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Coton de Tulear Standard


The Coton de Tulear is a small dog, with a long, cotton-like coat and round, dark, intelligent, expressive eyes. The ratio of height (measured at the withers) to body length is 2:3.


They are a little boisterous, cheerful, even a little clownish, and are extremely attached to their masters. Their only purpose is that of a companion. They are intelligent and are easily trained. Their temperament is gentle and not of a dominant nature. Faults are to be penalized according to the degree of seriousness.


Head length is 2/5 body length. Skull length to muzzle length ratio is 9:5. In profile, the head is short. The top view is triangular. There is no perceptible occiput. In profile, the top skull is slightly convex, with a width of approximately 3-1/3 inches (8.5 cm). The brows (superciliary ridges) not prominent.

The central furrow is shallow. There is a shallow stop. The muzzle is approximately 2-1/3 inches 6 cm) in length, 1-3/4 inches (4.5 cm) in height, and 2 inches (5 cm) in width. The muzzle and lower jaw are straight.

The thin, tight lips have black or dark brown (tobacco brown) pigment.

Serious Faults - Flat skull. Round skull. Stop too pronounced. Total absence of stop. Muzzle too small. Muzzle too large. Roman nose.

A full complement of small, strong, white, perfect teeth meet in a scissors, level, or slightly undershot bite.
Serious faults - Improperly aligned incisors. Square teeth. Undershot bite more than the thickness of the incisors.

The round, dark eyes are bright and lively. They are set well apart. Eyelids are fine, with dark pigment.
Serious faults - Light eyes. Eyes too close together. Entropianism. Ectropianism. Protruding eyes. Vicious gaze.

The small nose has open nostrils. It is black in color. Dark brown (dark tobacco) is tolerated, but not preferred.

The thin, triangular, dropped ears are approximately 2-1/3 inches (6 cm) in width, and 2-3/4 (7 cm) inches in length. They are set high on the skull, are broken at the base, and thin at the tip. Serious faults - Ears too short. Too narrow at the base. Too wide at the base. Erect ears.


The neckline is robust and strong, and slightly arched. It is thick and muscular in shape. The ratio of neck length to body length is 1:5. It is approximately 3-1/8 inches (8 cm) in length, and approximately 2 3/4 inches (7 cm) in width. The neck skin is taut.
Serious faults - Slender neck. Neck too long. Neck too short.


The muscular shoulders are approximately 4 inches (10 cm). The shoulder assembly angulation is 120 degrees. The muscular upper arm is approximately 3-1/2 inches (9 cm), sloping from front to rear. The vertical forearm is well-boned and approximately 4 inches (10 cm) long. Elbow angulation is 120 degrees.

From both the front and the side, the forelegs arestraight. The area encompassing the carpal joint and the pastern (metacarpus) is approximately 1-1/8 inches (3 cm) in length.
Serious faults - Straight shoulders. Out at the pasterns. Pigeon-toed. Bow legs. Poor angulation.


The muscular backline is slightly convex (slightly roached). The withers are slightly pronounced. The ratio of the thorax to the lumbar region is 10:6. The round belly is not as broad as the chest. There is a slight tuckup.
Serious faults - Back too long. Underdeveloped chest.


Hip angulation is 80 degrees. The muscular upper thigh is approximately 4 inches (10 cm) in length. The lower thigh is approximately 4 inches (10 cm) in length. The ratio of the upper thigh to lower thigh is 1:1.

From both the rear and the side, the hind legs are straight. Stifle angulation is 120 degrees. The hock joint is approximately 3/4 of an inch (2 cm) in width. The vertical rear pastern (metatarsus) is 2-3/4 inches (7 cm) in length and 3/4 of an inch (2 cm) wide.
Serious faults - Horizontal croup. Narrow croup. Thighs insufficiently muscled. Bow hocks. Bowlegs. Poor angulation.


The small, round, well-formed front feet have tight toes. The round, well-formed hind feet have tight, slightly-curved toes. The front feet are approximately 1-1/8 inches (3 cm) long. The pads are flat, well centered and pigmented.


The low-set tail is thick at the base and thin at the end. It is approximately 7 inches (18 cm) in length. When moving, the tail is carried over the back. At rest, the tail falls downward below the hocks, with the tip curving upwards.
Serious faults - Tail too long. Tail too short. Cylindrical tail.


The fine coat is slightly wavy, with a cottony texture. It is approximately 3-1/8 inches (8 cm) in length.

The skin is fine, with good adherence to all body parts. It may be pigmented with gray spots, more or less dark.

Serious faults - Short coat. Hair too long. Curly hair. Silky hair. Hair on ears too short. Lack of abundance of hair on tail. Insufficient coat on thighs. Wrinkled skin. Thick skin.


White, with a few spots of yellow or light-to-medium gray permissible.

A few spots of the following colors, with a variety of darkness and intensity, are acceptable on a white background on young dogs (under 1 year) only: yellow, rust, dark red, black, brown, and brown/black mixed together. The color is very light at the base of the hair shaft, indicative of acceptable adult coloration.

The ears are covered with white hair or with hair of the following three shades: yellow taints, more or less dark; a blend of yellow and black hairs; or, a few black hairs, giving the impression of a light grayish stain.


Height is measured at the withers.

Height range for males is from 9-7/8 inches (25 cm) to 12-1/2 inches (32 cm), with 11 inches (28 cm) being the ideal.

Height range for females is from 8-1/2 inches (21.5 cm) to 11 inches (28 cm), with 9 7/8 inches (25 cm) being the ideal.

Weight range for males is from 8-7/8 to 13-1/4 pounds (4 to 6 kg).

Weight range for females is from 7-3/4 to 1 pounds (3.5 to 5 kg).

Weight is proportional to height, but must not exceed the maximum. For example, a male of 11 inches in height will weigh approximately 11 pounds, while a male of 12-1/2 inches in height will weigh approximately 13-1/4 pounds.


The walk is normal. The stride is shortened. The preferred gait is the trot.


Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Extreme viciousness or shyness. Nose too light. Butterfly nose. Insufficiently pigmented lips. Pink spots on lips. Pink spots on eyelids, Double-hooked tail. Straight tail, carried straight up or straight out from the body. No tail. Males over 12 1/2 inches in height. Females over 11 inches in height. Males over 13 1/4 pounds. Females over 11 pounds. Coat heavily spotted with dark red (maroon) or true black for both puppies and adults.

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