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Breed standards

FCI standard sheet
Standard F.C.I. n° 283 / 04.02.2000 / F


ORIGIN: Madagascar



USE: Companion dog


Group 9 Pleasure and companion dogs

Section 1.2 Coton de Tulear

Without work test


Introduced in France well before its official recognition in 1970, this newcomer of Malagasy origin quickly acquired a prominent place among the pleasure dogs of this country; today it is widespread throughout the world.


Small, long-haired pet dog, white in color and cottony in texture, with round, dark eyes and a lively and intelligent expression.


• Height at withers relates to body height as 2 to 3.

• Head length relates to body length as 2 to 5.

• The length of the skull relates to that of the muzzle as 9 to 5.


Of a cheerful, stable character, very sociable with humans and with his peers, he adapts perfectly to any lifestyle. The character of the Coton de Tuléar is one of the main characteristics of the breed.


Short, top view: triangular

Cranial region:

Skull: Seen from the front, slightly domed; quite wide in relation to its length. Poorly developed eyebrow arches. Slight frontal furrow. Slightly accentuated occipital protuberance and crest. Well developed zygomatic arches.

Stop: Lightly accentuated

Facial region:

Nose: In the extension of the chamfer; black, brown color is tolerated; nostrils wide open.

Muzzle: Straight

Lips: Thin, tight, the color of a nose.

Jaws/Teeth: Teeth well aligned; scissor hinge, pincer hinge or reverse hinge without loss of contact; the absence of PM1 is not penalized; M3s are not taken into consideration.

Cheeks: Dry

Eyes: Rather round, dark, lively, set well apart; the edge of the eyelids is pigmented black or brown depending on the color of the nose.

Ears: Drooping, triangular, set high on the skull, thin at the tips; worn next to the cheeks, they reach the corners of the lips. Covered with white hairs or with some traces of light gray color (mixture of white hairs and black hairs giving a light gray appearance) or auberized (mixture of white hairs and tawny hairs giving an auberized appearance).

Neck :

Well muscled, slightly curved. Well-attached neckline. Neck/body ratio: 1/5. Skin well stretched, without dewlap.


Overall view: Topline very slightly convex. Dog longer than tall.

Withers: Slightly accentuated.

Back and Loin: Firm back, very slightly arched top. Well muscled kidney.

Croup: Oblique, short and muscular.

Chest: Well developed, well descended at the elbows, long, well rounded ribs.

Stomach: Up but not doggy style.


Attached low, in line with the spine.

At rest: descending below the hock, the extremity being raised.

In movement: Carried “cheerfully” (curved above the back, the point directed towards the nape of the neck, the withers, the back or the loin). In subjects with abundant fur, the end can be rested on the dorsolumbar region.


General view: The front legs are straight.

Shoulders and arms: Oblique, muscular shoulder. Scapulo-humeral angle: approximately 120°. The length of the humerus corresponds approximately to that of the scapula.

Forearm: Humero-radial angle: approximately 120°; forearms vertical and parallel, well muscled, with good bone structure; the length of the forearm corresponds approximately to that of the arm

Carpus: In line with the line of the forearm

Metacarpus: Solid; seen in profile, very slightly flexed

Forefeet: Small, round in shape; fingers tight, arched; pigmented pads


General view: The hindquarters are straight. Without being investigated, the presence of dewclaws is not penalized.

Thigh: Strongly muscular; coxofemoral angle approximately 80%

Leg: Oblique, forming an angle of approximately 120° with the femur

Hock: Dry, well defined; hock angle approximately 160°

Metatarsus: Vertical

Hind feet: Small, round in shape; fingers tight, arched; pigmented pads


Free and easy, without covering a lot of ground; in action the top remains firm and the dog does not float in its gaits.


Fine, well stretched throughout the body; pink in color it can be pigmented.


Coat: This is one of the main characteristics of the breed since its very name derives from it.

Very soft and supple, cottony, never hard or rough, the hair is dense, abundant and can be very slightly wavy.

Color: White background color.

Some traces of light gray color (mixture of white hairs and black hairs) or auberized

(mixture of white and fawn hairs) are allowed on the ears. Such traces can be tolerated on other regions of the body, as long as they do not alter the general appearance of whiteness of the coat; however, they are not sought after.


Size :

Males: 26 to 28 cm, tolerance 2 cm more and 1 cm less.

Females: from 23 cm to 25 cm, tolerance 2 cm more and 1 cm less.

Weight :

Males: 4 to a maximum of 6 kg.

Females: from 3.5 to a maximum of 5 kg.


Any deviation from the above must be considered a defect which will be penalized depending on its severity.


Skull: Flat or too rounded; narrow skull

Muzzle: Disproportion of the skull / muzzle ratio

Eyes: Clear, eyes too almond-shaped; entropion, ectropion; prominent eyes

Ears: Too short, insufficient hair length, ears thrown back (in pink)

Neck: Too short, in the shoulders, thin

Topline: Too arched, saddled

Croup: Horizontal, narrow

Right shoulder

Limbs: Panards, knocking, elbows sticking out, hocks too open or closed, straight angulations

Hair: Too short, too wavy, curly

Pigmentation: Partial or too light of the eyelids or lips; discolored nose, traces of pork


General type

• Lack of type (insufficiency of ethnic characteristics which means that the animal as a whole no longer sufficiently resembles its congeners of the same breed).

• Size and weight outside the limits and tolerances of the standard

Special points in the type

• Chamfer: hooked

• Eyes: Exorbitant with signs of dwarfism, too light, mismatched eyes

• Ears: Erect or semi-erect

• Tail: Not reaching the hock; attached high; rolled up completely (forming a tight loop); pressed on top or against the thigh; in candlelight; anurie


• Coat: Atypical, curly, woolly, silky

• Coat: Heavily stained; any spot of pure black

• Pigmentation: Total absence of pigmentation of a


• Upper or lower prognathism with loss of contact; vertical gaping of the incisors

• Lack of teeth: With the exception of PM1, M3 not being taken into consideration

• Aggressive or extremely fearful subject

N.B.: Males must have two normal-appearing testicles completely descended into the scrotum.

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