Bolognese dog: breed appearance, character, training, care, health

Thanks to the good character and behaviour of the Bolognese, it is a very appreciated companion dog. An animal that is characterized by its small size, but endowed with great sympathy and is a true lover of its family. Therefore, it is an ideal pet and poses very few complications. At Petlifey, we explain the character and characteristics of the Bolognese breed.

Character of the Bichon Bolognese breed

The quintessential companion dog, the Bolognese has an exceptional character and adores its owner, whom it knows how to adapt to depending on its condition. It is a dynamic and playful pet if it proposes activity.

But at the same time, its demeanour is relaxed, calm and thoughtful if its master does not have time to dedicate to them. Therefore, it is a perfect dog for older people , who lead a more leisurely pace of life.

Despite being a pleasant and fun companion dog, it is more serious and formal than it appears, while being calmer than other bichons.

For those who are used to the exuberant and outgoing temperament of the Bichon Frize, the Bolognese may seem more reserved and even a little shy, although not for that reason fearful.

In short, the Bolognese is an animal with a serious and formal temperament. It is attentive, docile and very faithful to its master and the environment in which it lives.

Although it likes to waste energy outdoors, at home it is less active than other companion pets, but with an equally affectionate and attached personality to its own.

  • Energy: Medium. At home it remains calm and calm, but outside it is active, energetic and very vital.
  • Temperament: It is a cheerful, affectionate and playful dog, but also serious and calm. Docile, obedient and faithful, it is easy to train
  • Adaptability: High. It adapts to any environment and you can travel with it anywhere. It does not bear loneliness well.
  • Sociability: High. It gets along very well with all members of the family, which it adores. It has no problems living with children or with other animals.
  • Health: Good. It is a healthy animal.
  • Longevity: Very high. Live more than 15 years.
  • Utility: Company. It is a companion dog par excellence.

Can it be left alone?

The Bolognese dog loves the company of people and especially enjoys when it is with its family members, to whom it professes a true devotion.

In fact, what it does not tolerate is being left alone for many hours a day as usual, since it is very possible that it will end up falling into a separation anxiety disorder.

How does it behave around children and other pets?

It gets along very well with children, as long as they know how to treat him, and its relationship with other dogs and even with pets of other species is quite good, since it does not usually pose hierarchy problems and it is rarely the one who starts a fight.

In addition, if it is socialized properly, it tolerates the presence of strangers perfectly.

Can you live in an apartment or in the city?

Despite being a purely companion dog, it loves to run and play outdoors, as outside the home it becomes a whirlwind of activity, fast and agile.

On the other hand, inside the home it behaves like a calm and very temperate dog that adapts perfectly to all kinds of life, so it is an ideal choice for families living in the city.

Is it a good pet for the elderly?

It can be the perfect pet for older people, who find in it an animal of polite manners, moderate strength and undemanding needs, at the same time that it is the perfect excuse for them to take long walks in good company.

Likewise, it is also a very good dog to start in the canine world when you do not have much experience

Characteristics of the Bichon Bolognese

The general appearance of the Bolognese is that of a small dog, with a square and collected structure, and covered with pure white fur. It has a noble and distinguished bearing. Its long and somewhat shaggy coat gives it a rustic and fun image.

How is the Bichon Bolognese physically?


It is a small, compact and harmonious animal in its proportions. Its structure is rather square, since the length of the trunk is practically identical to the height at the withers. This barely protrudes, so the back, seen in profile, is straight up to the rump.

This bichon has oval feet covered in curly fur. They are provided with black nails and the foot pads are elastic and dark.

The tail is set in the line of the rump and falls in a curve on the back. She is rather short, although her long, tousled hair makes her appear longer.


The head is medium in size, and its width is equal to its length measured from the back of the skull. It has a pronounced stop and a voluminous black nose.

Their eyes are larger than usual in dogs of this size, but they are not bulging eyes. Located in the same frontal plane, they are very round and dark ocher in color.

The ears are set high and are long and somewhat stiff at the base. They hang quite apart from the skull, thus creating the effect of the head being wider than it is.


The hair is in the form of very loose strands and of pure white color. The fur covers the entire body without forming fringes. It’s shiny and long , and it gives this dog a dishevelled, natural look.

The entire body appears covered by a layer of long, soft and voluminous hair, except for the muzzle, where the hair is shorter. It is rather vaporous and in the form of disheveled locks.

Bichon Bolognese breed standard

  • Origin: Italy.
  • Size: Small.
  • Height at the withers: between 27 and 30 cm for males and between 25 and 28 cm for females.
  • Weight: between 2.5 and 4 kg.
  • FCI classification: FCI nº 196. Group 9 – Companion dogs. Section 1 – Bichons and Similar Breeds
  • Use: Companion dog.
  • Other names: Bolognese / Bichon bolonais / Bologneser.
  • General appearance: Small and with a rather square body structure, it is a compact and collected dog.
  • Body: It tends to be square, since its length, measured from the shoulder to the buttock, is equal to the height at the withers.
  • Back: It has a rectilinear profile, like that of the loin, and blends harmoniously into the line of the rump.
  • Chest: It is broad and falls to the level of the elbows; the ribs are well sprung. The height of the thorax reaches almost half the height at the withers.
  • Tail: It is set in the line of the rump and arches over the back.
  • Forelimbs: They are perfectly plumb and parallel to each other in relation to the trunk.
  • Shoulders: Their length is equal to a quarter of the height at the withers and they are oblique.
  • Forearms and arms: The forearms are the same length as the arms, and these, in turn, measure the same as the shoulders and are well attached to the trunk.
  • Hindquarters: They are parallel to each other and seen from behind they draw a perfect vertical line from the tip of the buttock to the ground.
  • Legs: They are longer than the thighs.
  • Hocks: The angle they form is not very closed.
  • Feet: They have elastic, dark pads, and very hard, black nails. The front feet are somewhat less oval than the rear.
  • Head: Medium in size, the same width as the length. It is in good proportion to the rest of the body.
  • Skull: Slightly ovoid and rather flattened on top, slightly longer than the muzzle. The protrusions of the frontal bones are developed.
  • Nose-frontal depression (stop): Quite pronounced.
  • Muzzle: It is straight, with the lateral faces parallel to each other, that is to say, it is not pointed. The upper lip is slightly raised and does not cover the lower one.
  • Nose: It is voluminous and its front face is on the vertical and on the same line of the muzzle. It is black.
  • Jaws: With maxillary and mandibular arches that fit perfectly. The teeth are strong and complete, with white and regularly aligned teeth. The incisors are articulated in a scissor or pincer shape.
  • Eyes: They are round, with black eyelids close to the eyeball. When they look straight ahead, the sclera (the white part) is not visible. The eyes are located in an almost frontal plane and are large, more than usual. The iris is dark ocher in color and its expression is sweet and affectionate.
  • Ears: Set high, long and hanging, but rather rigid at the base, so that the upper part of the pinna is separated from the skull, which makes the head appear wider than it actually is.
  • Neck: Its length is equal to the length of the head and it does not present a dewlap.
  • Movement: It is easy going and energetic. The bearing of the head is noble and distinguished.
  • Skin: Very firm, does not present flaccidity.
  • Hair: Falls long over the whole body, from head to tail and from the dorsal region to the feet; on the other hand, on the muzzle it is short. It is rather vaporous and forms locks.
  • Color: Pure white, without stains or other shades of white.

Education and training of the Bichon Bolognese

The Bolognese is a very easy dog ​​to educate and train, since it only needs a little dedication and patience.

For example, it is necessary to teach them some minimum rules of behaviour so that it knows how to behave at all times.

But its owners must know how to be firm with it while being fair and loving. They should not be fooled by the animal’s dissuasive maneuvers or by its convincing tactics, in which it mixes its most comical attitudes with its permanent demand for attention.

What you should never do is treat it like a luxury puppy, because in that case the animal can fall into the so-called small dog syndrome, with the behavioural and attitude problems that this entails.

Health and diseases of the Bichon Bolognese breed

The Bolognese is among the longest-lived dog breeds, which is unequivocal proof of its excellent health.

In fact, serious diseases have not been described as typical of the breed, so that only occasionally some disorders appear, as it happens in all breeds.

For example, sometimes there are some skin problems associated with the white color of their fur and some pigmentation deficiency.

Likewise, as recommended for most small companion breeds, any sign of dwarfism should be avoided as much as possible, as this can have serious secondary consequences such as joint and digestive problems, knee dislocation or premature loss. of some teeth.

Without being specific to this dog, currently one of the most common problems in all dog breeds is obesity, a problem that is especially widespread among dogs that live almost exclusively as companion dogs.

It must be subjected to doses of exercise appropriate to its age and condition, since a significant overweight exponentially increases the chances that the dog suffers from cardiovascular diseases, joint diseases , etc.

Another recommendation for any owner of a specimen of this breed is to act preventively. You should visit the veterinarian regularly to complete the vaccination and deworming programs, internal and external.

These attentions will vary for each animal, and change depending on its place of residence, its age, the stage in which it is (puppy, pregnant mother, adult …) or the job given to it (companion dog, dog exposure, etc.).

In addition, the veterinarian must become the person of reference to turn to in case of any problem or doubt related to the health and well-being of the dog.

Likewise, it also has to be in charge of reviewing the state of the main indicators of the good or bad condition of the animal, such as the mouth, eyes, ears, skin and hair , and keep a strict control of the evolution of its weight. in the different stages of its life.

Bichon Bolognese diet

Regarding the diet that the Bolognese must follow, the most important thing is to provide it with a food rich in nutrients that help keep its muscles in shape.

Likewise, the diet must provide the level of fats necessary for the correct functioning of your body in general and of the skin, hair and eyes, in particular.

Thus, one of the best health tips for a bichon Bolognese is to keep it at its perfect weight, using a balanced and healthy food.

Care and maintenance of the Bichon Bolognese

Regarding the maintenance of its coat, the Bolognese needs to receive an intense brushing every two or three days to avoid the formation of knots and tangles, using a good metal bristle brush and a comb.

In addition, it requires a more routine brushing every day, which does not take too long since it is a small animal. On the other hand, it does not require a specific and formal aesthetic arrangement .

The bath can be given whenever it is dirty, trying to have previously undone any possible knot and using products appropriate to the pH of your skin and the texture of your hair.

Origin of the Bichon Bolognese breed

This breed shares origins with the Maltese, and, in fact, much of its early history is confused with that of the latter. Both are descended, for example, from the same little white dogs that Aristotle himself mentioned in the 4th century BC.

Already known in Roman times, the origins of the Bolognese dog go back to classical antiquity and are joined with those of its Maltese companion, with whom it shares ancestry, since both bichons come from the so-called Melitense dogs, the ancient port dogs of the Mediterranean .

Leave a Comment