• Bolognese Dogs
  • Bologneses in the UK
  • Bologneses
  • Bolognese in the UK
  • Bolognese Dog
  • Bolognese Puppy
  • Bolognese Puppies

Toy Group

Exercise Level:
Barking Level:
Height: 22 - 30cm M | 22 - 30cm F
Weight: 3 - 6kg M | 3 - 6kg F
Life Expectancy: 12 - 14 Years

Considering getting a Bolognese?

The charming looks of the Bolognese earn its place as a favourite companion dog. The Bolognese is a toy dog that stands at 25 to 30 centimetres at the withers and weighs 6 to 9 pounds. This dog breed only comes in white colour. It has a compact body and sports a single coat that does not shed. The head is ovoid, medium in length. It is loyal, intelligent and extremely adaptable to all types of homes. It loves being with the family. The Bolognese has a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.

Are you interested in getting a Bolognese? Here is a brief background of this small, charming, white dog.

book icon History

The Bolognese is believed to have descended from the Bichon breed (include Bichon Frise, Maltese, Havanese, Lowche and Coton de Tulear), which genetics is believed to be traced back to ancient ancestors of the Poodle and Barbet. Although there are apparent similarities, the exact ancestry of the Bolognese is unknown.

The name Bolognese came from a city in northern Italy called Bologna. It is thought to be where the breed was established. The breed has been recorded since the early 1200s. One of the oldest companion dogs in Europe, Bolognese dogs can be seen in artworks such as tapestries and paintings in the 17th century.

It was not until Liz Stannard brought the breed in England in the 1990's that it was officially shown in a class for breeds that were not yet recognised by The Kennel Club. In January 1995, the Bolognese was accepted by the United Kennel Club.

comb icon Appearance and Grooming

The Bolognese is a small dog under the toy dog breed. It weighs 6 to 9 pounds and stands 25 to 30 centimetres at the withers. Bolognese dogs boast of a square muscular build. With a head is of medium length, itsports strong jaws, large black nose and big round eyes. The ears are set high, long and hanging at the base in pendulum shape. Its tail is also curved and rests on its back.

Bolognese dogs have a thick, curly white coat that needs daily brushing and occasional professional grooming, which includes bathing. Bolognese dogs have unique coats that do not shed. Instead, they lose and replace hairs same as humans do through growth cycles. Grooming must also include regular cleaning of eyes and ears as well as oral hygiene.

bulb icon Temperament and Intelligence

Bolognese dogs are happy and playful dogs. These dogs enjoy the company of their owners. They enjoy walks but are not overly energetic, so short walks are fine. The Bolognese dog is a great family companion especially for households with an elderly family member. This dog breed also loves children. However, playtime must be supervised, so the Bolognese doesn't get injured during rough play with the kids.

Unlike other small dogs, the Bolognese does not have a "yapping" nature. The breed has deeper vocals but is not a big barker. It adapts to any household and type of homes, whether it's a big house or a small city apartment. The Bolognese is highly trainable so obedience training will be a breeze. 

food icon Nutrition and Feeding

A typical serving for an adult Bolognese dog is 1 cup daily of high-quality kibble or any grain-free food. Since it's a small dog, calorie need is lower, but again, the amount and frequency will depend on the dog's age, size and activity level.

Typical calorie needs of adult Bolognese dog per day:

  • Senior and less active: up to 320 calories daily
  • Typical adults: up to 360 calories daily
  • Physically active: up to 403 calories daily

An ideal diet for a Bolognese dog is raw meat or fish with green tripe, cartilage, heart and liver. Add to this some vegetable corn oil or salmon oil which is well-known to have high levels of Omega 3. Other than what nutrition a Bolognese dog must have, it is also important that you stick to a feeding schedule. Feed the Bolognese dog twice a day – in the morning and evening.

stethoscope icon Health and Exercise

The average lifespan of a Bolognese dog is 12 to 15 years. However, since the Bolognese dog is a rare breed, health records on its common ailments is limited. Like other dog breeds, Bolognese can suffer from Hip Dysplasia, Luxating Patellae and Legg-Calve-Perthes. Other than the mentioned disorders and some known allergies that cause itchy skin, Bolognese dogs are generally a healthy dog breed.

pound icon Cost of Ownership

Most potential dog owners do not know the extent of how much their lives will change with owning a dog, especially in their financials. Some people just calculate the price of the food and add it to the cost of the dog and decide that they can afford it. Well, big reality check. There's more to that.

Let us start with how much a Bolognese puppy will cost. If you buy a well-bred pedigree Bolognese puppy especially from a reputable breeder, that alone will cost you £600 to £800. Food will cost around £30 - £40 a month, cheaper than most since this dog breed is small. As for the other costs that were not considered by most, here's a simple list:

  • Pet Insurance– £20 a month for basic cover; £40 a month for lifetime
  • Veterinary costs - £800 per year (include initial vaccinations, boosters, and neutering)
  • Dog supplies and equipment - £200 (include leashes, collars, dog bowls, toys etc.)

The rough monthly estimate will be around £60 to £90 a month excluding the special treatments and will also depend on the insurance you choose. It is best to consult a veterinarian for advice when it comes to getting a pet insurance.

Is a Bolognese Right for You?

  • The Bolognese dog is a sweet, loving and quiet breed.
  • It is a good watch dog and playmate for children.
  • The breed is adaptable to any homes (big house or city apartments).
  • The Bolognese does not shed but replace hairs as humans do.
  • It is attached to its owners and prone to separation anxiety.
  • It is a rare and expensive breed.

Are you sure the Bolognese is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.

Dog Breed Selector Quiz

It looks like a Bolognese dog is an excellent dog, but does it fit your lifestyle? If you're not too sure, feel free to check our Pet Finder for other suggested dog breeds.

The information, including measurements, prices and other estimates, on this page is provided for general reference purposes only.
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