Coton De Tulear Community Survey

INGER RONANDER

1. Where do you live? What do you do outside of dogs?

I live in Oslo, Norway and I am a PR person, mainly for the music business.

2. Number of years owning, showing and/or judging dogs?

I have been showing dogs since 1975 and been judging for nearly 20 years.

3. Describe your breed in three words:

Beautiful, smart and funny.

4. What traits, if any, are becoming exaggerated?

The coats; we might be loosing an excellent dog due to less coats. The quality of the coat is more important the length.

5. What are your “must have” traits in this breed?

What shortcomings are you willing to forgive? “Must have” for a true Coton is the cotton quality of the coat, the body proportion and topline. I might forgive not fully pigmented eye rims.

6. While judging, do you see any trends you’d like to see continued or stopped?

There are more smaller sized dog than before. I would like to see that continuing. I have seen beautifully groomed dogs less muscular than I would like to see. Regular exercise makes for longer life and happier dogs.

7. What, if any, are the traits breeders should focus on preserving?

For our breed it is the colour. Coton de Tulear is a white breed like a Bichon Frisé and it should stay that way. Not all colours fade, and if you do your homework, it is not difficult to breed white dogs with excellent pigmention. One never sees a Bichon Frisé with black or brown patches. As for a lot of other breeds, my greatest concern is the movement. It is a trend that any breed should have free floating, fast movement around the ring. For many breeds this is totally wrong. It makes me sad to see an Old English Sheepdog run around the ring like a hound and not rolling as they should. And get awarded for it.

8. Has the breed improved from when you started judging? The answer is yes and no. They are most certainly better groomed with better and more corrects coats than at that time. Size may vary, but the correct type is often there. But we see many with wrong tail set and tail carriage. Together with an upright and wrongly placed shoulder which gives unbalanced movements, and a too short neck and an unstable and too long back.

9. Are there aspects of the breed not in the standard that you nonetheless take into consideration because breeders consider them important?

In the old compendium of the breed it was stated that this was a clownish dog, allowed to jump for joy in the ring and be happy. I would like the breeders to have that in mind when choosing partner for their breeding. Temperament is everything.

10. Can Judges Education on this breed be improved?

Meet more breeders, visit breeders, not only look at the few at shows, but look at what the breeders have. Their experience in a breed is of utmost importance. Learn the difference in coats according age, how the color fade in colored dogs and when to expect the dog to be white and how much color you may accept. Pay attention to the breed’s anatomy and what kind of movement the correct angulation for the breed permits. In my lectures for Judges I always say, “You might miss an excellent dog if you go for the best handled dog with the longest and most impressive coat.” Anybody can learn a standard by heart. Seeing the standard when judging is what is important for any judge in any breed, and the detail that makes a Coton more than “just” a Coton is often what we learn from a good breeder.

11. Do you have anything else to share?

Coton de Tulear is the breed closest to my heart, it is a quite healthy and we would like to keep it that way. There are illnesses in every breed, my advice after being with this breed for so many years, do no ruin the breed with pointless tests. Work with the material we do have and use common sense when breeding.

JACKIE STACY

1. What are your thoughts on judging this breed?

In the short time I have been judging the Coton I have raised concerns that we judges must be mindful to reward those exhibits that present with specific characteristics unique to the Coton. Of course one looks for a dry, white cotton-like coat, but I see many, many damaged coats to the degree that it is difficult to the coat is poor quality or poorly conditioned. This breed must be unbelievably labor intensive. I am sympathetic but… They must be somewhat longer than tall, with a slightly arched top line over the loin with a tail carried happily over the back when moving but when still, hanging with a characteristic J at the tip. Giving that unique outline. Then there is the head proportion. The standard asks for the muzzle to be straight, the stop slight, and the muzzle length in relationship to the skull 5 to 9. I see many 5 to 10, and more concerning even 4 to 10 with deep stops. It is important to keep these proportions sacred so the breed does not morph into heads more like that of the Maltese. As judges we are charged with the responsibility to recognize and reward those fine points.Yes, a beautiful white little dog that is a showman is to be appreciated but not without the cotton coat, slightly arched top line, tail with a J when in repose, black pigment and muzzle 5:9. And of course also as defined by the breed standard, that little showman with its “Joie de vivre” expression will warrant reward.

KENNETTE TABO

1. Where do you live? What do you do outside of dogs?

I live in Norfolk, VA. My husband and I enjoy traveling and entertaining.

2. Number of years owning, showing and/or judging dogs?

I’ve been in dogs for approximately forty years. During those years I exhibited and bred Samoyeds, Rottweilers and then began in Cotons de Tulear in 1992. I bred several champions in these breeds and always handled my own dogs. I put the first championship on a Coton in the US (1994) as well as the world’s first Best in Show on a Coton (1995). The dog that achieved both of these milestones was Cottonkist Macaroon, whom I owned and handled.My kennel name in Cotons was Cottonkist. I bred and/or owned many BIS and Specialty winning Cotons over the years. I no longer breed but hope to contribute to the breed through judging. I have judged at many AKC matches, rare breed specialties and sweepstakes over the years, including the 2013 USACTC National Specialty at Eukanuba. Last year I was approved as an AKC provisional judge for the Coton de Tulear shortly after their acceptance into AKC.

3. Describe your breed in three words:

The breed I judge is the Coton de Tulear. I would describe my breed in these 3 words: sweet, affectionate and beautiful.

4. What traits, if any, are becoming exaggerated?

No, not at this time.

5. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? What shortcomings are you willing to forgive?

Besides the traits described in the breed standard, a “must have” for me is balance. I like a well-balanced dog. As for shortcomings I would be willing to forgive, that is a difficult question because a dog is the sum of its parts. I suppose a shortcoming I could forgive would be a slightly tighter tail set than is ideal.

6. While judging, do you see any trends you’d like to see continued or stopped?

While I am still a new judge, I very much like the quality of coats I am seeing. I am not sure I would call it a “trend” but I do not like to see Cotons lacking in confidence. Breeders also need to be very mindful of the correct Coton topline.

7. What, if any, are the traits breeders should focus on preserving?

The Coton de Tulear is supposed to be a sturdy breed. Their history is one of being tough little survivors in the wild requiring agility and intelligence. I hope these traits are preserved by current and future breeders. Traits are easily lost over time if adequate attention is not given to them in stock selection.

8. Has the breed improved from when you started judging?

In comparing current Cotons to the dogs from the past couple of decades, I am not sure they are “better” now in the structural sense as I think they are comparable, but there is more consistency of type now than in the past in my opinion. In the 90s, when the breed started being seriously bred and exhibited in the US, very few dogs were American bred; most were European imports. Those few that were American bred were often out of imported parents. Therefore, there were many different types depending on which country or kennel they came from. This inconsistency remained for some generations, a necessary growing pain of a mainly imported breed (to this country). I would say that, overall, type is more consistent now.

9. Are there aspects of the breed not in the standard that you nonetheless take into consideration because breeders consider them important?

The breed standard for the Coton de Tulear is extremely detailed so there are very few if any aspects of the breed not covered in the standard.

10. Can Judges Education on this breed be improved?

Taking advantage of Judges Education seminars presented by the parent breed club as often as possible is important throughout a judge’s career in my opinion. I would also encourage judges to observe the breed at shows where they are not actually judging the breed, talk to breeders as well as try to get additional hands-on experience at every opportunity. The Coton de Tulear breed is very distinct from other breeds and it is important for judges to strive to preserve its uniqueness through their selection process in the ring.

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