Bolognese Bichon


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The bichon bolognese is a very small sized dog. Very similar to his fellow bichons like the Maltese. He is calm, obedient, affable and loyal. A great small companion dog. Its small and white appearance resembles a cuddly stuffed toy.

Height: 9.85-11.8 inches
Weight: 5.5- 8.8 Pounds
Fur: Average length
Life expectancy: 12 years
Activity Level: Average
Country of origin: Italy
Orientative Price: 550-1050 $

Physical Appearance

  • Weight. The Bolognese dog typically weighs between 5.5 – 8.8 lbs.
  • Height. The height of a male Bolognese dog ranges from 10.6 – 11.8 inches, while a female Bolognese dog stands at 9.8 – 11 inches.
  • Coat. Their coat is dense, very fine, smooth, and of medium length.
  • Colors. The Bolognese dog is always pure white, though occasionally, there may be slight ivory tones.
  • General Build. The Bolognese dog has a square build, a broad chest, and a short back.
  • Nose black in color. Dark eyes, with the white part of the eye nearly invisible.
  • Long and hanging ears.
  • Medium tail, curved towards the back.


The Bolognese dog is a gentle and calm companion, which doesn’t mean it doesn’t enjoy going for walks, getting exercise, and playing.

Complementing its serene nature, it’s also a brave dog. It’s a loyal pet to its owner, to whom it becomes deeply attached.

A great, compliant, and affectionate companion that is never aggressive. It’s small, home-loving, docile, and tranquil, making it an ideal companion dog, much like all Bichon breeds.


Guard Dog. Due to its small size, it’s not a guard dog, but it will alert with barks to the presence of strangers.

Barking. It’s not particularly noisy but will bark to alert you, especially if left alone for extended periods.

Training and Obedience. The Bolognese dog is easy to train due to its intelligence and eagerness to please.

Early socialization, exposing the dog to different environments, people, and animals, is crucial to avoid overly timid or fearful behaviors.

Training using positive reinforcement is highly effective and satisfying.

Bolognese Dog in an Apartment. This breed adapts perfectly to apartment living because it’s a rather calm dog that enjoys being with the family. It’s not recommended for outdoor living, but it will enjoy playing in a yard or garden.

Bolognese Dog with Children. Thanks to its affectionate and docile nature, it gets along wonderfully with children. However, it’s important for children to treat it gently and respect its resting times.

Bolognese Dog with Other Pets. Generally, the Bolognese dog’s good temperament allows it to coexist well with other animals, but proper socialization from a young age is advisable. It’s best if both pets grow up together.

Adaptation to Solitude. The small Bolognese dog needs contact and affection from its owners and doesn’t tolerate being left alone for long periods. If you need to leave it alone, do so gradually and for short durations.

It’s always a good idea to take it for a walk before leaving it alone, as prolonged solitude can lead to separation anxiety and constant barking.



Daily Walks and Activity. This breed is very calm and doesn’t require much physical activity. Short walks throughout the day will suffice, although it does enjoy playtime and the occasional long walk.

Grooming. The Bolognese dog has very fine, easily tangled fur, so daily brushing is necessary to keep it clean and free from tangles and to remove dead hair since it doesn’t shed much.

Pros and Cons

Advantages of Bolognese Dog:

  • The Bolognese dog is calm and affectionate, strongly attached to its owners.
  • It adapts perfectly to apartment living due to its calm and docile nature.
  • It doesn’t require much activity, although it enjoys walks and playtime.
  • It gets along wonderfully with children when treated with kindness.

Disadvantages of Bolognese Dog:

  • The Bolognese dog is so attached and dependent on its owners that it may suffer from separation anxiety when left alone.
  • Its silky coat requires daily brushing to keep it soft and free from knots, which can be time-consuming to untangle.


The Bolognese dog is not known to have frequent breed-specific health issues, but basic care includes regular check-ups with your veterinarian to detect any ailments early and administer necessary treatments. Regularly check its ears and eyes, trim its nails, and make sure it receives the required vaccinations.

History and Origin

The name of this breed comes from the city of Bologna, in northern Italy. It is believed to have originated from Bichon dogs that were already present in the area.

In the 13th century, this breed was described and popular in the courts during the Renaissance period. It was highly regarded by the nobility, and it was known that individuals of this breed were prized gifts among the powerful of that era.

Cosimo de’ Medici gave Bolognese dogs as gifts to his noble friends, and even Felipe II received two as gifts from the Duke of Este.

Paintings by artists like Goya and Tiziano depict Bolognese dogs. The breed was officially recognized by the FCI in March 1956.

The official publication date of the latest breed standard in the FCI was in November 2015, classifying it in Group 9: companion dogs, Section 1: Bichons and similar breeds.