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Bolognese Dog… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!


We are about to discuss perhaps one of the cutest dog breeds in the entire world.  So… if the last thing you need in your life is a little puppy, we seriously advise you to stop reading now and turn back!


Not only are these little “fur balls”some of the cutest little things your ever going to see in your life, they also have a personality that is going to basically make it impossible not to want to take one home with you!

But remember…

Just because this little guy looks like something out of a fairy tale that doesn’t mean that you should make him or her your next pet.  This is why in this article, we wanted to take a moment and discuss what it might be like to own a Bolognese so that if you do decide to adopt an Bolognese puppy, you won’t be disappointed in your decision six months from now.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Bolognese Dog Breed Fast Facts

Country of Origin: Italy

Original Purpose:  Show Dog, Toy Dog

Height:  9 to 12 inches tall

Weight:  7 to 12 pounds

Life Span: 13 to 15 years

Dog Breed Classification:  Currently not recognized by the American Kennel Club (As of yet, but we would have to assume that when the do decide to recognize the breed, it will fall in the Toy category)

Origins of the Bolognese Dog Breed…

While the Bolognese isn’t officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), it is clear that this little dog comes from the Italian city of Bologna (Hence the name).

The problem is…

That this particular dog hasn’t isn’t yet considered separate from the Bichon dog breed by which he as been “developed” from.  You see, this little guy is a variation of the Bichon breed that was once a favorite of the Italian nobility in the Royal Court of Bologna.

Now it should be pointed out that…

The Bichon breed is a dog breed that once included the Coton de Tulear, Bichon Frise and Maltese dog breeds prior to them officially being “officially” recongnized by the AKC as being separate distinct breeds by themselves.

Which is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet feel that its only a matter of time before the Bolo is recognized as well.

But regardless of their…

“Current” standing, what is known is that throughout history, women and children have loved Bolo’s, especially during the Renaissance period.

During this time…

They were just about everyone’s favorite pet throughout Italy because they were so small, friendly and portable!  Loved for their temperament and awesome cuteness, they were often included in portraits commissioned by the wealthy elite living in Bologna throughout the sixteenth century.

For example…

Some of the richest and most powerful families in Italy such as the Medicis, Estes and the Gonzagas used to have a Bolognese in their homes.

Even Marquise de Pompadour, the royal consort of King Louis XV of France, Empress Maria Theresa of Austria and Catherine the Great of Russia had a Bolognese as their pet dog.

But as the Nobility died…

….So did the interest in the Bolognese. In fact, he was almost forgotten.

And if it weren’t for…

The famous Italian breeder by the name of Gianfranco Giannelli, this little “gem” might have become a relic of the past only to be experienced in old paitings!


This didn’t happen and eventually and over the years, the breed continued to exist and thrive within Italy.  And while the breed may have been taken to other parts of the world, it wasn’t until 1990 that is was “officially” imported to England leading to its recognition by the United Kennel Club in 1995.

Is he recognized by the American Kennel Club?

No. The Bolognese has not yet been registered by the American Kennel Club. But he is a part of their Foundation Stock Service, and hopefully will be recognized by the AKC soon.

Physical Characteristics of the Bolognese!

The Bolo, as he is sometimes called, is a small, surprisingly stocky dog that is covered in a long and fluffy white single coat fur.  Now when we say small, we mean small like in never being over 12 inches in height and usually only weighing in at around 7 to 12 pounds.

They’ll also…

Generally have a somewhat “big” black nose (but don’t tell him that), and beautiful round-shaped dark eyes. He has large ears that hang down and a short tail that curves over the back.  But believe us when we say this, it’s sometimes difficult to see any of these details when combined, they just create a SUhttps://indulgeyourpet.com/portuguese-podengo/PER CUTE ball of fur!

And while…

Few breeds can compare to the Bolo’s cuteness, if you do decide to adopt one, be prepared for folks to confuse your Bolognese for all sorts of other dogs including the:

And even breeds like the:

Which we here at IndulgeYourPet really find odd!

He is a toy dog and not a guardian dog like the much bigger Rafeiro Do Alentejo, Bull Terrier and the Flat-Coated Retriever.

Grooming the Bolo….

You will have to spend a lot of time grooming the Bolo as he is a high-maintenance breed for sure.  So, if you are thinking about making one of these little guys your own, you should make time to give him a regular bath to keep his white, curly hair looking its best!

The Bolognese Dog Breed Temperament

The Bolognese is a highly intelligent dog, which is great but he can also be a bit of a “stinker” too!

And by “stinker”…

We mean that these little guys often learn that because the are so cute, that they can get away with quite a bit and still be forgiven.  This is why, you need to avoid the temptation to “spoil” your Bolo too much!

When you let him…

Get away with anything, such as snapping, nipping and constant barking from day one, he can be really irritating to deal with as he gets older and begins to assume that his “type” of behavior is acceptable.

That’s why

…Training the Bolognese puppy is very important. That said, you should always use positive reinforcement techniques to make sure that he behaves well and does not become a nuisance to everyone around him including yourself.

 How is he with children?

The Bolo loves children and enjoys playing with them. But always supervise the kids when they play with the Bolo. Because these little guys are so small, its possible for them to be injured by an “over” zealous little child.


You’ll want to be sure that any child playing with your Bolo doesn’t try pulling the dog’s tail, pinching his ears or picking him or her up in a way that might hurt your Bolo.  Now this is obvious advise we would give to any parent expsosing their child to a dog, however because the Bolo is SO cute, even well mannered children might mistaken them for a toy or a play thing.

What about the Bolognese health issues?

Are there any health problems you should worry about? The Bolo is generally a healthy dog, and while he could potentially develop health problems such as:

Their risk for these conditions aren’t any higher than any other dog breed out there.

That said however…

Small dog breeds like these will often require preventive dental care, so just keep an eye out on your Bolo’s teeth so that he doesn’t develop any serious dental problems as he gets older.

Which brings us…

To the last topic that we want to discuss which is the possibility of you purchasing a pet insurance policy.  Now we only mention this because, the last thing that you want to have happen four or five years from now is for your little bundle of joy to develop a medical condition or suffer from an injury which required treatment that you simply couldn’t afford.

Now will a pet insurance policy be right for you?

Who knows, but unless you know what these policies will and won’t cover and how much they cost, chances are, you really won’t be able to determine if it makes any sense for you to purchase one… right?

For more information about who we feel is currently offering the “best” pet insurance options, we would encourage you to check out our article: Best Pet Insurance Companies.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Ursula, Dali'deRu's mom April 8, 2021, 4:46 am

    Dali’ is a 13.5yo Bolognese 🙂 lifelong puppy that unfortunately developed from november 30th 2020 a chronic Glaucoma and blindness on one eye with a 50% possibility to get in on the other, too.
    This is one of the lesser known but very frequent problems with them, as it is genetic.
    We are now waiting for a eye removal and prosthetic eye surgery, because he is adorable and still super lively as always.

    hugs from Dali’ and me
    bye from Italy

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