Bolognese (Italian lapdog)


The Bolognese dog breed is one of the most recognizable in Europe. We constantly see such dogs in parks, on the streets, with owners of all ages, although for some reason they traditionally often become companions of older people. Despite its recognition and wide distribution across the European continent, many do not even suspect how ancient this breed is. The first written mentions in Italian books date back to the 13th century – 800 years of being human companions is, you see, a lot.

The Bolognese breed is a member of the Bichon family group, which consists of the following breeds:

  • bichon frize;
  • louchen;
  • Maltese lapdog (maltese);
  • harbornese;
  • coton de tulear;
  • extinct by now bichon tenerife;
  • Russian colored lapdogs;
  • and, in fact, the bolognese.

There is no exact data on the origin of the Bolognese breed, however, in medieval Italy, and in other European countries of the 15-19 centuries, noble ladies and even noble gentlemen loved these small dogs with curly hair. This is somewhat reminiscent of the small dog fashion that can be seen today, although there is now a much greater variety of breeds.

The great popularity of the breed in the aristocratic houses of the Middle Ages is confirmed by numerous objects of art, especially paintings and tapestries of the 17-18 century. Examples include the work of such great masters as Francisco Goya, Jean-Antoine Watteau and Nicolas Gosset. Among the owners of these dogs are Madame de Pompadour, Queen Catherine the Great, and Empress Maria Teresa of Austria. At the beginning of the 2000s, paradoxically, this breed has just begun to be registered in international registers.

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The Bolognese dog breed has a small size and curly coat. The head is round, the muzzle is slightly flattened, the ears hang down on the cheeks. The feet are of medium length and in proportion to the size of the body, although the volume of the coat sometimes makes it seem as if they are short. The body has a square outline, the tail is short, curved and lifted up. The color is white, the coat does not fade.


They are kind and cute animals with a lively, open character. They love to play both with their family and with other dogs, and this tendency persists not only at an early age, but also after maturation. On the other hand, they cannot be called hyperactive – they are quite balanced. A bolognese dog creates a strong bond with its owner and members of its family, loves attention very much, but she herself gives attention and affection to her beloved people in abundance.

When we say – loves attention, we mean not only stroking, abdominal massage, scratching behind the ears, affectionate words, etc. When you talk to your pet, spend time with him, when he just lies next to him on the couch while you watch your favorite show on TV, when he feels your care and attention, he is happy.

And, on the contrary, if the owner spends little time with his dog, and generally treats this more as a duty, the animal feels this and is sad. Bolognese treats children well, they love to play with them and walk on the street. Walking in general is the weakness of these dogs – they love to walk and, moreover, it is very good if you walk with other “dog lovers”. Bolognese get along well with dogs of all sizes, and even with cats, although the latter are best introduced into the social circle from an early age.

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This breed does not tolerate loneliness, and they should not be left alone for a long time. Even if you are a lonely owner and go to work every day for at least 8-9 hours, it is better to think about another pet, or a different breed, since the Italian lapdog will feel extremely uncomfortable, longing, and generally lack attention and activity.

And this, as you yourself understand, leads to negative consequences for the psyche of the animal, which often directly affects the behavior and condition of your apartment. That is, the dog can become nervous, and in your absence, make an absolute mess at home, and even punishment will not help prevent this in the future.


The Bolognese breed of dogs belongs to decorative, and therefore does not require training in special skills. Nevertheless, you definitely need to take care of correcting your pet’s behavior, as well as teaching a few basic commands, such as – “to me”, “sit”, “fu” (the cancel command, it is needed, for example, when the pet wants to eat anything found under a bush of dubious appearance and smell).

Avoid monotony in the classroom, as the lapdog will quickly get tired of it, as well as shouting and excessive severity. In principle, this can be finished, since even simple commands associated with the action (“near”, “voice”, etc.), or more complex commands, decorative breeds are not needed. This may be necessary on rare occasions when the dog is a companion of a person with special needs. For this, a special trainer is hired, who performs the task based on specific conditions.

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Bolognese dogs need to brush their curly coats 2-3 times a week, although some recommend doing this every day, especially after active walks in the park or outdoors.

Also, be sure to bathe your pet at least once a week and adjust the haircut once a month.

This breed in general is sometimes trimmed in the most intricate way – it all depends on the owner. Remember to keep your ears and eyes clean and to trim your nails.

Common diseases

It may even seem strange, but the Bolognese breed of dogs practically does not get sick, and does not suffer from complex hereditary diseases. The following disorders may be an exception:

  • dysplasia of the hip joint;
  • dysplasia of the elbow joint;
  • local dislocation of the patella.

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