Coton de Tulear vs. Poodle: Which Breed to Get?

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Coton de Tulear vs. PoodleThe Coton de Tulear and the Poodle are both very good breeds to bring into your home as your next pet.

They’re sweet, adorable, and can be wonderful additions to the family if they’re the right fit for you. It is important, though, to ensure that you know which of the two breeds would best suit your lifestyle and routine before you go about purchasing one!

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Coton de Tulear and Poodle History

These breeds both have long histories. The Coton de Tulear’s history can be traced back to 16th-century Madagascar. Experts believe that the breed developed on the island off of the coast of Africa, likely from a member of the Bichon family.

The theory is that the Bichons were introduced to the island as companion dogs for women at sea or as ratters on ships, and from there, they bred until they became the beloved Coton de Tulear.

The breed has been popular in Madagascar since its debut. In the 16th century, the breed was popular among the wealthy classes, the aristocrats, and even the Royal Court, but it was also very popular among the lower, less wealthy classes. Then, in the 1970s, a Frenchman took a Coton back to France with him on his travels, and the breed began to gain international popularity.

The Poodle originated a touch earlier, developing in 14th-century Germany. It was originally bred to hunt waterfowl, hence its incredibly unique coat. The breed was common in its region of origin, and as time went on, it spread across the continent.

By the 15th century, the breed was very popular, especially in France. The French decided to breed small Poodles together, creating new branches of the breed – the Toy Poodle and the Miniature Poodle. The original became known as the Standard Poodle and was arguably one of the least popular of them all.

The Toy variety became more and more popular, especially among the aristocratic French, and the Miniature Poodle found work in truffle hunting. The large, Standard Poodle remained a hunting dog, though.

Eventually, after some time, the breed in all its variations found its way across to the United States. They were well received and loved just as much as they had been in France. In 1886, the American Kennel Club officially recognized the breed.

Coton de Tulear vs. Poodle: What Are the Breeds Like?

Below, we’ll look at what these two breeds are like.


Not too dissimilar in appearance, the Coton de Tulear and the Poodle are often chosen for their looks. The Coton is a small breed, measuring between 8” and 12” tall and weighing between 8 and 13 lbs. It has dropped ears and a fluff, cloud-like coat that comes in white with a few shadings of other colors.

The Poodle’s coat is thick, curly, and dense, and can come in blue, white, gray, brown, silver, or apricot. Size-wise, it entirely depends on the variation of the breed. The Toy Poodle, for example, is usually about 10” tall and will weigh between 6 and 9 lbs. The Miniature Poodle is the next size up and will be about 11” to 15” tall, weighing around 15 to 17 lbs. Anything larger than that is considered a standard Poodle. Shape-wise, the Poodle is an athletic dog with a slim build and a thin, pointed tail.

Life Expectancy and Aging Profile

For dogs, life expectancy in part depends on the size of the breed. Smaller dog breeds will have slower metabolisms, allowing them to grow and mature at a much more stable rate. This prevents them from developing any structural issues or illnesses and means that they tend to develop life-altering conditions much later than larger breeds.

As such, the Coton de Tulear has a life expectancy of around 14 years. The Poodle’s life expectancy depends on which variation of the breed it is. The Toy Poodle has a life expectancy of 14 to 16 years, the Miniature Poodle’s life expectancy is 13 to 15 years and the Standard Poodle is only expected to live for 11 to 13 years.

As puppies, though, both breeds’ rate of growth will be sped up. This means that both the Poodle and the Coton will grow to their full size pretty quickly. The Toy and Miniature Poodle will reach full size by 6 or 7 months old, the Coton de Tulear will reach its full size by the time it is 12 months old and the Standard Poodle will usually reach its full size at about 2 years old.


Knowing what a dog is like is key to making sure that you make the right decision. Some dog breeds are docile and calm, whereas some are excitable and full of energy. If you’re looking for one and get the other, you’ll be in for a shock!

The Coton de Tulear is a fun breed. It is a dog that loves to play and is full of energy. Excitable and happy, the breed can sometimes verge on boisterous. They love to be around people, and the breed will do all that they can to entertain and people-please. The Coton de Tulear also forms very close bonds with those in its family and is very friendly to new people.

The Poodle is a bit calmer. It is an affectionate breed that is attentive and loving, but they can be quite goofy too. It is incredibly loyal to its owners and can be very sweet when it wants to be, but the breed is also known for being quite spoiled. Some people have described the breed’s attitude as ‘regal’.


The Coton de Tulear and the Poodle are both intelligent dogs, but the Poodle is certainly the more intelligent of the two. The Coton is smart and can pick up the vast majority of commands with ease, and without much need for reinforcement. The breed is often used in dog sports because of this and is easy to train even for amateurs.

The Poodle, however, is often considered one of the most intelligent dog breeds out there. They are easy to train, happy to obey, and have a great attention span. It is a popular breed among those competing in agility and obedience competitions for this reason.

Coton de Tulear vs. Poodle: Which One Is Easier to Keep?

Next, we’ll look at which breed is easier to keep.

Required Living Space

When looking at getting a new dog it is important to consider whether you have the space to comfortably house them. In this case, luckily, the Coton de Tulear, Toy, and Miniature Poodle are reasonably small dogs and are pretty adaptable. They are absolutely fine living in an apartment or a condo, or even a studio.

The Standard Poodle, however, being a touch larger, is less adaptable. The breed would be alright in a condo or apartment, but would not fare well in a studio and would be the best in a house with a yard.


The Coton de Tulear and the Poodle are not low-maintenance dogs. They require a fair amount of grooming on a regular basis to keep them comfortable, and clean, and to prevent things like infection. It is important to consider grooming requirements to make sure you have the time to do it or the funds to outsource the task.

The Coton de Tulear will require brushing three or four times a week with a metal pin brush to prevent knots from forming. It will need bathing every couple of weeks or so, and during baths should be conditioned carefully, especially around the ears, legs, and elbows. Conditioning these parts will make it easier to brush them.

The Poodle has a dense coat and as such needs regular trims and brushes to keep it at bay. The breed will need its hair brushed daily or every other day and will need trims every 3 to 6 weeks as well as bathing on a regular basis.

Both breeds will also need their teeth cleaned, nails trimmed and ears and eyes checked for any tears or signs of infection on a weekly basis, if not more. Owners may find that their dogs wear their nails down naturally, in which case trimming is not required.

Walking and Exercise

Providing a dog with enough exercise is essential for the dog’s physical and mental health. For these two breeds, that means providing the Coton de Tulear with 30 to 40 minutes of exercise each day and the Poodle with an hour each day.

This exercise doesn’t have to be in the form of walking. If you find walking to be dull or boring, consider using purpose-led play, running, swimming, or agility training to keep your dog fit and healthy.

Coton de Tulear vs. Poodle: How Much Do They Cost?

Dogs are not cheap, and there are a lot of regular costs that come with them. Owners should be sure that they have considered not only the upfront cost of a puppy but the monthly payments that they will need to make.

To buy a Coton de Tulear, owners should expect to pay between $2,000 and $3,000. For a Poodle, a Toy or Miniature breed will cost between $1,000 and $1,200 and a Standard Poodle will cost between $700 and $1,500.

Coton de Tulear vs. Poodle: Which Should You Get as a Pet?

In addition to all of this, you should be sure to consider whether or not the breed fits in with your current lifestyle, routine, and household. This will make life much easier as your dog settles in.

For example, anyone with children needs to make sure that they know how to handle dogs but also that the breeds they are considering are safe to have around children. Luckily, in this case, the Poodle and the Coton de Tulear are fine around well-behaved kids.

People with other pets will also need to take these into consideration. Not all dogs are sociable with others, and that can make living situations difficult. Fortunately, both of these breeds can handle having other animals in their space.

Finally, anyone who works at an office during the day or is particularly social may want to check to see if their breed can handle being left alone. In this case, neither breed will cope well, as both are prone to developing separation anxiety.


Both the Coton de Tulear and the Poodle are very popular breeds and for good reason. Their main difference is their exercise requirements and their coat, but aside from that the breeds are quite alike! Happy, sweet, and loyal, both the Coton de Tulear and the Poodle will make a wonderful and loving addition to the right home. The breeds are also both easy to train, making them ideal for new owners.

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