Characteristics & Temperament

Cotons are lively, alert companion dogs. Their sweet temperament, cute appearance and clownish antics belie their intelligence, quick wit and stamina. They love to be with their humans and have a tendency to become quite attached to them.

Temperament is one of the main characteristics of the breed. They are happy, stable and sociable with humans as well as other dogs. It has been said that they are Labrador Retrievers in a small package.

They can be very clownish and have a habit of walking on their hind legs, which many fanciers find very endearing. Some cock their heads to one side when listening, while others have quite a vocabulary of sighs, whimpers and rumbles to make their desires known.

Their remarkable intelligence lends itself to a variety of activities, including obedience, agility, musical freestyle and even tracking. Generally, they are easily trained, but house-breaking can sometimes be a challenge.

Coton fanciers agree that the phrase "happy, boisterous, little clowns" very aptly describes the personality of these delightful little creatures. But for all their fluffy, stuffed-toy looks; Cotons are very rough-and-tumble, hardy little dogs. They are equally at home in snow, or mud or rain, or anything in between. A firm, consistent and gentle hand is required to keep these little guys from becoming little monsters. If they think they are the boss, it will be very difficult to train them in any respect.