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BaxterBoo Blog
November 30, 2013

Meet the Breed: The Bolognese

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  • Height: 10" - 12”
  • Weight: 4.5 - 9 pounds
  • Historical function: Companion
  • Modern function: Companion
  • AKC classification: Foundation Stock

Physical Characteristics:

The Bolognese is a squarly-built muscular toy dog with a curly, long, fluffy white coat. They are as long as they are high at the shoulders. The head is ovoid with a pronounced stop. They resemble the Bichon Frise, which they are closely related to, but they have a smaller build and a more quiet demeanor. The Bolognese has a single coat that sheds like a human hair that can be good for those with allergies. The coat is not heavily scissored like their Bichon cousins and is left a bit more natural looking. The coat is always pure white. 

History of the Breed:

The Bolognese were valued as companions and as very special gifts. During the renaissance they were favorites of the courts and nobility. They are named after a city in Norther Italy, where they are thought to have originated, but their history remains a mystery. They are closely related to the Maltese, Havanese, Coton de Tulear and Bichon Frise. 


The Bolognese is playful, happy, but not generally hyper. In fact, they are often described as serious and shy. They do alert their owners to changes but are not yappy. They are intelligent and can be somewhat stubborn. They respond best to positive reinforcement and never well to harsh treatment. They bond closely with their families and are engaging. They are mellow. They do well with older children who have been taught to be careful with a small dog. 

  • Best suited for: Families with older children, retirees, and those with allergies. An excellent apartment companion. 
  • Preferred living conditions: This portable dog is happy traveling and adapts to many living situations as long as it is with its family. Does not require a yard.

Care and Health:

  • Grooming requirements: The coat requires daily brushing to prevent mats as well as a monthly scissoring. This breed sheds very little hair.
  • Exercise needs: Daily walk, only about 20-30 minutes per day is needed. 
  • Life expectancy: 14 years.
  • Health concerns: Generally healthy.

Breed Club Links: Bolognese Breed Association of America. Perfect Pairings: Angels' Eyes (to prevent tear stains)

Have any stories about a Bolognese? Please share!

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

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This entry was posted by Mary.

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