AKC Dog Breeds: Bolognese

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Foundation Stock Service® Breed
Height: 10-12 inches   Weight: 4-9 pounds  Color: pure white

The Bolognese is a small breed of dog of the Bichon type, originating in Italy. The name refers to the northern Italian city of Bologna. Closely related to the Havanese and Bichon Frise, the Bolognese originated in Italy during the 11th century. A favorite of Renaissance nobility, this breed was often presented to Belgian Royalty as gifts. With the passing of nobility the Bolognese nearly became extinct. The breed was restored and revived by Gian Franco Giannelli and is quite rare in the United States.

General Appearance
The Bolognese are small, sturdy, and compact. They are extremely docile, exuberant, and devoted. This breed is highly intelligent and possess a pleasing disposition and vibrant expression. The Bolognese is of small size, stocky and compact, covered with a pure white coat, long and fluffy.  Square built, the length of the body being equal to the height at the withers.  The head is of medium length, reaches 1/3 of the height of the withers.  Its width, measured at the level of the zygomatic arch is the same as its length.  The stop is rather accentuated.  The skull of slightly ovoid (egg-shaped) shape in the sagital direction and rather flat in its upper part, has rather convex sides; the protuberances of the frontal bones are well developed.  The nose is on the same line as the topline of the muzzle is large and must be black. The teeth are white, evenly aligned, with strong and complete dentition.  Articulation of incisors as scissor bite; pincer bite tolerated.  The eyes are set on an almost frontal plan; well opened, of superior to normal in size.  Eyelid opening is round; the eyeball must not be prominent; the white of the eye is not visible. The ears are high set, they are long and hanging, but rather rigid at their base, so that the upper part of the external ear is detached from the skull, giving thus the impression of the head being larger than it really is.  The chest is ample, let down to level of elbows, with well sprung ribs, the height reaching almost half of the height at the withers.  The tail is set in the line of the croup, carried curved over the back. The upper arms are well joined to the body, of an almost equal length to that of the shoulder, but less slanting.  The elbows are on a parallel plane to the median plane of the body.  The hair is long all over the body, from head to tail, from the topline to the feet. It is shorter on the muzzle.  Rather fluffy, thus not lying flat, but in flocks; never forms fringes.  Coat colors include pure white, without any patches nor any shades of white.

These dogs are very intelligent and love the companionship of people but are often quite reserved with strangers, and whilst not yappy have acute hearing and will generally bark at strange noises. Generally somewhat less active than the Bichon Frise, the Bolognese is nevertheless a playful and friendly breed, which will form a close bond with its owner. It is also intelligent, easy to train, and eager to please, making it an ideal companion dog and family pet, although it may initially be somewhat reserved with strangers. They are good with children. The Bolognese breed does best in a home with older considerate children. They do well with other animals. The Bolognese form very close bonds with thier family and suffer from separation anxiety if ignored or left alone for extended periods of time. If separation anxiety occurs this breed will become destructive and bark incessantly. They are easily intimidated and are shy and suspicious toward strangers without proper socialization. This Bolognese breed makes a good watchdog due to keen eyesight and acute hearing. Early socialization and obedience training are a must. Bolognese are quick to learn but there may be difficulty in housebreaking. The crate training method is recommended. Training must be done with firmness, fairness, and consistency.

The Bolognese should be combed out daily as its coat tangles easily. The Bolognese should not be clipped or trimmed. Monthly grooming is recommended. Bathe regularly to keep  the coat white. The Bolognese does not shed and dead hairs are removed when brushing. Be sure to keep the ears of the Bolognese clean.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy

The Bolognese is a healthy breed, prone to no real major problems. They have a life expectancy of around 14 years.

Activity Level
These are active little dogs, who need a daily walk.  Play will take care of a lot of their exercise needs, however, as with all breeds, it will not fulfill their primal instinct to walk. Dogs who do not get to go on daily walks are more likely to display behavior problems. They will also enjoy a good romp in a safe open area off lead, such as a large fenced in yard. The Bolognese is well-suited to apartment life.


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