Known as The Royal Dog of Madagascar, the Coton de Tulear also rules over the hearts of anyone who is fortunate enough to be a pet parent to a member of the breed. In fact, this breed is so beloved that they even have their own pet holiday: Coton de Tulear Day!
When is Coton de Tulear Day?
This annual celebration of the fluffy white dogs, Coton de Tulear Day is held each year on November 26.
Fun Facts about the Coton de Tulear
In celebration of the breed, we’ve fetched a few fun facts about these cuddly canines:
The breed’s name was inspired by the French word for cotton, (due to the dogs’ soft white coat), and Toliara, the port city on the island of Madagascar that served as the birthplace of the breed.
Although the breed’s history is shrouded in mystery, some believe that the dogs are the descendants of tiny but mighty canines with white coats who survived a shipwreck by dog paddling to shore on the island of Madagascar. However, others subscribe to the theory that the Coton de Tulear derived from the Cotons de Reunion, a breed from Madagascar that has been lost to the mists of time.
As Cotons de Tulear once lived with Malagasy royalty, the breed came to be known as the “Royal Dog of Madagascar.”
The breed is sometimes simply referred to as Coton or Coties.
In 2012, a Cotie walked down the aisle and into the Guinness Book of World Records as the bride in the world’s most expensive dog wedding! Wearing a $6,000 bridal gown, Baby Hope Diamond— who was the fur baby of Animal Fair founder Wendy Diamond– barked “I do” to a Poodle named Chilly Pasternack in a $250,000 wedding ceremony held at Jumeirah Essex House in New York City. The “puptials” were held for a paws cause, raising funds for The Humane Society of New York.
Philatelists who love our four-legged friends can add Coton de Tulear-inspired postage stamps to their collection! Many countries have opted to include the breed on their postage stamps:
- In both 1974 and 1991 the island of Madagascar honored their native dog with commemorative stamps.
- In 1998, the Republic of Saharwi celebrated the Coton de Tulea.
- In 1999, the Autonomous Republic of Adjara featured the fluffy white dog on postage.
- That same year, the Central African Republic added the breed to a stamp that shines a spotlight on the Boy Scouts of Central Africa.
- In 2000 Mauritania included the Coton de Tulear in a postage stamp shoot focusing on African animals.
- In 2005, Touva featured a tiny tail-wagger.
- In 2006, one of the breed graced a stamp from Tatarstan.
Did you know that a Coton de Tulear’s double-layer coat is considered hair, rather than fur?
This breed does not shed, and is hypoallergenic.
Although the Cotie holds the number one spot in the heart of their pet parents, the breed landed in 84th place on the American Kennel Club’s 2022 list of the most popular dog breeds.
The breed was not officially recognized by the American Kennel Club until 2014.
The breed is related to both the Bichon Tenerife and the Tenerife Terrier.
Did you know that the plural of Coton de Tulear is Cotons de Tulear, not Coton de Tulears?
Long live the Coton de Tulear! This small yet sturdy breed has a life expectancy that ranges from 15 – 19 years.
Famous Pet Parents
Carrie Fisher— Debbie Reynolds revealed in a 2012 interview with the L.A. Times that she was “Grandma Reynolds” to her famous daughter’s dog, Dwight. Fisher’s four-legged friend was so beloved that he sat in the front row at the memorial celebration for the two entertainment icons’ lives.
Jane Fonda— The Academy Award winner named her dog Tulea after the French pronunciation of Tulear.
Debra Messing— Lila was the name of Grace Adler’s daughter in “Will & Grace”…and Laila was the name of the actress’s Coton de Tulear.
Barbra Streisand— Tongues were wagging in the dog world when the venerated singer/actress made the controversial decision to clone her beloved canine companion Samantha, who crossed over Rainbow Bridge at the age of 14. The Academy Award/Grammy Award winner welcomed two cloned Cotons de Tulear named Miss Scarlet and Miss Violet, who were derived from Samantha’s DNA. Streisand’s love of the breed also led her to welcome another Coton named Fanny into her heart and home.
Catherine Zeta-Jones— Although the press at times reported that the Oscar winner’s barking buddy was a Maltese, the movie star stated that her dog Figaro was a Coton de Tulear when introducing her fur baby to fans via Facebook in 2014. The actress enjoyed over a decade of devotion from her four-pawed pal before the dog’s passing in 2020.
Want to Add One to Your Home?
As a relatively rare breed, most pet parents find their Coton de Tulear family member through a reputable breeder.
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