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Narrow Standards and the Destruction of Breeds by the Show Game

Some of the French-speaking people in Europe have asserted that the Coton de Tulear was developed primarily in France following the breed's importation into Europe in 1977.  Accordingly, the French have a standard for the breed that reflects their desires.  They prefer a smaller dog, (toy-sized), which is all white with a brownish-colorednose; a breed described by the Federation Cynologique Internationale Standard of 1987 based on the original work of M.Petit.  In North America, some Coton breeders and exhibitors, new to the breed, have adopted the FCI Standard in opposition to the original mCTCA Standard.

In almost every case, a Coton de Tulear that meets the FCI Standard will also meet the mCTCA Standard.  The mCTCA Standard, designed by professional biologists, reflects a desire to maintain the breed's natural soundness by preserving and protecting a controlled amount of healthy genetic variability.  The mCTCA does not endorse a "cookiecutter look" for this breed.  Such conformity inevitably results in a breed that has no genetic variability and hence poor viability and health.  The mCTCA promotes the original three color varieties of Coton de Tulear which is a position that preserves essential color-producing genes that are also responsible for the Coton's calm, laid-back demeanor.  In marked contrast with the Malagasy and most North Americans, many European French people despise Cotons that have color on their coat.

The loss of pigment-producing genes is not only detrimental to the Coton's temperament and conformation, it is also indicative of harmful inbreeding.  It should be noted that excessive inbreeding is required to create a breed in which every dog looks and acts exactly like every other dog in the breed.  Excessive inbreeding to conform to the currently fashionable "show ring" look has, in our studied opinion, ruined the genetic soundness of almost every AKC breed.  The mCTCA remains steadfastly determined to protect the genetic soundness of the Coton de Tulear.cw3color

If the French club and its American affiliate clubs, (the ACTA and the USACTC), had their way, the variation so important to the health and genetic soundness of the original Malagasy Coton de Tulear would be banned.  This magnificently marked Black and White Coton, (Bertha Robinson's CW of Alika Cotons), would not exist.  CW and others like him have always been welcomed by the Madagascar Coton de Tulear Club of America (mCTCA). 

Meaningless Titles & Destructive Competition

Hard-nosed, beauty contest competition, we believe, is biologically meaningless and counter productive to the cooperation needed to preserve and protect a breed's health and soundness.  Most people do not realize just how vacuous the show game can be.  For rare breeds, national show organizations appear, award thousands of "Champion" titles then disappear in a few years.  One rare breed show organization recently advertised that you could enter one of their four day shows and after paying eight entry fees, emerge with a "championship" for your dog by Sunday afternoon.  In our opinion, titles obtained in a weekend or two can in no way assure a potential buyer of the soundness of any dog or the future health and temperament of its pups.  Also, breed clubs often issue points in parallel with those of the show organization.  It is therefore possible to win several championships simultaneously.  Often, the points calculation build for puppies only six months old which is too immature and undeveloped to chew food with adult teeth let alone to show characteristics of adult conformation.

In an attempt to have all dogs within a breed resemble one single "Champion" archtype, exhibitor/breeders sometimes inbreed excessively, creating breeds with virtually no healthy genetic variation and with damaging, recessive-gene genetic illnesses, (NOTE:inbreeding concentrates recessive alleles; outbreeding minimizesrecessive alleles).  It is estimated that 1-in-4 AKC registered dogs,(of all AKC breeds), have a life-compromising genetic illness.  We donot want that fate to befall the sturdy Coton de Tulear.