History and Origin
Originating from 14th century Port Tulear, Madagascar’s Royal Dog’s hereditary roots, as a companion dog in highly political homes, makes this breed the perfect pet. This rare ancient purebred dog is famous for its temperament and intelligence, is very biddable, loves to please and is easy to train.
There are various stories about its origin. One version is a little white dog (Tenerife/Bichon type, now extinct, later called the Coton de Reunion) apparently survived a shipwreck off Madagascar’s southwest coast. It ran wild breeding with the local terriers, producing the Coton de Tulear. Another version is that the local Port Tulear dogs bred with the trader’s ‘bichon’ type dogs, producing the Coton de Tulear.
The natives offered a Coton to Malagasy’s King, who passed a law restricting ownership of the Coton to Royalty and Nobility. If anyone else was found possessing a Coton they risked a death sentence. Even today, the law restricts Coton ownership in Madagascar to the very wealthy. The Coton is ‘The Royal Dog of Madagascar’, and, is the ‘official dog of Madagascar’, honoured on a postage stamp.