The Bolognese is considered a companion dog and is native to northern Italy. The breed is one of the oldest European companion dogs, dating back to the 12th century. The Bolognese is a rare canine breed in the United States. They are very smart, quick to learn and are easily trained. However, they are known to be a little stubborn. The Bolognese has a thick, curly white coat that needs be brushed daily and occasionally professionally groomed. The Bolognese are affectionately called Bolos. They are not a high energy breed and can adapt well to living in an apartment. Since the Bolognese was bred to be a companion, it does not like being left alone. If left alone your sweet Bolo may suffer from separation anxiety, which may bring out behavioral issues like barking, chewing on furniture and urinating in the house. Due to their small size and potential fragility, the Bolognese is not recommended for households with young children.
The Bolognese was named after Bologna, a city in Italy. It is believed that Bologna is where the breed was first established. The Bolognese belong to the Bichon group of dogs (Maltese, Havanese, Bichon Frise and the Coton de Tulear), which might have originated from the dog breed Melitensis. The Melitensis were known for catching mice and rats in Mediterranean ports. It is believed that the Melitensis were brought to Italy from an island in Croatia. The first recorded mention of the Bolognese was during the Italian Renaissance. They were kept as a companion dog by the wealthy and were gifted to nobility. The breed was depicted as a loving pet to royalty and dignitaries in tapestry work and artwork. Artists such as Francisco de Goya, Tiziano Vecellio and Antoine Watteau painted the Bolognese beside their beloved owners. Aristotle even mentioned the Bolognese in a few of his writings. King Philip 11 of Spain was gifted two Bolognese and afterwards wrote a thank you letter saying, “These two little dogs are the most royal gifts one can make to an emperor.” Between the decline of nobility and the commencement of World War 11, the Bolognese almost became extinct. Thankfully, there were a few European breeders who focused on rebuilding the breed’s numbers and popularity.
The Bolognese is a small, stocky dog. Spunky and bright, this breed has a square muscular build covered by a pure white, fluffy coat. The head is of medium length. The Bolognese has strong jaws. The teeth are white and evenly aligned. He has a black large nose. Their eyes are big and round, giving an air of curiosity, and the rims of the eyelids are black. The ears are set high and pendulum shaped. The tail is carried curved over the back.
The long, fluffy coat of the Bolognese needs to be brushed daily to avoid matting. His eyes should be cleaned regularly with an eye cleaning product. The Bolognese can get tear stains under their eyes. There are products available through your veterinary caregiver which can help prevent the staining. Tear staining can sometimes be caused by allergies, teething or ear infections. Dog foods that contain soy, wheat, corn and food coloring (common allergens) should be avoided. Many Bolognese breeders suggest feeding Bolos a hypoallergenic dry food. Monthly professional grooming is recommended which should include bathing, ear cleaning, and nail trimming. Hair inside the ear canal should be pull off to help prevent ear infections. This breed does not usually shed making this canine ideal for people with allergies. The Bolognese dog is not a high energy breed but does enjoy daily walks. Once home from their walk he is happy to join you on the sofa. They do well with living in an apartment or having a yard to play in. The Bolognese puppy is eager to please and does well with obedience training.