The Bolognese is a small, fluffy breed who can make the ideal companion for many families. In fact, they’ve been bred for companionship for centuries, and were a favorited breed of Italian nobility, occasionally being given as gifts. The Bolognese is related to other dogs in the Bichon family, and are quite rare in the United States.
Illustration courtesy of the Swedish Kennel Club
While they are closely related to the aforementioned Bichon Frise and Maltese, Bologneses' are much harder to find in most places.
About this Breed
Bolognese are not at all the type of dogs that their name might lead you to believe. What do you think of when you read that name, Bolognese? The tomato sauce, right? Well, sorry to disappoint, but the Bolognese breed isn’t red, saucy, or even particularly meaty. Bolognese’s are a small, white, fluffy breed that hails from Italy, likely from the city of Bologna, whence they get their name.
Bologneses’ are intelligent, sweet, loving companion dogs who are closely related to the Bichon Frise and the Maltese. Small and sprightly, they make excellent lapdogs and really, really love attention. They are not a particularly common breed, and are often confused with other small white dogs.
Because they are so small and delicate, they make an excellent choice for urban dwellers with small apartments and large couches. These little furballs love nothing more than lounging with their owners. Because they are so small, they are not necessarily the best breed for people who have small children. Older children who have been taught how to properly handle a dog might be ok, but honestly, Bologneses’ prefer the company of adults and teens. They get along well with other dogs, but should only be in the company of dogs who are of a similar size. Bologneses’ won’t do well if they have a conflict with a dog that is much bigger than they are so common sense should prevail when deciding to add a Bolognese to your home.
The Bolognese is an easily trained dog- they are extremely intelligent and willing to please. They also don’t bounce off the walls or bark excessively- they are calm, reserved, and serious little dogs who make excellent apartment dogs. They tend to be “one person dogs”, in that they form strong bonds with their primary caretaker, and are also “velcro dogs”- they will follow you wherever you go with an adoring look in their eyes.
And because they adore their owners so much, Bolognese don’t do well when separated from them. Unless trained from an early age to tolerate being separated from their owners, Bologneses’ can develop separation anxiety or revert to being excessively timid. Therefore, it’s important to socialize your Bolognese as a puppy to a host of external stimuli (loud noises, car rides, trips to the store, etc) and get them used to being handled by many different people.
Bologneses on Embark
Explore some Embark dogs that share Bolognese ancestry.