Coton Tzu

8-15 lbs
‚ÄčUnited States
Coton De Tulear
Shih Tzu

The Coton Tzu is a small dog weighing up to 16 pounds. Common colors include white, black, cream, brindle, brown and gold and they can have a combination of these colors. Their coats are normally medium to long which can be silky and fluffy. The Coton Tzu does not need a lot of maintenance when it comes to grooming although they will need to be brushed quite regularly and occasionally trimmed. They make great family pets and are very good with children. They are not the most co-operative dogs when it comes to training so an owner will need to be patient. They are playful, active dogs and will need regular exercise to maintain their fitness.

purpose Purpose
history Date of Origin
ancestry Ancestry
Coton de Tulear, Shih Tzu

Coton Tzu Health

Average Size
Male Coton Tzu size stats
Height: 8-12 inches Weight: 9-16 lbs
Female Coton Tzu size stats
Height: 7-11 inches Weight: 8-15 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Hip Dysplasia
Minor Concerns
  • Bladder Stones
  • Heart Disease
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
  • Liver Shunts
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Allergies
  • Reverse Sneezing
Occasional Tests
  • X-Rays
  • MRI
  • CT Scan
  • Physical Examination
  • Blood Work
  • Ophthalmic Examination

Coton Tzu Breed History

There is not much information about the origins of the Coton Tzu, a mix between the Coton de Tulear and a Shih Tzu. The history of the Coton de Tulear tells us they were lucky survivors of a shipwreck off the coast of Madagascar. How they made it to shore is unknown but perhaps the pirates who frequented the island brought them ashore. This port is known as Tolaria today as well, and this feisty survivor is now the nation's national dog. This canine is a member of the Bichon family of dogs and sports a cotton ball coat and sparkling eyes. In the 1970s they were brought to France and North America and were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2014. A Shih Tzu, meaning little lion dog, is a toy breed that dates back to ancient Tibet and China. Their ancestors have a close genetic relationship to wolves according to DNA analysis. But despite the name, the breed has never been fierce and has always been regarded as a companion and lap dog. They are also known as the Chrysanthemum Dog and were prized by Chinese royals. They were bred in England in 1930 and the Shih Tzu Club of England was formed in 1935. During World War II American soldiers brought some Shih Tzu dogs home with them and in 1969 the breed was recognized in the Stud Book of the American Kennel Club. The breed is now recognized by all of the major kennel clubs. They are very popular lap dogs and regarded as loving companions.

Coton Tzu Breed Appearance

The Coton Tzu is a mix of a Coton de Tulear and a Shih Tzu and will take on the appearance and characteristics from both parent breeds. They are small dogs weighing up to 16 pounds and are usually white, black, cream, brindle, brown and gold and they can have a combination of these colors. Their coats are normally medium to long which can be silky and fluffy. A Shih Tzu has a short muzzle and large dark eyes, similar to the Coton de Tulear who large expressive eyes are usually hidden by bangs. A Coton de Tulear's ears are triangular and set high while the Shih Tzu has drop ears covered with long fur. Both breed’s tails curl over their backs.

Eye Color Possibilities
brown Coton Tzu eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Coton Tzu nose
Coat Color Possibilities
white Coton Tzu coat
black Coton Tzu coat
cream Coton Tzu coat
brindle Coton Tzu coat
brown Coton Tzu coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
coat density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
coat texture
Coton Tzu straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Coton Tzu Breed Maintenance

A Coton Tzu is likely to be hypoallergenic as both parent breeds are, which makes them good for people who have allergies.The Coton Tzu needs quite regular brushing to prevent matting and they may need to be trimmed but they don’t shed that much. Both parent breeds need quite a bit of grooming to stay in good shape and both need to be trimmed. A Shih Tzu needs daily brushing and a weekly bath as does the Coton de Tulear. Try to brush your dog’s teeth daily to prevent any dental issues and check ears for dirt. If necessary wipe them gently with damp cotton wool. Nails also need to be checked to see if they need clipping.

Brushes for Coton Tzu
Pin Brush
Pin Brush
Slicker Brush
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
fur daily fur weekly fur monthly
Coton Tzu requires daily brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Coton Tzu Temperament

The Coton Tzu makes an excellent family pet and is playful and happy and always eager to please. They adore attention and are very good with children and are very affectionate around them. They are quite wary of strangers so early socialization and training is a good idea. They can be stubborn dogs so training will take time but they will become a lot keener if they get rewards. Both parent breeds get on well with other dogs so the Coton Tzu is also likely to. A Coton de Tulear doesn’t like being left alone for any length of time and can become destructive to show his unhappiness. Shih Tzus are easy dogs who adapt well to any environment and make quite good watchdogs because they are extremely alert and will bark if strangers arrive. Coton Tzu’s are active dogs who will need regular exercise to keep fit and happy.

Coton Tzu Activity Requirements

A Coton Tzu will need moderate exercise to maintain its fitness. This could include walks to the park or the beach but they will also enjoy playing with their owners. They are likely to be similar to the parent breeds whose exercise needs are not excessive. A Coton de Tulear will enjoy going for a walk but is happy to play fetch or get involved in an agility type of exercise. A Shih Tzu is will be happy with a short amount of exercise but must have it or can develop behavioral issues such as barking or destructive chewing. They tolerate the cold more than the heat so don’t exercise them when it is very hot outside.

Activity Level
low activity medium activity high activity
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
9 miles
walk mileage
Minutes of Activity Per Day
35 minutes
activity minutes

Coton Tzu Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
1 cups
cup per day cost
Daily Cost
$0.70 - $1.00
food bowls daily cost
Monthly Cost
$25.00 - $30.00
food bag monthly cost

Coton Tzu Owner Experiences

Babas JR
6 Months
2 People
We just got him so we are learning him
2 years, 1 month ago
1 Year
2 People
House & Yard
He not easy to train! Been training him for 9 months. He still has accidents at home, Pull the lease when walking him,Jumps...I try many way to train him & also correct his behavor.
5 years, 5 months ago
4 Years
2 People
We love her she is soooooo sweet
3 years, 11 months ago
1 Year
3 People
Affectionate, loves attention
3 years, 10 months ago
24 Weeks
3 People
House & Yard
I love her to death! She's hyper, affectionate, and loves to play. She's also a little troublemaker at times, but you'll have that with any young dog.
3 years ago
Book me a walkiee?
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd