Coton de Tulear vs. Havanese

What's the Difference?

Coton de Tulear and Havanese are both small, fluffy dog breeds that are known for their friendly and affectionate nature. However, there are a few key differences between the two. Coton de Tulear originated in Madagascar and has a cotton-like coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting. On the other hand, Havanese originated in Cuba and has a silky, long coat that also needs regular grooming. In terms of size, Coton de Tulear is slightly larger than Havanese. Both breeds are intelligent and trainable, but Havanese tends to be more eager to please and easier to train. Overall, both Coton de Tulear and Havanese make wonderful companion dogs for families or individuals looking for a loving and loyal pet.


AttributeCoton de TulearHavanese
Weight8-13 pounds7-13 pounds
CoatLong, soft, and cotton-likeLong, silky, and wavy
ColorWhite, often with light gray or tan markingsVarious colors including white, cream, and black
TemperamentFriendly, affectionate, and playfulFriendly, intelligent, and outgoing
TrainabilityIntelligent and trainableIntelligent and trainable
Exercise NeedsModerateModerate
Life Expectancy14-16 years14-16 years

Further Detail


When it comes to choosing a small, affectionate, and intelligent companion dog, two popular breeds that often come to mind are the Coton de Tulear and the Havanese. Both breeds have their unique attributes and characteristics that make them beloved by dog enthusiasts worldwide. In this article, we will delve into the similarities and differences between these two delightful breeds, exploring their appearance, temperament, exercise needs, grooming requirements, and health considerations.


Both the Coton de Tulear and the Havanese are small-sized dogs, but they have distinct physical features. The Coton de Tulear is known for its cotton-like coat, which is long, soft, and fluffy. Their coat comes in various colors, including white, black, and tri-color combinations. They have expressive round eyes and a button nose, giving them an adorable and charming appearance. On the other hand, the Havanese has a silky, wavy coat that can be found in a wide range of colors, including white, cream, black, and chocolate. They have dark, almond-shaped eyes and a short muzzle, which adds to their overall cuteness.


When it comes to temperament, both the Coton de Tulear and the Havanese are known for their friendly and sociable nature. Cotons are often described as happy-go-lucky dogs who love to be the center of attention. They are highly affectionate, gentle, and eager to please their owners. Cotons are generally good with children and other pets, making them an excellent choice for families. Similarly, Havanese dogs are known for their outgoing and playful personalities. They are intelligent, trainable, and thrive on human companionship. Havanese dogs are also great with children and tend to get along well with other dogs, making them a popular choice for families and individuals alike.

Exercise Needs

When it comes to exercise requirements, both breeds have relatively similar needs. Cotons and Havanese are considered moderately active dogs that require daily exercise to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. However, the Coton de Tulear may have slightly higher energy levels compared to the Havanese. A daily walk, playtime in a securely fenced yard, or interactive indoor games can help meet their exercise needs. It's important to note that excessive exercise or high-impact activities should be avoided, as both breeds are prone to certain orthopedic issues.

Grooming Requirements

One area where the Coton de Tulear and the Havanese differ significantly is in their grooming requirements. The Coton's long, cotton-like coat requires regular brushing to prevent matting and tangling. They are considered a low-shedding breed, making them suitable for individuals with allergies. Regular bathing and occasional professional grooming are also necessary to maintain their coat's health and appearance. On the other hand, the Havanese has a silky, non-shedding coat that requires daily brushing to prevent tangles and mats. Regular grooming, including haircuts, is essential to keep their coat manageable and free from debris. Both breeds require regular ear cleaning, teeth brushing, and nail trimming as part of their overall grooming routine.

Health Considerations

While both the Coton de Tulear and the Havanese are generally healthy breeds, they are prone to certain health conditions that potential owners should be aware of. Cotons can be susceptible to luxating patellas (knee dislocation), progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and hip dysplasia. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and appropriate exercise can help minimize the risk of these conditions. Havanese dogs, on the other hand, may be prone to conditions such as patellar luxation, deafness, and certain eye diseases. Responsible breeding practices and regular health screenings can help reduce the incidence of these health issues in the breed.


In conclusion, both the Coton de Tulear and the Havanese are wonderful companion dogs with their unique attributes and characteristics. While the Coton de Tulear stands out with its cotton-like coat and slightly higher energy levels, the Havanese impresses with its silky coat and playful nature. Both breeds are known for their friendly and sociable temperaments, making them great choices for families and individuals seeking a loving and loyal companion. Whether you prefer the fluffy charm of the Coton or the silky elegance of the Havanese, both breeds are sure to bring joy and happiness to their owners for many years to come.

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