The Coton Tzu, Coton De Tulear and Shih Tzu mix
Just look at those eyes! These lovable, playful, silly, smart and athletic dogs will surely end up being the light of your life. From puppy to adult hood, the Coton Tzu may be a designer breed, but there is so much to know about this amazing dog. Whether you already got a puppy or you are thinking of buying one, this article has all of the knowledge you need to take good care of your Coton Tzu. From the beginning of this breed, to feeding, grooming, and training, you will find out if this dog is right for you!
What is this breed? Here is everything you need to know.
This dog has a history of varying backgrounds. We don’t exactly know when the Coton de Tulear and the Shih Tzu started being breed together by humans to start the Coton Tzu. But we can look into what we know about the two breeds that started it all.
The Coton de Tulear was named after Tulear, the trade port in Madagascar in which they were discovered. There is possibility that they came with pirates or sailors, but they are known to have survived a shipwreck where they were rescued. Given the name “Royal Dog of Madagascar”, the only people who could own them were the wealthiest of the tribe of Merina, Madagascar. In the 1970s they were brought to France and north America, and noticed by the American Kennel Club in 2014. Their lifespan is about 14-16 years. The Coton de Tulear has a beautiful cotton like coat, which is also where the Coton Tzu gets it from.
Originally from Tibet and China, you do not need to be alarmed with the name of Shih Tzu, or Little Lion in Chinese. They are known as one of the oldest breeds of dogs, bones found in China date back to 8000 B.C. Despite the controversies surrounding their history, they are closely thought of in relation to Buddhism, as many people think they were raised alongside monks in Tibetan monasteries. There is the idea they were brought to china in order to be traded with the Royals. Shih Tzus were very well prized in the royal palace. The Empress Dowager Cixi especially loved them, and continued breeding them until her death. The Shih Tzu got popular in America during the 1960s and got recognized by the AKC in 1969. Even today, they are one of the most popular small dog breeds and the lifespan is 11- 14 years.
Since the Coton Tzu is known as a designer breed only they are not even classified as a real breed by the American Kennel Club. The reason for this is that although the Coton de Tulear is only white with shaded ears, and the Shih Tzu has multiple colors. The Coton Tzu could end up white, brown, cream and combination. You can’t expect them to look exactly the same, all of the puppies will be unique and different. Some of the organizations that recognize them as a real breed are the American Canine Hybrid Club, Designer Dogs Kennel Club, Dog Registry of America, and International Designer Canine Registry
These special dogs usually live about 13-16 years. The puppies can be so small that they fit inside of your hand, and then proceed to go to be 7-11 inches tall. An Adult Cotton Tzu will weigh between 8 and 16 pounds.
Health and Care
Here is what you need to know about the Coton Tzu’s health. They are generally healthy dogs with issues that will come with old age. Arthritis and joint problems such as hip dysplasia is common. You need to make sure the fir inside of their ears are clean and trimmed to prevent infections, mites or fungus.
It is common for them to have health problems based on their small size. A common disorder is patella luxation, where the kneecap painfully dislocates and they may require surgery to fix this. It is good to keep track of the teeth of Coton Tzus because of the possibility of overcrowding teeth because of the small head. Brush their teeth often as it helps reduce plaque and prevent dental pain. Choosing the right food also helps with keeping the teeth clean and nice. Other minor concerns include bladder stones, heart disease Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, and liver shunts.
It is a good idea to always spay and neuter your pets. As is it in their nature to mate, they are very likely to stray from their human owners to look for a partner. In males it helps them be less aggressive, while in both males and females it will prevent them from getting cancer. Aside from preventing health problems, spaying and neutering is important so that the dog population doesn’t grow to uncontrolled sizes. When this happens, there becomes too many puppies and too little owners. Spaying and neutering can make sure that every last puppy gets a home.
How to Groom
It’s no wonder they are named after cotton, or Coton in French. But all owners need to take good care to brush them monthly, weekly or even daily! The coats are medium length to long, and they get matted easy. You would use a pin brush for this. Taking after the Shih Tzu, when not taken care of, the hair will grow too long and cover the eyes, preventing them from seeing properly. Or you can also trim them to keep their fir short styled and easier to take care of. When you keep them looking nice and taken care of, you are telling others “This is my dog and I am a proud owner!”
If you have allergies then here is some good news! They are hypoallergenic, making them ideal for everyone. Since they shed very little, cleanup is also easier to handle. Use a slicker brush for removing the extra fur. Clipping the nails is important because nails that are too long cause discomfort when trying to move around, and can even get caught on objects around them. You should bathe them once a week to keep them clean and fresh, or else they might start smelling. When shampooing them, make sure to choose natural and organic soaps, non-irritating. You only want the best for your beloved pet.
Temperament and personality
So, you are looking for a friendly dog for your family? You’ve come to the right place! What makes them the best companion animals is that Coton Tzus are very gentle with children and can be raised with families with young kids to teenagers. The kids would love growing up with one! They are good pets for grandparents and older people as they are small and low maintenance. They will bring peace to you after hard and stressful day since what they crave is love and attention. After playing hard, they will cuddle up right next to you and be calm. These loyal companions will not want to leave your side. You will be a good match for this dog if you have enough time and love to give.
It is good to note, that they do not like being left alone for long periods. When you know you will be gone for a long time, have friends or family members check on them often. They have separation anxiety, and this causes panic to the point where they might destroy items inside of the house. The reason for this is, they are so affectionate and loving, they need people around to feel comfort. This is an important factor to consider when training them.
These are non-aggressive dogs and don’t have hunting instincts. They will not hurt or injure other pets. They will make friends with other dogs, and even cats! That is, if the cat allows it. Need a good laugh? These puppies are silly and will always play with your other animals. The Coton Tzus are good watch dogs like their Shih Tzu parent. This means they are very attentive and will bring your attention to anybody that comes around the house. The Coton Tzu will truly become a part of your family.
Training your Coton Tzu
Since these puppies are so playful and silly, they can be hard to train. Like little children, they might try to goof off instead of learning. Train your Coton Tzu from a puppy. What they need training in the most is potty training and socializing with people as they can be shy around humans they don’t know.
When training them, start as soon as possible and do it every single day. A gentle but firm approach works well. Potty training is especially important to learn as puppies as it is hard to break habits when they get older. Watch for signs as they will display certain behaviors when they have to potty, such as pacing back and forth and sniffing in certain areas and even crouching, take them outside immediately. Puppies have limited control over their bladder compared to the older dogs. Each puppy is different, others can hold it for more time than others. If they go inside the house, notice their habits so that you can transition them to grass. When you take them outside, create consistency and take them to the exact same spot each time. Make use of dog crates for sleeping in. They will not want to use the bathroom where they know they will be sleeping, and puppies will like having a nice comfortable bed. Make use of gates inside of the house so that they know what then can get into, and what is forbidden.
Small dog syndrome is a common occurrence. This is when they display dominant behaviors over their owners. Remember, you wouldn’t let a large dog do these things, why would you let a small dog? This includes jumping on legs, jumping on the laps of guests uninvited, tugging on leashes while on walks, yapping and barking as a way of giving commands. It is very important not to let puppies develop these behavior issues into adult dogs. When you train your Cotton Tzu well, they will be well mannered and sociable.
They do need exercise like all dogs do. When exercising them, take them out for walks, play with them, and take them to the park. They are even good at swimming! They will have fun at the beach, in forests, and they can even play with the kids in the little pool outside. Give them 35 minutes of your time every day to let them get out their energy. If it gets really hot during the day, take them outside after it cools down, either in the morning or in the evening. The reason for this is they can’t handle heat well. Make sure they stay well hydrated while exercising,
When the Coton Tzus have already gone through the basic training, like learning to potty train and have learned the right way to act around humans, it is time to train them on more advanced exercises like sports and agility! Although it’s not required training, this increases bonding time with your dog. Agility training increases their endurance, improves coordination, and lets them be more in their natural state of alertness and problem solving. Their high intelligence allows them to learn to do tricks like standing on their hind legs!
Diet requirements and restrictions
The Coton Tzu will require about 200 to 450 calories a day. It all depends on how active they are though, as the more athletic dogs will require more calories, while the older or more sedentary dogs will require less. The Coton Tzus are prone to obesity, so how much they eat needs to be kept in check.
No free feeding. They need to have scheduled eating times to keep consistency up every day so that they can know when their next meal will be. When choosing kibble to feed them, always check the ingredients. Make sure the dried food you choose has the ingredients closest to their natural diet. Do not give them food with fillers and little nutrients. You wouldn’t want your children to eat like this either, would you? This is the same case with your Coton Tzu. The pictures and labels on pet foods can be deceiving, so confirm that what you are getting is truly good. Wet food can be incorporated in also, but only a limited amount so they can keep a proper weight.
Officially dairy products, grains, chocolate and fatty meats should not be given to your dog. Be very careful about giving your Coton Tzu table scraps. One wrong move and something could go horribly wrong. It could be a problem giving them cooked meats because it lessens the full nutrient value of the food. The best way of feeding them is giving them 3\4 cup of kibble with added canned food or raw meat. What the Coton Tzus need to live a long happy life is to be fed good and nutritious food.
Adopting your puppy
When you are choosing your Coton Tzu, always make sure you educate yourself on the breeder. You need to check to make sure the parents of the puppies were well taken care of. You wouldn’t want to get your puppy from a shelter or a mill that abuses animals, wouldn’t you? Happy puppies come with happy owners. Some people are only in it for the money. They don’t care about the health and well beings of the dogs, a lot of them are sick and injured. Always make sure you know where they are coming from. Because of this, is not a good idea to buy them from pet stores. Only places where you know where they came from.
The Coton Tzus are very rare and very special breeds. Designer dogs like this one are in high demand. They have a high cost of $600 $1000 depending on the breeder you get them from.
Finding puppies for sale can be a challenge. There are various rescue groups throughout the united states but not everyone will have a Coton Tzu puppy for sale. In order to find puppies near you, search in the newspaper or various websites. Word of mouth has a powerful effect as well. Make sure that a Coton Tzu is what you really want, and it might include a lot of traveling to find the special prized possession you have been looking for!
Considering what to name your pet?
For female dogs, some of the most popular names are Bella, Lucy, Molly, Daisy, and Maggie. For male dogs, the most popular names would be Bailey, Max, Charlie, Buddy, and Rocky. Since these puppies will be a part of your life for a long time, make sure you choose a good name for them!
This fluffball with the big eyes and friendly face will turn your whole life around. Although hard to find, the Coton De Tulear and Shih Tzu mix will be completely worth the effort it takes to get them. Great for the whole family, hypoallergenic, trainable and fun dogs. It might just be one of the best decisions you ever make!