Bolognese - Small Dog Breed


Breed Group: Misc Group

Size Group: Small Dog Breeds


Height: 10”-12”

Weight: 6-10lbs


Lifespan12-14 years

Temperament: Calm, playful, easy-going



Bolognese is currently a rarer breed in the US. They are a cousin of the Bichon Frise, and are sometimes called Bolognese Bichon, or just Bolo by those who love them. These little white pups have had multiple popular eras in their existence. Notably the nobility of 12th century Europe would give Bolos to each other as gifts.

They make wonderful companion dogs. They do not require excessive exercise and prefer just to be with people. These pups are best suited to people who work from home. Bolos are prone to separation anxiety so it is best to have a friend your dog is comfortable with or a doggy daycare that has a good small dog set up for when you might need to travel. They are not well suited to families with small children because of their fragile frame.

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Celebrity Owners

Catherine the Great of Russia, Madame de Pompadour, Empress Maria Theresa of Austria

Fun Facts

  1. King Philip XI of Spain once received two Bolos as a gift and responded with a thank you note gushing, “These two little dogs are the most royal gifts one can make to an emperor.”


Being a rarer breed you might think Bolos would encounter more health issues, but good breeders continually screen the pups for hereditary problems. The main concern being their fragile bodies and eye issues. Concerns include:

  • Luxating patella: Luxating simply means out of place or dislocated. Patella is a kneecap. A Luxating patella is a kneecap that chronically moves out of its normal position.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy: Atrophy is a wearing or wasting away of a body part. In this case, it is the retina in the eye, which eventually leads to blindness.
  • Cataracts: A dog develops a cataract when the lens in its eye clouds. The clouding is caused by changes in the water balance or proteins in the lens.
  • Hip dysplasia: This condition is when the socket joint in the hip isn’t large enough, or more often too shallow, for the femoral head.
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes disease: This disease occurs at the head of the femur (the ball and socket joint in your dog’s hips. Here, the femur degenerates which can cause the hip to collapse and can cause arthritis.
  • Otitis Externa: Also known as swimmer’s ear, this condition causes inflammation of the external ear canal.
  • Allergies: Histamine, which is a chemical in the body associated with immune responses, is released during allergic reactions.
  • Periodontal disease: This oral disease is caused by inflammation and infections of gums and bones that support the teeth. Early stages of this are called gingivitis.

While you always hope your pet will live a long and healthy life, it is always a good idea to invest in pet health insurance.

Keeping your dog’s mouth clean and problem free goes a long way to your pup’s overall health. Dental hygiene can be the cause or can be the byproduct of other serious health issues.

Visual inspections can be performed to keep track of the signs of potentially waning oral health. These signs can be anything from bad breath to abnormal chewing to loss of appetite.

Keeping ahead of these warning signs can pay dividends. A preventative approach can delay and stop many of the common dental problems from arising.

Oral health can be tackled in five basic steps:

  1. Brushing your dog’s teeth to prevent an undesirable buildup of plaque
  2. Feed your dog a diet where the high quality dog food has dental benefits
  3. Regularly give your dog dental toys and treats
  4. Use mouthwash, to help where brushing misses
  5. At the sign of any abnormalities, consult a vet. You can even do it virtually, from the convenience of your home.

Dogs are just like humans in that they can experience anxiety. The degree to which they are susceptible to anxiety and how they deal with anxiety is breed specific. Left unchecked, initial signs of anxiety could give way to an anxiety disorder. The symptoms of anxiety disorders can lead to a myriad of behavior issues.

Knowing the signs and symptoms will best equip you to keep ahead of it and to nip it in the bud at the earliest signs. There are options available to help with anxiety.

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Just like any long-haired dog, Bolos require a bit of extra grooming. Daily brushing will keep their hair free of tangles and mats. Many owners prefer to keep the coat shorter; this will require steady haircuts. Whether you keep your pup’s hair long or short, it will still shed regularly.

As with all dogs, keep your pup’s nails clipped, regularly check their ears to make sure they are clean and clear of debris and brush their teeth several times a week.


$1,200 – $1,400


Bolos are not athletes. They would prefer house play to long walks. And will enjoy being with you in the backyard or in the house more than anything else.


Short walks lasting no more than a half hour twice a day. Monitor your pup’s exhaustion, those little legs have to move a lot more than yours to get the job done.


On average Bolos eat about 1 cup of food per day. As with all dogs, amounts will vary depending on the age and activity of your pup. Additionally, be mindful your Bolo’s weight as small differences are not really that small in relation to its size. Consult your vet if your pup’s weight varies greatly.


well-balanced dog food is the best way to set you pup up for success.

Are You Feeding Your Dog The Best Food?

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As with all dogs, it is important to socialize your pup early with people and other dogs. Bolos are very bright and should pick up on training easily. Keep your sessions short while full of positive reinforcement and challenges that are not only physical but mental.


It is especially important to establish that you are the leader of the household with small dogs. They often experience “small dog syndrome” where they believe they are the leader of the pack due to human deference to their silly or mischievous behavior.

Proper training is essential to ensuring the safety of your dog and those around you. Having your dog come when they should, and in general having them listen is something you want to address early in your pup’s life, as it will pay dividends down the line. There are many tried and true training programs to accomplish this training – faster and better than you might think!

Unless you’re living on a farm, or have the space, a yipping dog, or one that barks all day when you are gone could be an issue with the neighbors and/or landlord. Historically, dogs would bark to communicate with the rest of the pack when hunting and bark as a warning shot to predators eyeing up their flock. Barking is deep rooted in dogs and manifests itself in many ways and for a variety of reasons.

Just like any habit or instinct, there are effective ways you can train this issue away.

The Best Dog Vitamins and Supplements To Keep Your Pup Healthy. Period.

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A solid Glucosamine Supplement for hips and joints will go a long way to helping your furry friend.

Other helpful supplements include full-spectrum hemp oil or CBD oil. Fish oil skin and coat supplement.

Ensuring a comprehensive preventative vitamin and mineral plan is essential to keeping your dog healthy. Truth is, there are vitamins and minerals that your dog needs, but doesn’t produce naturally. While many of these vitamins and minerals can be found in your dog’s current diet and dog food, the question becomes, are there enough vitamins to ensure they aren’t deficient.

Poor nutrition can lead to some of the most common health issues, such as weak joints, compromised immunity, increased allergies, and low energy.

Vitamins play a vital role in your pet’s health and overall life expectancy. Here are some multivitamin and joint relief options.

As regulations around marijuana have eased, the emergence of CBD oils for humans and dogs have sprung up.

Just to begin to dispel the negative stigma, CBD extract comes from Hemp, marijuana’s cousin. Unlike its cousin, there are no psychoactive qualities in CBD oil. An emerging number of clinical and institutional studies have shown the wide variety of healing qualities in CBD, including pain management, and the containment of seizures and epileptic episodes.

Explore this remedy further to see all the health benefits that have transformed the lives of so many dogs to date.

Have You Tried CBD For You Dog's Health?

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The "Ruff"

Prone to separation anxiety
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Other Dogs Like Bologneses

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Dogs NOT Like Bologneses

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Annual Vet Bills: $1,500+

Be Prepared for the unexpected.