Coton De Tulear vs Havanese: What’s the Difference?

Written by August Croft
Published: May 5, 2022
© BORTEL Pavel - Pavelmidi/Shutterstock.com
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If you are a fan of small dog breeds, you may be wondering what the differences are between the Coton De Tulear vs Havanese. What traits do these dogs have in common, and what distinct things separate them from one another?

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about the Coton De Tulear and the Havanese. We will go over what both of these dogs look like, as well as their lifespans and size differences. Additionally, we will discuss their ancestries and behavior so you have some idea of what you’re getting into, should you choose to adopt either of these two breeds. Let’s get started!

Comparing Coton De Tulear vs Havanese

Coton De Tulear vs Havanese
The Coton De Tulear lives a slightly longer life on average compared to the Havanese.

©A-Z-Animals.com

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Coton De TulearHavanese
Size9-11 inches tall; 8-15 pounds8-11 inches tall; 7-13 pounds
AppearanceGray, black, or white coat colors; distinct and soft textured coat that is incredibly soft. Floppy ears often appear longer due to hair placement.  Long and beautiful fur in a variety of colors and patterns; hair can be straight, wavy, or curly. Tail is plumed and elegant, and their ears are very long
AncestryUnknown when the breed first came about, but was brought to the United States from Madagascar in the 1970s; likely a dog used for hunting mice on shipsOriginated in Cuba during the 1500s; primarily bred as a lap dog and companion animal for all of its life
BehaviorEager to please and easy to train; an ideal small dog for families with young children. Sunny and loyal, they do best with positive reinforcement and consistencyShy and prone to bouts of anxiety and barking; loves their family and extremely easy to train, making them entertaining and fun. Easily bonds with people of all ages, once they are comfortable
Lifespan13-16 years12-15 years

Key Differences Between Coton De Tulear vs Havanese

Coton De Tulear vs Havanese
While it may not look like it, the Coton De Tulear grows ever so slightly larger than the Havanese.

©Dorottya Mathe/Shutterstock.com

There are many key differences between the Coton De Tulear and the Havanese. The Coton De Tulear grows slightly larger than the Havanese, in both height and weight. Additionally, the Havanese comes in more colors compared to the limited Coton De Tulear. Finally, the Coton De Tulear lives a slightly longer life on average compared to the Havanese.

Let’s discuss all of these differences in more detail now. 

Coton De Tulear vs Havanese: Size

Coton De Tulear vs Havanese
The Havanese comes in more colors compared to the limited Coton De Tulear.

©BIGANDT.COM/Shutterstock.com

While it may not look like it, the Coton De Tulear grows ever so slightly larger than the Havanese. However, the sizes of both of these dogs overlap, and they frequently reach the same height and weights, depending on gender. Let’s take a closer look at the figures now.

The Coton De Tulear reaches 9-11 inches tall on average, while the Havanese grows anywhere from 8-11 inches. Additionally, the Havanese weighs only 7-13 pounds on average, while the Coton De Tulear weighs 8-15 pounds, depending on gender. 

Coton De Tulear vs Havanese: Appearance

Coton De Tulear vs Havanese
The Coton De Tulear has an extremely soft textured coat only found in white, black, and gray, while the Havanese has a flowing, long coat found in a variety of colors.

©Dorottya Mathe/Shutterstock.com

While they are similar in size, there are some visible differences in the appearances of the Coton De Tulear and the Havanese. For example, the Coton De Tulear has an extremely soft textured coat only found in white, black, and gray, while the Havanese has a flowing, long coat found in a variety of colors.

Additionally, the Havanese has slightly longer ears compared to the Coton De Tulear, though it can be difficult to tell this given just how much hair the Havanese has. Otherwise, these breeds are very similar, especially when you compare the Coton De Tulear with a Havanese that has a textured coat!

Coton De Tulear vs Havanese: Ancestry and Breeding

Coton De Tulear vs Havanese
The Havanese originated in Cuba sometime during the 1500s, while the origin story of the Coton De Tulear is unclear.

©iStock.com/Melanie Long

The origin stories of both the Coton De Tulear and the Havanese are very different from one another. In case you hadn’t guessed already, the Havanese originated in Cuba sometime during the 1500s, while the origin story of the Coton De Tulear is unclear. However, we know that the Coton De Tulear was brought to the United States from Madagascar in the 1970s.

Additionally, the Havanese was originally bred to be a royal lap dog and companion animal, while the Coton De Tulear was bred for hunting rodents on merchant vessels. However, both make ideal companion animals, whether it is modern day or back then!

Coton De Tulear vs Havanese: Behavior

Coton De Tulear vs Havanese
The Havanese exhibits more anxious behavior compared to the Coton De Tulear.

©Dorottya Mathe/Shutterstock.com

The Havanese and the Coton De Tulear have extremely similar behaviors to one another. They are both easy to train and make ideal companion animals for a variety of households, including those with young children. These breeds are extremely happy and friendly, sunny and energetic, so long as they have been trained with plenty of exposure to people and other dogs.

Overall, the Havanese exhibits more anxious behavior compared to the Coton De Tulear. If you are interested in adopting either of these two breeds, be sure that you give them positive reinforcement and reassurance, every step of the way!

Coton De Tulear vs Havanese: Lifespan

Coton De Tulear vs Havanese
The Coton De Tulear lives an average of 13 to 16 years, while the Havanese lives 12 to 15 years.

©BIGANDT.COM/Shutterstock.com

A final difference between the Havanese and the Coton De Tulear is their lifespans. The Coton De Tulear lives a slightly longer life on average compared to the Havanese. But just how much longer on average, exactly? Let’s take a closer look at the figures now.

The Coton De Tulear lives an average of 13 to 16 years, while the Havanese lives 12 to 15 years. However, it always depends on the individual health and care of the dog to determine just how long they live. With proper exercise and a well-rounded diet, you can expect both of these breeds to live a long and happy life!

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The Featured Image

Coton de Tulear laying in the grass
This breed is most well known for its soft, smooth coat.
© BORTEL Pavel - Pavelmidi/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

I am a non-binary freelance writer working full-time in Oregon. Graduating Southern Oregon University with a BFA in Theatre and a specialization in creative writing, I have an invested interest in a variety of topics, particularly Pacific Northwest history. When I'm not writing personally or professionally, you can find me camping along the Oregon coast with my high school sweetheart and Chihuahua mix, or in my home kitchen, perfecting recipes in a gleaming cast iron skillet.

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