Monday, January 5, 2015


Monday is here and if you're like me, it's a full week back at work, after the long holiday.  Happy New Year!

So, to kick things off this year, I'll be bringing a weekly (hopefully) post about my life with Monty.  I'll share some of my tips and tricks and useful advice about caring for your pup (in my case, a Coton de Tulear).

It's been five weeks that we've had this pooch and in the short time, I have learned quite a bit.

Mony at 11 weeks old.  It was love at first sight.

I've gathered information obtained by the breeder, discussed with our vet, found on the web and advice from other dog owners. I know not all pups are the same; as I was mostly researching for the care and training of a Coton.

So, for those you have never heard of the breed, Coton de tulear, I'll give you a little background information:  Native to Madagascar and popular in France, this is a rare breed.  Cotons are not part of the American Kennel Club in order to preserve the purity of the breed and to not have an association with the AKC and puppy mills.

Monty is 16 weeks old and has grown so fast, in the short time we've had him.  When I say "grown", I mean that literally and figuratively.  His pinkish eyes are filling in with black; gone is the spike-short hair and replaced with a long, fluffy  hair; and the hair on his tail is growing and blooming.


Cotons are the absolute best!  They are sweet, playful, funny and affectionate dogs.

They love to be with you all the time and don't like to be left alone.  But its important to teach your new puppy how to feel comfortable being along.  Especially, if you are working.  I'm fortunate to have someone come to the house to play with Monty in the middle of the afternoon. 

If Monty is tired and wants to nap, he won't mind if you leave the room for a few minutes. And, I stress "a few minutes". He will come find you and plop himself near you. During the evening hours, if I'm working in my office upstairs, he will go to our room, and go into his crate.  But, he will come back shortly to my office and sleep underneath my desk. 

They are highly intelligent.  Monty knows the command for "sit", "let go" (used for times playing fetch/catch), and "come".  He understands when I say "time to eat".  He's learning the command for "stay", "give me your paw" and he almost knows "kisses".

Monty is crate trained and this comes highly recommended with Cotons.  He goes right to sleep in his crate every night and we no longer have the door on the crate because he stays asleep till morning.  He's generally very good with the wee wee pads and working on training him outside.  He still needs to get all of his shots before he can be outdoors on a regular schedule.

Monty is now vocal when he wants to tell you something; especially during playtime.  He gives me this look to remind me about meal time.  He does the funniest things and clowns around all the time.  And, he does the cutest thing when you ask him something . . . he tilts his head to the side.

They have a wonderful temperament and a funny personality.  They LOVE people and embrace all the attention and affection.  If we go anywhere with Monty, we are always getting stopped to admire his cute face.

And, he LOVES his toys!  I bought him a toy basket and he loves that too; so much so that he sits on top of it, with his toys.

I brush, comb and clean his eyes daily.  He gets bath time, to get him used to the water.  Below are some of the products I use, recommended by the breeder and what I've read from other Coton owners.

Shampoo and Detangler

The following shampoos are popular with Cotons and are excellent products (from what I've read):

Les Pooch Bright Shampoo.  I have this shampoo and it's excellent.  It's not super sudsy and smells amazing!  With Cotons, you have to make sure you rinse all the shampoo off the dog.

Vellus Shampoo and Conditioner.  This was another product favored by Coton owners.  This product has been used in dog shows.

Eqyss Shampoo.  Another favorite and on my list of items to try.  This was highly recommended and considered the best of the two others.  I've read has the best price.

Espana Detangler Spray.  I use this product daily when brushing Monty's hair.  I spray the product not the brush and not directly on Monty.  And, I love the smell of this product!  It's great for all animals and people too!

Grooming Supply Products

The breeder as well as many Coton websites recommend brushes and combs by Chris Christensen.

Wood Pin Brush 7" body length, in bright yellow.  This brush is a little pricey ($25.00) but so worth the investment.  It reminds me of my Aveda paddle brush.  It's great for their hair.

#006 Face/Feet Buttercomb (5").  This works great for the hair on his paws and face.  It really fluffs them up.  This comb is also pricey ($32) but recommended for Cotons.

#003 Buttercomb Fine/X-Coarse Skip Tooth (7 1/2").  This was another recommended product but I use the one above.

To clean Monty's eyes, I am currently using Burt Bees puppy wipes.  Some recommended products are: Gimborn Eye clear pads or Eye Eny solution.

For those thinking about getting a puppy, I'll be the first to tell you, it's A LOT of work.  It's a great responsibility; caring for another takes great care and patience.  Is it worth it?  You damn right it is.  Seeing his face and getting that unconditional love, is the greatest thing in the world.  Even if you've had a crappy day, they are there to give you the love, affection and attention.  And, how can you forget that puppy face!  Monty melts my heart every time.  I just look at him; watching him as he plays with his toys and say . . . I can't believe he's in our lives.  I would do anything for him and want to do all my best to make sure he is well taken care of (physically and mentally).

I hope you enjoyed this first post!  Stay tuned for more.


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