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  • Temperament: Playful, Easy-Going, Devoted
  • Height: 10-12 inches
  • Weight: 5.5-9 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 12-14 years
  • Group: Foundation Stock Service

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Breed Standard
Bolognese standing in three-quarter view

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 socialized. 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.

 

Club Contact Details

Club: Bichon Bolognese Association of America, Inc
Name: Diane Heseltvan Dinter
Address: W7130 Center Valley Road, Shiocton, WI 54170

Club: American Bolognese Club
Name: Marsha England, ABC President
Email: knowsbolos@gmail.com
Address: 24954 T 75 RD. Cedaredge, CO, 81413

Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
Bolognese

Find a Puppy: Bolognese

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Care

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.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
2-3 Times a Week Brushing

Shedding

Infrequent
Frequent
Infrequent

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.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Calm

TRAINING

Small dog breeds, such as the Bolognese, can be prone to “small dog syndrome.” This is a human-induced behavior 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 behavior.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Agreeable

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Friendly

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 utilize health screening and genetic testing to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies.

Recommended Health Tests From The American Bolognese Club

  • CERF
  • Patellar Evaluation
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History

The Bolognese was developed centuries ago in Bologna, Italy, and it is written that they were already valued in Italy as early as the Eleventh and Twelfth centuries. Because of its beauty, grace and charm, it became a favorite of the nobility during the Renaissance. King Umberto of Italy gave a beautiful little Bolognese to Princess Jose of Belgium on her birthday. Also, in 1668 Cosimo de Medici sent eight Bolognese by royal courier and asked his friend Colonel Alamanni in Belgium that these be given as gifts to several of the wealthy and influential families of Brussels.

As time passed and the nobility passed along with it, the Bolognese went almost extinct. A few breeders in Europe, however, and especially one man in Italy, Gian Franco Giannelli, who loved the breed, restored it to its present-day popularity. The breed was brought into England by Liz Stannard in 1990 and first shown that year in Imported Register classes. In 2001, the breed was able to be shown at all shows with their own classes and, in 2002, they were at Crufts dog show for the first time.

Did You Know?

The Bolognese is also known as the Bichon Bolognese.
Bolognese can be seen in tapestry work produced by Flemish craftsmen dating as far back as the 17th century. The Duke Frederico Gonzaga was painted caressing his Bolognese by the Venetian painte…
This breed was developed centuries ago in Bologna, Italy.
The Bolognese has been assigned the Toy Group designation.
The Bolognese has been recorded in the Foundation Stock Service since 1999.
The Bolognese has been eligible to compete in AKC Companion Events since July 1, 2008.
Bolo is short for Bolognese.