mCTCA BannerNot Breedable and Potentially Beedable Quality

In 1974, Coton de Tulear breeder, the late Lewis Russell of Oakshade Kennel, pioneered a classification for the pups she produced.  All pups were designated either "Pet Quality" or "Show Quality".  That classificatory scheme was adopted by the Coton de Tulear Club of America in 1975 and has been used ever since.  The designation "Pet" or "Show" appears on every Coton's Official mCTCA Registration and Pedigree Certificates  issued between 1975 and the mid-1990s.  Pet Quality Cotons must be neutered and cannot be bred.

In the 1990s, the mCTCA switched designations to "PET", ("NOT BREEDABLE"), quality and "BREEDABLE" Quality for accuracy, since many other clubs now have "show quality" designations which may not reflect the desirablility of the dog to breed.


A puppy that is classified as a Potentially Breedable Quality Coton de Tulear is, in the estimation of the breeder, a puppy that will grow up to meet the mCTCA Standard in all respects. It is, in the breeder's estimation an excellent example of the breed.  For many good reasons, few Potentially Breedable Quality Cotons ever compete in a dog show, (see, for example, How Narrow Standards and the Show Game Harms Breeds.).

When a Potentially Breedable Quality puppy is one year old or older, its owner may submit special mCTCA Health Tests to the club so that the dog may be reclassified as either "NOT BREEDABLE" or "BREEDABLE" depending on whether or not the pup failed or passed these comprehensive health examinations.  Some Breeders will refund to the buyer the difference in cost between a Breedable Coton and a Non-breedable Coton should a pup be sold as "Potentially Breedable" fail its one-year Health Tests.

A Breedable Quality Coton can be bred and will contribute its favorable genes to the growing North American population of the breed.  About one-third of all Cotons registered with the mCTCA are Breedable Quality Cotons.

Pet Quality Coton de Tulear can be every bit the happy, healthy Coton that its fellow Breedable Quality Cotons may be.  A puppy that is classified as a Pet Quality Coton de Tulear is, in the estimation of the breeder, a puppy that will not grow up to meet the mCTCA Standard in all respects.  The owner of a Pet Quality Coton cannot breed the dog and if he or she does so in violation of the breeder's contract and the mCTCA's Code of Ethics the progeny of a Pet Quality Coton cannot be registered with the mCTCA.  Some reasons that a breeder may classify a puppy as Pet Quality include, but are not limited to:

  • Incompletely pigmented eye rings, lips, or nose.
  • Undershot or overshot jaw.
  • The pup will grow too tall, (or be too small), as an adult.
  • The male pup has only one or no descended testicles, (it is a "cryptorchid").
  • The pup is too inbred, in which case it and all its litter mates, regardless of appearance, must be classified as Pet Quality.

Make certain that your breeder fully explains to you why he/she has classified a puppy as "not breedable, Pet Quality."

Please bear in mind that Pet and Potentially Breedable Quality Cotons are all wonderful companions.  The mCTCA treasures each and every Coton and maintains their registry with care.  Note, too, that maintaining detailed records on all Cotons, whether they be Breedable or Not Breedable Quality, enables the club to decipher the breed's genetics and state of health and well-being.

Judging a puppy's FUTURE appearance is an inexact art

Most experienced breeders can make a good educated guess about the future development of the pups they whelp.  But, no one in the world can judge for certain what an eight-or-ten week old puppy will look like when it is an adult.  Cotons mature slowly.  For example, a jaw full of perfect baby teeth at age 10 weeks may develop amalocclusion, (under or overbite), months later when the adult teeth come in.  If you absolutely want to be sure that the Coton you purchase will be a Breedable Quality adult, then you must buy an adult Coton who has already passed his/her mCTCA Health Tests.