The Bolognese [boloɲˈɲese] is a small breed of dog of the Bichon type, originating in Italy. The name refers to the central Italian city of Bologna. It is part of the Toy dog group and is considered a companion dog. They love attention, and make good house pets. They are good at socializing with other dogs, big and small. They have a strong bond with the person/s they spend with most.
Appearance The Bolognese is a small, white, compact dog with a distinctive white single coat. It is of small size, stocky and compact. It is of square build and well-muscled. The head is of medium length. The skull is slightly ovoid. The muzzle is large, black and almost square. It has a developed jaw and the upper lips don’t cover the bottom lips. Its lips are black. It has white, strong and evenly aligned teeth. Its eyes are well developed, open and round. The rims of the eyelids are black and the iris is a dark ochre color. The ears are set high and are long and hanging but rigid at the base. The tail is carried curved over the back. The Bolognese's height varies 10.5 to 12 inches for a male and 10-11 inches for a female. The weight varies between 6 to 14 lbs.
Coat The distinctive single coat (i.e. no undercoat) falls in loose open ringlets/flocks all over the body, with shorter hair on the face. The hair's texture is woolly, as opposed to silky, and is never trimmed or clipped unless kept as pets. The hair sheds very little, but requires regular combing to prevent matting. The Bolognese often appears on lists of dogs that allegedly do not shed (moult). It is true that these dogs do not seasonally moult or lose large amounts of fur as many other breeds do. However, they do eventually lose and replace individual hairs, similar to human hair growth cycles. Each hair in their coat grows from a hair follicle, which grows, dies and is then replaced by another follicle. When the follicle dies, the hair is shed. The length of time of the growing and shedding cycle varies by age and other factors. There is no such thing as a completely non-shedding breed. The coat requires daily brushings with monthly grooming recommended. Grooming must also include regular bathing, eye and ear hygiene and teeth cleaning.>
Temperament Trademark traits of the Bolognese include: playful, easygoing, earnest, willing, intelligent and loyal. They are not hyper and are normally more reserved than the Bichon Frise. The Bolognese is very responsive to obedience training. They are highly intelligent, quick to learn, and easy to train but can be very stubborn when they don’t get their way. A Bolognese will quickly train to potty pads and a bell-ringing notification system for taking potty breaks outside. The Bolognese genuinely enjoys companionship of people and forms a close relationship with his owner.They are true companions and thrive on their owner’s attention. They have been known to follow their owners wherever they go. They are friendly with strangers but need to get accustomed to people at a young age. They can be reserved with strangers at first, but the response of the owners to the new person greatly influences their behavior towards the individual. Because of this, they are generally friendly towards strangers after the initial meeting. Bolognese are true watchdogs, but are not incessant barkers. They notice anything unusual and faithfully notify their owners. Bolognese get along well with other dogs but are happy to be the only dog in the family. They are non-aggressive by nature. Bolognese can be prone to small dog syndrome, human induced behaviors where the dog believes he is pack leader to humans. This can cause behavior programs including separation anxiety and timidity.They do not do well when left alone for long period of time. They may protest vocally when the owner is busy and cannot pay attention to him or her, but a quick romp in the yard or tug-o-war in the play room will solve the issue. Ideal owners of Bolognese include families with children, retirees, and city dwellers. They are good with children as long as the children are old enough and mature enough to handle these dogs gently, carefully, and safely. They are not a good choice for younger children who can easily injure small dogs. They are a good choice for counsellors or therapists since their soothing nature helps calm the patients down. Many psychologists use this breed as emotional support dogs.
They belong to the Bichon family group, which includes the Bichon Frise, Maltese, Lowchen, Havanese and Coton de Tulear. Although there are some similarities the Bolognese are a distinctive breed in their own right. The Bolognese is an ancient breed of noble origins, and has its roots with Italian Aristocracy.
The breed was brought into England in 1990 by Liz Stannard and is first shown during that year in the breed registry. In 2001 the breed was able to be shown at all shows with their own classes. They were at Crufts, an annual international dog show, for the first time in 2002.
Exercise While Bolognese are perfectly happy to lounge around the house, they should also have a daily walk. A good walk would be around 20-25 minutes once or twice a week, but 10 minute walks can suffice for daily walks.
Training Bolognese are easy to train but are quick to bore with numerous repetitive drills. They thrive on variety so it is best to change or expand activities to keep them happily engaged and thinking. They respond well to positive reinforcement, gentle training methods and consistency. They do not respond well to shouting or harshness.
Life Span The average life span of the Bolognese is 14 years but they have been known to live up to 18 years. They can live up to 10 years with relatively few genetic health issues. They are known to still act puppy-like at 10 years of age and are able to maintain aspects of youthfulness throughout their lives. They are typically active well into their senior years.
Common Health Problems Bolognese are typically a healthy breed and are not prone to any major problems.