A small Bolognese
Bolognese Quick Summary
Also Known AsBichon Bolognese
Height (at withers)10-12in (25-30cm)
Weight9-11lbs (4-5kg)
Hair Colour(s)White
Lifespan12-14 years
Energy LevelMedium
Litter size3-7
Barking TendencyLow
Exercise requirementsLow
Ease of trainingHigh
Suitability for kidsHigh
Animal compatabilityHigh
Aggression levelsLow
Distress if leftHigh

The Bolognese is a small and compact dog of the Bichon type. The body is square and well-muscled with short, straight legs and a feather tail that curls over the back. The head has large dark eyes, a dark nose and well set apart ears that can give ther head a squarish shape. The distinctive single coat falls in loose open ringlets over the entire body, but with shorter hair on the face. The colouring tends to be predominantly white.


Bologneses are friendly and bright little dogs. They tend to bond very closely with their owners and love companionship, which can often make it difficult to leave them on their own. Generally a little less active than Bichons Frises, these dogs are quite playful and make fine companions and family dogs. They are very intelligent and eager to please, which makes training easy, and so they are suited to both novice owners and the more experienced. However, despite their general good obedience, they can sometimes be difficult to housebreak. Bologneses get along well with older, more considerate children, but may not be suited to smaller kids due to their small size. They also get along well with other dogs, large or small, but may initially be a little reserved around strangers. Despite their small size and not being yappy dogs, they make effective watch dogs due to their acute hearing, and will bark at strange noises to notify owners of anything unusual.

History & Skills

Bologneses originate from Italy, in particular the northern city of Bologna from where they take their name, and are an ancient breed. They are thought to be descended bichon-type dogs from southern Italy from around the 11th or 12th century. And just like those dogs, they soon became popular as companion dogs amongst the royal courts and nobility of Spain, and other parts of Europe. These days they still make fine companions and family pets bur are relatively rare, even in Italy.

Breed Specific Ailments

Bologneses tend to live between 12-14 years and are a very healthy breed. One of the few health problems noted in this breed includes luxating patella.Grooming

Bologneses are often touted as dogs that do not shed but this is misleading because all dogs shed. They are in fact low shedding dogs, and so are suitable for those unlucky enough to suffer with allergies. Their grooming requirements are pretty high though, and the coat will need brushing most days and with frequent bathing. Attention is required regardingthe ears, where the hair must be removed from the ear canals. Excess hair between the pads of the feet may need removing occasionally too, but these dogs generally do not require trimming or clipping.

Exercise & Environment

Bologneses tend to live indoors and can be suitable for small homes, such as apartments. They can meet most of their exercise requirements simply though indoor play, but an outside walk and area to play will both be greatly appreciated.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)

Breed Clubs

Coming soon!

Owners Gallery

Pretty empy right now. If you would like to see you dog here please email a photo to BFD Photos along with your name, your dog's name & age, breed and rough location (please keep image file sizes reasonable!).