Bolognese pictures
Bolognese suitability

In my own words


I’m a bit lonely, can you play with me? I don’t care what we do, but I just want to be with you. Do you really have to go out? I hate being on my own, it’s so boring. Don’t leave me on my own again! I miss you too much! I suppose if you could bring me back something nice from the shops I might feel better... Oh and I’d like a big cuddle when you get back too please!

Can we go out for a little walk later? I don’t want to go too far but maybe we can go to the park so I can see some of my friends? I’m quite popular you know, I get on really well with all the other dogs so I have tons of friends to play with. But nothing quite compares to how much I love my owner... is it cuddle time yet?


My ideal owner(s)



City dwellers



What they say about me





Please read on, to find out more about me, and whether I will be someone you can be happy with for the next 14 years, or even longer!


Is this Bolognese for you?

Test your knowledge about the Bolognese

Information essential about the Bolognese


Kennel Club Group:

Foundation Stock Service






Small: Weight 9 – 11 lb (4 – 5 kg)

Height Male 10.5 – 12” (27 – 30 cm) Female 10 – 11” (25 – 28 cm)



Breed History:


The Bolognese originated in Italy during the 11th century and is closely related to the Havanese and Bichon Frise. This breed was favoured by Renaissance nobility and was often presented to Belgian Royalty as gifts. With the passing of nobility the Bolognese nearly became extinct but the breed was restored and revived by Gian Franco Giannelli and is quite rare in the United States.


The breed’s ancestors are the same as that of the Maltese and was mentioned in Latin by Aristotle (384 - 322 BC) under the denomination of "canes melitenses".  During the Roman era, the Bolognese was among the very appreciated gifts. Cosimo de Medici (1389 - 1464) brought no less than eight to Brussels as gifts to as many Belgian noblemen. Philipe II, king of Spain from 1556 to 1598, after having received two as a gift from the Duke d'Este, thanks the donor in writing saying "that these two little dogs are the most royal gifts one can make to an emperor".  Bolognese are represented in paintings of Titian, of Pierre Breughel called le Vieux and Goya.




This breed is small, sturdy and compact. They are extremely devoted to their owners and are very docile and exuberant. Bolognese are highly intelligent dogs with a happy expression and a sweet-natured disposition.




This breed does best in a home with older, considerate children and does well with other animals. The Bolognese are very devoted to their owners and can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time. Should separation anxiety occur, they can become destructive and bark incessantly. As small dogs they can be easily intimidated and are quite shy towards strangers but can benefit from proper socialisation as a puppy. They need to become accustomed to people and noises from a young age to avoid them being timid. They make very good watchdogs due to their keen eyesight and acute hearing.  Being a small dog, they can be prone to ‘Small Dog Syndrome’, human induced behaviours where the dog believes he is the pack leader. This can lead to separation anxiety, being timid and mournful howling when not being paid enough attention. The owner needs to affirm his stance as pack leader to avoid this.




The Bolognese is small and compact with a long, fluffy pure white coat. Square built, the length of the body is equal to the height at the withers. The length of the skull is slightly more than the muzzle. Eyelid opening is round and the eyeball must not be prominent. The rims of the eyelids must be black and the iris of a dark ochre colour. The ears are high set, long and hanging but rather rigid at the base. The hair is long all over the body, from head to tail, from the top-line to the feet. It is shorter on the muzzle. Rather fluffy, thus not lying flat, but in flocks; never forms fringes.


The coat is long, dense and fluffy covering the entire body. They shed little to no hair but require daily brushing to prevent the coat from becoming matted.





The coat colour is pure white.




This breed is highly intelligent and responds well to obedience training. They require early socialisation and accustomisation to noise to prevent them from being timid. Bolognese are quick to learn but can be difficult to housetrain and the crate training method is recommended. Training this breed requires a firm yet fair hand to ensure you are seen as the pack leader.

Bolognese are fine in an apartment as long as they are not left alone for extended periods of time and are provided with plenty of attention. This breed loves companionship and benefits from a daily walk or playing in a small yard. Dogs who are not taken on daily walks are more likely to display behaviour problems as they are not getting enough physical and mental exercise. Bolognese thrive on attention and without it can become bored and destructive




Bolognese require daily brushing to prevent their coat from becoming matted, alongside monthly grooming sessions. They shed little to no hair.




Due to the rarity of this breed and limited human intervention, they do not have any major genetic health issues.


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Advice on choosing your breed »

Find an animal shelter or rescue home where a Bolognese is waiting for a new home »


The following grid gives a fast track review which covers all breeds. You can apply it to help you decide if a Bolognese is suitable for you, the environment where you live, your personality and your lifestyle. On the grid, 1= strongly disagree, and 5= strongly agree. For example, if you are looking for a dog that loves attention, look down the list under Role and suitability, and you will see that Bolognese love people, scoring 5. You might like to save or print off this section and keep it for reference while you check some other breeds before making your final choice.


Be the first to rate this breed »

Noahs Breed Rating | Community Breed Rating

Good jogging companion1/5
Good walking companion3/5
Likes water/swimming1/5
Likes learning new tricks3/5
Likes to hunt1/5
Likes to fetch2/5
Good gundog/retriever1/5
Barks a lot3/5
Gets easily jealous3/5
Friendly with strangers5/5
Expensive to insure1/5
Expensive to feed1/5
Happy to sleep outside1/5
Prefers countryside5/5
Suits urban environment5/5
Prefers temperate climate5/5
Prefers hot climate4/5
Prefers cold climate5/5
Moults a lot5/5
Requires lots of grooming4/5
Role and Suitability
Ideal for elderly5/5
Ideal for singles5/5
Ideal for couples with no children5/5
Ideal for family with children4/5
Good watch dog5/5
Good guard dog3/5
Good with other pets5/5
Good with other dogs5/5
Time and Energy
Happy being left alone for 4hrs1/5
Happy being left alone for 2hrs1/5
Requires lots of exercise2/5
Training and Obedience
Good for first time owners5/5
Good for experienced owners5/5
Good recall5/5
Easy to train5/5
Good jogging companion0/5
Good walking companion0/5
Likes water/swimming0/5
Likes learning new tricks0/5
Likes to hunt0/5
Likes to fetch0/5
Good gundog/retriever0/5
Barks a lot0/5
Gets easily jealous0/5
Friendly with strangers0/5
Expensive to insure0/5
Expensive to feed0/5
Happy to sleep outside0/5
Prefers countryside0/5
Suits urban environment0/5
Prefers temperate climate0/5
Prefers hot climate0/5
Prefers cold climate0/5
Moults a lot0/5
Requires lots of grooming0/5
Role and Suitability
Ideal for elderly0/5
Ideal for singles0/5
Ideal for couples with no children0/5
Ideal for family with children0/5
Good watch dog0/5
Good guard dog0/5
Good with other pets0/5
Good with other dogs0/5
Time and Energy
Happy being left alone for 4hrs0/5
Happy being left alone for 2hrs0/5
Requires lots of exercise0/5
Training and Obedience
Good for first time owners0/5
Good for experienced owners0/5
Good recall0/5
Easy to train0/5

*PLEASE NOTE: All our breed profiles are general, and all dogs are individuals. Always talk to the breeders and meet the owners you are buying from. Try to meet the dog and its parents if it is a puppy in their home environment.

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