Searching the Coton de Tuléar


   Nadine Rouget (Nosy Blue), breeds Cotons de Tuléar for more than 15 years. In 1999, with her husband Jacques, they went on a trip in Madagascar combinating the pleasure to explore the country, meeting the Malgasy and ... the Coton de Tuléar quest. She give us here her journey book.



   It is during the first 3 weeks of July 1999 that we undertook our trip to Madagascar, firmly decided to see Cotons !
   Our tour was the following: a short halt to Tana (Antananarivo), which is located at center-east island on the high plateau, then a small hour of plane bound for Tolañaro (Fort Dauphin) on the south-eastern coast.    It was really the first contact with Mada (Madagascar). In this July beginning, the weather wasn't so warm, the landscape was majestic and wild.
   Fort Dauphin is a small city with the obsolete charm, people light with the candle, the children have fun with what they find.
   Again the plane to go on the West coast, towards a port which made me dreamed during years: Tuléar. Change of scenery, the weather is hot, the sky is blue.
    Not question to doze off, it is time to go and find Cotons !
    So we are going to be in search of without really knowing how we were going to make inquiries. We get on a rickshaw, the means of transport more used in Tuléar, which leads us to the center of the city. It is on foot that we arrive on the shells market.
    Randomly of our walk, we enter in a small shop called " Art Malgache " (Malagasy Art).
    A very likeable couple presents their dog to us: our first Coton de Tuléar ! She is a small sandy female, with the birth she was entirely beige.
   In spite of her coloured coat, the pigmentation of the eyes and nose are very light. She is a small harmonious specimen.

a small shy lbitch in Tulear

   After investigation, we succeed in getting the address of Madame CARLIER Cotons breeder in Tuléar.
Without wasting one minute: Telephone, appointement, rickshaw, and here we are at her home.
   She has about fifteen Cotons, all living at home. She entertains us in the garden surrounded by her dogs: they are all very timid.
All the dogs of the breeding, are prognathes, with awful set teeth.
She works exclusively with inbreeding for years and years. Her goal is not to improve the race but rather to perpetuate it by keeping its qualities and its defects.
    The dogs which I have under the eyes are indeed very homogeneous, the females weigh between 4 and 5 kg (8.8 and 11 pounds). Leon the male a little bit more.






   The coats are white dominant colour, the heads are rather slender, and pretty (if they don't open the mouth). The muzzle is short, the eyes very dark and very expressive. The ears could be more pressed against the head and a little shorter.
   The back lines are correct and the tail a little bit on the back. The skeltons are light. The height is between 24 and 26 cm (9.44 and 10.20 inches) to the withers. The coat texture is good.

please Leon, don't smile !

   Needs to go back to the hôtel, tomorrow we carry on our road: 1000km (621.5 miles) by car to return to Tana !!!
   From Tuléar to Antanarivo, the Coton is everywhere, often living in the street or as companion of the Malagasy who have 2 or 3 of them.
    In Antsirabe, we go to Joseph who is lapidary. He speaks to us about the precious stones which it works, and as usual I ask to him whether it has Cotons in his entourage.
    He then hurries to present his three females to me who live with large Malagasy tortoises.   One among is very beautiful: complete teeth, a marvellous character. The two others have oddly positioned ears and are broad like "little benches" (french idiomatic expression, meaning that they are a little bit fat).
   Seem they like the Malagasy kitchen...
   We will not speak about the furs, one of the three had the hair twisted like a Puli dog !

pretty bitch, a little bit twisted like a Puli !

   On a market we crossed a Coton which had all of a Papillon dog: he was black and white, without hair on the cheeks nor on the bottom of the legs.
   It made me think of cotons which I had crossed in the 1980's.

made me think to Cotons from 1980's

   Back to Tana, I met an important stockbreeder. I discovered litters of 2 months old pups very surprising: without hair on the cheeks, strongly stained of honest black, heads which looked like to the head of rat dogs, with ears carried high and broken!






   Contrary to the breeding from Mrs Carlier, any homogeneity.
   No desire for bringing back one of these specimen to France.

a breeder in Tana show us his cotons

   Now its time that I speak to you about Nosy Be :
magic island which is located at the North-West of the red island (other name for Madagascar), paradisiac island, with perfume of Ylang Ylang, colors like postcard, where it seems so nice to living here, and ... with a lot of crayfishes!!!
   Coton's kingdom who act the fool together on the beaches. So OK, they have very few hairs and resemble more to dogs living in the streets than dogs we can cross in the show rings, but any doubt: when you cross them, they are really Cotons.

what a straight front !

    Just before our departure of Nosy Be,, I met "La Ouate", a very high quality specimen.
    He goes with his Malgasy mistress to the vegetablegarden. As he was very sociable (and very cuddle), I did not resist the desire to examine him like a judge do (under the unsympathetic and anxious eye of his mistress).

La Ouate

   Frankly he has a lot of quality: :back line slightly arched, the tail set low, complete dentition, strong boned, large chest. He must weigh between 6 and 7 kg (13.22 and 15.43 pounds).
   Here is in some sentences the summary of our Madagascar discovery.
    As soon as possible we'll go back to Madagascar ...

Nadine Rouget











© Copyright 2001 - L'Echo des Elingues