The Bolognese Dog


What is a Bolognese Dog? The Bolognese dog originated in Bologna, Italy recorded as far back as the 12th Century. It is a Bichon type dog with its closest relative being the Maltese. It is recognised by modern breeders as a Toy Group Dog and is considered to be a companion dog. A fun loving mischievous character ideal for all ages, and an easy dog to keep in houses or apartments.

Facts about the Bolognese Dog

The Bolognese breed is also known by the names Bolo, Botoli, Bottolo, Bichon Bolognese and Bolognese Toy Dog. 

Lifespan of a Bolognese Dog

They live for 12 – 15 years

Height of a Bolognese at the Withers

Males 27 – 30 cm or 10 to 12 inches
Females 25 – 28 cm or 10 to 11 inches

Weight of a Bolognese Dog

Males 2.5 – 6.0 kg or 4.5 to 13lbs
Females 2.5 – 5.0 kg or 4.5lbs to 11lbs

What Breed group is the Bolognese?

Recognised as a Toy Size

Is a Bolognese Hypoallergenic?

Yes, this dog is ideal for those who suffer from allergies as it is Low-Shedding, dander-retaining and doesn’t drool.

Average price of a Bolognese Dog

In the USA they vary from just $700 to $1500
In the UK this dog fetches £500 to £2000

What Does The Bolognese Dog Look Like?

This is a compact little lap dog with a distinctive white single flocked coat which tends to give it a shaggy look. Underneath the hair they are a surprisingly stocky little dog, muscular and unlikely to be overweight.

Here at Top Lap Dogs we think they look like a cross between a Shih Tzu and a Poodle. The head is rounded with ears loping to the side of the head. Usually black eyes set square over a straight pointed muzzle to a black nose with black lips at the end of a quite strong jaw.

Slim but strong shoulders over a square chest with medium legs and feet facing forward. The back is straight with a waspish waist to good sturdy back legs topped by a tail that is either straight up when excited or curving forward toward the head, over the back.

The feet tend to be small but the pads are often quite deep and point slightly outward.

The average height is 10 to 12 inches height at the withers and tends to stand erect with a square looking frame.

Temperament of the Bolognese Dog

One of Top Lap Dogs favourite Companion Dogs this little lap dog can be great company. If you like a dog with fun and a devoted nature this could be your dog. Easily suited to families or single people as long as the dog is getting attention. They are curious intelligent dogs that love to be involved in whatever is occurring.

This is not a dog to be left alone all day though and will likely bark or whine or simply stare at you  if they are being ignored.

Although they make a good family dog they will often make a strong attachment to one particular person in the household and may even appear jealous if that persons interest is given to someone else, so occasionally a strong hand at commands may be needed, but this will vary very much upon the dog and the owning family.

Whilst they are known for being playful, fun and great with humans of all ages, even the elderly, they may seem reserved and shy when they are not around their owners. Thus dog sitters need to be introduced early and kennel boarding may take some adjustment, possibly sulking when you pick them up.

They adjust well to other household pets and are generally friendly to other dogs although strange dogs may be difficult initially, such as those you meet in the park as some of these dogs can easily develop small dog syndrome.

History of the Bolognese Dog

The Bolognese is thought to be a descendant of the Bichon Frise and the Maltese, breeds that hail from Malta and Southern Italy. Their name comes from the fact that they were first bred and developed in Bologna in Northern Italy and the breed appears to have been around since the 12th Century. During the 15th Century these little dogs became very popular as companion dogs with the Italian nobility.

Catherine the Great of Russia, the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria and Madame de Pompadour are all believed to have owned Bolognese dogs too. Images of similar dogs have been found in Flemish tapestries that date back to the 17th Century and various famous artists such as Titian, Goya, Watteau and Gosse have also painted these dogs.

Conclusions about a Bolognese Dog

There are some comments about these charming dogs being a rare breed both in their native Italy and elsewhere in the world , but they are not on the kennel clubs vulnerable  breeds list and European breeders are definitely producing Bolognese pups through careful and selective breeding helping to increase the numbers of these delightful dogs, so don’t be side swiped by breeders trying to gain a high price.

For a dog with character and lots of affection you don’t need to look too much farther and as a dog that is considered to be close to hypoallergenic this little bundle of fun could be an ideal pet.

Positives points

Fun loving, great companions for any age, shed very little hair, good for houses or apartments.

Negative points

Will need grooming to avoid knotty hair and will also need taking to a groomers every few weeks.

Can be prone barking, can be stubborn so may need a firm hand when training.

All in all, difficult to go wrong with this dog as a lap dog or companion dog and an ideal dog for first time owners.

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