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The little, adorable Bolognese is a close relative to other breeds like the Bichon Frise, Havanese, and Maltese. Does a happy-go-lucky personality entice you? Do you like small, white, and the fluffy look? The Bolognese could be the breed for you!

They are an Italian breed that is considered to be a type of Bichon, often referred to as the Old World Bichon. The Bolognese is believed to have been around for thousands of years. The breed was a popular companion amongst royalties like Catherine de Medicis (wife of Peter the Great) and Maria Theresa (Empress of Austria). Although known for being a companion breed, they may have been used on ships to control vermin too.

Overall a Great Breed

There really isn't much of anything negative about this happy-go-lucky breed. The Bolognese enjoys being around people, is sometimes reserved around strangers, barks only to alert, is great with kids and other dogs, easy to train, playful, docile, loving, and so much more.

The Bolognese is great with kids, but because of their small stature it is important that they are with a family of older kids that can be gentle around them. Early socialization and training helps the Bolognese to understand their place in the family dynamic and to keep their wonderful personality traits.


Busy Outdoors - Docile Indoors

This cheerful breed can be extremely playful outside; enjoying romping around the yard, going for long walks, or visiting the neighbors. Inside the home, they are content to curl up next to you and relax.

Like any other dog, the Bolognese will still require a daily walk to help keep them mentally happy and physically fit.

Their energy is very low and they prefer to lie around versus running around. They do make an excellent breed for apartment or condo dwellers.



The Bolognese is a needy breed and constantly wants to be near their pet-parent. They can become depressed, suffer from separation anxiety, or develop unwanted destructive behaviors if left alone frequently. Consider Doggy Daycare for the Bolognese while you are at work.

Due to their needy nature, Small Dog Syndrome, which is caused by the pet-parent over-compensating with too much love and not enough obedience, can develop. Small Dog Syndrome is a serious behavioral trait that can cause indoor urinating (marking), nipping, excessive barking, jumping, lunging, stealing items, and much more. To avoid this undesirable syndrome it is important that the pet-parent has rules and boundaries set up for their little Bolognese to help keep them in check of who is in control of their environment.

Fuzzy Ball


If grooming is an expense you wish to avoid, than the Bolognese is not the dog for you. Their grooming requirements are intense with brushings once or twice a day, and regular monthly visits to a professional groomer.

The good news - the Bolognese is not a shedder! Allergy sufferers can enjoy having this breed around.

Healthy and Hearty Breed

The Bolognese is relatively healthy. The average lifespan is 14-16 years.

Adopt First

As you begin looking for a Bolognese, please check with rescue organizations first. Every year there are millions of dogs being euthanized - not because they are bad dogs, but because there is no home for them and insufficient resources to care for them at rescue agencies. By adopting a dog, you are truly saving a life!

At the very least, NEVER purchase any dog from a pet store. Unfortunately, those puppies almost always come from puppy mills. Instead, look for a reputable breeder to work with.

And on a final note, it is important to spay and neuter your puppy by 6 months old to have a healthy and happy pet for many years to come!


Original Dog Bible, 2nd Edition by Kristin Mehus-Roe

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