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Puppy FAQ's


What is the difference in personalities in male and female Cotons?

Males can be more social, loving towards their human family especially the Mamas, more easy going, mellow and wishing to please.

Females tend to be alpha, more independent, moody, busy and spontaneous. If you need a task accomplished, the girls will do it very efficiently and will let you know all about it.

I take the time with each puppy and each prospective family to make sure the "fit" is right for everyone. I like to compare the females to human teenage girls. I swear my girls roll their eyes at me, and when I talk to them I expect to hear "ohhhh mother". The boys worship me and follow me everywhere.


How do I get my puppy?

You may pick up your puppy here in Western Colorado. We will also be happy to meet you in Vail/Aspen, Glenwood Springs, Aspen or Moab, Utah. If a visit to beautiful Colorado isn't possible for you, a pet courier may be available for a fee + all expenses. In some rare instances I may be able to deliver the puppy to families who are nearby.

We never ship puppies. Why? It is simply not safe to place a Coton in the bottom of the airplane as there are too many weather factors, too many delays and possible problems, and too many neglectful handlers.


What about training?

By the time my puppies leave for their forever homes they're sleeping through the night in their own crates, riding in the car, socializing, and learning to walk on lead. They're on their way to being potty trained. Cotons are intelligent and fast learners but when it comes to potty training they can be a bit stubborn.

I ask that you enroll your new puppy in a puppy kindergarten. This way the puppy has structured socialization and a taste of basic obedience training. It's fun for everyone and will be a treat for your new puppy. Cotons need training just like any breed and it's up to you to be firm, consistent and predictable.

Although Cotons are friendly, social and smart they do need training and socialization throughout their lifetime to keep them happy and fun.


Do I choose my own puppy?

At 6 weeks of age I begin to test their personalities and temperaments to see who's dominant, independent, shy, outgoing, a leader and follower etc. As I socialize them with people, places and things it gives me pretty good idea what type of people and environment would be best for that puppy. When you express an interest in a puppy I send a questionnaire that helps me get to know prospective families and gives me an idea what they want in a Coton. All this information narrows down which puppy is perfect for them.

If a family falls in love with a puppy, I certainly take this into account as well.


What do you mean by a Code of Ethics Breeder?

I'm a member of the American Coton de Tulear Club (ACC) and as such I breed responsibly in order to preserve the health, beauty, and integrity of the breed. Here are the ACC guidelines for a COE breeder:

o preserving the genetic health of the Coton de Tulear
o producing beautiful and well mannered puppies while maintaining a viable and vibrant gene pool
o regular health testing of their breeding Cotons
o lifelong education and a commitment to becoming ever better breeders
o lifetime support for their puppies and puppy buyers
o finding the best possible homes for their puppies
o standing behind their puppies for the life of the dog
o providing the best possible socialization for their puppies to ensure a wonderful start in life


Breeding Rights

My companion puppies come with a spay/neuter contract with 2 year health guarantee. If you're interested in breeding your Coton de Tulear I do consider placing show/breed potential Cotons with fellow ACC code of ethics breeders, veteran breeders and those who agree to be mentored by me.  If you're wishing to cash in on the new found popularity in the breed in hopes of making money, I do not consider those requests.


Why is there such a big difference in the prices of Cotons?

Despite the fact Cotons are a rare breed they're becoming very popular for the puppymills and back yard breeders to breed for profit. Therefore they need to mass produce puppies at low cost in order to make it worth their while to breed them, thus the lower price.

They have obtained their breeding stock from other indiscriminate breeders who have possibly mixed Cotons with other breeds, do not do any health testing or provide medical care of their dogs.

The cute little Coton in the pet store window did not come from the loving home of a reputable breeder. In the long run you may end up paying much more for the cheaper Coton puppy who may have medical and/or behavioral issues down the road.

If you find a Coton that costs less you can bet that Coton may not be purebred, may have come from puppy mill stock, the parents have not been adequately health tested and are not given the appropriate care and quality nutrition.

My dogs come from lines in which we know the pedigrees and genetic backgroud. I have health tested all the dogs for genetic illnesses, they are fed a premium diet, we garden organically and the dogs never some into contact with chemicals. All my dogs and their puppies are cherished and loved. They only receive the very best care, nurturing and guidance. It is my goal to make the transition for the puppies and their new families smooth and easy so they have a lifetime of happiness together.


Are there any health issues in the Cotons?

Compared to other breeds Coton have few health problems, however there are issues. Cotons do tend to live a long life of 15+ years. 


Where do the puppies live?

All the dogs and puppies live in the house and have their own room. I have three fenced in areas outside where they can run and play. The puppies are born in the nursery and kept in that warm environment for 3 weeks until they can come out to be with the rest of the family. When they're moved into the rest of the house they have their own pen and also run around the kitchen area that is set up as a puppy playroom.


What should I do to prepare for my new Coton puppy?

After the puppies are born I begin sending a plethora of information to the awaiting families so they can begin preparing for the blessed arrival of their new Coton puppy. I will send you a supply list, how to puppy proof your home, and suggestions on how to set up areas for your puppy in your home. I send the puppy home with supplies, toys and food. I also send the new families an entire list of things they will need. I encourage them to have fun buying the things that they think will make their new baby happy. I also recommend reading everything possible about Cotons and having a new puppy in the household. For more information on how to prepare for the arrival of your Coton puppy please go to my puppy resources page.

A crate is needed for home and car. 

Why is there color in puppies and not in adults? Why does some color stay and some fade?

Color in Cotons in very popular but you must know the Coton is not a colored breed. There is color in the genetics of the breed and you will see many tri-color Coton puppies. But one of the unique qualities to the Coton is they possess a strong color dilution gene which means the color in puppies tend to dilute as the longer white adult hair emerges. This give the Coton an overall white appearance as an adult because most of that puppy color has been overcome by white. The standard for the Malagasy Cotons which is bred by CTCA breeders does allow for color so their puppies may stand a better chance at retaining color as an adult. Generally speaking if you'd like a Coton with color your best best might be to get a similar breed such as  Havanese which does have color in the breed. 

The dark amber color you see in puppies in the color most likely to stay in an adult Coton but you can expect that to fade a bit. Black coloring in puppies may stay but will likely turn a salt and pepper in an adult. All the other shades of color will likely fade away.

Color in the Cotons has been debated since the French first wrote the breed standard back in the 1970's and I imagine we will continue to debate this issue until the end of time. But for now this is the Coton de Tulear standard for color in our beloved breed:

"COLOUR: Ground colour: White. A few slight shadings of light grey colour (mixture of white and black hairs) or of red-roan (mixture of white and fawn hairs), are permitted on the ears. On the other parts of the body, such shadings can be tolerated, if they do not alter the general appearance of white coat. They are however not sought after"

Is the Coton de Tulear a good breed for people who work out of the home?

Coton de Tulear is a "companion" breed and do best when they are in the company of "their people" or their "families". They do not do well by themselves for hours at a time consistently. They are prone to separation anxiety and there are no remedies for separation anxiety when they are left alone day after day for hours.

For the occasional times when a Coton needs to be left alone, this is not a big problem. They can be left at home in their pens that have a crate, bed, chew toys, interactive toys which will give them something to do. Having a second dog helps but is not a cure .

Cotons do great if their working family members have flexibility in schedules and can come home during the day, or can work from home or can take them to work. Many people are able to work it out in that way and Cotons love to be employed. So if you're one of the lucky people with job flexibility a Coton or two in your life will work out just fine.


Books to read:

An excellent all around puppy book is the "Art of Raising a Puppy" by the Monks of New Skete

The kennel club book "Coton de Tulear" by Wolfgang Knorr

"Coton's World" by Eli Deluca...for those interested in the history, development and conformation of the Coton breed

"Coton Grooming Book" by Brigitte Jespersen 

"Coton de Tulear-the little white dog of Madagascar" by W.J. Vershut-Poot


Before the puppies go home at 10 weeks, can I visit?

Because newborn puppies are vulnerable to germs visits are welcome after they're 5-6 weeks of age. I do send weekly updates with lots of pictures and videos to each wait list family.


Do you show your Cotons?

Yes! Rocky Mountain High has attained his championship, see his accomplishments on his webpage. Buttermilk, Sierra and Colby have all been in the ring. Tanner is just a few points away from his UKC championship.