Nobody knows the true origin of the Coton de Tuléar, but some ancient recounts say it was brought to Madagascar by pirate ships in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Its name is pronounced as KOH-TONE DEE TOO-LEE-ARR and literally means “Cotton of Tuléar” which was given due to the fluffy, white, cotton-like appearance of the breed’s hair. Tuléar is a port city in Madagascar, known today as Toliara.
The Coton de Tuléar is the official dog of Madagascar. This small and adorable pet was only allowed to be owned by royalty.
In fact, if a Coton de Tuléar was found in the possession of peasants, they could be legally sentenced to death as a punishment.
Thus, the breed earned the moniker “The Royal Dog of Madagascar”.
One-Time Coton de Tuléar Expenses
The Coton de Tuléar, affectionately nicknamed as “Cotie”, is considered a rare breed, even in its native home of Madagascar. Therefore, the Coton de Tuléar prices are inevitably higher compared to other breeds.
The listings at the American Kennel Club’s website put puppy prices at $1,100 to $2,700.
There are also several other clubs dedicated to the breed, and they have registered breeders who sell Coton de Tuléar pups exclusively. The USCTC (United States of America Coton de Tuléar Club), mCTCA (Madagascar Coton de Tuléar Club of America), and the ACC (American Cotton Club) are some of the most prominent in the business.
Parts of the main costs of owning this rare breed of dog are the following:
There may be a need to move your pet to another location; perhaps a different city or state. As some airlines will refuse to transport certain breeds of dogs, a pet shipping company is what you need.
uShip is a company that acts a hub, connecting you with the best pet transporters in the business. The rate is the same for all dogs.
The average cost to ship within 300 miles is $120 to $250, and for longer distances, about $270 to $500. You will need to provide the carrier with your Coton’s kennel, bedding, and other provisions for the travel.
While your pet may enjoy roaming and exploring the house, crate training will be necessary to allow it to learn where to do its business. You’ll need a crate large enough for your Coton de Tuléar to fit comfortably in, but not too large.
A medium-sized crate is recommended for Coton de Tuléar and Petco sells these for about $29.99.
Price Inclusions When You Buy a Coton de Tuléar
Buying from a registered breeder registered with AKC or a similar dog registry has its benefits. Breeders will sometimes throw in additional services along with the puppies. Here’s a list of some expenses which you may possibly not have to pay for:
- Initial Vet Check – A responsible breeder will shoulder the costs of the initial vet check and provide you with the results. A vet visit of this type will typically cost around $50.
- Initial Vaccine Shots – Puppies need vaccine shots periodically up until their 16th Some breeders include the initial shots at no additional cost. Otherwise, these vaccines would cost you around $40 to $105 per vaccination.
- Microchips – These are inserted into a dog in a quick and painless procedure, similar to the process of getting a vaccination shot. Microchips are essential as they will allow you or others to locate your pet in the event that they go astray. Chips usually cost $10 to $25 depending on the variant.
- De-worming – Puppies are born with worms in their tummies, so you’ll need to get them out starting at 2 weeks of age up until 12 weeks of age. Lucky for you, most breeders do the initial de-worming for you. The medication used in de-worming would normally set you back around $12.99 to $19.99.
Coton de Tuléar Recurring Expenses
The Coton de Tuléar is a small dog that doesn’t need much food to sustain a healthy life. It’ll consume around ¾ cup of kibble daily. You can divide it into two or three meals, depending on how hungry it gets.
The best-recommended food is the Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food. It’ll cost you about $38.18 for an 18-lb. bag.
Alternatively, Coties are omnivorous, which means that they can eat both meat and veggies (although more meat is preferred). You can try giving table scraps and see what your Cotie likes. If something clicks, whipping up a home-cooked meal in the kitchen for your pet would not be an uncommon activity for owners.
Do not underestimate the importance of healthcare. Even though the Cotie has fewer health issues than other breeds, precaution is still advised. The reason is that some Coties do still experience heart issues, back injuries, and eye problems.
Always make sure to have your veterinary checks done on time and don’t miss any. The initial vet check and vaccines may have been handled by the breeder, but you are responsible for all of the remaining sessions.
In cases of accidents and other unforeseen events, emergency vet care would typically cost over $100.
- Coat Maintenance
They have a medium-to-long fluffy coat that looks like cotton. This coat of hair needs to be groomed every single day and most importantly after bath-time or swimming. It is very fluffy and you’ll have a hard time removing the knots if you don’t spend a good amount of time brushing.
There are wide arrays of dog brushes to choose from and you could buy them at around $12.97 to $50.
Mostly, Coties are quiet but they do grunt or bark softly when playing. They are affectionate and energetic. They are also easy to train and adaptable. They often get an energy burst at the end of a day and might be more frisky than usual at dusk.
But you can give your dog some toys so that you can do your own thing while it does its own. You can choose from a lot of interactive dog toys online ranging from $6 up to over $20.
Cost-Affecting Additional Factors
- Coton de Tuléar is a rare breed which is considered by many to be near extinction due to its small gene pool. However, it has fewer health problems than most other dogs, and it shows in its average lifespan. Prices can increase for this dog due to its rarity.
- The “Tall Coton” is a hyper-rare variant of the regular Coton which features longer limbs. It grows up to an average height of 15 – 17 inches (38 – 43 cm).
Do not be mistaken. They are still 100% Coton de Tuléar, not a hybrid breed. This particular variant will definitely come at a higher price.
- The source of your Cotie would also come into play. While pet stores would almost always offer the cheapest deal, it comes with a consequence. Reputable breeders should always be the first option when buying rare breed of pets.
Getting a Coton de Tuléar (or any other pets, in general) involves a long-term commitment. Your new doggie will become a big part of your life for many years to come, so make sure to research thoroughly before getting one.
Never buy from pet stores. These establishments have little to no credibility and most likely got their stock of animals from puppy mills or unethical breeders. Don’t be tempted by the lower prices. Most of the time, their dogs aren’t registered, haven’t had required health tests, and they cannot provide documentation on the parentage of the puppy either.
Prior to buying a registered dog, check with the breeder if it has completed health testing. The benefit to this is that the parents of your chosen puppy were already screened and checked for possible genetic defects.
This means that there are no pre-existing hereditary health conditions that could be possibly passed from parent to pup which means that you’re starting off on the right foot with the dog of your choice.
Selecting the exact puppy that you want from the litter can be tricky. Here are some tips to get started:
- Always visit the breeder’s kennel so you can see the living area of the dogs. Never meet at your location or go halfway. Inspect as many litters as you can so you can get an idea of how the dogs are being treated. View the parents and see if they are aggressive or passive.
- Observe and take note of your breeder’s behavior. Reputable breeder will always be in the business due to their love of the breed and not purely for financial gain.
- Ask the breeder as many questions as you can and expect to be asked just as many in return. Be wary of a breeder that does not ask you questions but is content to grab your cash and usher you and the puppy out.
- Keep in contact with the breeder after the final transaction to ensure that you have a point of communication in case something unexpected comes up.
Fast Facts About the Coton de Tuléars
- Their average size is given differently from both the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) and the Coton de Tuléar Club of America. FCI states the average height is 25 – 30cm (9.8 – 11.8 inches), while CTCA states the average to be 23 – 33 cm (9 – 13 inches).
For the weight, the FCI states the average to be 6 – 8 kg (13 – 18 lbs.) while CTCA says it’s closer to 5.0 – 6.8 kgs (11 – 15 lbs.). In fact, some of the clubs have wildly differing opinions of what the breed standard is.
- They come in three different colors – white, black and white, and tri-color.
- Coties don’t shed much hair, so if you’re the type who is allergic to pet fur and dander, rejoice. They almost have no odor at all.
- They have a very long lifespan – average 14-19 years. The Coton de Tuléars are amazing because despite being such small animals belonging to the toy group of dogs, they hardly experience any major health issues.
- They are a good performer. They can do tricks such as walking on their hind legs or jumping up and down.
- They love swimming! It’s a great way for Coties to get some exercise and have fun simultaneously. Let them test out the water in a kiddie pool or shallow depth of water and see how they like it. Dogs that are apprehensive of water should never be forced. Let them take it at their own pace and learn for themselves how to enjoy.