The closest relative to the Bolognese is the Maltese, but it is unclear, whether they are ancestors or descendants. The Bolognese is named after the ancient Italian city Bologna, which is thought to be the place, where the modern Bolognese breed was developed. This is very old and ancient breed, that lived in Italy for centuries and the existence of the Bolognese in Italy is recorded since the 13th century.
The Bolognese was particular favourite of European nobility and many famous people throughtou the history owned and loved this breed. The list of noble people who owned a Bolognese include Madame Pompadour, Catherine the Great, Maria Theresa, Louis XIV or Phillip II of Spain. And if we go to more recent times, Marilyn Monroe also owned a Bolognese.
The Bolognese is also known as the Bichon Bolognese and it is one of the few dogs making the Bichon Family. The others are Bichon Frise, Maltese, Havanese and Coton de Tulear. There also two other very closely related breeds, which are Lowchen and Bolonka.
The Bolognese is extraordinary companion dog. They genuinely enjoys the companionship of people and thrive for attention. It is a very sensitive and loving breed who will want to spend every minute around their people. They are also very kid friendly, but of course, the kids should be old enough to know how to treat dogs gently and with respect. Basically, this breed is friendly towards everyone, its family, kids or other dogs and pets. And because they are not extremely active, they are also excellent choice as a companion dog for retirees.
The Bolognese is a bright, intelligent and eager to please dog who respond very well to obedience training. On the other hand, they are also known for being little bit stubborn, but in general, the obedience training, as well as the potty training is pretty easy with this breed.
The Bolognese is a pretty small, stocky and compact dog breed with average height between 25-30 cm which is 10-12 inch and weight is between 2,5-4 kg, which is 6-9 pounds. There are no extreme size differences between males and females.
The hallmark of this breed and the first thing you will notice about the Bolognese is the beautiful fluffy white coat. The coat is thick, curly and long all over the body, from head to tail. It is shorter on the muzzle. The only possible color is white, but they can have very slight shades of ivory.
Even though very friendly, the Bolognese is also pretty alert and reserved with strangers, until they properly meet them. Thanks to that they actually make good watchdogs. pay close attention to their surroundings so that they can warn their owners if they believe that something is wrong. And for a small dog, the Bolognese has pretty deep bark, definitely not the typical small dog yappy bark.
The grooming of Bolognese is not the easiest, but definitely not the hardest. It is a non shedding breed, therefore regular combs are necessary. It is recommended to comb them approximately twice a week. Additional brushing and bathing will also help to keep the coat clean and prevent matting. You should also pay attention to the eyes and clean them properly. Also do not forget to check their ears, teeth and nails and clip them or clean them if needed.
Bolognese are typically a healthy breed and are not prone to any major problems. The average lifespan is between 12-15 years and ocassionally, mostly when they are older, they can suffer from patellar luxation, cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy or legg calve perthes disease.