Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Coton Mi-Ki Dog Breed Info: Pictures, Traits & Facts

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Coton de Tulear close up face

Height: 7-11 inches
Weight: 5-12 pounds
Lifespan: 14 to 16 years
Colors: Black, white, tan, tri-colored
Suitable for: Families, singles, couples, seniors
Temperament: Playful, affectionate, intelligent, social, curious, adaptable, friendly

The Coton Mi-Ki is a hybrid breed, a cross between the fluffy Coton de Tulear and pint-sized Miki. The result is a small dog with a sweet and friendly nature, a lapdog through and through. These dogs are playful, curious, and highly affectionate and will soon become your new shadow, happy to be involved in whatever it is you are doing. Although they want nothing more than to cuddle in their owner’s lap, these dogs love to play too and are gentle with children. To help get to know this pint-sized pooch a little better, let’s take a quick look at the parent breeds that make up the Coton Mi-Ki.

The Coton de Tulear is named both after their soft and luxurious coat that closely resembles cotton and the Madagascar town of Tulear where they originated. These dogs were bred purely as companion animals and perform their job perfectly. They are highly intelligent, quick to learn, and easy to train, making them ideal for first-time owners.

The Miki is a fairly new breed, having only been developed in the 1980s. They were created from a variety of different breeds, including the Japanese Chin, the Maltese, and the Papillon, all of which are clearly visible in the Miki. These toy-sized dogs were bred as loyal companions, and they are an ideal family dog and perfect for first-time owners.

As both parent breeds were created to be the ultimate lapdog companion, you can be sure the Coton Mi-Ki will have the same qualities.

Divider 1

Coton Mi-Ki Puppies


The Coton Mi-Ki is a laidback, low-maintenance breed that is content to lounge on the sofa most of the day. They are intelligent pooches that are easy to train, making them an ideal choice for first-time dog owners. If you don’t have the time for intensive exercise every day and don’t have a ton of experience owning a dog, these little dogs may be the perfect point of entry.

As you can imagine, Mi-Ki puppies are about as adorable as they come, so keep this in mind when going to view a puppy, as they may be impossible to resist. Keep reading their full are guide to know what type of grooming, training, and nutrition they need to grow into happy and healthy dogs.

Divider 8

3 Little-Known Facts About the Coton Mi-Ki

1. The Coton de Tulear is the official dog of Madagascar.

These dogs have a royal heritage and were so adored and prized by the Malagasy royalty that no one else was allowed to keep them, and they became the official dog of Madagascar. In the early 1970s, Dr. Robert Jay Russell visited Madagascar and was so enamored with the breed that he decided to bring them to the United States. Dr. Russell dubbed the breed the “Royal Dog of Madagascar,” and the name stuck.

2. They are a rare breed.

The Coton de Tulear is a rare breed that has been on the brink of extinction at several points in its history. They are still endangered today in Madagascar, and breeders are constantly working to bring their numbers up in the U.S. too.

The Miki was only developed in the 1980s in the U.S. and is still a rare breed. They are still not recognized by the AKC and were developed by mixing a Maltese, a Papillon, and a Japanese Chin.

With both the parent breeds being so difficult to find, the Coton Mi-Ki is a rare hybrid indeed.

3. They become highly attached to their owners.

Coton Mi-Ki’s become highly attached to their owners and do not enjoy being left alone for extended periods. Both the Coton de Tulear and the Miki were bred exclusively as companion animals, and this is the place they are at their happiest. If you are looking for an independent pooch that is happy to entertain themselves, the Coton Mi-Ki is not the breed for you.

Parent Breeds of the Coton Mi-Ki
Image Credit: (L) pablo11, Shutterstock | (R) focus.n.develop, Shutterstock

Divider 3

Temperament & Intelligence of the Coton Mi-Ki 🧠

Coton Mi-Ki’s are highly intelligent, playful, and extremely friendly dogs. They love to be wherever their owners are, especially chilling on your lap, but they can launch into a playful and high-energy mode when they need to. They are placid, loving, and calm dogs and are excellent with children, making them ideal family pets.

These dogs are eager to please, always ready to engage with their owners, and are thus notoriously easy to train. As long as they are near you, they are happy, whether it be for a walk, play session in the yard, or fun training session. They are prone to destructive behavior and incessant yapping if left alone for too long and may chew and dig to express their frustration.

Both the Coton Mi-Ki’s parent breeds were bred exclusively as companion dogs, so this is where they are happiest — as close to their owner as possible.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

Coton Mi-Kis, like both their parent breeds, make excellent family dogs. They are rarely, if ever, aggressive and are great with children, and their small size makes them ideal to bring on family trips. However, these dogs hate being alone, and they need to be around their owners as much as possible to stay happy and free from destructive behavior. They are highly adaptable dogs that do well in apartments, but like all dogs, they will still require daily exercise. While these dogs are alert and will bark occasionally, if you are looking for a guard dog, the Coton Mi-Ki is definitely not it!

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

Coton Mi-Kis have little to no prey drive and are one of the few dog breeds that weren’t bred for the purpose of hunting or working. They will get along great with both other dogs and other pets, including cats, and have little desire to chase or dominate other animals.

Divider 4

Things to Know When Owning a Coton Mi-Ki

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Coton Mi-Ki’s are pint-sized pooches that are not highly energetic and consequently, don’t need much to sustain them. Their beautiful soft coats will benefit from high amounts of omega fatty acids, either from fish or flaxseeds, but other than that, they don’t have any special dietary requirements.

Around 1 cup of good-quality kibble per day divided into two portions will do them just fine, with the occasional supplementation of lean meats for extra protein. Although these dogs are not highly food motivated, their small size makes them susceptible to getting overweight, so avoid free-feeding them and keep them away from too many treats or table snacks. Those adorable, endearing eyes can make this challenge, but these dogs are capable of living for up to 16 years, and you’ll want them to stay as healthy as possible.

Exercise 🐕

Coton Mi-Kis have moderate energy levels and are fairly laidback pooches that prefer to lounge with their owner. That being said, like all dogs, they need regular daily exercise to stay happy and healthy. An hour a day is more than enough for these little dogs, and their tiny legs may not be able to take much more than that! The exercise need not be intensive either, and a slow walk around the neighborhood or park is plenty. They love to play too, so their walks should be supplemented with mentally stimulating activities like fetch or other interactive games.

All dogs are individuals, though, and hybrid breeds are prone to inheriting one parent breed’s qualities more than the other. If your Coton Mi-Ki inherits more of their Coton de Tulear lineage, they may be more energetic than usual and enjoy slightly more intensive exercise.

Training 🦮

Training a Coton Mi-Ki is a joy, and just like their parent breeds, they are notoriously easy to train. They love nothing more than to please their owners, and this combined with their high intelligence makes training a fun and easy process for even the most novice dog owner.

That being said, the earlier you begin training, the better, and training should begin from the first day that you bring your pooch home. We recommend starting with simple and concise commands like “sit” and “stay,” then rewarding them with a treat or praise when they obey the command. These two commands are the basis of good training, and the earlier you get your pooch responding to these commands, the easier the training process will be.

Positive reinforcement training is the best method with Coton Mi-Kis, as they are sensitive dogs that will not respond well to harsh treatment. Positivity training rewards them for good behavior and ignores bad behavior. Bearing in mind that these are sensitive dogs that love to please their owners, this method makes perfect sense.

Grooming ✂️

The Coton Mi-Ki can have two different coat types, depending on which parent they more closely resemble, varying between short and smooth and long and wavy. No matter the variation, you can be sure they’ll need daily brushing, as their coat can quickly become matted if left unchecked. The Coton Mi-Ki is not a heavy shedder, but brushing will help keep fur from collecting up all over your home. If, by chance, they do get muddy, a rinse with clean water should do the trick. We recommend staying away from commercial shampoos, as they can disturb your dog’s coat’s natural oils.

Other than that, regular teeth brushing is essential to keep their teeth free from plaque buildup and dental disease, and they may need the occasional nail trimming too.

Health Conditions ❤️

The Coton Mi-Ki benefits from hybrid vigor, the resulting health benefits obtained from cross-breeding. They are, for the most part, a healthy breed free from genetic disorders.

The only occasional disorder to be concerned about with these pooches is patellar luxation, and it is fairly rare. The disorder is commonly seen in toy breeds, along with occasional hip dysplasia. As long as your Coton is fed a healthy diet and is not overweight, this is rarely a problem. Progressive retinal atrophy is also occasionally seen, but again, this is rare.

Minor Conditions
  • Obesity
  • Bloat
  • Allergies
  • Hypothyroidism
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia,
  • Patellar luxation
  • Progressive retinal atrophy

Divider 5

Male vs Female

If the Coton Mi-Ki has won your heart and you’ve decided to bring one home, the last decision to make is whether to get a male or female. In our experience, there is little difference between males and females, both in temperament and in size. Remember that all dogs are individuals, and their upbringing and training will affect the outcome of their personality far more than their sex.

The decision you make really comes down to personal preference, especially if this will be your only dog. The only concern may be other dogs of the same sex, which can sometimes cause tension in the home. If you have a female dog already, you may consider getting a male Coton or vice versa. Of course, these dogs are so loving and easygoing, this is rarely an issue.

Divider 3

Summing Up

The Coton Mi-Ki is are a rare breed, and you should consider yourself extremely lucky if you manage to find one. They are the quintessential lap dog that loves to be close to their owners and will swiftly become your new shadow. They are great with both children and other animals, are easy to care for and groom, are highly adaptable, and best of all, are as loving and affectionate as they come.

If you are looking for a dog that doesn’t need a great deal of exercise and prefers to cuddle with you on the sofa, the Coton Mi-Ki may just be a perfect choice.

Featured Image Credit: Chica de Tulear, Pixabay

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database