Activities For Coton De Tulears

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Introduction

 Coton de Tulears are the national dog of Madagascar, where they were first developed as companion animals to royalty at some point during the sixteenth or seventeenth century. They are intelligent and curious animals who typically make friends where ever they go, enjoying the company of humans, canines, and even other animals, although some can be a bit shy with strangers if they are not properly socialized. It is important that these playful little dogs receive both mental stimulation and physical exercise on a daily basis to remain healthy and happy. 

Toy Time

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Any Day
Moderate
Easy
5 - 45 min
Items needed
Toys
Activity description

Coton de Tulear dogs are bright, happy dogs that truly enjoy playing and cavorting. While these dogs would love nothing more than to play with their family all day long, as pet parents we sometimes have obligations that need to be met even when our dogs would prefer to be entertained by us. This is when toys that your dog can play with by themselves come in handy as a way to entertain your pooch without having to shirk on your duties. There are many different types of toys available to keep even the busiest of Coton De Tulears happy and busy, both store-bought and handmade.

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Food toys
Toys that involve food or treats are often quite popular with dogs as it speaks to their natural desire to forage for food. Cotons are known for their inquisitive natures, and without an appropriate outlet for that nature, they will often invent their own games, which may be disruptive or even destructive. Puzzle toys that require manipulation by the dog to release either kibble or treats are a proven way to engage your Coton de Tulear's inquisitive mind and satisfy their desire to be entertained. Store bought puzzle toys are a fun option that is often worth the cost, but food puzzles can easily be made from household items as well, for instance, you can put treats or kibble in a muffin tin and cover each tin with a tennis ball.
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Chewing Toys
Canines, even small dogs developed as companion animals, have a need to chew on things. Chewing not only relieves both stress and boredom, but it also helps keep the teeth clean and healthy and provides exercise by working the dog’s jaw, neck, and even their forearms. Toys made for chewing like Kong toys, and Nylabone toys are a great way to encourage this activity, as are frozen marrow bones that have never been cooked, and tendon chews which can actually work like a flosser to keep your dog’s teeth cleaner. Cooked bones and rawhides are known to cause choking and intestinal blockages and punctures, however, and should be completely avoided.
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Stuffies and Rope Toys
Stuffed animals made for people often have plastic eyes and noses which can be dangerous if your dog swallows them, so stuffies made specifically for dogs are generally the safest, especially for dogs that like to chew. Many dogs often enjoy simply tossing stuffed toys and ropes into the air, while others prefer to carry them around and sometimes even hide them under rugs and blankets. Many of these toys are made to make noise such as squeaking and crinkling as well, adding to the entertainment value of the toy.
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Canine Freestyle Dance

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Any Day
Moderate
Hard
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Music
Activity description

The first official Canine Freestyle Dance organization was formed in British Columbia in 1991, but this engaging activity first gained notice in the late 1980s. Dogs and their handlers, quite often a pet parent, perform a series of tricks or specialized heelwork to a musical composition, usually for an audience. The routines are carefully choreographed and can be either dramatic or humorous, and can be as complex or as simple as the dance team would like it to be. Coton de Tulear breed dogs are exceedingly easy to train, form very close bonds with their owners, and they delight in showing off making this a fun activity that they are likely to excel at.

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Health and wellness
Canine Freestyle does not have to be as physically demanding as sports such as agility training or flyball, but it does sometimes involve activities such as jumping, leaping, and standing on their hind legs. Dogs who are being considered for this activity should be checked to ensure their bones and joints are healthy and strong, and routines should be carefully designed not to stress those areas for dogs that have difficulties or for dogs who do not have fully matured musculoskeletal systems.
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2
Choreograph the routine
Canine Freestyle can be broken down into two separate categories; musical freestyle, in which the canine performs several tricks and commands that may include rolling over, jumping, or standing on their hind legs as well as heelwork and other theatrical tricks, while freestyle heeling to music is performed with the dog staying close to the handler at all times, in a heel position. Once you have decided which type of freestyle is most appropriate to your specific pet, you can choose your piece of music and choreograph the steps and tricks you wish to share with your canine companion.
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Perform
Once you and your canine partner have mastered the routine, it’s time to show it off to the world. Larger often televised competitions are put on by the major kennel clubs, but many people prefer to start a little smaller with local competitions put on by dog sport clubs and other enthusiasts. It may be a good idea to attend a competition as a spectator in order to better understand the experience before performing.
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Photo Shoot

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
15 - 45 min
Items needed
Camera
Props (optional)
Activity description

Coton de Tulear dogs, with their cottony white coats and big brown eyes, tend to be very photogenic. They are also very people oriented and don’t mind showing off in the least, and they often thrive in the spotlight. They tend to be naturally lighthearted and are sometimes referred to as comical or clownish, making them excellent candidates for a great photoshoot, either on their own or with their families. There are several professional photographers that specialize in taking photographs that involve pets, but it can also be a fun diversion to stage a more casual photoshoot on your own. 

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Choose your location
While a professional photographer is likely to have an indoor studio as well as a few favorite outdoor locations, if you are staging the photos yourself you will need to pick a location. While many pet parents may choose to limit their pictures to indoor locations, others prefer to take the photo shoot outside, where there is plenty of natural light and fun and engaging backgrounds for their pictures. This can be done in your backyard, if it is large enough, or you can take your dog to a local park or scenic area. Cotons often do better in these environments than other dogs due to their lack of prey drive compared to other canines.
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Choose a time
If you are utilizing a professional photographer, they will generally have several time slots available, and when staging your own photoshoot, you can choose any time of day for this activity. For a successful shoot, it is generally best to choose a time of day when your dog is usually somewhat energetic and alert but not overwound in order as this will help to avoid frustration for both you and your dog. Those pet parents who choose to take their pictures outdoors should also take environmental considerations into accounts, such as the quality of light at differing times of day and the temperature outside.
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Have fun!
This experience is intended to be fun for both you and your canine companion. While the majority of Cotons don’t mind the idea of dressing up, some are reluctant to wear clothing of any sort and should not be forced into it. The stark white coat that most Cotons have is photogenic in its own right, and also lends itself to easy coloring. If you decide to color your dog’s fur be sure to use either a product specifically designed for use on pets or natural dyes as hair color that is designed for humans can be toxic to your pet. Natural dyes that are safe for your pup can include the juice from beets for red and pink, blueberries for blue, or even red cabbage for a purplish shade.
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More Fun Ideas...

Doggie Daycare

This breed of dog is somewhat prone to separation anxiety, which can sometimes be alleviated by attending a doggie daycare where they are allowed to play with other dogs. With a small dog like the Coton de Tulear, it is important to check their policies on how smaller and larger dogs are allowed to interact.  

Hide and Seek

Coton de Tulears naturally seek out people, and this childhood game can be easily adapted for their enjoyment and mental stimulation.  

Therapy Dog

The soft coat and endearing nature of these dogs make them excellent candidates for therapy dogs, although it is important to ensure that they are properly socialized to avoid shyness with strangers.  

Conclusion

The Coton de Tulear is a small companion dog that is happiest when they are able to spend time with their chosen humans and enjoy training. They are bright and curious animals who love the mental stimulation of toys and puzzles, but sturdy and athletic enough to handle more active endeavors such as freestyle dancing.