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Why Buy from a CTCA Breeder?
What you need to know before you buy…The Coton de Tulear Club of America, the CTCA, is the oldest Coton club in the world. We introduced this breed from their island home to the Western World in 1974. We have followed and studied and supported and protected our population ever since. We did this because we are biologists with a profound love of Madagascar and the Coton de Tulear. We are not in any way traditional “dog show fanciers.” The CTCA is unique amongst dog clubs.
First, we have an enforced Code of Ethics that our breeders must subscribe to. No other Coton club has one (they do have “suggestions” listed and call it a “Code of Ethics.” That is a lot like saying all speed limits are “suggested speeds,” but that if you exceed them by any amount, you will suffer no consequences. How many people do you know would drive the speed limit if that were the case?). In a nutshell: CTCA Breeders are expected to stand behind their buyers and their pups. It’s in writing.
Second, the CTCA has rules against inbreeding. No other Coton club has that. That means, for example, you can buy a Coton elsewhere that is a product of (or has a pedigree containing) a brother-sister, mother-son, father-daughter mating! That is as bad an idea for dogs as it is for humans.
Third, CTCA Code of Ethics Breeders subject their Potentially Breedable Cotons to the CTCA’s exclusive mandatory, seven-page veterinary Health Test. A veterinarian must submit signed forms to the CTCA testifying to the health of these dogs before we permit the Coton to breed. No other club does this.
Fourth, we have rules that require our breeders to be open and honest with the club about any health or temperament issue. Surprisingly (you may think), that is not the case elsewhere, where genetic disorders are often blamed on buyers, genetic diseases are hushed up and as a result, the buyer, the puppy and the gene pool can suffer terribly. Many AKC managed breeds are genetic disasters because they have few if any regulations governing breeding.
Fifth, the CTCA does not allow puppy mills or sales to pet shops 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 its stock from overseas rather than from US puppymills). For example there is one well-advertised “USDA” importer/breeder who has over 200 dogs in his care who imports pups from Russia for $50 and sells them to unsuspecting buyers as “Cotons” for $1250. You stand almost no chance of getting your money back for a sick dog unless you are quick enough to cancel your credit card order. You won’t find this breeder or any of his dogs or any breeder like him in the CTCA.
Sixth, the CTCA supports you and your Coton. For thirty years we have been completely accessible to help CTCA dog owners and their dogs with problems or concerns. We established the first and largest Coton de Tulear rescue in the world primarily to care for CTCA Cotons whose owners could no longer care for them. No other Coton club does this (note: there is currently a Coton dog rescue that claims no affiliation with any dog club). In fact, no other Coton club has been around more than a decade (and most have come and disappeared in just a few quick years).
Seventh, the CTCA leads all rare breed dogs clubs with its output and analysis of breed-specific information. Today, we have in print 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 CTCA Cotons. And that–to the CTCA Code of Ethics Breeders–is the bottom line.
Eighth, CTCA Cotons de Tulear are pure bred Cotons whose ancestry is traced through the oldest and most carefully maintained pedigree database in the world. Many other registries cannot be trusted. For example, recently (and quite remarkably!), the ACC, a new Coton club, boasted that it’s breeders follow at least two different standards and that some of the dogs welcomed within their club have been bred together with Maltese and Bichon Frise. Hence there is no sure way to tell whether you’ve purchased a Coton or a mixed breed dog from this club. The club spokesman even admits that some of these crossbred dogs resemble Maltese Bichons or other breeds! The CTCA has worked assiduously for three decades to insure that your CTCA puppy will be a genuine Malagasy Coton de Tulear. Paying as much money or more for a mixed breed of Bichon (a “Havaton”? a “Biton”? a “Malton”?) just doesn’t make sense in our opinion.
The CTCA Breeders List is not an advertisement. The list represents breeders who subscribe to our Code of Ethics, whose puppies can be CTCA Registered, who supposedly arrange matings with care, and who we hope will raise their puppies with love, attention, and intelligence. It is crucial to note that NO BREEDER PAYS THE CTCA FOR A LISTING HERE; all we ask of them is that they support and obey the CTCA’s published Code of Ethics. If breeders disobey the Code of Ethics, they are fined or REMOVED from the list and their transgression is publicly announced. We do not play “favorites” with this breed’s biology and future! That said, you, the buyer, MUST ascertain, through serious interviews with a breeder, what that breeder’s policies and practices are. Your judgment is paramount here.
The CTCA does not and cannot warranty any breeder and cannot assure you that a puppy you purchase will be satisfactory. But we have shown our abilities for 30 years; our record of breed care and management is legion. So, please ask breeders many questions about their dogs, guarantee, sales policies, experience, veterinary practices, socialization practices and facilities. Feel confident with the breeder and the pup you choose BEFORE you buy.
For an in depth, understandable explanation of the history of this breed and the often bizarre psychology of dog breeders, please refer to the “The Official Coton de Tulear Book, 2nd Edition” CD ROM, available from the CTCA.