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The name of this small dog refers to the Italian town of Bologna and is similar in appearance to the Bichon Frise dog.
Like its closely related cousin, the Bichon Frise, the Bolognese dog became popular with well heeled ladies of royal birth in Italy. Dogs with a similar appearance are seen in art works dating from the 11th century. The majority of these dogs were bred to lead pampered lives as favoured companions of the nobility at the time, and were often given as gifts from one person to another. They graced the most famous courts of the country and soon their popularity had spread beyond the boundaries of Europe in to Russia.
By World War II, they had fallen out of favour somewhat, and only a group of dedicated breeders and fanciers of the breed saved it from obscurity and by the 1980's numbers had stabilised and while they are by no means the most popular dog breed, they do have a loyal band of followers who continue to ensure their growing popularity.
Average height to withers: Both males and females vary between 9-12 inches at the withers.
Average weight: Both males and females vary between 4-6 kg.
The most notable feature of this toy dog is its beautiful, white, fluffy and woolly single coat which is soft to the touch and falls in curls and ringlets over the body. The eyes and nose are in a dark contrast to the hair. The overall outline of this dog is square with a wide and flat skull shape. The ears are long and pendulous and hang down, broadening the appearance of the skull. The tail is long and carried level with the rump, then curled away over the back.
Gentle and affectionate, these little dogs love people in all forms and are very good with children and other animals displaying a patience rarely seen in smaller dogs. They are playful but not over active and the owner of one of these little dogs needs to make sure enough exercise is received otherwise they can gain weight easily. They are friendly but sometimes reserved with strangers and will bark to alert their family of strangers at the door. That said though, they are not 'yappy' as are many smaller dogs. They are intelligent enough to learn new commands readily and enjoy the mental stimulation and are exceptionally eager to please. They are well known for their love of their creature comforts and will happily spend many hours snuggled in a warm bed or lap. They can become particularly attached to one person and like to spend as much time as they can with that one person, including sleeping on the same bed if they are allowed to!
The Bolognese dog has a very long life expectancy when healthy of up to 18 years old, with few known real health concerns, meaning that they are considered one of the healthiest breeds of dog overall.
This little dog requires frequent grooming to keep its white coat gleaming and in tip top condition. They are a breed of dog which sheds little, making them a good choice for people with allergies and keeping on top of grooming will help this further, getting rid of any dead hairs and enhancing the pure colour of their coat. They do require at least once a walk per day, to keep them fit and healthy, but otherwise can usually be found in their favourite warm and comfy place at home.