Unlike all other breeds, Cotons were not bred for any specific job. Evolution made the dog.
Temperament: Cotons have been referred to as the clowns of the dog world. They easily learn tricks and are willing to please. They are a very high energy, athletic breed. As did their ancestors, the Barbet, they will eliminate vermin. They can also be very territorial, especially females and protect against intruders. Anyone desiring a quiet, lethargic dog should consider another breed or get a house plant.
Size: Height & Length, not weight are appropriate methods to measure a dog. Females should be 9-10 inches at the withers, males 10-11 inches, with the length of the dog proportional. The dog should be well muscled, with dense bones. Depending on the coat length, the dog’s weight is often misjudged, and should not be used to determine quality.
This is not a Toy-Breed. There are those who are breeding “tea-cup” dogs. This is usually achieved by limiting food, severe inbreeding, and early weaning. If they could only convince their breeding dogs to use tobacco products, they could further stunt the growth. Owners of such puppies can expect a decreased lifespan, increased dental & medical problems and diminished intelligence. Anyone who needs a purse-sized dogs should consider other breeds or species. Norwegian rats make excellent pets and are rarely over 10 pounds.
Color The eyes, eye-halos, lips and nose should be black. The coat of a mature Coton is “essentially white,” with no more than 5% marked. Many puppies are born with spots, but these will fade away as the pup matures due to a unique gene of the Coton. Breeders select for good pigmentation as the biochemical pathways that produce melanin are also involved in the formation of the ocular and auditory sensory organs.