If you want to bring home a cotton ball in the name of a dog, then the Bolognese dog breed might be the one you are looking for! First, these dogs will win your heart with their sweetest appearance and then with their charming personality. 

In this 5-minute read, you’ll learn everything you need to know, from their personality traits to their everyday needs. So, be ready to fall in love with these mini fluffy pooches!


Height10-12 inches
Weight5.5-9 lbs
Life span12-14 years
Exercise needs30 minutes to 1 hour daily
TemperamentPlayful, Easy-going, Loves people
GroomingHigh maintenance

Origin of the Bolognese Dog

As you can tell by their size and looks, the Bolognese dog breed has descended from the small companion dogs in ancient Rome. They boast an ancient lineage, as it was only during the Renaissance that the breed truly flourished, becoming the favored companion of Italian nobility, artists, and scholars. Now, whether it was for their appearance or their personality—it remains a mystery! However, with such charming features and personality traits, these dogs soon became popular among the elite. When we say elite, we also mean that they are featured in the artworks that showcase their societal status. 

Moreover, this toy dog gained popularity over time and all around the globe as big dog clubs and organizations recognized the Bolognese dogs. Also, a fun fact is that the name Bolognese might sound strange, but it is derived from the Italian city of Bologna. 

Appearance of the Bolognese Dog

1. Size and body

As you can tell by looking at them, these small dogs are compactly sized inside their square-shaped body. To be precise, these dogs are just 10-12 inches tall and weigh as little as 5.5-9 pounds—isn’t that cute? So, if you are an adult with a big hand, the Bolognese dog will fit right into it. Although despite their size, these dogs have well-built muscles and elegant proportions. 

2. Coat

Thanks to its distinctive white furry coat, the Bolognese dog breed is admired by dog enthusiasts as the coat adds to their cuteness. They have a long, fluffy coat that is curly and dense, and well, requires a lot of grooming that you’ll get to know below soon. 

3. Other features

Besides their coat and body stature, Bolognese dogs have the cutest drooping ears that fall on their cheeks gracefully. Especially with their dark, round eyes and the friendly expressions on their faces, these dogs are not intimidating but might eventually lead to a truce between you and your landlord. 

Personality and Temperament

This charming breed called the Bolognese dog must have won your heart with their fluffy appearance. Now it is time that we dig deeper into their temperament and personality traits, such as:

1. Super friendly

As you must have guessed from their overall vibe, the Bolognese dogs are super friendly and make excellent companions for both humans and other animals. Even if you have pets at home, with proper socialization training, you can teach these furry buddies to form strong bonds with everyone. 

2. Low energy levels

The reason why we love the Bolognese dog breed for first-time owners is because these dogs do not have high energy levels. It is very common for small dogs to be super energetic, but that is not the case with these dogs. Hence, Bolognese dogs do not demand a lot of physical activity or hardcore training. 

3. Barking? Nah!

The Bolognese dog breed is not known for excessive barking, meaning they are pretty well-behaved with guests as well. This can be a problem for people who are searching for a guard dog, but for the ones who would rather have a polite, quiet furry companion, the Bolognese dog wins the game!

4. Adaptable

The Bolognese dog breed can adapt to any situation, be it a city or a suburban life, a villa, or an apartment. Much of its credit goes to their tiny body and low energy levels that do not require too much space. As long as you give them attention, proper nutrition, and care, they are good to go!

5. Ambiverts

Last but not least, the Bolognese dog breed is not an extreme dog, meaning it is neither too hyper nor too low. They have that perfect sweet and balanced temperament that sets them apart from other dog breeds. One thing you should know is that these furry buddies can be reserved with strangers, and they also do not show clingy behavior towards their family members. 

The Bolognese dog breed is like having a built-in comedy show at home, as they’ll never fail to make you laugh with their doggo humor. 
a Bolognese dog on a walk

Grooming Needs of the Bolognese Dog

Probably the only challenging thing about the Bolognese dog breed is their grooming. They are high-maintenance dogs who can make you go nuts after their charming looks. Let’s talk about their grooming needs:

1. Brushing

You will need to brush these dogs at least 3-4 times a week as they have curly, dense fur that can get tangled very easily. However, if you are worried about your sweaters being covered in loose fur, then don’t be! These dogs are hypoallergenic and almost do not shed; hence, they do great with people with allergies. 

2. Bathing

You should use dog supplies like shampoo, conditioner, and soap to bathe these dogs twice a month. It is essential that you only use dog-friendly products or otherwise, they can mess up your dog’s natural oils. 

3. Cleaning

Rest is their hygiene! You should always keep an eye on your dog’s overall appearance and cleanliness. This includes cleaning eye boogers and ear wax and also removing any debris. 

Exercise and Training Needs

After reading about the high grooming standards of the Bolognese dog, you can now take a breath of relief. Why? Because these toy dogs only require 15-30 minutes of training sessions a day that can be divided into two slots. Here are the basic exercises you add to your doggo’s schedule.

1. Walking sessions

You should always take your dog on a walk around your neighborhood or an open park where they can roam around. Also, walking sessions are a great time to teach your dog basic obedience, commands, leash training, etc. It’s like the days when you and your dog feel lazy; a 15-minute walk back and forth from your home would do!

2. Indoor fun

These lap dogs are, anyway, not a fan of the outdoors, so you can set up a small agility corner for them to play at. In such cases, what you can do is plan interactive games that also include family and kids, so it will also be great for socialization.

3. Mental stimulation

Lastly, you should never forget to take your dog out on walks. Even if your dog is not into hardcore physical activities, walking is the bare minimum. Not only this, but it helps to keep your dog away from anxiety, depression, or behavioral problems (1, 2).

Final Thoughts

Our final thoughts on whether the Bolognese dog breed is good for you or not, then you should know that one can never go wrong with these furry buddies! Be it a first-time dog owner or a professional dog trainer, Bolognese dogs are easy peasy to be with, and they can turn out to be excellent companions. So, if you are looking for a lap dog that does not demand much work from you, then this is it- you have just found your match!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Bolognese dogs friendly?

Absolutely, yes! The Bolognese dog breed is a super affectionate and friendly dog that can form deep bonds with humans. Not only this, but they are excellent with other dogs and pets, however, proper socialization is the keep to avoid awkwardness and nervousness.

Do Bolognese dogs bark a lot?

No! The Bolognese dog breed is not known for their barking. However, if your dog is barking a lot, it can be a behavioral problem that should be corrected with proper training and guidance. Generally, these dogs are suitable for various living environments as they are well-behaved.

Can Bolognese dogs be left alone?

We do not recommend leaving the Bolognese dog breed alone for extended periods. This is because these furry buddies thrive on companionship, and the lack of it can cause separation anxiety.

What are common problems with Bolognese dogs?

There is not much evidence on that, but generally, the Bolognese dog breed is prone to hip dysplasia, which is also a common health concern in other dogs. It would be best always to take your dog on regular health and dental checkups to ensure their best health.

What is the life expectancy of a Bolognese dog?

The average life expectancy of a Bolognese dog is around 12 to 14 years. However, it also depends on the level of care, nutrition, training, and underlying health problems a dog might have inherited.

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