Just looking at their fluffy cuteness, it’s hard to believe the Coton de Tulear could ever be associated with the scourge of the seas. But once upon a time, they belonged to pirates, who kept them as pets and put them to good use chasing away rats on their ships.
It was pirates who are believed to have originally brought these lovely dogs to the island of Madagascar. In fact, ‘Coton de Tulear’ is so named after the port of Tulear (which is now called Toliara).
Historically, the breed was widely favored by the ruling aristocracy. Not surprising, perhaps, given these playful and friendly fellows were the jewel in Madagascar’s crown.