This isn’t Bologna, it’s the Bolognese!


Typically, the Bolognese dog is very open, with positive attributes such as willingness, being playful, intelligent, and loyal. Unlike other small breeds of dog, this one is not high energy, and has been described as having more of a “serious” attitude, rather than joyful and impulsive like others.

They typically live to about 14 years old.

Behavior common of the Bolognese

Because they stay so close and loyal to their owners, they respond very well to obedience training. It is important for the dog to feel that they have a “pack leader,” otherwise they will likely develop anxiety separation issues. By nature, they are non-aggressive, and although they are faithful watchdogs, they tend to notify their owners by walking to them, instead of barking.

It is ideal to expose them to people at a young age, especially children. Though they do well with almost any type of family, it is important to ensure that anyone younger understands not to treat them roughly, otherwise the dog may develop slight aggression problems.

When training, keep the exercises varied and interesting. Always use positive reinforcement, as shouting and loud noises frighten them and deter them from listening further.

Though they are fairly content as a house-pet, which is ideal for people with health issues and the elderly, it might be a good idea to take them out for 25 to 30 minute walks.

Bolognese are also fairly difficult to house train, so it is impertinent for them to receive consistent positive feedback from their leader, so they will be more eager to please.

Appearance of the Bolognese

Sharing a common ancestor, they are commonly mistaken for the Bichon Frise breed, which is very similar in appearance.

Being part of the “toy” dog category, the Bolognese dog is small breed, only reaching to a 14-inch maximum height, pushing 14 pounds. Their fur is white, fluffy, paired with black eyes, black lips, and a square, even muzzle. Their ears are stiff at the base, but droop down with a single layer of slightly wavy fur. The fur itself is not compact, and instead hangs loose from the body, with a woolly texture, and does not require cutting.

Grooming your Bolognese

While it is alleged that the Bolognese does not shed, this is only a rumor. This breed does shed like any other, although at a much slower pace. Like many long-haired dogs, the Bolognese requires frequent bathing and brushing at least once a month, along with thorough ear and eye checks.

History of the Bolognese

Their history can be traced back as far as the Roman era as gifts when appeasing other countries.

The base of the name “Bolognese” stems from the city of Bologna, in Italy, which is believed to be the place of their origins since the year 1200. They have been featured in many famous historical paintings with royalty, including people such as Madame de Pompadour and Catherine the Great. It was also noted by the King Philipe II of Spain in 1556 said, “these two little dogs are the most royal dogs one could make to an emperor.”