Coton de Tulear

Lifestyle Needs

Coton du Tulear

The Coton de Tulear is a small companion dog who is usually intelligent, loyal and friendly.  He has a profuse white coat which apparently does not shed, but due to its length will need daily grooming.  He suits most home environments and like any other dog, needs regular exercise.

Genetic Diversity
(Known as Coefficient of Inbreeding: 'COI'. It should be as low as possible.)

The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 5.7% - See 'A Beginners Guide to COI'

Gene Pool Size
(Known as Effective Population Size: 'EPS')


EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.

Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)

  • The Coton de Tulear’s profuse coat could be a problem for him if it is not kept clean and well groomed.  Hair should not be allowed to fall over his eyes to obstruct his vision.

BVA/KC Health Schemes:

  • Hip dysplasia: breed mean score 9.8 (parents should be lower)
  • Eye diseases

Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) : No EBVs are currently available for this breed

DNA Tests Available
DogWellNet and IPFD Harmonisation of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD)

  • Canine multi-focal retinopathy 2 (CMR 2)
  • von Willebrands Disease Type 1
  • Neonatal Cerebellar Ataxia
  • Hyperuricosuria (HUU)
  • Cerebellar Ataxia (CA)
  • Intervertebral disc disease

Availability of a DNA test does not mean that it is always necessary or even desirable for breeders to use this test.

Other Breed-Specific Health Screening Schemes

Patella luxation test

Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.

Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)

  • Heart disease
  • Deafness
  • Liver shunt
  • Skin disorders

Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.

Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions.

You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP):

The breeder should also be familiar with the CFSG/DBRG Code of Practice for Dog Breeding

Or the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeders Scheme Standard and Guidance:
Standard PDF | Guidance PDF

List of Dog Breeds