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Did you ever wonder why your Coton de Tulear isn't eating? Or, why your Coton is chewing on the legs of your table? Maybe you wondered why your Coton de Tulear barks at strangers or other dogs?

Ask the Coton de Tulear Breeders of Excellence

The Coton de Tulear Breeders of Excellence would love to answer your questions. Collectively, we have over 100 years of experience breeding this wonderful little dog known as the "Royal Dog of Madagascar." Please read our combined bio's on the About Us page and let us help you learn more about your new Coton. If you are just starting your search for a new Coton de Tulear puppy, our breeders can help you too! We invite you to send your questions to: cotonbreedersofexcellence@gmail.com. It's as simple as that!

Please know that the Coton de Tulear Breeders of Excellence group is not a substitute for veterinary advice. You should always call your Veterinarian first when it comes to the health of your puppy. Issues such as vomiting and diarrhea are very serious symptoms in a puppy and you should always seek medical attention from your Vet immediately.

We look forward to hearing from you. Click to read a sampling of questions and answers.

 


Breeders of Excellence

HERE ARE SOME RECENT QUESTIONS FROM OUR WEB VISITORS:

Question: Hello, I have a lovely 3 year old Coton de Tulear who, when on lead, barks and pulls towards other dogs; when off lead she bounds up to dogs in the park and is friendly. She also barks at passers-by when in the house if she hears and sees them walk past the house. She jumps up and gets excited when people come to the door. She has an excitable temperament and I am just the same, so do I need to be more calm around her? What can I do to stop the barking?

Many thanks, Coton Owner

Answer: Thank you for contacting the Coton de Tulear Breeders of Excellence! It sounds like your dog is having some leash aggression issues as well as reactivity. It is important that you remain calm. It could be the dogs themselves or maybe just being on leash and seeing other dogs. Regardless of the reason, the solution is the same.

Dogs learn by association. If something scary happens, like a loud sound when they see something, they connect the two things. For example, if your dog sees a child and at the same time hears a loud bang that scares pup, pup will associate the loud bang with the child and be afraid of children. Your dog needs to learn to make a more positive association by desensitizing. Desensitizing is a great skill to learn. It helps your dog get over any fears and helps him become well adjusted. It is a very easy, effective way to help him out. Basically, when puppy is afraid of something, you have to change the way they feel about it. First off, back him up to a safer distance, then give him a treat when he isnít reacting. Make sure the treat is very rewarding, something super special to him. If he still canít calm down, back him up until he isnít reacting. For example, if he sees a person or dog that he is afraid of and he starts barking, back up until he is no longer barking. There will be a point where he doesnít react, go as far back as necessary. Give him a treat every time he looks at that dog and doesnít bark. Make sure you get the timing correct, treat only when heís quiet. It may just be a split second that heís quiet, then reward right at that silent moment. Gradually move closer, always rewarding for no reaction. If he does react, back him up, go slow to ensure success. If facing a dog is too much for him, then try following a dog from a distance where he doesnít react. Go slow and be patient, if you put the effort into it, it will be well worth it for both you and your dog. This can be done with anything. For example, if he is afraid of having his nails clipped, give him a treat for looking at the clippers. Once heís ok with that, then touch his paw with the clipper and give a him treat, gradually build him up to using the clipper and treat. Once he isnít afraid, gradually wean the treats out.

That is desensitizing in a nut shell. If you are using a clicker, click as soon as there is no reaction, then give a treat. It does go quicker if you use a clicker. If you donít use a clicker, say, ďyesĒ or ďgoodĒ, then treat. This the most useful and effective way of dealing with your dogís fears and helping him over them. If you want to read more in depth about it, the book "Click to Calm" by Emma Parsons is excellent. Donít let the term aggressive scare you off, it is merely getting them over fears in a very effective way. The term aggressive means fearfulness.

Good luck and I hope that helps.

Paula Campbell for the Coton de Tulear Breeders of Excellence



Question: Hi, I have a Coton de Tulear who will be going into her second season before the end of the year and I'd like to let her have a litter of pups. It's very unlikely that there will be a second litter. The chances of my becoming a "Breeder" are slim to none.

She's AKC Pedigreed and my Service Dog. I don't want to cross-breed her, so I know there will be some travel involved. As this is all new to me, I need to ask for advice and resources toward contributing a few more, royal Cotons for the world - while giving my, baby girl, her rightful completion as a female dog.

Thank you, so much, for being here to ask for help. If not for folks who treasure this breed, and protect it, Ku Ku Ku2n wouldn't be perfect for me. I just need to keep it simple, direct and budget-able.

Bless us each and, everyone.

Truly yours, Coton Owner

Answer: Thank you for contacting The Breeders of Excellence. We all take breeding very seriously. This is not something one should consider just to have a litter of puppies. This is not a right for a dog nor even a benefit. There are many risks and factors involved that one should weigh out before making such a big decision. Breeding must be done with the utmost care.

It used to be thought that it was a benefit for a dog to have a litter, however, that has been dis-proven. In fact, there are cancers related to breeding that one can avoid by not doing it. Having intact dogs is not a benefit either.

Show/breeding dogs cost a lot more than a pet. No ethical breeder would allow a breeding to take place without the proper health testing (also very costly) and education required to handle any potential problems. The health tests somewhat depend on your lines. Hips, heart, eyes and patellas are very important. Thyroid is good to have done. Bandera's Neonatal Ataxia is extremely important to make sure you aren't breeding a carrier to a carrier. CMR2 is also a recessive eye condition that you would need to make sure you aren't breeding carrier to carrier. vWD Type 1 is also something one should take into account.

Should you go ahead anyway, it would be necessary to educate yourself on all the health issues surrounding breeding. One must learn everything from how to whelp puppies to what to do if things go wrong. Things can and do go wrong and if you arenít prepared, the pups and/or mother could die. Vet expenses should you require a C-section are very costly. There is the responsibility of placing the pups in appropriate homes and insuring they donít get in the hands of puppy millers. You also sometimes have to cover unexpected Vet cost of the pups depending on the situation. Please keep in mind that part of being a responsible breeder is to always be willing to take back a pup, regardless of when that happens. Raising puppies properly requires a fair bit of knowledge as well. One needs to make sure they have the right amount of stimulation and socialization. Young puppies need to experience different situations at certain critical stages. One needs to understand their developmental requirements.

Have you had your female's health clearances done yet? Do you have a mentor for breeding? Did you purchase your dog with breeding rights? It is typically standard to have a mentor to guide you through the process.

There is a much involved in breeding. It would be wise to make sure your dog is from a reputable breeder with good lines who knows the health history of such. Most ethical breeders would have you sign a contract with the mandatory health tests and guide you through the process. Please review your contract to make sure you do have the option of breeding. The dog must also be of "Show Quality" with correct structure, etc. If you are serious about breeding, it would be good to find out those details before even considering going into a breeding. I would be a little concerned about where your dog came from and where your dog is registered. I'm sure she is wonderful, but it would be good to make sure she is suitable for breeding from the right lines and registered with a reputable registry.

Stud fees are typically the price of a "Show Quality" Coton, approximately $3000 to $4000, depending on the breeder and the dog.

It would also be important to know the pedigree of the dog, know the ancestors and what health issues are in those lines.

We sincerely hope you reconsider breeding your dog.

Paula Campbell for the Breeders of Excellence



Question: My handsome Coton of 16 months has started to have tear stains. I brought him to a dog ophthalmologist and he says his eyes are fine, but suspects that some of his tears drain into his oral cavity rather than through his nose. He suggests flushing his tear ducts, but I really do not want to put him through a procedure if it is not necessary or could do any possible harm. My regular vet suggested a 30 course of Tylosin (which I know is an antibiotic so I have mixed feelings about even a 30 day course). He is healthy in every way. He drinks bottled spring water and eats Dr. Harvey's Canine Health (with protein and salmon oil added). I thought that I would reach out to you to see if you have any recommendations. Thank you very much.

Answer: Hi, Thank you for contacting The Breeders of Excellence. We are a group of breeders across North America. I put your question forth to the group and there were 3 responses. If anyone else answers, Iíll forward that along as well. Here they are:

Response #1: I have never had a dogís tear ducts flushed, but I understand that it can help. I believe there is a simple test that they can do to determine if it is needed or not. I have tried Tylan and it does work, but it takes awhile and you have to keep feeding it. I have had the best luck with the probiotic Prostora by Iams. Here is the link for Amazon. There may be others that have it cheaper, but this is just the first one I found: IVF Prostora Max GI 15 Ct Box

Response #2: I agree with **** about the effectiveness and safety of Prostora Max. Tylan (Tylosin) can raise liver values. The increased blood values may be mistaken as liver disease. Years ago, ophthalmolgists used a dye first to determine if tear ducts were blocked before doing any other procedure.

Response #3: I just find it odd that a 16 month old just started tear staining. Most tear stain when theyíre teething and it either goes away or it doesnít. I guess some of the answer does depend on how bad the tear staining actually is. I would also wonder if there were any changes around the time it started. I looked up the food and it has grains in it. I'd be inclined to try a grain free food first, in case itís a food sensitivity. I'm not a fan of antibiotics either. I wouldn't do a procedure without a firm diagnosis. I use a double row flea comb everyday to remove the debris and then put a little coconut oil in it. You can trim the affected pieces and then start with that. I hope that helps!

Paula Campbell for the Coton de Tulear Breeders of Excellence

Coton Owner: My sincerest thanks to all of you! This is so helpful.



Question: I have been looking for a puppy for awhile now.  I have been looking on Craigs List, but they are just outragous on their "rehoming fees" and they tell hardly nothing about the animals so I am trying a new search. How much is it to adopt one of y'alls puppies and where do we find a breeder near us? I am located near Kansas City, MO.

Answer: Hi, Thank you for contacting the Breeders of Excellence. We are a volunteer referral group of Coton de Tulear breeders across North America. Here is a link to our breeders who have upcoming pups, http://royalcotondetulearbreeders.com/availability.html.

Please feel free to contact them directly. I'll also forward your request to the group. No reputable breeder would put their pups on "Craig's List", which is likely why you can't find out much about them. Responsible breeders care about appropriate placement of their puppies and take time selecting owners in an attempt to find committed, prepared home situations for their puppies.   

You can expect to pay between $2000 and $3000 for a well-bred companion Coton de Tulear from a reputable breeder who health tests the parents of puppies. 

Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Regards,

Paula Campbell for the Coton de Tulear Breeders of Excellence



Question: Before I buy tools that may or may not work for grooming our wonderful little (neutered, companion) male, Pippin, a 13 month old 10.10 pound American Coton, I would like to touch base with you in more detail regarding your grooming accessories recommendations:

Which Les Poochs brush do you recommend? We have had an ongoing problem with mats, and would happily obtain two different models if need be.

Which size Chris Christensen curved slicker brush and is there a model you recommend?

Which greyhound comb?

Thanks so much.

Answer: I put your question forth to the Coton de Tulear Breeders of Excellence group for opinions, so I have a few responses to offer up (below).

Response 1) ​My Les Poochs preferences for mats are the single-head Lime Green and Gold slicker brushes....used sparingly. By the way, the original Les Poochs brushes were manufactured in Germany by Activet. These brushes are now distributed in the US solely by Groomer's Helper at: http://www.groomershelper.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=60. The cost from Groomer's Helper is considerably less and there is no wait for delivery.

For general maintenance, I like Madan Pin Brushes in Medium, Medium Soft, and Soft Cushions.....depending on the area of the body. These brushes can be purchased on the Top Line Pet Products website at: http://www.toplinepet.com/madan-pin-brush.php.

I also like Chris Christensen's Buttercomb, oblong Fusion Brush and #1 All Systems Dematting Comb. The Plush Puppy Antistatic Porcupine Brush is nice for finishing the coat. A natural horn comb smooths down static as well.

Sometimes the shampoo, conditioner and grooming mist need to be switched during a matting phase to create more coat glide.

Response 2) I love the Plush Puppy Pin Brush. I like the Chris Christensen Fusion Pin Brush and also the Wood Pin Brush. I don't like slicker brushes. I have several Les Poochs brushes. I'm not a big fan. My dogs don't seem to like them that much. I also love the #1 All Systems Dematting comb.....can't imagine life without it.

Response 3) For the comb, I use the Chris Christensen Buttercomb..fine on one end and course on the other..I also like the Christensen Fusion Brushes.

Response 4) The type of coat (fine, cottony, silky, woolly, or thick) and regional climate differences also have an impact on the selection of appropriate grooming products for each individual Coton.

I hope that helps.
Paula Campbell for The Coton de Tulear Breeders of Excellence


Question: We have a three year old Coton who we completely adore! I found a flea on her! We are horrified as this has never happened before. My concern is medicines for fleas and the Coton breed. Any suggestions? We have had a super wet spring and summer so far here in Houston, maybe this is a contributing factor. Regardless, I feel nervous giving her flea and tick medicine. Any advice would be great. Thanks!

Answer: Hi, Thank you for contacting The Breeders of Excellence. I sent your request to the group for input. The following is a compilation of answers. If I hear anything more from any of our other breeders, Iíll forward the responses. Of course, your Veterinarian should be consulted.

1) First, I applaud the owner for realizing Cotons may have adverse reactions to certain medications?. This is a bit difficult to answer, for each region presents its own parasite challenges. Although there are several natural preventative flea/tick remedies, consulting with a licensed holistic veterinarian in the Houston area may be the best risk management approach.

An important consideration is if the Coton is on a monthly heartworm medication that already contains a flea preventative?

2) I have used Revolution without any issue, however, I do not overuse it.....maybe twice a summer.

3) Joy orange citrus dish soap kills fleas. Just be sure to keep from eyes and be cautious around head in general. Rinse carefully and very thoroughly.

4) I would avoid Advantix since there have been a number of reactions with small, white dogs.

Please let us know if you have any other questions.

Regards,
Paula Campbell for The Breeders of Excellence


Question: We have a two year old that is a really picky eater. What is the dry food and any wet that you have had the best success with? Thanks for the help.

Answer: Hi, Thank you for contacting the Coton de Tulear Breeders of Excellence. We all feed different foods, however, here is a list below:

∑ Natures Variety
∑ Taste of the Wild
∑ Now, Fresh by Petcurean
∑ Grandma Lucy's freeze dried food
∑ NRG freeze dried
∑ Canine Caviar
∑ Fromms Grain Free
∑ Acana Grain Free

You may have a little better luck with freeze dried food, you just add water. It smells better to dogs. For picky eaters, you can add a teaspoon of canned food and mix it in. You can also add a little water and microwave it for about 10 seconds just to release some aroma.

One of our breeders adds full fat yogurt to one meal and a couple of tablespoons of home made chicken stock to the other.

Some pet stores will give you small samples and you can just see what your dog likes. Just be sure it is a good quality food. Here is a link for reviews that is really good: http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/best-dog-foods/best-dry-dog-foods/

I hope that helps. Please let us know if you have any other questions.

Regards,
Paula Campbell for The Breeders of Excellence.



Question: My name is ********, I got a Coton puppy. I appreciate if you know of any Coton trainer in Orange County, California. Thank you.

Answer: Thank you for contacting the Coton de Tulear Breeders of Excellence. I sent your request to the group and I'll let you know if anyone knows of a good trainer there. In the meanwhile, here is a link to trainers that have been trained through positive methods, http://www.animalbehaviorcollege.com/dog_trainer_search.asp and here is another link to a very reputable training place, https://www.karenpryoracademy.com/find-a-trainer. Good luck with your search and I'll let you know if anyone has someone specific in mind.

Regards,
Paula Campbell for The Breeders of Excellence.


Question: Hi - I have a 2 year old female Coton. I would love to get her a sibling. She is wonderful and loves all humans and dogs. I am a 1 person household and I don't know if she would be jealous or happy with the addition of a puppy, or should I see about an older Coton? Would she be happier with a male or female sibling? She is very attached to me (as I am to her). I would want her to meet her potential sibling as well. We live near Philadelphia. Thank you in advance. I look forward to your advice.

Answer: Thank you for contacting The Breeders of Excellence. If she loves other dogs, she will likely be happy with a sibling if you handle it correctly. If you want to get a sibling for your Coton, I would definitely get a male. Opposites generally get along much better and there are less chances for problems in the future.

Although adding an adult can certainly work out well, sometimes dogs accept puppies more easily. Definitely choose a male if you are adding an adult. It will be important that you introduce them in a neutral place rather than bring the new addition in her territory. It is also important that you always give her attention first, then the new one. The new one won't know the difference and she will. Teach her that good things happen when sibling is around. They will sort out their relationship after. First impressions are very important to dogs.

As far as meeting before hand goes, it would be unlikely that the breeder you choose would have her meet a young pup, however, if you handle it correctly, you shouldn't have a problem especially if she likes dogs. This would be something to discuss with your individual breeder as to how he/she handles this.

If you are getting an older dog, meeting on neutral territory is especially important. A quick, positive meet then a walk together. If possible, off leash meeting is best or at the least, make sure the leashes are loose. Make sure all interactions are very pleasant. If she shows a negative response, don't reprimand her, just ignore it and offer a distraction. If you reprimand her, she will just not like the dog, she will not connect it back to what she has done.

I do think having a doggy sibling is wonderful for dogs as long as they like other dogs. I hope that helps and please let me know if you have any other questions.

Regards,

Paula Campbell for The Breeders of Excellence




Question: I have a female Coton de Tulear and would like to find a stud for her. She is going on 3 yrs old and I would like at least one litter for her; she would be an excellent mommy and I'd like to have one of her pups as well. Please let me know if you can help.

Answer: Thank you for contacting The Breeders of Excellence. We would require a lot more information to be able to give you an answer on this. We all take breeding very seriously.

First, we would need to know the pedigree of your dog and where your dog came from. Have you had her health clearances done yet? Do you have a mentor for breeding? It is typically standard to have a mentor to guide you through the process. There is a lot to breeding. It would be good to make sure your dog is from a reputable breeder with good lines who knows the health history of such. Most ethical breeders would have you sign a contract with the mandatory health tests and guide you through the process. Please review your contract to make sure you do have the option of breeding. The dog must also be of show quality with correct structure, etc. If you are serious about breeding, it would be good to find out those details before even considering going into breeding. I would be a little concerned about where your dog came from and where your dog is registered. I'm sure she is wonderful, but it would be good to make sure she is suitable for breeding from the right lines and registered with a reputable registry.

The health tests somewhat depend on your lines. Hips, heart, eyes and patellas are very important. Thyroid is good to have done. Bandera's Neonatal Ataxia is extremely important to make sure you aren't breeding a carrier to a carrier. CMR2 is also a recessive condition that you would need to make sure you aren't breeding carrier to carrier. vWD Type 1 is also something one should take into account.

It used to be thought that it was a benefit for a dog to have a litter, however, that has been dis-proven. In fact, there are cancers related to breeding that one can avoid by not doing it. Having intact dogs is not a benefit either. Show/breeding dogs also cost a lot more than a pet. No ethical breeder would allow a breeding to take place without the proper health testing (also very costly) and education required to handle any potential problems.

It would be necessary to educate yourself on all the health issues surrounding breeding One must learn everything from how to whelp puppies to what to do if things go wrong. Things can and do go wrong and if you aren’t prepared, the pups and/or mother could die. Vet expenses should you require a C-section are also very costly. There is also the responsibility of placing the pups in appropriate homes and insuring they don’t get in the hands of puppy millers. You also sometimes have to cover Vet cost of the pups depending on the situation. Also, please keep in mind that part of being a responsible breeder is to always be willing to take back a pup, regardless of when that happens.

Raising puppies properly requires a fair bit of knowledge as well. One needs to make sure they have the right amount of stimulation and socialization. They also need to experience different situations at certain stages. One needs to understand their developmental requirements.

Stud fees are typically the price of a show quality Coton, approximately $3000 to $4000, depending on the breeder and the dog.

This is not something one should consider just to have a litter of puppies. There are risks involved that one should weigh out before making such a big decision. Breeding must be done with the utmost care.

If you are still interested, please supply us with more information and I’ll forward your request to the group.

Paula Campbell for The Breeders of Excellence



Question: Our 1-1/2 year old male Coton is perfect at home. Not one peep. When we are out on the walk, he barks like crazy at other dogs. He goes to dog day camp once a week and goes well there. We tried the cintronella bark collar. He doesn't like it but will bark through it. Please help.

Answer: Hi Linda, Thank you for contacting The Breeders of Excellence. It sounds like your dog is afraid of other dogs on the walk and is reacting. It could be the dogs themselves or maybe just being on leash and seeing other dogs. Regardless of the reason, the solution is the same. Citronella collars typically donít work because you havenít addressed the underlying fear.

Dogs learn by association. If something scary happens, like a loud sound when they see something, they connect the two things. For example, if your puppy sees a child and at the same time hears a loud bang that scares puppy, pup will associate the loud bang with the child and be afraid of children. Puppy needs to learn to make a more positive association by desensitizing. Desensitizing is a great skill to learn. It helps your dog get over any fears and helps him become well adjusted. It is a very easy, effective way to help him out. Basically, when puppy is afraid of something, you have to change the way they feel about it. First off, back him up to a safer distance, then give him a treat when he isnít reacting. Make sure the treat is very rewarding, something super special to him. If he still canít calm down, back him up until he isnít reacting. For example, if he sees a person or dog that he is afraid of and he starts barking, back up until he is no longer barking. There will be a point where he doesnít react, go as far back as necessary. Give him a treat every time he looks at that dog and doesnít bark. Make sure you get the timing correct, treat only when heís quiet. It may just be a split second that heís quiet, then reward right at that silent moment. Gradually move closer, always rewarding for no reaction. If he does react, back him up, go slow to ensure success. If facing a dog is too much for him, then try following a dog from a distance where he doesnít react.

Go slow and be patient, if you put the effort into it, it will be well worth it for both you and your dog. This can be done with anything. For example, if he is afraid of having his nails clipped, give him a treat for looking at the clippers. Once heís ok with that, then touch his paw with the clipper and give a him treat, gradually build him up to using the clipper and treat. Once he isnít afraid, gradually wean the treats out. That is desensitizing in a nut shell. If you are using a clicker, click as soon as there is no reaction, then give a treat. It does go quicker if you use a clicker. If you donít use a clicker, say, ďyesĒ or ďgoodĒ, then treat. This the most useful and effective way of dealing with your dogís fears and helping him over them. If you want to read more in depth about it, the book, "Click to Calm" by Emma Parsons is excellent. Donít let the term aggressive scare you off, it is merely getting them over fears in a very effective way. The term aggressive means fearfulness. Good luck and I hope that helps.

Paula Campbell for The Breeders of Excellence



Question: I bought from a registered breeder a Coton of 5 months at 1,500 pounds. I love him so dearly, however years at everything outside I cannot walk him and he barks at everyone who enters the house, then he's behind chair. Breeder said he socialized him and vet said he had not been socalized. Now I am paying a therapist 120 pounds for two hours. I have tried everything in last 4 weeks, but Nevis will not stop barking at people. He is frightened and when people other than me go to stroke him he barks and growls. I just want to get help for ths lovely dog. The breeder said he would refund my money, but I don't want money. I want my dog happy. Don't know what had gone on before pup was 5 months old? Can you shed any light? Thanks

Answer: Thank you for contacting The Breeders of Excellence. I'm sorry to hear your dog is having such a problem. I don't think therapy is going to help much. It will take time and practice on your part. It can't be fixed in a 2 hour session. The best thing you can do is to try to desensitize your dog and help him make a different connection. The best thing to do is to try to pair anything he is afraid of with something positive. Get some treats that are of very high value to your dog. When you have visitors over, give the treats to the visitors to give to him. Instruct your visitors to not make any eye contact and to bend down, body away from dog, put treat on hand and stretch it ou while facing sideways, inviting dog in a non threatening way to take the treat. Go very slowly and do not push your dog. If he won't take treats, try to up the value of the treat, get something very smelly and rewarding. If he can't take the treats from the company, then have the company back up, face the other way and you give him treats every time he looks their way. If he won't take them, he is too stressed, try to increase the distance between him and them until he can take the treats. A dog who won't take treats is generally too afraid and can't. Never push him or reprimand him for growling. That is his warning that he is scared. It is not wise to take away a dog's warning, you must deal with the underlying problem.

Here is a method to desensitize from my training manual:

Dogs learn by association. If something scary happens like a loud sound when they see something, they connect the two things. For example, if your puppy sees a child and at the same time hears a loud bang that scares puppy, pup will associate the loud bang with the child. Puppy needs to learn a more positive association by desensitizing. Desensitizing is a great skill to learn. It helps your puppy get over any fears and helps them become well adjusted. It is a very easy, effective way to help them out. Basically, when puppy is scared of something, you have to change the way they feel about it. First off, back them up to a safer distance, then give them a treat when they arenít reacting. If they still canít calm down, back them up some more. For example, if they see a person they are scared of and start barking, back up until they are no longer barking. Give a treat every time they look at that person and donít bark. Then gradually go closer, always rewarding for no reaction. This can be done with anything. With nail clippers, give them a treat for looking at them. Then touch their paw and give a treat, gradually build them up to clip and treat. Once they arenít afraid, wean the treats out. That is desensitizing in a nut shell. If you are using a clicker, click as soon as there is no reaction. It does go quicker if you use a clicker. This is one of the most useful effective ways of getting your dog to get over pretty much anything. If you want to read more in depth about it, the book Click to Calm is excellent. Donít let the term aggressive scare you off, it is just desensitizing for all dogs.

The important thing is to go slow and try not to have a reaction. If you do, back up until you don't. Go at your dogs pace adn do not rush. With patience and diligence on your part, you can help him a lot. He may never be the type to run to strangers, however, if he isn't afraid, that is very good. Whether he wasn't socialized before you got him, after or both,the problem is the same and so is the solution.

There is also a very good book on helping your fearful dog. It's called, HELP FOR YOUR FEARFUL DOG - A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO HELPING YOUR DOG CONQUER HIS FEARS by Nicole Wilde Here is a link to it, http://www.dogwise.com/itemdetails.cfm?ID=dtb878 There is another book as well called, Click to Calm by Emma Parsons, here is a link, http://www.dogwise.com/itemdetails.cfm?ID=DTB825 Both books are excellent and both trainers are extremely well respected in the dog training community.

Good luck and please let us know if you have any other questions.

Paula Campbell for The Breeders of Excellence


Question: I recently lost my 16 year old poodle (pix attached) and my vets (and best friends) suggested the Coton. I found you on the Internet after searching for breeders of excellence. Your puppies are adorable and it seems like you are committed to the breed and to finding good and loving homes.

I am 57 and live alone in a condo in Boston. I am on disability for a back issue so I spend a lot of time at home. My neighborhood has an incredible doggie social life. We meet up going for walks and at several dog friendly establishments. I love that many stores have dog treats available for customers. As I mentioned, my vets became 2 of my best friends and have always been committed to helping me with my dog. Tully (r.i.p.) was terrific except his propensity for barking. This became a huge issue for my neighbors and is one of the reasons I have shied away from poodles and towards the Coton.

I view this relationship as long term and want to make sure we establish a strong foundation for this match. Health and temperament are essential (for both of us). :-)

I am trying to find a Coton for a pet. What is the best way to find a puppy that is ďpet qualityĒ and will not be used for breeding while still avoiding the puppy mills. It seems that I am caught between adopting a puppy that is meant for breeding or show (and is priced accordingly) OR finding one where I am suspicious that it is coming from a puppy mill.

Answer: Thank you for contacting The Breeders of Excellence. Any of our breeders are committed to great breeding practices and are strongly opposed to puppy mills. You can feel safe adopting a puppy through any of The Breeders of Excellence. You can expect to pay between $2000 and $2800 for a well bred pet puppy from health tested lines and great breeders. Breeding dogs typically run around $4000. Anything less than $2000, you are likely looking at a puppy mill situation. The only way to responsibly avoid that is to either get a retired breeding dog from a reputable breeder or go though Coton Rescue and rescue a Coton that came from a bad situation. If that doesn't suit you, it would be better to go with a different breed rather than a puppy mill.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Regards, Paula Campbell for The Breeders of Excellence


Question: I am a 61 year old business owner with a wife that is retiring this year after nearly 40 years teaching elementary school in Tennessee and Georgia. She has said that I cannot have another pet until one of us retires, so I am wasting no time in getting us a companion pet and friend. The Coton de Tulear seems to be a perfect fit on all counts for us and I would like to find a reputable breeder who would work with us to obtain a white male/female and consider at least one breeding so that we could end up with a pair to be house friends. I have no interest in becoming a breeder or competitor in the trade, but growing up on a farm, know that at least one breeding can yield positive results long term. If there is someone in our region who would like to work with us in this effort, I would appreciate a call.

Answer: Thank you for contacting The Breeders of Excellence. It used to be thought that it was a benefit for a dog to have a litter, however, that has been dis-proven. In fact, there are cancers related to breeding that one can avoid by not doing it. Having intact dogs is not a benefit either. Show/breeding dogs also cost a lot more than a pet. No ethical breeder would allow a breeding to take place without the proper health testing (also very costly) and education required to handle any potential problems.

Regards, Paula Campbell for The Breeders of Excellence


Question: Where do I get the list of required tests my vet is to give Millie to see if she can be bred?

Answer: Thank you for contacting The Breeders of Excellence.

Do you have a mentor for breeding? It is typically standard to have a mentor to guide you through the process. There is a lot more to breeding than to just have the health tests done. It would be good to make sure your dog is from a reputable breeder with good lines who knows the health history of such. Most ethical breeders would have you sign a contract with the mandatory health tests and guide you through the process. The dog must also be of show quality with correct structure, etc. If you are serious about breeding, it would be good to find out those details before even considering going into breeding. It's excellent you recognize the fact that you need health testing done. I would be a little concerned about where your dog came from and where your dog is registered. I'm sure she is wonderful, but it would be good to make sure she is suitable for breeding from the right lines and registered with a reputable registry.

The tests somewhat depend on your lines. Hips, heart, eyes and patellas are very important. Thyroid is good to have done. Bandera's Neonatal Ataxia is extremely important to make sure you aren't breeding a carrier to a carrier. CMR is also a recessive condition that you would need to make sure you aren't breeding carrier to carrier.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Regards, Paula Campbell for The Breeders of Excellence


Question: I have extreme allergies, and I hear that your dogs are hypoallergenic! When will you have puppies available?

Answer: Thank you for contacting The Breeders of Excellence.

Although Cotons are considered hypoallergenic, some people are still allergic to them. The best thing to do would be to visit a breeder to test out your allergies. Here is a link to our breeder page, http://www.royalcotondetulearbreeders.com/breeders.html. Maybe you could visit a breeder in your area.

Good luck! Paula Campbell for The Breeders of Excellence


Question: I am hoping you can help me. I have a female 7 month old Coton that has suddenly started her coat change. I have been grooming her daily in preparation for this time. I am managing, (or should I say we are managing), but of course am very anxious for the adult coat to be grown in so this period (and terrible matting) will be over. I have been given some conflicting information about the approximate time period this will last. Therefore, I started to do research online. I just found something that said this clashing of the puppy coat with the adult coat could last up to 6 months. Is this accurate or it more likely for 4 weeks or so? I feel like I must be misunderstanding something at this point and am desperately hoping you can provide insight. Thank you in advance for your help. Any information is greatly appreciated.

Answer: Thank you for contacting The Breeders of Excellence. The coat change is a tough phase for sure. Here is an article from our website that has some good information on how to deal with it, http://www.royalcotondetulearbreeders.com/grooming.html.

The change time varies somewhat with different dogs. It usually starts anywhere from 6 months old to 1 year and by 2 years old, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It does take 3 full years for the full adult coat to come in. Just remember, it does get easier.

Good luck, Paula Campbell for The Breeders of Excellence.


Question: What is the best food for my new puppy? What about treats ? 

Answer: Thank you for contacting the Breeders of Excellence. Most of us feed a high quality, mid protein, grain free kibble. We use an all life phase as opposed to a puppy food. This is so that the puppy doesn't grow too fast. The best way to read a dog food label is to check the ingredients up until the first fat. That will be primarily what it is made of. The first ingredient should be meat or meat meal. Make sure it is a specific meat as well.

I personally feed "Now, Small Breed". I find it works excellent for both puppies and adults and has a nice, small kibble. I hope that helps.

Paula Campbell for The Breeders of Excellence.


Question: How difficult is it to housebreak and approx. how long for Coton ? Thanks ....any best suggestions? 

Answer: Thanks for contacting The Breeders of Excellence.

House-training is fairly straight forward and easy if you are diligent. It does vary on the dog and the person. Their bladders do need to grow before they can be completely reliable, so supervision is a must. We have a fair bit of information on house-training our website. Here is the link, http://www.royalcotondetulearbreeders.com/training.html. There is an article on it plus in the Chapala Bay Training Booklet, there is a section on house-training.

Good luck! Paula Campbell for The Breeders of Excellence


Question: Do you do your own treats. I would love to do my own. I figure if I could do the baby food!! I can look around there must be recipes.

Answer: I don't personally make my own, but I checked with the group and Carol sent in this recipe for liver treats:

Liver Treats

1 pound sliced beef liver 1 cup flour (I use wheat flour) 1/2 cup of cornmeal minced garlic (dry minced garlic in a bottle or you can mince your own from a fresh cloves of garlic)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F Spray cookie sheet or 8 1/2 - by 11 Inch baking pan with nonstick spray.

In food processor, blend the liver until liquefied. If it is too stiff - you can add just a little water during the processing.

Pour flour/cornmeal into a large bowl and then add the liver liquid and mix thoroughly.

Pour liver mix into the baking pan/cookie sheet -- I usually sprinkle a little more cornmeal on top so to make it a little less sticky to work with and pat out dough with your hands to spread it.

Sprinkle minced fresh or dry garlic over top of dough.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until middle springs back at the touch.

Cool and cut into small cubes. Store the cubes in resealable plastic bags in the freezer.


Question: Hello there, My 7 year old Coton has been having loose stool for the past 3 months on and off, I have been doing everything I could, tried everything, trying all kinds of foods, XRays ,blood tests, allergy tests, name it, we've done all and all results were good, but she still goes out more than 5 times a day and very soft stool with a very bad odor, could you please help me, tell me what else I can do to help her get better. Please.

Answer: Thank you for contacting The Breeders of Excellence. We are sorry to hear your dog is having difficulties. I sent your question to the group for feedback. Itís difficult to give advice without knowing the details of what youíve already done. Of course, pursuing it with your Veterinarian and a Specialist would be prudent. In any case, here are the responses from the group. We hope this helps.

Response #1: First thing, if you havenít already done so, make sure you let the digestive track settle down by feeding only plain rice for 3 days, then slowly reintroducing the food. ľ food, ĺ rice for a couple meals, then Ĺ and Ĺ, then ĺ ľ. You could also try some probiotics, http://www.purinaveterinarydiets.com/Product/FortiFloraCanineNutritionalSupplements.aspx. I wouldnít use their food, but I have heard that many dogs have had success with settling down the digestive tract with it.

You may want to try a grain free food with some digestive enzymes, such as "Now, Small Breed by Petcurean".

If you havenít already done so, it would be a good idea to see a specialist, especially given that your dog hasnít had these problems before. Also, if you havenít already done so, try to see if there have been any major changes that could account for this, such as a change in food, etc. I would also discontinue treats and chewyís until you can sort out what the problem is. Stick with one food only.

Response #2: First I suggest you inform your breeder of your Coton's condition. He or she may share similar experiences and may be able to offer you advice.

Also of course seeking your Veterinarianís help is wise.

Below is a link that some have found useful concerning the many different causes of stool issues in dogs. If you can rule out illness, and internal parasites, the problem may be diet. Some dogs have delicate sensitive digestive tracts. If so, it is important to stick to one healthily grain free bland diet so the dog can adjust to it. Stay away from giving treats to the dog until the dogs BM's become firm and consistent. Libby's makes 100% pure pumpkin in a can (that is usually found in the cake mix isle of the grocery store (make sure to check that no other additives are included such as molasses or sweeteners.) Pumpkin has been found to be helpful for BOTH diarrhea and constipation. You can give about 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon to your dog daily until stools return to tootsie roll log style. http://leerburg.com/diarrhea.htm

Another thing to consider is perhaps your dog is getting too much to eat. This could also cause loose frequent stools.

Monitoring you dog while it is outside is helpful. Perhaps your dog is getting into something in the yard that could be causing the problem. http://www.happyheartscoton.com/links/poisonousplants.html

Note: these suggestions should not be interpreted to mean that other protocols recommended by a veterinarian would be less satisfactory. It's a matter of professional judgment and choice.

Good luck, I hope this helps and you can get to the bottom of this problem soon.

Regards, Paula Campbell for the Breeders of Excellence


Question: I have been looking at \"breeder\" websites and have found a couple offering \"teacup\" Cotons. Is this acceptable in your breed? Obviously it does not conform to the breed standard. Thank you in advance for your reply.

Answer: Thank you for contacting The Breeders of Excellence.

No, that would not be acceptable in our breed. Reputable breeders breed only to the breed standard. Our group only breeds to the breed standard in order to preserve the breed.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Regards, Paula Campbell for The Breeders of Excellence


Question: Hi, I hope someone can answer my questions or at least help me to understand. We bought a Coton from a breeder that does not belong to Breeders of Excellence. This breeder raises her cotons in her home. She supplied us with information that led us to believe these pups were bred with utmost care and excellent background of the parent dogs. She talked about how she had to pay a lot of money for her breeding dogs. We went to her place which was out-of state from where we live. (by the way, we paid $1200 for her). I did talk to one of the breeders of excellence, and her prices were higher, so we decided to go with the breeder that we visited. We just took her to the vet for her 2nd set of shots (11 weeks)...and the breeder informed us she has grade 1 of medial patellar luxation. He gave us information about it. In this piece, it says that if it progresses to stages 2,3 or 4, she could end up being lame, need anti-inflammatory meds or surgery. I also read that it could develop into arthritus and cause pain. I see now that we made a mistake, perhaps, by not buying our coton from a breeder of excellence. I will certainly recommend others to do that. In the contract we signed which promises a 1 yr. health guarranty, it states several conditions that are not covered in the contract,including the luxating patella. We read and signed it, not realizing there could be a problem. I wish now, of course, that we had questioned her further. That is the basic background. We love our little puppy, and she is bringing us so much joy. Can you please tell us if this disorder is a common one for cotons? Is there anything we can do now to prevent her progressing to another stage of this disorder? One of the reasons we chose this breed, is the claim of such superior health. My last dog had many health problems as he aged. Any information or advice you can give us would be most appreciated. Thank you. Sincerely, Jonnie and Dave Clark

Answer: Hi Jonnie and Dave: Thanks for contacting The Breeders of Excellence. We are sorry to hear about your puppy. The following response is a collaborative effort of the group.

Luxating patella is a common small dog problem. Most reputable breeders test the parents for luxating patellas and only breed dogs with good patellas. Having said that, even if the parents are good, it doesn’t guarantee they won’t produce a puppy with a luxating patella. All the breeders can do is to test and breed the best. Here is a link to The Orthopedic Foundation fro Animals, it explains some of the details about luxating patella, http://offa.org/pl_overview.html The OFA is the official registry for health testing as well. You can look up individual dogs to see their health testing.

We would recommend that you don’t allow jumping (also for the spine) off furniture, etc, going up and down stairs or climbing. Walking is a good way to build up the muscle around the kneecap. It is also important that you don’t let your dog get overweight, as excess weight can cause unnecessary strain, as well as other health problems. Because the puppy is so young, it could just be that the patellas can easily be manipulated. An orthopedic vet told one of our breeders that puppy patellas can easily be manipulated as they are like rubber, which is why the OFA does not even recognize puppy grades. Grade 1 only means that it can be pushed out of the groove manually. One breeder had a puppy that was diagnosed with luxating patella at 10 weeks, she went for a second opinion and she was fine. She is now 5 years old and no signs of any trouble. This may or may not progress into anything, so hopefully nothing will come of this. If it goes to a 2 or 3 we are talking about a small dog not a large breed, so it isn’t as serious as a large breed dog. One of our breeders had patella conversations with her vet, (one of the world’s leading repro Vets), as one of her puppies was born with a grade 4 yrs ago. They worked with her to help stretch muscles/ligaments she just turned 6 and has yet had to have surgery, she doesn't experience pain and it doesn’t it limit her ability. Her vet says the condition is not painful and rarely is surgery necessary. They say 90% of small breeds have some sort of luxation. He said there are far worse conditions than luxating patella's. Each individual dog is different, and we're sure your Vet will guide you in the right direction.

We hope that helps, and please let us know if you have any further questions.


Question: I purchased a colored Coton de Tulear puppy and he is now 1 year old. He is losing all of his color. What is wrong with him?

Answer: Most Cotons who are born with color are born with the dilute gene. This causes the color to fade. Some will fade to white. Others will fade to light beige or fawn.



Question: In my research for a Coton puppy, one breeder told me that boys make better pets. I really want a girl, but I also want the one that will be the best pet. What do you think?

Answer: We know a lot of breeders prefer the boys. Personally, we find that boys and girls both have lovely personalities. We can't say that we like one any better than the other. It's just like when you interact with children. Sometimes, the little boy is the one we prefer and sometimes, it's the girl.



Question: My Coton puppy who is 6 months old gets me up every night to potty around 4 am. When can I expect him to start sleeping all night?

Answer: We tell our puppy buyers to do your best not to get up with the puppy at night. Put his crate beside your bed and stick your fingers in or tap the crate rather than getting up with them. The puppies are just like children. If you get up with them tonight at 2am, you may have to get up with them the next night at 2am and so on and so on. You will soon be able to tell if the sounds they are making is an emergency or not.



Question: When should I spay/neuter my new puppy?

Answer: There is a very good article on early spay neuter on our "Health page". This may be something that you would like to bring along to your Vet for discussion and come to a more informed decision on early spay/neuter.

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