Bichon Bolognese - Origin, Character and Characteristics

Bolognese Bichon: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The Bolognese is a small, compact dog with white fur...

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The Bolognese is a small, compact dog with white fur of Italian origin. It is related to the Bichon Frise and the Bichon Havanese, and is a rare and hard to find dog.

The Bolognese is a court dog that was very popular with monarchs, princesses and counts. He was known for his elegant appearance and distinctive character. In the 11th and 12th centuries, it was very popular in Italy with we althy families like the Medici, who considered it a real treasure. In the 16th century, Spanish families, like that of Felipe II, also began to appreciate this breed of dog and consider it a precious gift.If you want to know more about the origin and characteristics of the Bichon Bolognese, you can read this file from PlanèteAnimal.


  • Europe
  • Italy

FCI Nomenclature

  • Group IX

Physical Characteristics

  • End
  • Proportional
  • Short ears


  • Little


  • 15-35

Adult Weight

  • 3-10

Life expectancy

  • 12-14

Recommended physical activity

  • Average


  • Balanced
  • Very loyal
  • Smart
  • Affectionate
  • Quiet
  • Docile

Ideal for

  • Children
  • Apartment
  • House
  • Elderly people

Recommended climate

  • Temperate

Hair type

  • Long
  • Curly
  • End
  • Dry

Origin of the Bichon Bolognese

" It is a breed originating from the Mediterranean which belongs to the bichon family. His ancestors, common with those of the M altese, were already known in Italy and M alta in the 11th and 12th centuries.During the Renaissance, the breed was very popular in the Italian city of Bologna, hence its name, where it became a gift among we althy families. Later, in the 15th and 16th centuries, Felipe II called it the most majestic gift that could be given to an emperor, and years later it would be immortalized by Goya, Titian and other master painters. "

During the First World War, Bolognese was on the verge of extinction. However, the passion of some Italian and Belgian breeders saved the breed. Today, the Bolognese is a less popular but not endangered dog. It is rare in America and more common in some European countries. It is purely a companion dog but is also used as a show dog.

Physical characteristics of the Bichon Bolognese

The Bichon Bolognese has a small and compact body, with a square shape when the length from the shoulder to the buttock is equal to the height at the withers.Its back is straight, although the withers are slightly protruding and the loins slightly curved, with a wide and slightly sloping croup. Her chest is deep and wide, with well-shaped ribs and a slightly tucked-in belly.

This dog's head is slightly oval, with a flattened top. Its skull is a little longer than the muzzle, and it has a well-defined stop. Its nose is black and voluminous, while its large round eyes are dark ocher in color and placed almost at the front of the head. Its ears are long, pendulous and of high insertions. Its tail is arched and rises from the same line as the rump.

The Bolognese has long, bushy hair all over its body, but the coat is shorter on the muzzle and there is no undercoat. Although initially this breed was available in black and white, the only color accepted by the International Cynological Federation (FCI) is now pure white.

The weight of the Bichon Bolognese varies from 4 to 5 kg, with a height generally of around 27 to 30 cm at the withers for males and 25 to 28 cm for females.

Characteristic of the Bolognese Bichon

The Bichon Bolognese is characterized by a docile, calm and loyal character. At home, he tends to be less active, but he will be much more energetic outside. He adores his human family and therefore needs constant companionship, a characteristic not to be overlooked if you spend a lot of time away from home. Indeed, if he spends a lot of time alone, he tends to develop behavioral problems such as separation anxiety, excessive barking, protection of resources or even destructiveness. Therefore, its adoption is recommended for adults or families with not very young children who can devote to the animal the time it needs. It is also an excellent breed for beginners who decide to share life with a dog for the first time.

This dog breed tends to get along with other dogs and animals, but can be a bit shy around strangers. Thus, and although he is generally not aggressive, it is still very important to socialize him from an early age.

On the other hand, the Bolognese is an intelligent and very obedient dog and, when properly educated and well cared for, is an excellent companion!

Caring for a Bichon Bolognese

The maintenance of the hair of these dogs can be a problem for many people. The Bolognese's coat tends to tangle easily and requires daily brushing. It's also a good idea to take your bichon to the groomer about once a month to bathe and wash it. Of course, it is not recommended to cut the hair of the Bichon Bolognese because, as we have already mentioned, it does not have a double coat. One advantage of this dog, however, is that it does not shed and is therefore hypoallergenic.

The Bolognese does not require a lot of physical exercise, but he needs to go for walks at least three times a day to enjoy the outdoors, nature and to relieve himself. Small dogs tend to urinate more times than larger ones due to the size of their bladders, so you should never skip pee walks. In addition, you should also provide the Bolognese with moderate playtime because, as we said, he is an energetic dog outdoors who loves to run and play. Similarly, obedience training can complement physical exercise and help keep his mind well stimulated.

However, remember that these dogs need a lot of company, so it's not good to leave them alone for too long. They are not dogs made for living in a garden or patio, and they should be indoors with you most of the time. They can adapt very well to living in apartments and in populated cities.

Education and training of the Bichon Bolognese

As we said before, the Bolognese is an intelligent dog and, as a rule, easy to train when properly trained. As a small companion dog, he does not excel in canine sports but can take great pleasure in practicing canine freestyle or agility.

As we mentioned, this breed of dog responds very well to training when it is based on positive reinforcement, such as in clicker training. As is the case with the rest of the dogs, it is not recommended to use traditional training, violent punishments or the use of force to educate the animal, because you will only get a dog aggressive, fearful and with many behavioral problems.

In addition to clicker training, the use of rewards, petting and praise is more recommended to educate the Bolognese and achieve good results.And if we combine good training to achieve obedience with early socialization, we can achieve a perfect balance. In this way we see how the socialization of the puppy is a fundamental part of the training that we cannot ignore if we want to have a stable and happy companion at home. Also keep in mind that if the Bolognese doesn't receive proper socialization, they can become shy around strangers.

In addition to ensuring good socialization, it is important to teach a Bolognese puppy where to relieve himself and how to inhibit his bite if he tends to bite too hard while playing or walking on a leash. It is also crucial to take into account that this breed is very affectionate and tends to bond closely with its human family. Thus, spending long periods of time at home alone could lead to destructive behaviors or barking due to anxiety. Therefore, the best option for this dog is to live with a family that has older children and can combine their time with adults to prevent them from being left alone too long.

He alth of the Bichon Bolognese

The Bolognese tends to be he althy and there are no known diseases specific to this breed. Of course, you must always provide all the veterinary care that any dog needs, such as mandatory vaccinations, deworming measures to prevent the appearance of fleas, ticks and mites, as well as regular checks established by the specialist.

Furthermore, food is the basis of good he alth! Therefore, providing quality nutrition to your best friend is one of the keys to ensuring good he alth. If the diet chosen to feed this canine breed is a dry diet, we recommend that you opt for one based on natural ingredients and free of cereals. And if you want to follow a homemade diet to feed the dog with meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, etc., you have the popular BARF diet at your disposal.

If we give our four-legged friend all the care he needs and go to the vet regularly, the Bolognese can be with us for an average of 14 years.

Pictures of Bichon Bolognese

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