If you are looking to buy a dog of ANY breed, please do your research carefully.  If you google or otherwise do a general internet search for the breed of your choice, including the Coton de Tulear, the very first thing that will come up will likely be an internet puppy mill.  Puppy mills are large, commercial breeding operations where up to hundreds of breeding dogs are housed, for their entire lives, in small cages, where they are bred over and over again until they are no longer sufficiently fertile, at which point they are usually destroyed.  These poor animals spend their entire lives from birth to death in wire cages, never set foot on grass or play in the sunshine, and are often left outside or in non-climate controlled facilities, where they suffer from the effects of the heat and the cold.  Food is substandard, portions increased only when a female is pregnant or nursing, and veterinary care almost non-existent.  These dogs lead lives of utter misery.  Their babies are taken from them far earlier than is optimum (10-12 weeks is considered optimum), often as early as 4-5 weeks of age, and sold to brokers who cart them en masse, again in cages, to pet shops that sell live animals, or to internet sellers.  Only when it gets to you will the dog first have any socialization with a human being or touch the grass for the very first time!  Many of these puppy mill dogs are sick with diseases that routine veterinary care can easily prevent.  Many people think that they are "rescuing" a puppy when they take it out of a pet store or remove it from a mill via the internet.  But in reality, a purchase made in that manner only condemns the mother dog left behind in the mill to another round of misery.

How do you avoid buying from a puppy mill?  It's not too hard, if you educate yourself as to what to look for.  First of all, don't ever buy a puppy sight unseen off the internet.  You need to know who you are dealing with and what you are dealing with. 

If getting a purebred dog is unimportant to you, then PLEASE visit your local shelter and consider adoption!  

For more information on puppy mills, please visit  You will find a lot of good information and resources there, including to how to locate a responsible breeder.  The page was set up by a group of breeders and fanciers in the coton community including my husband and me, who wanted to do something to help in the battle to shut down the mills.  You will also find some photos of mill dogs there.  They are disturbing, but should been seen.  There is a lot of pain and suffering behind the cute little dog you see in the shop window or pictured on the internet.  PLEASE HELP SHUT DOWN PUPPY MILLS FOR GOOD!!