The Coton de Tulear is a member of the Bichon family. The earliest records show Cotons in the 17th century depicting a colorful life with pirates and royalty. Cotons became know as “The Royal Dog of Madagascar” and were found only in homes of the elite.
Madagascar struggled to find it’s identity in the centuries to follow. As a source for timber and exotic spices the island was a prized possession, fueling conflict between local tribesmen, pirates, and French colonists. Rival factions of local tribes established kingdoms that split the island, promoting political turmoil. The Merina held territory on the majority of the island. Their king, Radama I, opened that part of the island to English missionaries, helping to spread Christianity and establishing Malagasy as a written language. He was succeeded by his widow, Ranavalona I, a ruthless and brutal ruler who forced foreigners to leave, eliminated her political rivals, and reverted to barbaric tribal customs.
The island was invaded by France in 1883, becoming a French colony in 1896 until it gained independence in 1960 after repeated uprisings by the local tribes. As Madagascar struggled with it’s new-found freedoms and the political and economic climate continued to degrade, the Coton was threatened with extinction on the island. In 1975, Didier Ratsiraka became dictator of Madagascar until the economic crisis forced a revolt in 1991 where he was overthrown. Ratsiraka became president shortly after being removed as dictator, a position he held until the 2001 election. Marc Ravalomana, the newly elected president, brought the expertise of business to Madagascar’s battle-weary political climate, spurning economic growth and promoting stability.
During the early 1970s, Dr. Robert Jay Russell, a biologist studying Madagascar’s lemurs, brought Madagascar Cotons de Tulear breeding stock to North America. Cotons de Tulear were also exported to French-speaking European countries in the late 1970s, where selective breeding altered the hardy, colorful dog into a smaller, more refined all-white dog. Today, you will find two distinct perspectives on the Coton de Tulear - the Madagascar Coton de Tulear, promoting the original hardy breed stock and the French influenced Coton de Tulear, promoting a smaller, delicate all-white dog.
Rose Cottage Cotons de Tulear are proudly 100% Madagascar Cotons de Tulear. We are honored to participate with other MCTCA Code of Ethics breeders to ensure the health and longevity of the original Malagasy breed lines. For more information on the Madagascar Coton de Tulear, click on the link below to navigate to the MCTCA - The Madagascar Coton de Tulear Club of America.
Madagascar Coton Club of America