Shelby's Son Slash earns 6 Best of Breeds! Shelby's Daughter Zsu earns a WB!

Coton History

Benchmark Coton


The basis of the original standard

The Royal Dog of Madagascar


The history of the Coton de Tulear is as unique as the cottony coat it. sports. It is believed that the coton is descended from a now extinct  breed of dog called the Bichon Tenerife brought to the Indian Ocean area by sailors and traders. These dogs were used as ratters onboard ships. Over time, many of these types of dogs were either left or escaped onto  the various Isles in that area, eventually intermingling with native  species in the area. A single gene mutation occurred resulting in a  distinct change in their coat.  As the name suggests, many believe the  point of origin for the coton was the port city of Tulear in Madagascar  where they quickly became a favorite for royalty due to the cottony  texture of their coat. For many years, the coton was only owned by those  in the ruling class and therefore became known as the "Royal Dog of  Madagascar".  


In the 20th Century, dogs began to make their way to Europe,  specifically France where the French Society quickly became enamored  with them. Subsequently, the French began selectively breeding smaller  white dogs. In the early 1970’s, the Federation Cynologique  Internationale (FCI) recognized France’s standard for the Coton de  Tulear.  A few years later the first Cotons were imported to the US.   

As of July 3, 2014 AKC recognized the Coton De Tulear as the newest addition to the non-sporting group.