As of 2015, there are numerous online resources that feature information on the Coton de Tulear dog breed, including DogBreedInfo.com, DogTime.com, CotonClub.org and Wikipedia. On these websites, users can find a wide variety of information about this dog breed, including the history of the breed, the approximate height and weight ranges, its temperament, life span and how trainable the breed is.
The Coton de Tulear breed is an ancient, pure-bred dog that originated on the African island nation of Madagascar more than 300 years ago. The name Coton de Tulear is French, and it means the cotton of Tulear. The breed gets this name because they tend to have a very fluffy, cotton-like coat, while Tulear, now known as Toliara, is the city in Madagascar where the breed originated. The breed belongs to the group of small, companion dogs and is closely related to both the Maltese and Bichon Frise breeds.
Originally, members of the Malagasy royal family were the only people that were allowed to keep Coton de Tulear dogs, and they are sometimes referred to as the Royal Dog of Madagascar. The breed is still the national dog of Madagascar. It is thought that the ancestor of the Coton de Tulear, known as the Tenerife dog, was originally brought to the island by pirates during the 16th or 17th century.