Frequently Asked Questions

How are your dogs registered?
Our dogs are registered with the mCTCA (Madagascar Coton de Tulear Club of America), the original Coton club in the United States.

What is the breed standard?
For a very complete explanation of the breed standard check out the mCTCA. This is the standard that we adhere to. We are much more concerned about the health and temperment etc of our dogs than in specific look, size etc.

Why are you NOT registered with the AKC?
The Coton has seen increasing popularity in recent years. Recently the USACTC, another later club for the Coton (United State of America Coton de Tulear Club) has gained recognition with the AKC. The Coton has been registered with European clubs for quite a while now and are shown in the ring around the world. These dogs are required to be all white and have other characteristics that are not necessarily for the good of the dog, but are simply to make showing rules more specific. As you will see from here: as well as from many other sources, just because a dog is AKC registered does not mean you will be getting a well bred and healthy pet? We are appalled at the stories we have heard about puppy mills and “backyard” hobby breeders that have indiscriminately bred. The AKC can do very little to prevent this and in reality AKC registration means very little when purchasing. You must be sure you are getting your dog from a responsible breed parent club breeder. The mCTCA is the ORIGINAL Coton club in the United States. Founded by Dr. Jay Russell, who imported the first of the dogs here from Madagascar, and keeps very careful pedigree, genetic and health, plus more records. These dogs are true Malagasy cotons, that are not cross bred with other breeds to make a whiter dog etc as some in the European lines are. The club is very careful against inbreeding and ENFORCES its code of ethics which has resulted in a very healthy gene pool with dogs with very few health problems. To learn more about the mCTCA you can go to the website:

How big will my puppy get?
The Coton stands between about 9.5 and 13-inches (24 to 33 cm) tall at the withers (shoulders). (Note: a taller variety of Coton is known. To learn more about these magnificent cotons check out the mCTCA website.) A standard Coton is little more than two feet long (0.6 m), and weighs between 9 and 18 pounds (8.2 kg). A standard Coton de Tulear averages about 14 pounds.
Will he/she keep any color or be white as an adult?
There are three gorgeous color varieties: White (often with champagne color patches); Black-and-white; and Tri-color. A Tri-color adult, like our Rimsky, is mostly white with champagne patches and a faint, irregular "dusting" of black hairs. A very few tri-colors have kept a little more of their color in adulthood. Black & White Cotons, like our Minuet, retain their beautiful color throughout their lives. It may appear gray in sections because of the increased number of white hairs.
What about health problems?
Cotons are hearty dogs and, with acclimation, frolic in desert heat and winter snow. However, the Coton is strictly an indoor dog. The breed is extremely healthy and long-lived in the North American population of Cotons. They live about 16 years (15.7 years on average); the oldest survived for almost 19 years. This breed, like any dog breed, has known genetic defects. The mCTCA has studied, catalogued and published them for many years. Through the mCTCA program of genetic triage and information sharing as well as its restrictions on inbreeding -- the ONLY such restrictions in any Coton club -- we have maintained genetic defects in low frequency in its population. This is sound population health management found nowhere else. For hundreds of pages of details about Coton health and genetics, please refer to the mCTCA's 1,100-page breed handbook, "The Official Coton de Tulear Book, 2nd Edition" which is available on the mCTCA website.
How easy/difficult is grooming?
The Coton de Tulear earned its name from its unique, cotton-like hair, and for a port city in Madagascar, Tulear. Its dry, wind-tossed coat is probably the easiest to maintain of any long-haired breed, but it still requires regular grooming. The hair is about four-to-six inches long, dries quickly when wet, and requires relatively little brushing. We like to use a high quality brush and comb, such as Chris Christiensens, three to four times a week for a few minutes with a misting of high quality detangling spray. We bathe as necessary, but not frequently, as we’ve found they stay smelling and looking great as long as we keep the coat combed out. Their coat sheds very little if at all, and very rarely bother people who suffer from chronic allergies, which is one of the many things that drew us to them as a breed, since allergies and asthma affect our family.
What dog food do you recommend?
There is huge debate in the world of dog foods these days. We have been on the roller coaster as well, while trying to insure the healthiest diet for our dogs. Fortunately, we have never used a food that was recalled and/or found to be contaminated. Presently we use Acana, V Dog, and Orijen brands. Our dogs are all very healthy and we have vet records available upon request and you can also contact personally our veterinarian about the health of our dogs. Contact us for more info on feeding/treats for your pet. Common sense and the help of your veterinarian is invaluable.

Do you have a spay/neuter contract for your puppies?
Yes. This is in our contract. Breeding cotons is a very special experience that takes a great deal of time, commitment and financial resources. It is not something we just do for the fun of it. We take very seriously the health, safety, temperment, socialization and environment our puppies will be born with and in, and the life of our pups after. We will only sell potentially breedable pups to someone who can make the same kind of commitment. We will screen carefully all future pet parents of our pups with a pre-application we will be glad to send you, as well as reservation request with deposit when we are expecting puppies. mCTCA breeders do this as a rule.

Do you have a health guarantee?
Yes, we include this in our contract. For a complete explanation of our health guarantee please contact us for a copy of our contract.

Do you hand deliver your puppies?
Yes, we will discuss with you arrangements for delivery. We DO NOT ship our puppies. We would be glad to meet at an agreed upon location or to your door when possible for us. Your pup can fly with you in the cabin of the plane if you would like to meet us at our area airport: BWI, Baltimore. We welcome your visits.

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