Temperament: Playful, Easy-Going, Devoted

  • Height: 10-12 inches
  • Weight: 5.5-9 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 12-14 years
  • Group: Foundation Stock Service 

A small companion breed originating in Italy, the Bolognese is a calm, faithful dog with a long, fluffy pure-white coat. They are very playful, easy-going and love people

About the Bolognese

The Bolognese is small, stocky, and squarely built. He is rather serene and inactive, and devoted to his master and his people. They can be shy towards strangers, but warm up quickly if they are properly socialised. Prone to separation anxiety, the Bolognese does not do well alone for long periods of time. They would be ill-suited for people with a 9-5 workday. Bolos are an old breed, known by royals and noblemen in Roman times, and were given as precious gifts between the wealthy and powerful.

NUTRITION The Bolognese should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

GROOMING The Bolognese has an all-white coat that is soft and fluffy like the texture of cotton. He is also “non-shedding,” so low to mild allergy sufferers should not be greatly affected. Bolognese coats are unshaped and untrimmed except for around their eyes for sanitary reasons. Regular grooming is needed if the Bolognese is kept in its full coat. For easier maintenance, many people are satisfied with keeping their Bolo…… in a shorter coat of about one inch, leaving the untrimmed “mop head” around the face.

Beyond regular grooming, the occasional bath will keep your Bolognese clean and looking his best. Nails should be trimmed occasionally with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting and cracking. Ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris, which can result in an infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.

EXERCISE Bolos would make great apartment dogs, provided they would still have a moderate exercise schedule. As a calm, easygoing dog, they would do well as companions for retirees and seniors. Options for exercise could include play time in the backyard, preferably fenced, or taken for walks. Indoor entertainment, like hide-and-seek, chasing a ball rolled along the floor, or teaching them new tricks are excellent low-key activities for the low-energy, but playful, Bolognese.

TRAINING Small dog breeds, such as the Bolognese, can be prone to “small dog syndrome.” This is a human-induced behaviour where the dog thinks he is the “pack leader” to humans and can lead to separation anxiety and timidity. Those wishing to own a Bolognese can gain the knowledge they need to know to prevent or correct this behaviour.

HEALTH The majority of Bolognese are healthy dogs, and a responsible breeder will screen breeding stock for health conditions such as luxating patellas (compared to “trick knee” in humans) and eye anomalies. Good breeders utilise health screening and genetic testing to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies.

Recommended Health Tests From The American Bolognese Club

  1. CERF
  2. Patellar Evaluation

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