Your lovely Coton De Tulear will require an immense amount of grooming. This shouldn't be perceived as a job, however, but as a shared activity that will help you two bond. It will also help him to be happy as he turns heads when you two walk! On this page are tips on the different parts of grooming your cute Coton.
Coton de Tulear grooming and coat care is a daily requirement. It is easy when these dogs are puppies, but the puppy coat starts to be replaced with the adult hair around 7-8 months. It will require a lot of daily grooming to prevent the mats that occur at this stage. You can do this at home as by now you will have learned how to groom a Coton De Tulear. If you've been grooming the coat daily, there should be few problems during this transition. If, however, there are matting and tangle problems with the adult coat growing in, it's fine to shave your Coton. Trimming the coat will allow a fresh, new one to grow in.
These dogs will need frequent brushing--3-4 times per week, if not daily--to keep their coats looking their best. Frequent brushing also minimizes the formation of tangles, which if left unchecked will develop into mats.
The best brush for Coton de Tulear dogs is a pin brush. The kind without coating on the pins is preferred, as it glides through the silky hair the easiest.
How to brush a Coton de Tulear: first spray the coat with water mist from a spray bottle (with conditioning or de-tangling solution mixed in if desired). Then starting at the shoulders, go through the coat section by section with the pin brush, moving in sweeping strokes in the direction of hair growth. If you encounter a tangle, first try working it out with your fingers, then if needed continue working through it with the end teeth of a greyhound comb.
Cotons de Tulear require more bathing than most dogs — but not too much more. Every 3-4 weeks is recommended. If there are mats, that also means it's bath time. The coat should be brushed before bathing. You should apply a detangling conditioner before the bath and undo any mats or tangles by hand. There should be no mats as bathing will only make them worse.
Because they need more bathing than most dogs, it is essential that you get the best shampoo for your Coton de Tulear. A good one is the No.16 White Coat Evening Primrose Oil Dog Shampoo made by Isle of Dogs. After shampooing, you'll want to apply a conditioner. Try the Isle of Dogs No. 51 Heavy Management Conditioner, as it will go well with the shampoo. It's best to have a 50/50 water/conditioner mixture, and it's easy if you have it in a spray bottle. Don't rinse out the conditioner.
After the bath, it's towel time. Be sure to have a few towels on hand and that they are plushy. You will be blotting the coat dry — don't wipe or rub! You can also line or fluff dry the coat. However you do it, dry from front to back, and don't use circular motions. You don't want to make mats or tangles after all that beauty work.
Once all is done, don't forget the doggy treat!
Coton De Tulear tear stains and eye stains tend to be a universal problem for many reasons. If they are hereditary, they can basically only be treated. If they are caused by infection or diet, it should be easy to cure.
Tear stain reducers may work to undo the stains regardless of reason. One you might try is Angels' Eyes Tear Stain Eliminator-Remover. This flavored powder works from within and you put it in the dog's food.
If you are using a topical cream to remove the stains, you can use Burt's Bees Dog Tear Stain Remover. Use a Q-Tip so you can apply it to just the area where the stains occur. You don't want to get it in the eye or on other extremely sensitive tissue. You'll want to use a very fine-toothed comb first to remove any solid matter, then apply the salve.
There are also preventive measures such as giving your Coton filtered water or getting a water spout instead of a dish so his beard doesn't get in the water when he drinks. If the problem persists, be sure to see your vet.
The breed's name is descriptive of the way the coat should feel: cottony. The Coton De Tulear's coat is notoriously prone to mats and tangles. Failure to groom the coat constantly will result in a dog who is unhappy, unhealthy and messy looking. You don't need a grooming style as if your Coton is to be in a dog show, but it certainly helps.
There are two basic Coton De Tulear haircuts: the puppy cut and the show cut.
The puppy cut allows the dog's eyes to be seen, keeps the "beard" to a minimum and doesn't allow the fragile hair to drag or catch too much debris. This short haircut is best for owners who want to learn how to groom a Coton De Tulear.
The show cut requires a lot of daily grooming. This style lets the hair flow out long and makes the dog appear to float. You can also add a topknot to the head and splay the tail hair to make it look like a small fountain.
If the coat gets matted, heavily tangled, or if it is very hot, you may want to have your Coton De Tulear shaved. The coat should grow back and be as soft as before, but your Coton will look funny. His skin will be extremely fragile and you will need to be very careful.