several breeds, including the Chow Chow, Dalmatian, Pug, Pekingese and the Bichon maltais (officially appointed as one of the ancestors of the Coton), as well as the Coton. Under Coton, it reads “...the Malagasy kennel club had asked for the recognition of the Coton de Tulear. This recognition was granted in 1971 by the FCI. As for all newly rec- ognized breeds, the parents after hav- ing been seen by a specialist judge of the breed, are registered in the Register Initiale (R.I.).” No ancestors are noted on the certificate, apart from the recog- nized and registered ones. The same is true for the progeny of these registered parents, the progeny also needs to pass the judge’s examination as puppies or as adults, only in this case the genera- tions are listed on the pedigree. This is the procedure to follow until there are four complete generations noted. Only after four generations, the pup- pies are automatically registered in the Livre des origins de la Republique Malagasy (L.O.R.M.). The first Coton de Tulear to own an official T.I. pedigree, a titre initial (meaning no unknown ascendants) was U’Rick, a black and white male born on January 2, 1971. His registration was issued on November 23, 1972. We can find these Malagasy pedigrees numbers contained in some of our old Coton reg- istrations near the old ancestors’ names. The number is easily recognized by the initials R.I.M., which mean that it is a registration only based on the appear- ance of the dog (phenotype), not on his genotype. This is the reason why before being able to have an automatic regular pedigree it’s necessary to wait four gen- erations, because this allows a genetical stabilization of the breed type. Unfortunately the Société canine de Madagascar did not register any other Cotons for the next 12 years. They start- ed again in May, 1984. A dog show was held on June 4, 1989 at the Hilton Hotel in Madagascar. There were 8 Cotons entries. The judge awarded only four of them with the recognition as Cotons. They were classified as follows: 1. ECC, Milou (Owner by Ola Ell) 2. ECC, Balita (Owned by Randriamananja) 3. Very Good, Bao (Owned by Randriamananja) 4. Very Good, Bouba (Owned by Rakotomavo)
In the following years, Cotons got to be known in Europe. First in France (Madagascar had been a colony of France for many years) and soon expo- nentially in the rest of Europe. Later on, the patronage of the breed passed to French Kennel Club, Société Centrale Canine . Nowadays in France, Denmark and Finland the Cotons are within the largest breed in the FCI Toy Group. In the US during the 70s, the first two breeders were Jay Russell and Jacques Sade. Russell seems to have been the first to import from Madagas- car; he bred under the kennel name Oakshade the Cotons. In 1976, he had his first puppy, Jiijy of Billy. The other pioneer of the breed in the US, Sade of Platekill Kennel in New York area, bred the Champion Cottonkist Macaroon, owned by Kennette Tabor. What is sure, despite the hypotheti- cal origin of the Cotons from a mix- ture of breeds (from Barbet to Maltese, from Bichon Tenerife to Papillon, from Bolognese to Bedlington Terrier), the Coton is a unique mix of beauty, intel- ligence and happiness which make him an undisputed wonderful companion. Not only is he family-oriented, but also a therapy dog, a disc player and a danc- ing dog—he would not disappoint you in Obedience or Agility either. Two Cotons that deserve to be men- tioned as memorable champions of Agility are Eden (J. Vasserot) in France and Bar-ken’s Happy go Lucky, bred by
Barbara Adcock and loved by Brenda Magnon in the US. Though able to perform with suc- cess in all the sports and disciplines, it does not overshadow that the Coton is a special friend also in your home. This is a dog that likes to be with you all the time. It is not pretending or demanding, just a “white shadow” that loves to lay down by your feet. However, they are not lap dogs by any means! They are always ready for a walk, a ride, a swim or a game—they are clownish and want to have fun, but…only with you. Advised also as dogs for people suffering from allergies because they don’t have doggy odor and do not shed. They are also “anti-stress” dogs to cuddle and hug in every moment of your day. Cotons have been referred to as the anti-depressant breed because of their happy, adaptable and empathetic personality. Cotons are excellent companions for people with disabilities and a fantastic addition to families with children. What could convey a better sense of well-being than what you feel stroking their hair? It’s because the Coton coat is unique; no other dog has such a cotton- like coat. The name of the breed derives from their beautiful “cotton” coat and from the port of Tulear—a vital area of plantations and trade of cotton. The beautiful Coton coat had the original purpose of being an excellent insula- tion from heat. Today, it could be a functional insulation against cold, too.
244 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , A UGUST 2015
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