Bolognese | Information & Dog Breed Facts


Bolognese is style and sheer charm. Snow-white miniature dogs resemble live fluffy toys.

This Italian lap-dog is ideal for apartment living. Such a pet is suitable for adults and children of any age, it turns out to be a cheerful, loyal, friendly companion.

Bolognese dog
Bolognese dog

The Bolognese is a small compact dog with white fur and of Italian origin. It is related to the Bichon Frise and the Havanese, and is a rare and difficult to obtain dog.

Representatives of the breed do not cause disappointment, on the contrary, delight the owners, cheer up. With a lap-dog, even the most convinced pessimist will turn into an optimist.

Origin of the Bolognese

Homeland of the Bolognese – Italy. To be precise, the formation of this breed occurred on the territory of Bologna. The emergence of the Italian lapdog dates back to the twelfth century.

At least, it was during this period that the first references to miniature snow-white dogs appeared, very similar to French lapdogs.

In fairness, it is worth noting that there is no exact data on the origin, about the ancestors of the Bolognese. It is known that the breed is ancient, medieval Italy gave it to the world.

There is a version that the direct ancestors of modern Bolognese are the toy poodle and the Maltese.

According to another version, the bolognese came from the Miletus Mediterranean dogs.

In any case, this Italian lap-dog inherited only the best qualities from its ancestors, this breed has practically no drawbacks.

The fifteenth – sixteenth century brought lapdogs a great popularity. Among high society, it was fashionable to have such pets. In those days, there was no special variety of decorative dogs. So, the bolognese soared to the top of fame.

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, many other miniature breeds appeared. As a result, the Italian Bologna, unable to withstand the competition, found itself on the verge of extinction.

The number, as well as the popularity of this species was restored due to the fact that its representatives survived in other countries.

Connoisseurs of the breed were able to achieve official recognition of the Italian lap-dog and registration in international registries as an independent species at the beginning of the 2000s.

Bolognese dog
Bolognese dog

Physical characteristics of the Bolognese

At first glance at the Bolognese, it seems that this dog is quite plump. In fact, the representatives of the breed are thin. Volume and airiness are the merit of a lush coat. Although with an elegant physique, the muscles of the Bolognese are developed perfectly.

The growth of an adult Bolognese is 20-30 cm, weight is about 3-4 kg.

On an average length of the neck, an average head with an oval skull is held. Ears are hanging, long.

The eyes are not too large, round, not convex. Eye color is brown, eyelid stroke is black.

The front face looks in a square shape. The back of the nose is straight. The nose is large, black. It looks beautiful in contrast to snow-white coat.

The scissor bite is also not considered a tick-borne defect.

The body shape is square. Croup is wide, with a slight slope. The chest is voluminous. The stomach is a little tightened. The back is straight, the lower back with a slight bulge. The tail is of medium length, the lapdog wears it thrown back.

The legs are straight, parallel. The length is average. The muscles are well developed. Paws are oval in shape, claws are strong.

The Bolognese coat is thick, long, silky to the touch. There are free curls.

The color is white, without spots and splashes.

Bolognese dog
Bolognese dog

Personality and character of the bolognese

The bolognese establishes a very close bond with its Masters and, in general, does not like to be separated from his close relations. He can be quite reserved with strangers and, although he barks to inform his masters of something unusual or new, he is generally not an aggressive or scandalous dog. He likes to please and learn quickly.

The bolognese is characterized by its docile, calm and loyal character. At home, he tends to be inactive, but outside, he tends to be more energetic. He is very attached to his human family, so he needs constant company, being inappropriate for those who spend long hours away from home.

In this way, if the bolognese spends a lot of time alone, he tends to develop behavioral problems such as separation anxiety, as well as excessive barking, and even become a destructive dog. Therefore, its adoption is recommended for adults or families with children who are not very young and who can dedicate to the animal the time it needs. It is also an excellent breed for beginners who decide to share their life with a dog for the first time.

This breed of dog generally gets along with other dogs and animals, while it can become very shy with strangers. In this sense, and although it is not generally aggressive, it is very important to socialize it from a young age to reduce shyness and even avoid it in adulthood.

On the other hand, the Bolognese is an intelligent and very obedient dog, so that well educated and well socialized is an excellent life partner.

Bolognese dog
Bolognese dog

Bolognese health

The average life expectancy of the Bolognese is about 14-15 years. There are no special health problems, the body is strong, the immune defense is strong.

Bolognese can become ill due to improper care, poor nutrition, and also due to poor heredity. Many diseases can be avoided if vaccination and deworming are carried out on time.

Of great importance are annual preventive examinations in a veterinary clinic.

The owner of a Bolognese should know that his pet is predisposed to the following diseases:

  • Blockage of the lacrimal ducts (keratitis) – the free drainage of tears is impaired, they flow directly onto the dog’s face. The disease is accompanied by redness and constant tearfulness.
  • Allergy – more commonly observed food.
  • Inflammation of the cornea of ​​the eye – vision is reduced until it is completely lost.
  • Dental diseases – the formation of tartar, gum disease.
  • Subluxations – the abnormal location of the damaged organ in relation to the physiological norm. Accompanied by pain and lameness.
  • Gastrointestinal diseases – intestinal torsion, diarrhea, bloating.
Bolognese dog
Bolognese dog


These puppies are content with several small walks each day, but they will never say no to a longer outing. They will also just play in the garden.

The bolognese does not require a lot of physical exercise, but you must walk it at least three times a day to enjoy the outdoors, nature and to do its business. Small dogs tend to urinate more than large dogs due to the size of their bladders, so it is important not to skip daily walks if we want to avoid urinating inside the house.

On the other hand, we must offer the bolognese a moderate playing time, because, as we said, it is an energetic dog outside who likes to run and play. Likewise, obedience training can complement physical exercise and help keep its mind well stimulated.

On the other hand, remember that these dogs need a lot of companionship, so it is not good to leave them alone for a long time. They are not dogs for living in a garden or yard, and they must be indoors with the family most of the time. A bolognese can adapt very well to live in apartments and populated cities.

Bolognese puppies
Bolognese puppies

Basic care

A miniature-sized snow-white Bolognese must live in an apartment. On the street, such a tender dog, of course, cannot be kept. Even in the smallest room for a lap-dog there is a place.

Often these cute pets sleep in the master’s beds or on the sofa in the living room. But it is better that the dog has its own place, its own bed or house, which can be bought at the pet store.

Bolognese is not particularly active. Walking is required, they do not have to be long. If the owner does not have time or opportunity, it is enough to walk for 20-30 minutes with a lap-dog near the house or let her run in a private fenced yard on her own.

That’s why a lapdog is considered an ideal pet for the elderly or physically disabled people.

In caring for a lap-dog, the main difficulty is a long, snow-white, fluffy coat that requires increased attention. Otherwise, there are no difficulties. The following are the necessary procedures for caring for Bolognese:

Daily combing. It is recommended to comb the hair of a lap-dog after a walk.

Haircut is not required; it depends on the desire of the owner. If you go to a dog salon, experts will offer you many different fashionable haircuts suitable for the specified breed. You need to trim the haircut every 30-40 days.

On the pads of the paws, the hair is cut off without fail.

Bathing is carried out once a week. At the same time, detergents are used that facilitate the further process of combing and make the coat of Bolognese shiny. It is recommended to bathe your pet in the shower, a bath is required once a month.

Bolognese dog
Bolognese dog

After each walk, wash your paws and wipe the wool with a damp rag of natural fabric to remove possible dirt and dust.

Ear cleaning is required every 5-8 days, we use cotton swabs and means from a veterinary pharmacy. It is important to ensure that there is no inflammation and excessive congestion of ear discharge. These are symptoms of infectious diseases.

We gently wipe our eyes every morning. The lap-dog often has increased tearing and, as a result, dark smudges under the eyes, which look very ugly against the background of snow-white coat.

Cut the nails as they grow. For lack of skills, consult a specialist, as the owner can cause injury to the pet by inept movements of the clipper.

It is important to brush your Bolognese teeth approximately every 10 days. This procedure removes an unpleasant odor from the mouth and is the prevention of dental diseases.

The appetite of the Bolognese is more than good, he likes to beg for something tasty from all households.

This often leads to obesity and health problems. The owner must ensure that the pet does not overeat, it is important to determine the correct diet, daily allowances and guarantee a balanced diet.

Bolognese is not picky about food. Puppies up to 4-5 months old need to be fed 3-4 times a day. Adult lapwings are transferred to two meals a day.

Representatives of the breed are susceptible to allergic reactions to food. Therefore, it is recommended to select it with the help of a veterinarian.

You can feed both finished dry feed and natural products. Mineral and vitamin complexes are important. Especially for puppies and young dogs that have not stopped growing.

The above conditions of care and maintenance are, of course, necessary. But besides this, you just need to love a Bolognese. The owner’s love is manifested in stroking, attention, care. The dog needs affectionate words, a massage of the abdomen or just scratching behind the ear.

Bolognese dog
Bolognese dog

Training and education

Special training for the Bolognese dog is not required. The purpose of decorative indoor dogs is not to guard, hunt, etc. Such a pet simply pleases its owners, uplifting.

It is important to teach the Bolognese the rules of behavior in the house and in crowded places. Also, socialization is needed so that the dog is not afraid of strangers, passing vehicles during walks.

It is necessary to teach Bolognese simple commands: a place is impossible for him to sit …

The main rules during training: variety, you can’t push, lack of physical punishment and rudeness, the use of rewards in the form of treats and sweet words.

A Bolognese dog can easily be taught various tricks. That is why representatives of the breed are often seen as participants in circus programs.

Bolognese dog
Bolognese dog

Bolognese dog Fun Facts

  • With a certain haircut and combing, the Bolognese looks like a powder puff for powder.
  • On many works of art (tapestries, paintings, etc.) dating from the 17-18th century, representatives of the Bolognese breed are depicted.
  • Among the owners of Bolognese are such famous personalities as Maria Theresa of Austria, Queen Catherine the Great, Madame de Pompadour, Prince Frederico Gonzago.
  • Of all the existing types of lapdogs, the Bolognese is considered the calmest.
  • In the 18-19 centuries, the captains of the ships had an interesting habit. On round-the-world travels they took Bolognese with them.
  • Often, a lap dog manifests a “small dog” syndrome. The dog begins to feel the main in the family, the mistress of the house.
  • The name “Bolognese” is given to the breed in honor of the city of Bologna, it was in this locality of Italy that the species appeared, it was here that its development took place.
  • The beginning of the twentieth century brought the Bolognese breed a threat of extinction. Dog handlers of Belgium, Italy, France managed to revive Bolognese. A rebirth from breeding began, in which only nine dogs participated.
Bolognese dog
Bolognese dog

Bolognese Dog Breed Highlights

The Bolognese can be called a universal pet. This title is fully deserved. Bolognese is suitable for inexperienced people.

This little dog will be an excellent pet for a child, for an elderly person, for mom on maternity leave. A completely non-aggressive dog gets along well in large families.

Representatives of this breed are friendly, playful. They do not cause much trouble, on the contrary, bring joy and tranquillity. The Bolognese has almost no flaws. The main pros and cons of Bolognese are outlined below.

Positive points

  • The bolognese is an affectionate dog who likes to have fun by nature.
  • He thrives in a family environment and is one of the wonderful companions.
  • This little dog is not too demanding in terms of exercise.
  • It loses little hair throughout the year.
  • He is known to be a healthy breed.
  • The bolognese is very adaptable being as happy in an apartment as in a house.
  • It is a good choice for first time dog owners.

Negative points

  • It requires high maintenance on the grooming front.
  • The bolognese is best suited for families with older children.
  • He is known to be a “barker” for fun.
  • He has a high sense of prey and will chase everything he encounters.
  • A bolognese dog, like other toy breeds, can be difficult to train.