The Coton de Tulear Club of America, the CTCA, is theoldest Coton club in the world. We introduced this breed from theirisland home to the Western World in 1974. We have followed andstudied and supported and protected our population ever since. We didthis because we are biologists with a profound love of Madagascar andthe Coton de Tulear. We are not in any way traditional "dog showfanciers." The CTCA is unique amongst dog clubs.
First, we have an enforced Code of Ethics that our breedersmust subscribe to. No other Coton club has one (they do have"suggestions" listed and call it a "Code of Ethics." That is a lotlike saying all speed limits are "suggested speeds," but that if youexceed them by any amount, you will suffer no consequences. How manypeople do you know would drive the speed limit if that were thecase?). In a nutshell: CTCA Breeders are expected to stand behindtheir buyers and their pups. It's in writing.
Second, the CTCA has rules against inbreeding. No otherCoton club has that. That means, for example, you can buy a Cotonelsewhere that is a product of (or has a pedigree containing) abrother-sister, mother-son, father-daughter mating! That is as bad anidea for dogs as it is for humans.
Third, CTCA Code of Ethics Breeders subject theirPotentially Breedable Cotons to the CTCA's exclusive mandatory,seven-page veterinary Health Test. A veterinarian must submit signedforms to the CTCA testifying to the health of these dogs before wepermit the Coton to breed. No other club does this.
Fourth, we have rules that require our breeders to be openand honest with the club about any health or temperament issue.Surprisingly (you may think), that is not the case elsewhere, wheregenetic disorders are often blamed on buyers, genetic diseases arehushed up and as a result, the buyer, the puppy and the gene pool cansuffer terribly. Many AKC managed breeds are genetic disastersbecause they have few if any regulations governing breeding.
Fifth, the CTCA does not allow puppy mills or sales to petshops or exporters. We do not allow any CTCA Breeder to act as an"importer" (which is often the same as being a pet shop that buys itsstock from overseas rather than from US puppymills). For examplethere is one well-advertised "USDA" importer/breeder who has over 200dogs in his care who imports pups from Russia for $50 and sells themto unsuspecting buyers as "Cotons" for $1250. You stand almost nochance of getting your money back for a sick dog unless you are quickenough to cancel your credit card order. You won't find this breederor any of his dogs or any breeder like him in the CTCA.
Sixth, the CTCA supports you and your Coton. For thirtyyears we have been completely accessible to help CTCA dog owners andtheir dogs with problems or concerns. We established the first andlargest Coton de Tulear rescue in the world primarily to care forCTCA Cotons whose owners could no longer care for them. No otherCoton club does this (note: there is currently a Coton dog rescuethat claims no affiliation with any dog club). In fact, no otherCoton club has been around more than a decade (and most have come anddisappeared in just a few quick years).
Seventh, the CTCA leads all rare breed dogs clubs with itsoutput and analysis of breed-specific information. Today, we have inprint hundreds of pages of original information on Coton temperament,health and genetics. Knowledge empowers breeders, owners,veterinarians and trainers to make life healthy and happy for CTCACotons. And that--to the CTCA Code of Ethics Breeders--is the bottomline.
Eighth, CTCA Cotons de Tulear are pure bred Cotons whoseancestry is traced through the oldest and most carefully maintainedpedigree database in the world. Many other registries cannot betrusted. For example, recently (and quite remarkably!), the ACC, anew Coton club, boasted that it's breeders follow at least twodifferent standards and that some of the dogs welcomed within theirclub have been bred together with Maltese and Bichon Frise. Hencethere is no sure way to tell whether you've purchased a Coton or amixed breed dog from this club. The club spokesman even admits thatsome of these crossbred dogs resemble Maltese Bichons or otherbreeds!
The CTCA has worked assiduously for three decades to insure thatyour CTCA puppy will be a genuine Malagasy Coton deTulear. Paying as much money or more for a mixed breed of Bichon (a"Havaton"? a "Biton"? a "Malton"?) just doesn't make sense in ouropinion.
The CTCA Breeders List is not an advertisement. The listrepresents breeders who subscribe to our Code of Ethics, whosepuppies can be CTCA Registered, who supposedly arrange matings withcare, and who we hope will raise their puppies with love, attention,and intelligence. It is crucial to note that NO BREEDER PAYS THECTCA FOR A LISTING HERE; all we ask of them is that they supportand obey the CTCA's published Code of Ethics. If breeders disobey theCode of Ethics, they are fined or REMOVED from the list and theirtransgression is publicly announced. We do not play "favorites" withthis breed's biology and future! That said, you, the buyer, MUSTascertain, through serious interviews with a breeder, what thatbreeder's policies and practices are. Your judgment is paramounthere.
The CTCA does not and cannot warranty any breeder andcannot assure you that a puppy you purchase will be satisfactory. Butwe have shown our abilities for 30 years; our record of breed careand management is legion. So, please ask breeders many questionsabout their dogs, guarantee, sales policies, experience, veterinarypractices, socialization practices and facilities. Feel confidentwith the breeder and the pup you choose BEFORE you buy.
For an in depth, understandable explanation of the history of thisbreed and the often bizarre psychology of dog breeders, please referto the "The Official Coton de Tulear Book, 2nd Edition" CDROM, available from the CTCA; to learn more, pleaseclick here.
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Title and contents of The Coton de Tulear News &Information Network © 1996-2005, the Coton de TulearClub of America, all rights reserved. Celebrating the CTCA's 30thAnniversary in 2006.