Coton de Tulear Breed Magazine - Showsight

Coton de Tulear Q & A

of the cuteness and hypoallergenic issues. That is doing this breed a disservice. This breed is incredibly versatile. I have a friend with a Coton puppy who is learning to herd ducks. She may title the Coton in herding! I have a dog who is a working service animal for a trauma victim. I have a puppy who is in training to work full time at a school for high risk children as a therapy dog. Cotons do extremely well as agility dogs, obedience dogs, trick dogs and of course conformation. This breed is one of the few breeds which can do it all, and yet still fit under the seat of an airplane. I hope that as this breed rises in popularity, the amount of owners who want participate in events with their dogs increases as well. LESLIE MACHADO I live in the Northern sub-

of the other top kennels, but you cannot find fault with the move- ment of my dogs. I am starting to see the third generation offspring of my breedings go into the ring, and the first thing that is notice is movement. If you have a specific idea and goal in mind, you will not be swayed by the popularity of different sires or kennels. When the temptation comes to breed to get that ribbon, having a firm goal keeps you from straying too far and taking your kennel off track. Do I think the breed is ranking in a good spot? Honestly, posi- tioning is not important with me. Being higher or lower has its advantages and disadvantages. My concern is the lack of basic knowledge people have when acquiring and then breeding Cotons. Even in the show ring I am seeing more and more diverse look of the Coton. To me that shows that either there is a fundamental mis- understanding of the standard, or a standard that isn’t defined well enough for people to follow. I believe both are in play. As breeders, we are the guardians of this breed. It is not up to us to pass judge- ment on other people’s dogs, but it is up to us to educate and to mentor. I hope as its popularity grows, the people who are involved in breeding and selling the dogs will also the time to learn why the Coton acts the way it does, and why it moves the way it does. As we learn more about the breed, we can educate or puppy clients. An educated populace means less dogs that are discarded. We can’t be elitist with this breed. We need to be personable and open with everyone, including those who may be breeding less than desir- able dogs. Education is the only way to keep this breed healthy and “Coton like” as it becomes more popular. Cotons are sometimes mistaken for another breed by people as yet unfamiliar with it. What is its overarching hallmark that to you shouts “Coton”? The most obvious answer is the gradual arch of its back, but to me it is also the Coton’s tail. It is the only breed is which is showed with its tail down when at rest, such as on the table or standing still. I have had Judges penalize my dog because he/she didn’t have “happy tail”. Other Cotons in the ring had tails that stayed up the whole time. Judges who are unfamiliar with the breed could easily think that the Coton with the drop tail is shy or unhappy. Another hallmark is the expression of the Coton. Those large eyes against the white face makes allows for the expression to just “pop!” Many of my puppy buyers tell me that their dogs speak to them with their eyes. I have trained dogs for over 30 years, all dif- ferent breeds, yet this breed to me is the most expressive. My favorite memory showing dogs was when I was 15 years old. My parents were not involved in the dog world. Everything I did, I had to learn from books or from a very dear friend of mine named Ginny Bruce. At 15, I had a Standard Poodle I was training for both the conformation ring and the obedience ring. I entered an Obedience trial at the Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA Show) with my Poodle. I was the youngest one there. I walked away with High in Trial. The ASCA people were not amused that a teen- ager with a Poodle won their event. This breed is more than just a pretty face. Cotons are incred- ibly smart and empathetic. Many people pick out the dog because

urbs of Chicago. I am a life- long Chicago area resident and I love the city, despite the weather. My husband, Emilio, and I are both attor- neys. What free time we have, we like to spend with our three adult daughters, two of whom are married, and our extended family. Hoping for some grandchildren one day. We have an AKC-regis- tered kennel name, which is

“Morninglow Cotons”. It’s been a little over ten years since we bought our first Coton as a pet, and got convinced by our breeder to show him. Neither she nor I expected we would get bitten by the bug the way we were and be where we are today! I have been showing for a decade, and breed- ing a little less than that. I received my AKC Breeder of Merit in January. I have not entered the world of judging. Neither of us came from a multi-generational dog family. We came upon the sport in middle age as our kids left home. We had always had multiple dogs and been dog lovers, but really never knew all this even existed prior to buying a Coton. The secret to a successful breeding program? Breeding thought- fully and carefully. I didn’t just throw together the first two dogs I got my hands on. I tried to learn as much as I could before actu- ally taking the plunge. I try to be honest in my assessments of the dogs and bitches I have and then try to select mates that enhance their good qualities and breed away from their flaws. I have been extremely fortunate that several people who have been in the breed longer than me have allowed me to use their very fine stud dogs with my foundation bitch and I have gotten some beautiful, healthy and successful offspring from them. I’m very grateful for both these breeders’ kindnesses and their belief in me. They know who they are and I can’t ever thank them enough. They have been wonderful mentors and friends. Having a mentor in dogs, but outside your own breed is also of critical importance in my opinion, and I am

“Cotons do extremely well as agility dogs, obedience dogs, trick dogs and of course conformation. THIS BREED IS ONE OF THE FEW BREEDS WHICH CAN DO IT ALL, AND YET STILL FIT UNDER THE SEAT OF AN AIRPLANE.”


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