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Bolognese Dog

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Supremely cute and incredibly characterful, Bolognese dogs ooze charm. Their gorgeous white, fluffy coats enhance their appeal and they are excellent pets which don’t need much exercise. Unfortunately, they are somewhat rare and so a puppy can be hard to track down. However, for those looking for an affectionate family pet, the search for a Bolognese dog is worth the effort.

Which breed group is the Bolognese dog in?

Breed group: Toy

Bolognese dog breed history

Developed in Bologna, the Bolognese is a small white dog which has been seen in Northern Italy since the 13th century. The precise history of the breed isn’t known but its ancestors likely included the bichon frise and Maltese. Popular with the nobility as companion dogs in the 15th century, Bolognese dogs remain comparatively rare, even in Italy.

Bolognese dog breed characteristics

Similar to the bichon frise, the Bolognese is a compact little dog with large round eyes and long, pendulous ears. Those ears are carried away from the dogs’ heads which accentuates their width. These appealing dogs have level backs, arched loins and muscular hind quarters. Their feet are oval in shape and feature black pads. The distinctive long, flocked coats are straight and pure white while the lips, nose and eyelids of the Bolognese are black.

Charming and gregarious, Bolognese dogs like to be involved in family life and are fun-loving pooches. They greatly enjoy human contact but can be wary of strangers. Like many toy breeds, they can be yappy, and they need constant mental stimulation if they are not to bark excessively.

  • Lifespan: 12-14 years
  • Height: up to 30cm
  • Weight: up to 5kg
  • Small and compact
  • Large round eyes
  • Pendulous ears
  • Fluffy, straight white coats
  • Black lips, noses and eyelids
  • Charming
  • Fun-loving
  • Smart
  • Enjoy human contact
  • Potentially wary of strangers
  • Need company
  • Will bark excessively if bored

Health issues with the Bolognese dog

Generally, a healthy pooch with a reasonably long lifespan, the Bolognese dog is prone to the following conditions:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Luxating patella
  • Eye issues
  • Legg-Calves
  • Dental issues

What is the Bolognese dog bred for?

Bred as companion dogs, Bolognese dogs were popular with European nobility and have now found favour as family pets.

What sort of owners does the Bolognese dog suit?

Friendly and enormous fun, these cute little dogs are wonderful pets. They can live happily anywhere as long as they have human companionship throughout the day and they don’t require a great deal of exercise. They are excellent choices for inexperienced owners but require regular grooming. Owners will need o exercise patience as these little treasures can be difficult to house train but they are ideal for life in the urban environment and are fabulous companions for those who don’t want to walk miles every day.


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