Frequently asked questions

Coton de Tulear


All Coton de Tulear families will receive extensive information from White Birch Cotons regarding the care of their new Coton de Tulear puppy, including grooming advice,  which you may find helpful if you are a new or seasoned dog owner.

Below is information regarding the frequently asked questions about the Coton de Tulear.

Where are you located?
White Birch Cotons is in the Northeast.  Our Connecticut location, convenient to New York (NY) and Boston for those looking for Coton de Tulear puppies.

How do you pronounce the name?

It is pronounced KO-Tone Dih TOO-Lay-ARE

How long does the Coton live?

On average life expectancy for a Coton is 13-17 years. Cotons are one of the healthier dog breeds.

What is the Coton temperament?

The Coton de Tulear is a consummate people pleaser!

This breed is smart and easy to train, and it responds exceptionally well to praise, play and food.

Are Coton de Tulear’s Hypoallergenic? CAN YOU BE ALLERGIC TO A COTON DE TULEAR?

Although the Coton is considered a hypoallergenic dog, individuals can be allergic to anything. Although rare, people can react to the saliva. If you or a household member suffers from allergies, please contact us so we can discuss having you visit to determine whether you may react to a Coton.

Do they bark a lot?

The Coton is not noted for being a “yappy” dog. This is not a watchdog, unless you count death by licking. They love people. ALL people. Which means whether you have a guest or an intruder, the Coton de Tulear is most likely going to be leading the guided tour of the home.

However, they are excellent “alarm” dogs, raising the alarm when they hear or see something out of the ordinary.

Do the Coton de Tulear puppies keep their color as adults?
It depends. Cotons are either white, black and white or tri-color. Usually the black and white puppies hardly fade at all or may fade to a silver/gray.  The tri-color puppies fade some or retain some of their color. Our Lily was born a tri-color Coton de Tulear puppy and now she is mostly white with grey tipped ears.

What is the difference between male and female puppies/adults in temperament?
Some people think that males are slightly more affectionate.  However, in our opinion all of our puppies are unique and have very individual temperaments. Some people are concerned about males “marking,” however even females can mark. This can be corrected with training. The Coton de Tulear is a lovable breed and was originally bred to be a companion dog, so male and female are all very cuddly and snuggly. Many Cotons go on to be Therapy dogs and are often referred to as the “anti-depressant” dog because of their empathetic nature.

When and how do I choose my puppy?
A puppy is matched to a family between 8 and 10 weeks of age. I use temperament & structure assessment in making this determination. Most importantly, after the litter is born I will correspond with you, and I will get to know you and your family even better. When I start to narrow down the placements I will also ask a lot of questions about your existing pets. It’s important that your puppy be chosen for the whole family not just the human members. Your pup will usually be ready to go to your home between 9-10 weeks of age.

What is involved in grooming a Coton?
Grooming a Coton varies even between littermates. However expect to brush/comb often. Cotons have hair and not fur, as such hair has a tendency to tangle more than dogs that shed. You will be provided with grooming suggestions and tips. Most pet owners choose to keep their Coton in a puppy cut to lessen the grooming requirements. If you are not grooming your dog yourself, make sure you budget for grooming about once a month.

Do you have a health guarantee?
Yes, there is a one-year health guarantee. We also health test all of our dogs prior to being bred, including DNA testing for the six most common genetic diseases found in the Coton.

Will my puppy see a Veterinarian before he or she comes home to me?
Yes, your Coton de Tulear puppy will have a physical examination with our veterinarian, your puppy will have their first set of shots, a dewormer and be microchipped.

Do your puppies have registration papers?
Yes, registration paperwork will be received at one year when proof of spay or neuter is provided to me.  Our dogs are registered, UKC, FCI/FCPR.  We follow the FCI standard. 

What is the size of an adult Coton?
An adult standard Coton weighs approximately 10 to 15 pounds and is about 11 inches at the withers (shoulders).  Some wind up larger and some smaller. Males are usually slightly larger than females.

When do I take my puppy home?
The best time for bonding with your new puppy is about nine weeks.

How is my puppy cared for prior to joining our family?

We utilize the Puppy Culture Method of Socialization and suggest new owners continue with the program once their pup joins them. With this method a pup is exposed to multiple situations, sounds and sights to assist in their adaptability. Socialization will be a daily event; they will be introduced to loud noises; pots and pans, radio, TV, vacuum cleaner, family chatter, autos, passing trains etc. They will have various visitors of all ages and taken out in public in a healthy and safe manner. At this tender age, they will not be exposed to dog parks or soils where health and safety are not known.

Our pets are raised in our home, with our children and not in kennels. We do let them stay home alone for short durations of time, this teaches and reinforces to them that it’s ok when Mom & Dad leave the house and that we will return.

What and how often should I feed my new Coton puppy?

We provide you with detailed instructions regarding feeding your new puppy and provide you with a week’s worth of food. We recommend using bottled water if you have city water and using a ceramic bowl.

Can I take my puppy out for walks?

It is important to socialize your new pup, however it is not recommended to have your pup’s feet touch the ground beyond your yard until their vaccinations are complete. Parvo has become quite prevalent and is life threatening. You can take your dog out is a carrier or stroller but don’t allow them to use parks, doggy day care, dog parks etc. When your dog is ready for walks, we suggest using a harness and not a collar. Collars can hurt a small dog’s trachea.