Here at Wishview Cotons we strive for excellence in everything we do. We use Puppy Culture, which is considered the gold standard in puppy rearing and socialization programs. When our puppies leave our home for their Forever Families they have been well socialized, as well as exposed to numerous sounds and experiences so that they are smart, well balanced, little enrichment seekers.
My breeding program includes completing extensive health and genetic testing on my dogs to ensure they are healthy and free of any genetic issues before they begin. We use Embark Veterinary, to provide DNA genotyping and analysis for all our breeding dogs. This technology also helps us to determine the genetic diversity and coefficient of inbreeding (COI) which aids in the creation of breeding strategies to protect the Malagasy Coton gene pool.
Reproduction vets have discovered that the uterine wall breaks down each heat cycle whether the female has a pregnancy or not. So current standard practice is if the dam is healthy and fully recovered after her subsequent litters, it is recommended to breed her for four to five heat cycles in a row and then retire her. This is still a relatively new practice and new research may produce future changes in recommended practices, which we will endeavour to keep up to and follow for the best health of our dogs.
From birth our puppies are handled daily…who am I kidding, actually numerous times a day lol, then from days 3-16 we complete Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) which has been shown to have the following benefits: 1/Improved cardiovascular performance (heart rate) 2/Stronger heart beats 3/Stronger adrenal glands 4/More tolerance to stress 5/Greater resistance to disease. Also during this time we complete Early Scent Introduction (ESI) exercises with our pups. The benefits of these are nose awareness and confidence. It is great for hunting and tracking -which is not typical past times for our sweet little Cotons, but it also great for diabetic alert dogs which a Coton could easily excel at!
As our puppies grow, our dams will nurse and lick them which begins populating their gut microbiota. We then take advantage of the critical colonization window, during weaning, to supercharge the establishment of each individuals microbiome. This helps to develop gut intelligence which in turn creates a healthier, more resilient dog.
Starting in 2022 we will also be Embark testing all of the puppies born at WishView Cotons. This is another tool in order to ensure that our breeding program is working effectively to preserve the amazing Malagasy Cotons.
The Coton is a very smart breed who love to please their families and thus are very willing to learn anything you may want to teach them. They excel in obedience, agility, as emotional support animals, really in anything you would like to do as long as they are with you they are happy.
While with us we also expose our puppies to numerous animals (horses, llamas, cats, large dogs, birds etc), people of different sizes, ages and ethnicities, along with sound and grooming desensitization. They have a solid foundation to move forward with obedience training. We begin teaching basic commands such as manding (sit), leave it, down, recall training (come), hurry up (to potty on command), to give kisses so that you can teach them not to lick if that is something you want to train your puppy and leash training.
We litter box train our puppies so that when they come to your home it is an easy transition to train them to potty outside. We were lucky to be introduced, by one of our puppy families, to an amazing product, EZ Straw Pelletz, which has made this process so much easier. Plus my garden and flowerbeds are loving the mulch I’ve been adding! Check out the Useful Links page to learn more.
Our program also includes crate conditioning our puppies which helps them to transition easily into their new homes. Austerlitz Kennels has been using the Puppy Culture program for years and has developed an amazing crate conditioning program for breeders as well as new puppy families. Here is a link to that program which will help when working with your own pup. Crate Training From Austerlitz Kennels
Since they are so people focused positive reinforcement training works the best for this breed. As with any breeds, if you put in the consistent time to train and socialize your pup you will be rewarded with an amazing companion for years to come.
Cotons have beautiful cottony soft hair rather than fur which aids in them being hypoallergenic. They don’t shed but do require a lot of consistent grooming in order to keep their coats healthy and mat free. Part of that is trimming the hair between their toes and sanitary trims. We introduce our puppies to this along with frequent nail trims and brushing in order to make this task an enjoyable one rather than a fight with their new families.
The Canadian Coton Club has some amazing videos available if you are wanting to learn how to groom your Coton yourself. You can either become a member and get the videos as part of your membership or you can just purchase the videos here.