect a dog you can take everywhere, one that has little or no shedding, little or no dander (a cause of allergies in people), little or no doggy odor, a dry hairlike coat that sheds dirt, a dog clean enough to sleep in your bed, and a dog that has no significant genetic disease built into the breed.
The Coton de Tulear is an alert dog and naturally territorial. You won't find a Coton sleeping on the threshold of an open front door while the burglar steps over the dog. Cotons will bark at the doorbell to let you know something is happening. They are highly intelligent and some love to watch TV, particularly Animal Planet, where they react to pleasant and unpleasant scenes in appropriate ways. They have the delightful habit of barking at the sound of a doorbell coming from a TV program. They will bark to let you know an intruder has entered the yard, whether it be a delivery person or a mailman. They bark when it is necessary, but they generally are not yappy like some toy breeds (Cotons are full size dogs; they have not been bred down). They adjust well to normal street and neighborhood sounds, and so are well adapted to urban living, even in an apartment or condominium.
As with all dogs, Cotons must be thoroughly socialized at a young age to become good citizens. Puppies go through periods of confidence as well as fear periods, when they are cautious of new experiences. It is said that puppies are unafraid and open to new experiences until the age of 14 weeks. During this time is is crucial to expose them to hundreds of different people on the street, in stores, at the park, etc. -- children in strollers and roller blades, riding skateboards, men with beards in uniform riding bicycles, women wearing floppy hats, anything and everything. If they are exposed to new experiences in a positive way during this period they will be comfortable with them for life. Similarly, this is the time to have parties in the home, to have dozens or hundreds of people over so the puppy will be comfortable with strangers in the home. It is essential that the puppy meet other dogs in a safe and controlled environment. Puppy classes are a requirement for new owners, who should be prepared to spend a big investment in time and energy with the puppy to ensure a happy and social Coton for the next 15-17 years.
Cotons want to be with you all the time, wherever you go, even to the bathroom. They generally love car rides and enjoy being taken into stores. They are usually accepted in any store where food isn't sold, and can accompany you to restaurants where there is outdoor seating. They thrive on attention from clerks and strangers. You will attract a lot of favorable attention with a well mannered and groomed Coton accompanying you.
Coton de Tulear are companion dogs. No dog thrives if left alone at home for long periods of time, for example, if the owner works 8 hours a day and spends another hour or two commuting. Please think again about getting a puppy if you cannot be a companion for it. If you can meet the puppy's requirements, a well socialized Coton de Tulear puppy will enrich your life beyond measure.