Bolognese Dog: Characteristics, Origin, Temperament & Lifespan

The Bolognese dog is a bichon type small breed of dog. It is part of the toy dog group an dis considered as a companion dog. It is also known by some other names such as Bichon Bolognese, Bolognese Toy Dog, Bologneser, Bolo, Botoli and Bottolo.

The Bolognese dog breed was originated in Italy. And the name ‘Bolognese’ refers to the northern Italian city of Bologna. It belongs to the Bichon family group, which includes the Bichon Frise, Maltese, Havanese, Lowchen and Coton de Tulear.

Although there are some similarities, the Bolognese are a distinctive breed in their own right. It is an ancient breed of noble origins, and has it’s roots with Italian aristocracy.

The precise ancestry of the Bolognese dog is unknown. It’s closest relative within the Bichon group is the Maltese, but it is unclear as to whether the Maltese is it’s direct ancestor or descendant.

The breed is named after Bologna, a city in Northern Italy (thought to be the place of the breed’s establishment). The existence of the Bolognese dog breed has been recorded since the year 1200.

The Bolognese dog breed was brought into England by Liz Stannard in 1990, and is first shown during that year in the breed registry. The breed was able to be shown at all shows with their own classes in 2001. They went at Crufts, an annual international dog show, for the first time in 2002.[1]

Bolognese Characteristics

The Bolognese dogs are smaller in size. They are compact dog with a distinctive white single coat. They are stocky and are of square build and are well-muscled. Their coat is long and fluffy.

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The head of the Bolognese dog is of medium length, and the skull is slightly ovoid. Their muzzle is large, black and almost square. They have a developed jaw and the upper lips do not cover the bottom tips.

Lips of the Bolognese dog are black. It has strong, white and evenly aligned teeth. The eyes are well developed, open and round. The rims of the eyelids are black and the iris is a dark ochre color.

The ears of the Bolognese dogs are set high and are long and hanging, but rigid at the base. The tail is carried curved over the back of the body.

The Bolognese dogs are smaller in size. Average height of the mature dog is between 11 and 12 inches at the withers for males, and between 10 and 11 inches for the females. Average weight of the mature dog is between 2.5 and 6.35 kg.

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Temperament

The Bolognese is a true companion dog. It loves to be at it’s family’s side. However, it also loves getting it’s way and can be quite crafty about it, so be careful – you could find yourself being manipulated by a small furball.

The Bolognese dogs are comical and curious. They are intelligent and devoted dogs, and they love to spend time with their family (whether they are going for walks, running errands or playing with the kids).

The breed excels at manipulating people to get it’s way, and can be difficult to housetrain, so be patient and consistent.

Lifespan

Average lifespan of the Bolognese dog is between 12 and 15 years.

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Feeding

How much a mature dog eats depends on it’s size, age, build, metabolism and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don’t all need the same amount of food.

The Bolognese dogs are smaller in size and pretty active. So, their diet should be formulated for a smaller sized breed with average exercise needs. You can also consult with a vet in your area for better recommendations.

Caring

Taking good care of the animals is very important for raising Bolognese dogs. They generally become happy to louge around the house. They should also have a daily walk. A suitable walk would be around 20 to 25 minutes a couple of times a day, or substitute 10 minute walks a few times a day.

The Bolognese dogs are easy to train, but soon become bored by numerous repetitive drills. They thrive on variety, so it is best to change or expand activities to keep them happily engaged and thinking.

They generally respond well to positive reinforcement, gentle training methods and consistency. They do not respond well to shouting or harshness.

Health

The Bolognese dogs are generally healthy. They are not prone to any major health problems. Although, always try to keep good contact with a vet in your area.

Breed NameBolognese
Other NamesAlso known by some other names such as Bichon Bolognese, Bolognese Toy Dog, Bologneser, Bolo, Botoli and Bottolo
Breed SizeSmall
HeightBetween 11 and 12 inches at the withers for males, and between 10 and 11 inches for the females
WeightBetween 2.5 and 6.35 kg
Good as petsYes
Climate ToleranceAll climates
ColorWhite
LifespanBetween 12 and 15 years
Good for childrenYes
RarityCommon
Country of OriginItaly