Canine Breed Menu



No Additional Pictures
Breed Organization
United Kennel Club
Native Country
Other Names
Bolognese, Bolognese Toy Dog, Bichon Bolognes, Bolo, Botoli, Bottolo
Life Expectancy
Approximately 14 Years
Litter Size
No litter information available.
Breed Group
Bichons and related breeds - FCI
Breed Appearance
The Bolognese is a small, white, compact dog with a distinctive white single coat. It is of small size, stocky and compact. It is of square build and well-muscled. The head is of medium length. The skull is slightly ovoid. The muzzle is large, black and almost square. It has a developed jaw and the upper lips don't cover the bottom lips. Its lips are black. It has white, strong and evenly aligned teeth. Its eyes are well developed, open and round. The rims of the eyelids are black and the iris is a dark ochre color. The ears are set high and are long and hanging but rigid at the base. The tail is carried curved over the back.

Breed Description
Head: Round. Skull fairly flat. Pronounced stop. Straight nosebridge. Front of muzzle nearly square. Large, black nose.
Ears: Set on high, long, pendulous. Upper pinna standing out from skull.
Eyes: Large, round, dark ocher. Edge of eyelids black.
Body: Square build. Neck without dewlap. Broad chest. Well-sprung ribs. Very slight tuck-up. Straight back. Very broad, nearly level croup.
Tail: Curved over the back.
Hair: Long on entire body. Shorter on the nosebridge. Fairly woolly, standing off the body in tufts. No feathering.
Coat: Pure white with no spots. No other shades of white.
Size: Dog: 27 to 30 cm.Bitch: 25 to 28 cm.
Weight: Dog: 2.5 to 4 kg.

The Bolognese's origins are commingled with those of the Maltese, its close cousin. Their distant ancestors were the small dogs Aristotle called canes melitenses. Throughout Roman times, the Bolognese was a precious gift given among those in power. Italians believe the breed was born in the city of Bologna. A favorite of the Medici family during the Renaissance, he was popular until the late eighteenth century, when the Poodle took his place. Today, he is rarely found outside his native land.

Trademark traits of the Bolognese include: playful, easygoing, earnest, willing, intelligent and loyal. They are very serious and generally not very high energy. They are normally more reserved and shy than the Bichon Frise. The Bolognese is very responsive to obedience training. They are highly intelligent, quick to learn and are easy to train but can be very stubborn when they don’t get their way.

The Bolognese genuinely enjoy companionship of people and forms a close relationship with his owner. They are true companions and thrive on their owner’s attention. They have been known to follow their owners wherever they go. They are friendly with strangers but need to get accustomed to people at a young age. They can be reserved with strangers at first but the response of the owners to the new person greatly influences their behavior towards the individual. Because of this, they are generally friendly towards strangers after the initial meeting. Bolognese are true watchdogs, but are not incessant barkers. They notice anything unusual and faithfully notify their owners. Bolognese get along well with other dogs but are happy to be the only dog in the family. They are non-aggressive by nature.

Bolognese can be prone to small dog syndrome, human induced behaviors where the dog believes he is pack leader to humans. This can cause behavior programs including separation anxiety and timidity. They do not do well when left alone for long period of time. They may howl mournfully when the owner is busy and cannot pay attention to him.

Bolognese are typically a healthy breed and are not prone to any major problems.

The Bolognese is an apartment dog. It needs moderate exercise and does not like being left alone. It requires daily dematting and combing and does not shed. It is very clean and needs bathing only once a month. For showing, it must be groomed. Ideal owners of Bolognese include families with children, retirees and city dwellers. They are good with children as long as the children are old, mature and responsible enough to handle these dogs gently, carefully and safely. They are not a good choice for younger children who can easily injure small dogs.[


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