The Bolognese Dog, also sometimes known as the Bichon Bolognese, is a cute toy breed that makes a wonderful companion! These dogs love their owners and will be by your side no matter what you’re doing or where you’re going. The Bolognese adapts to your lifestyle — if you like to exercise, they will too, but they’ll also happily spend the day on the couch with you!
If you’re an owner who finds it difficult to say no to your dog, you might find yourself being ruled by the Bolognese! While they’re adorable, they also love getting their own way and you’ll have to enforce rules early on in their life to keep them under control and to remove these instincts.
To learn more about the Bolognese dog breed and to see whether they might be the pup for you, keep reading below!
History Of The Bolognese Dog
The Bolognese is one of several breeds that belong to the Bichon family of dogs, little white fluffy dogs that originated in the Mediterranean a couple of thousand years ago. Other Bichon breeds include the Bichon Frise, Coton de Tulear and Maltese. These dogs were popular because they were small enough to be portable and had wonderful temperaments.
The Bolognese was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1995.
The Bolognese was a popular dog in the ducal court of Bologna (where it gets it’s name from) during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. These dogs were part of wealthy and noble Italian families and truly were pampered!
However, once this period of time passed, the Bolognese almost became extinct. Luckily, fans of the breed, in particular Gianfranco Giannelli, saved the breed and it was imported to England. The Bolognese was shown in dog shows where it’s popularity rose. Now these little dogs are very commonly seen as companion dogs.
Characteristics Of The Bolognese Dog
This Toy breed of dog is a wonderful companion to many. Bolognese dogs can be an expensive breed as they are highly sought after, and you can expect to pay anywhere between $1200 and $2000. Bolognese puppies are normally born in litter sizes of between 6 and 7, although the average is three puppies. Always make sure that you are buying from a reputable breeder.
The Bolognese is of small size. These dogs usually stand between 9 and 12.5 inches tall and weigh between 8 and 14 lbs, with males being larger than females. While these dogs are petite, they’re also stocky and are muscular.
Their heads are of medium length and their muzzles are large, black and almost square. The Bolognese has ears that are set high and are long and hanging, and their tail is curved over their back.
The Bolognese has a distinctive single coat. Fortunately, they do not shed very much and are known as a hypoallergenic breed, therefore a great dog for those with allergies. However, they do need a lot of grooming and bathing, and aren’t exactly low maintenance! We will go into more detail about grooming later on.
The Bolognese only comes in one color — a white coat!
The Bolognese dog has a wonderful temperament and makes the perfect lapdog! These pups love to be with their owners and will want to be with your side all the time. Unfortunately, they can suffer from separation anxiety when left alone, so they are not the breed for you if you are out for hours at a time. This anxiety can lead to unwanted behaviors such as chewing and barking.
Bologneses are very sociable dogs and like to be around people. They get on well with strangers and other dogs, and have a like to have fun with everyone! Although they are not particularly active, they are a playful breed and will want to join in with those around them, including children. On the other hand, they’ll also happily curl up on the couch next to you!
Very intelligent, the Bolognese is easily trained and loves to please their owners. However, they can also have a stubborn streak and will try to get their way. Consistency is key with these pups, so they learn you are in charge! You will also need to socialize them from a young age so they don’t develop Small Dog Syndrome, but this shouldn’t be an issue.
The Bolognese has a long life expectancy. On average, these dogs can live for between 12 to 14 years.
Known Health Issues
Like all dogs, the Bolognese can be prone to some health problems. Most of these health concerns relate to their size. We have laid them out for you below.
- Hip Dysplasia — this is when the thighbone doesn’t fit snugly into the hip joint. Some dogs show pain and lameness on one or both rear legs, but you may not notice any signs of discomfort in a dog with hip dysplasia.
- Luxating Patella — this is a common condition in smaller dogs and is caused when the patella is not properly aligned. This can cause lameness in the leg or an abnormal gait, sort of like a skip or a hop.
- Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease — this is a condition that causes reduced blood supply to the head of the thigh bone, which in turn causes it to shrink. You may see your dog limping. It can be treated with surgery.
- Periodontal Disease — this is due to the small size of their mouth. If you suspect your dog is suffering from dental issues then you should take them to the vet.
Regular vet checkups and keeping an eye on your dog will ensure you can catch any of these issues before they become untreatable.
Remember — buy from a reputable breeder and the chances your dog will suffer any health conditions will be greatly reduced. Trusted breeders will do health checks on both parent dogs and will not breed if there is a chance of passing on any severe issues to offspring.
Now we know all about the traits and characteristics of the Bolognese dog, it is time to take a look at what living with one of these dogs on a day to day basis is really like. In most senses, they are very adaptable and easy to take care of, but their grooming needs can be high. Keep reading to find out more.
Food And Diet
The Bolognese does not need a lot of food every day because they are a small pup. You should base the amount you feed them on their weight, age and activity level. You should also check the back of the food packet to see how much of a certain food you should be feeding them based on these factors.
Experts often recommend you feed a dog of this size kibble that is formulated for small breeds. This will ensure you are giving your Bolognese all the nutrients they need to stay healthy. Take a look at the food we recommend below.
Best Dog Food For The Bolognese
AvoDerm Natural Small Breed Dry Dog FoodBUY ON AMAZON
We recommend the AvoDerm Natural Small Breed dog food for the Bolognese. This food is specially formulated for smaller breeds, with smaller kibble pieces to fit the jaws of smaller dogs. This food is made with California avocados to promote a healthy skin and coat, as well as a healthy immune system.
There are over twenty vitamins, minerals and antioxidant nutrients to ensure your pup is getting a well rounded and balanced diet, and there are no byproduct meals, wheat, corn or soy. Even better, there are also no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives in this recipe.
The Bolognese is a toy breed of dog and so does not require much exercise. They will enjoy going for a walk once or twice a day, for around 30 minutes. That being said, the Bolognese is happy wherever you are, so if you want to exercise them for longer then this is possible. They also love to run and play games, as well as to meet other dogs.
Bolognese dogs are not fans of wet weather and may not want to go out in it. You should invest in a raincoat for your Bolognese if you live in a particularly wet climate, as the rain can matt their fur.
The Bolognese dog can make an excellent family dog because they just want to please their owners, and so will adapt to any lifestyle. As long as they can spend the day by your side, they will be happy!
These white dogs get on very well with people, including children, and will make an excellent playmate. Their love for people means they don’t like to be left alone, so a busy household where someone is always around is best for them. It is often advised that the Bolognese is not placed in a home with young children, because the Bolognese is a fragile dog and young children can be rough with them. The Bolognese also won’t be afraid to snap at children if they feel they are being threatened.
Thanks to their intelligence and trainability, the Bolognese is easy to take care of and will fit in well with most families, as long as they are taught boundaries and are not overly spoilt. They do have high grooming needs, but the love and affection they give you is worth it! They’re also small enough to fit into any home, so you don’t need a lot of space or a large yard for them to run around in.
As we have mentioned above, the Bolognese is very intelligent and is therefore very easy to train. These pups love to please their owners and just want to make you happy! However, they can sometimes try to get their own way and can develop a stubborn streak, especially if they are a spoilt dog! You will need to keep training consistent with them so they learn to listen to you.
Like all dogs, the Bolognese responds best to positive reinforcement and reward based training. This includes verbal praise and treats. You should never get angry or frustrated with your dog when training. They may not understand what is happening and this will cause them to not want to learn. You should ignore negative behavior and praise positive behavior so they learn which is more desirable.
The Bolognese is a very sociable dog and so socialization shouldn’t be an issue. However, it is very important that you start it from a young age so they are less prone to developing Small Dog Syndrome and will be much less likely to feel threatened and bark.
Introduce your Bolognese to new sights, sounds, places, smells, people and animals in a calm and controlled way until they understand there is nothing to be afraid of. This way, they will grow up to be well-rounded pups!
Unfortunately, as cute as they are, the Bolognese has high grooming needs! Their coat needs to be brushed at least three times a week, although daily is best, to prevent matting and tangling of their fur. You’ll also need to bathe them regularly to keep their coat looking white.
The Bolognese can be prone to tear stains and so you will need to wipe around their eyes with a wet cloth everyday. You should also trim their toenails every month and check their ears regularly for any signs of infection.
Try to brush your Bolognese’s teeth often too — again, daily is best. This will help to prevent dental decay and disease.
Bolognese Dog FAQ’s
How much does a Bolognese cost?
A Bolognese dog can set you back between $1200 and $2000. This is because they are a designer dog and highly sought after, particularly with their relatively easy care needs and small size. You should always make sure you are buying from a reputable breeder who can give you health clearances for both parent breeds.
If this is out of your price range, you can always check your local shelter and see if there is a Bolognese waiting for their new home! There are also rescue organizations for these dogs that can be found online.
Are Bolognese Dogs good with children?
Bolognese dogs are very loyal and affectionate family members, meaning they get on well with children. They can also be very playful and fun to be around, and they love to join in. You should always supervise the Bolognese around young children and often it is not advised they are placed in a home together. This is because young children can be rough while playing and may hurt the Bolognese without meaning to. However, socialization can help with this.
The Bolognese is an adorable breed that is truly devoted to their owners. These pups love their people and will want to spend their days by your side, adapting to your lifestyle and making you happy. Thanks to their small size, you can take the Bolognese wherever you go, because they won’t tolerate being left alone! Despite their separation anxiety and high grooming needs, these dogs are easy to look after, with their intelligence making them fairly easy to train and their fun personality keeping you on your toes. If you’re looking for an affectionate toy breed, the Bolognese might just be for you.