“There is nothing truer in this world than the love of a good dog.”

-Mira Grant 

The fact is that every dog is beautiful and amazing but the Cotons are simply adorable. They are almost like teddy toys we have forgotten in our childhood and missed them the whole life long. The Cotons are friendly, cute and always so happy. One lady, the proud owner of one, little, white wonder called Fifi, has informed me that her dog had  saved her life so many times and inspired her soul with new hope.  I know that is a true because each time I see a dog, I miss having that loyal creature that is ready to love you more than anyone or anything on this world. I am here to admit, especially as a slave of cats, that the  cats are awesome but the dogs are one of a kind.

Why we love dogs ? Because they show us the endless love, the meaning of sacrifice and they teach us about giving and not only about taking. The dog’s love is a base for compassion and affection, for development of pure emotions in the good direction. If you let your kid grow up in the dog’s company, you will shape the great person with lot of creative and constructive skills and , above all, with big heart to embrace the sad world we live in. The dogs give us so much and they want nothing in return….unless a bone sometimes.

Fifi was a reason I have studied this breed a bit and wanted to share my impressions with people.  The small Fifi has opened the big book of the Coton de Tulear dog’s breed and took me in the breathtaking Madagascar, the homeland of those precious, smiled dogs. According to the writing of breeders, the Coton is a Bichon-type related to the French Bichons and the Italian Bolognese. The word “coton” is a french word for cotton itself. Fluffy coat gives the unforgettable look to our four legged friend. The breed recognizes white, black  and tricolor but the white Coton is still the most valued:It most likely arrived in Madagascar with French troops, or with the administrators who followed. The breed was virtually unknown until it was reintroduced to Europe and America in the last 20 years. For centuries, the Coton was a favored companion of the wealthy residents of Tulear, in southern Madagascar, where it continued to breed to type. A dog with similar origins was popular on the French island of Reunion, off the east coast of Madagascar, but became extinct.The original Bichon-type extended back possibly one thousand years ago or more. Although still rare, it has enjoyed considerable popularity with the Madagascar upper-class for some years and is becoming increasingly popular in the United States. The breed was recognized by the FCI in 1970. The Coton is the ‘Official Dog of Madagascar,’ and a tricolor Coton was honored on a postage stamp in 1974. The Coton de Tulear was officially recognized by the AKC in 2014.”

The Coton seems to be easy-going dog with friendly nature but that shouldn’t let us believe that this dog doesn’t need training and socialisation.  This breed is very well known as gentle, alert and affectionate. They get along well with children, other dogs and animals and they are very sociable dogs that need their master and home and participation in all activities. They need to be included in all what is happening in one home and they do not tolerate being alone or at least, they aren’t happy about that. Some dog trainers have warned that people who don’t know how to deal with small dogs are directly responsible for those dogs being developed into destructive canines with so called Small Dog Syndrome.  They are small but they have stubborn personality and they need an alfa in their life so they can follow him and respect his presence and wish. Without leadership, they turn to be very difficult for further training and social behavior.

The royal history of this dog shows us that the beauty needs hard work to be profiled as a perfect family member, without wild reactions and bold response to the given rules. They want to please their people but they do not accept so easy the limits for their curiosity.  The Coton is a good traveler, quick learner and independent thinker. This breed is enjoying to play, learn new tricks, recharging the energy indoor or outdoor, as long as they’re not lonely or feeling separated from their owners.  This dog is an ideal solution for people who do not have a stressful life rhythm or people who are at home, taking care of small children and having enough time to have an influence on life of this cute, white teddy bear.  Those who work a lot or they are busy with their after work activities should not consider having this kind of dog because it would be  a hell for both.  This breed needs active approach  and 100% present of  the owner for all of their 14-16 years of life.

The Coton dog is good looking but requires a lot of care. The grooming must be regular as well as the trimming  and bathing  when the right time is. Since this dog is very playful and energy boosted, they are getting dirty very easy and they have to be bathed. They must learn, from their puppy age, that the bathing will be a part of their life. This dog must be introduced carefully with all family members, including other pets, so they can learn to accept their pack from the early beginning.

They are relatively healthy dogs but it depends on the breeder you are dealing with. The most important thing is to avoid to support puppy mills and to take care of abounded dogs from the shelter. There are people who take Coton and then they cant handle this dog so they send them to the shelters.  This dog needs training and time and everyone who is thinking of having another Fifi, must be ready to be devoted to the dog’s development and not to take him and give up on him when there are some difficulties.

At the moment when we make a decision to take a dog, we are opening our hearts and souls for another living being, for a family member that will share our bright and dark moments. Make sure you are honest in your intentions and ready to embrace the whole new life with lots of love, loyalty and responsibility. The dogs love is never ending, just make sure that yours is too.








  1. Sarah’s delightful and informative article possesses a variety of appealing phrases; such as ‘Some angels choose fur instead of wings’.

    The French noun ‘bichon’ (i.e. the species the Coton de Tuléar derives from) evolved from The Old English ‘bicce’ (i.e. female dog – a bitch).

    Bichons descended from the ancient ancestors of the poodle and the barbet. Ultimately, most of the modern bichon breeds have developed through the introduction of a variety of dogs to the barbichon type; establishing a family with recognisable characteristics in both temperament and type, but without a single distinct progenitor.

    Bichons were preferred courtly dogs of Mediaeval Europe; especially, finding favour in France, The Italianate Peninsula and Spain. The French word ‘bichonner’ (i.e. to pamper and adorn) derives from the be-ribboned and lavish lifestyle enjoyed by the bichon dog of King Henry III of France (reigned 1574–1589), which was carried in a little basket wherever the king went.

    The Tenerife dog (a bichon) had success in France during The Renaissance under King Francis I (1515–1547), but its popularity skyrocketed in the court of Henry III(1574–1589).
    Interest in the breed was renewed during the rule of Napoleon III, but then waned until the late-19th century, when it became ‘the common dog’; running stray in the streets, accompanying the organ grinders of Barbary, leading the blind and doing tricks in itinerant circuses and fairs.

    It is believed that the Tenerife dog was brought to Madagascar and mated with a hybrid dog of the island; creating an unexpected result.

    The Coton de Tuléar’s ancestors were possibly brought to Madagascar in the 16th and 17th centuries aboard pirate ships. Madagascar was a haven for European pirates and pirate graveyards can still be seen there. Pirates established a base on St. Mary’s Island, Madagascar. Whether the dogs were brought along to control rats on the ships, as companions for long voyages, or were confiscated from other ships as booty, no one knows.

    The Coton de Tuléar was never feral on Madagascar. It did not hunt wild boar or crocodiles, as its size, strength, and demeanor can disprove easily. It became a companion dog of the Merina (i.e. the ruling tribe) in Madagascar.

    A popular Mediaeval proverb in France was ‘Qui m’aime, aime mon chien’ (i.e. Whosoever loves me, loves my dog).


  2. What a beautiful article, Sarah ! This is a nice and heartwarming article which was much needed for the holidays !

    Dogs are so sweet and very loving creatures. They are very affectionate and love to spend so much time with their owners. Cats are also amazing and incredibly affectionate. I adore all Cats, all Dogs, and all Animals as all of you already know.

    As you mentioned, Sarah, herein, these dogs require a lot of attention, which is also true for most Dogs. This is one area where Cats are easier, as they know how to entertain themselves during the absence of the owner.

    My piece of advice to everyone is to make sure that you want to have a Dog, or a Cat, before you adopt a pet. A pet is a sentient being and should be treated with love and respect ! Further, as Sarah mentioned, please adopt instead of buying from a puppy mill so as not to encourage breeding for the purpose of profit at the expense of Animal welfare !

    Thank you for this wonderful and joyous article, Sarah ! May God always bless you for all your good deeds and for being such a wonderful Animal Lover and Advocate !


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About Sarahowlgirl1982

I am a master of Political Sciences, with special focus on Security Studies, Islamic Counter Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction. I enjoy discovering and commenting things which are " in the air" but still not spoken.I also do like science writing and planing to move myself into the pure science journalism !