The tall Coton de Tulear is, without question, the rarest of all Cotons. Picture a Coton with exceptionally long, graceful, gazelle-like limbs–first observed in Coton de Tulear litters in Madagascar, then America, then Europe. Tall Cotons have been born in both genders and all three colors (White, Black & White, and Tri-color).
A Tall Coton, though larger than a standard height Coton, is not “big.” There have always been standard Cotons that exceed the “show dog” maximum weight allowance, and there have been Cotons that are slightly larger in all dimensions than the Show Standard calls for. Instead, a tall Coton is lithe and normally lean–it appears especially light, graceful. They are reminiscent of gazelles or antelopes. A male Tall variety Coton stands between 15 and 17-inches at the withers (shoulder). They are usually confident and outgoing, but none that we have met have had a domineering personality.
Make no mistake, the Tall Coton de Tulear is 100% a Coton de Tulear, not a hybrid creation. Since Tall Cotons are extremely uncommon, it suggests that they are the result of a mutation in the gene(s) that primarily controls the length of a Coton’s limb bones–specifically a gene that controls the growth of the body’s long bones. Such a mutation predates modern writings about the breed.
The long-limbed Tall Coton shows up in all three color varieties and can be born to a litter with normal-sized parents that carry the appropriate genes.
Bishop Kennels is very blessed to have the occasional “tall”.