When biologist Dr. Robert J. Russell was studying lemurs in Madagascar, he fell in love with the little fluffy dogs we now know as the Coton de Tuléar. He was the first to export several dozens of these tiny canines to America in 1974. He and his father took care of and bred them in New Jersey under the Oakshade Kennel, and eventually he started the Coton de Tuléar Club of America (now the mCTCA) in 1976. The mCTCA is currently the largest Coton club in the world. Dr. Russell now has his own kennel called the Alika Cotons. The Vice President of mCTCA, Laurie Spalding-Russell has been breeding and working with Dr. Russell for years.

I am proud to be a founding member and Code of Ethics breeder of the Malagasy Coton de Tulear Preservation Club (MCPC). A group of long-time mCTCA breeders and I have known each other for years before the club was formed on January 1, 2018. We had our Malagasy Cotons DNA tested and learned so much about new technologies we can use to support our dogs’ and puppies’ health. We continue to use DNA testing to promote better health in our Malagasy Cotons. The DNA testing is provided by Embark Veterinary, Inc., a research partner with Cornell University of Veterinary Medicine. The MCPC will also be working with the Institute of Canine Biology, an intellectual consortium scientists from around the world with expertise in using current DNA technology for canine genetics.

The Malagasy Coton de Tuléar is a hearty, non-shedding breed with low dander, and has a beautiful, fluffy, cotton-like coat that requires grooming several times a week. The Coton is between 9 and 13 inches tall, and usually weighs up to 18 lbs. Some standard Cotons carry “tall” genes, which allow the height to reach between 14 and 20 inches. The MCPC recognizes three official colours: “Tri-colour,” “White,” and the uncommon “Black and White.”

For more information, visit the Malagasy Coton de Tuléar Preservation Club website at

© Crunchy Cookie Cotons 2019