Our Coton story began in 2006, when we purchased our first Coton, Esprit de Tulear Spirit Bear (Cody) Loving dogs, I had owned many over the years, but it was the aging of my two Poms that led me to think hard about what breed I would like to own in the future. My research led me to a cuddly, friendly, upbeat little dog called the Coton de Tuléar. Before purchasing my first Coton, I spoke to breeders around the world, to learn as much as I could about this charming breed.
Those months of research left me with more questions than answers, but I knew the time was right to pursue a new adventure. Like most challenges that I take on, the hunger for knowledge evolved into a search for innovative ways to gather information. This resulted in my setting up a Coton de Tulear Facebook Group so that I could connect with breeders and owners around the world. That group now has close to 1800 members and has proven to be an excellent meeting place for everyone who uses it. (Over time I also felt the need to document some of the information I have gathered and established the Coton de Tuléar Chatter Blog - although it is time consuming, the blog’s readership tells me that the information is helpful. And therefore the blog is doing its job.
Like most breeders I know, the decision to start a small breeding program grew out of a passion for animals. My first Coton was so delightful as a companion, that I knew I wanted to share some of the joy he brought to me, my family and friends. As my breeding program grew and I had my first litters, the connection to breeders and Coton friends, through the Coton de Tuléar Facebook Group has proven invaluable.
As what is still considered a “new” kennel, Spirit Bear Cotons is committed to breeding healthy Coton puppies. My dogs are fed only the finest dog foods and natural raw fruits and vegetables. I believe in positively promoting the breed and take the health testing of my dogs very seriously. I continue to educate myself so that I am always doing what is in the best interest of preserving the Coton de Tuléar breed.
The first five years has been a real learning curve but as I had hoped, has also been an enjoyable experience. I have also learned how to show my Cotons—a new venture for me and also rewarding experience. The confidence to be in a show ring with a beautiful, happy little Coton took time and continues to take practice and patience. To me it is an essential part of a breeding program. When showing your dogs you are able to see the good qualities in your dogs and those that you can improve. There is no perfect dog. In 2011, my husband joined me in the show ring, officially making it a family affair! I have carefully selected my dogs for their beauty, temperament, pedigree and the health history of their ancestors. Over time, as my dogs have matured, health testing has always been a priority in my program.
In our house, our dogs live as members of the family and we wouldn't have it any other way. Our friends come over knowing they are likely to have a dog or two in their laps. I spend my days caring for them, enjoying them and looking forward to the next show.
I am always available to talk Coton. If looking for a Coton I cannot emphasize enough the importance of doing your research.
Feel free to contact me anytime… Let's chat