Coton de Tulear Breed Magazine - Showsight

Coton de Tulear Q & A

smiling back at him, not registering that my dog had won. People starting shouting at me (you won! Go!!!) It took the judge two times to motion to me and I finally woke up! My friend’s husband was in the car (facing the ring, getting ready to leave, as I never thought we had a chance) and he got so excited, he smacked his head on the top of the door opening as he was jumping out of the car! But, even better, after that, my dog won continually! It was the start of him reaching #1 for the following year in all systems. As I mentioned above, this breed has a history that many breed- ers either do not know, do not internalize, ignores, or embraces. This history and the breed’s natural evolution is what makes the breed what it is and defines the breed as to what it’s not! It is not a dumbed down, fragile little fluffy white dog. It is not a cutesy, yappy little breed with marbles in its head. The breed is a survivalist. It evolved and flourished in one of the most harshest environments in the world, on an island where most of its animal inhabitants remain unchanged since pre-historic times. The breed was preyed upon by Caimen. It had to develop stamina, agility and overly keen senses of sight, smell and hearing. It had to possess intense vocal, bodily and visual communicative abilities within their packs, a body structure that guaranteed swift, strong movements and high endurance in order to survive in the rainforests, beaches, all the terrain and weather conditions that Madagascar threw at them dur- ing their time as feral dogs. Their high pitched bark was needed to cut through all of the noises of the rainforest. Pups born with color served as camouflage for protection, later to dilute to white to reflect the hot sun as adults. Their cottony coat trapped insects, and insulated them from the heat and cold. Every characteristic the breed possess has its purpose going back to its survival. Even when they entered into the camps of the locals, it was said by Louis Petit that they earned their keep by taking down the wild razor-back boar and working as a utility farm dog, in addition to providing affection and comfort to the family. It’s history is rich and it needs to be preserved in what their essence is: a smart, highly intelligent thinking member of its pack (human or canine), ready for action and wise enough when to back down. SHARON HUNKINS I live in Southern California. Dogs used to be what I did outside of my career. I am now retired after 40 years in my career. My time is now spent with my dogs. After a number of years admiring this breed, I added Cotons here to my existing SHE Bichons in early 2014. Now we are SHE Bichons And Cotons. I had been showing Bichons since 2004, started showing Cotons in July 2014. How is one to evaluate a successful breeding program? that depends on what your goals are. I would say a combination of sev- eral factors including offspring who exhibit the hallmark of the breed, “Joie de Vivre”, good conformation, coat and movement and good health. There are no secrets to a successful program. It’s a whole bunch of hard work, dedication; accumulated experience and knowledge. I am not concerned with popularity rankings. All that matters to me is that my dogs are popular with me. As with all breeds, if one breed becomes particularly popu- lar, there is an upsurge of poor breeding and all that is associated with it. I still say the hallmark of the breed is their “Joie de Vivre”. If you can’t produce that, you are lacking. They are strong, beautiful and playful and great companions. Too many dog show memories, sort of like asking which of dogs is your favorite. Could be when I met one of my best dog friends at my first dog show while hiding behind a trash can near the ring. We were both hiding from our bitch puppies who were in the ring. That was the first show for both of our puppies. Subsequently I travelled

with her to the Westminster when her bitch showed in 2005. We have remained friends. She called me a few weeks ago to say her girl had passed away and she wanted me to know because I had been an important part of her life. We met at her first show and we travelled to Westminster together for her last show. I find it troubling there seems to be a splintering of clubs and registrations and ideas regarding what the standard for the breed should be. It’s troubling that the AKC is not accepted nor supported by these factions. DELL ANN KUHN Dell Ann Kuhn has

been married 42 years to Joseph Kuhn. She has four grown, married children with six grandchildren. Outside of dogs, racehors- es are in my blood as my parents trained and raced horse all over the country. I’m retired from school bus driving for 28 years. I enjoy the life I have and am living life happy with my family and Cotons.

Maplewood Cotons is located just outside Columbus, Ohio in the small town of Sunbury. We grew up here on a farm and have raised our children here as well a now our four-legged family. I enjoy helping with my teenage grandchildren as a carpool and lunch lady. We travel to Florida for the winter where my most favorite pastime is the beach. I am oldest of six girls so I do a lot of sister stuff as well. I have been breeding dogs for almost 25 years. I started with Miniature Schnauzers and now have only Cotons. I got my first one in 2007 and now have five total. I became interested in showing when they just been recognized by AKC. I purchased My “Hayden” from a breeder in France and thus my love for the breed began. All of my Cotons are AKC finished champions. Hayden De l” Etoile Procyon has been ranked in the top three for most of his show career. He was awarded Select dog at Westminster in 2017. I now have another Coton, Rock a Bye Real McCoy @ Maple- wood who finished his Championship and was award a RBIS at the IABC Show in Cincinnati. I am now looking forward to Showing another one of our puppies this winter. Every time the car is getting loaded the Cotons get excited to hop right in, they somehow know where we are going. To have a successful breeding program one must be honest with what you are breeding. It is very easy to become kennel blind. Being diligent with Health Testing is a must. Maplewood Cotons goal is to produce healthy puppies with wonderful loving personalities from our champion health tested Cotons. Of coarse we would all like to see the Coton move up. The inconsistency of the type according to the standard may be a prob- lem as we don’t have large entries. The hair is another factor that intimidates a lot of show people. It is a not so forgiving hair that requires lots of attention if you want to present the best Coton to the judges. Cotons are one of the happiest dogs I have been around. Their clownish-like personality comes through loud and clear. They are so very smart as well. My favorite dog show memory: it would have to be Hayden being shown by his handler Nina Fetter at Westminster. My “offi- cial” right hand man pushed him to the ring with Nina. His smile was priceless. The other favorite memory was that my granddaughter Cece- lia showed her Coton to a champion at the age of nine. I was one


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