Breed Characteristics
An enchanting companion toy dog. Small, white, square and compact with a distinctive single coat: i.e. no undercoat, which falls in loose open ringlets all over the body and with shorter hair on the face. The texture is woolly as opposed to silky. It is never trimmed or clipped, is non-shedding but requires regular combing to prevent matting. The eyes are large and dark as is the nose. They are very intelligent and love the companionship of people but are quite reserved with strangers, and whilst not yappy, have acute hearing and will bark at strange noises. Their coat is non-shedding so should not affect low to mid allergy sufferers. Their most redeeming feature is that they have no known health disorders to date.
Bolognese bond well with animals and people, and are very gentle and patient with children. Providing, of course, they are well socialised from a puppy. They make a very good companion and family dog, happy to slot in to the family environment.
Breed Health
Fortunately the Bolognese is a relatively healthy breed with very few genetic health issues. They are robust, happy, healthy little dogs which have a very generous life expectancy of around 14-15 years. Bolognese are a small, rare breed and we want to do all we can within our club to protect it. Maintaining the good health of our breed is obviously a key part in this. We rely on reputable breeders breeding from healthy dogs to forward the well-being of our breed. In the main this is happening.
This extract is taken from ‘ <>‘ ‘You may be aware that some breeds of dog (and crossbreeds too) can be susceptible to inherited disease. Of course you want to be sure that the dog you choose is as healthy as possible and you would like to know that it has not inherited any undesirable disease-causing genes from its parents. There is some help in that DNA tests for diseases in purebred dogs are available for some conditions in some breeds, but there are not very many such tests just yet! There are also, however, a number of clinical veterinary screening schemes that dog breeders can use to increase the probability of producing healthy puppies.
Details of the various screening schemes, both veterinary and DNA, that are available to breeders in the UK can be found at <>
Potential dog owners should be aware that, at present, the application of various health screening results to breeding programmes is not always straightforward, and breeders may make choices for various reasons. A responsible breeder though, will always be willing to discuss relevant health issues with you. Breed clubs are often useful sources of breed-specific information.’
Health Screening within the Bolognese
There are not currently any veterinary screening schemes or DNA tests for disease relevant to this breed under the Accredited Breeder Scheme. However patella luxation can be a problem is many small breeds and is present within the Bolognese, fortunately not too big a problem as yet. The Club recommends that breeders of Bolognese have their dogs and bitches, particularly those used for breeding and their progeny, regularly patella checked by their vets. Many breeders are being issued with patella certificates by their vets indicating that their dogs are free form any patella issues. The Club recommends that prospective Bolognese owners ask the breeder of a puppy they may be interested in if they have these kind of patella checks regularly carried out and ask to see the evidence. This is not a Kennel Club directive but something the club feels is important and something the breeder should be doing. If you have any further questions on this please contact us.
Health Screening within the Bolognese
A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance including the correct colour of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed. From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Breed Watch section of the Kennel Club website here for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure. However if a dog possesses a feature, characteristic or colour described as undesirable or highly undesirable it is strongly recommended that it should not be rewarded in the show ring.
You may find the newly published book ‘Bolognese - a comprehensive owners guide’ useful. Written by Wolfgang Knorr. It contains interesting facts and information on the history of the breed and on how to look after your Bolognese. Copies can be purchased via