The origins of the Bolognese dog breed are very ancient, it is even said that it was adored by the Roman matrons; it is still possible to admire numerous vases and ceramics of the time that portray it together with its masters. Its origin belongs to the group of bichons, companion dogs that descend from those small dogs that Aristotle called melitensi which means originating from Malta, which among other things were used on ships because they were relentless hunters of mice.
During the renaissance it had its golden period as it was in great demand by the aristocracy: the Gonzaga family, the Marchioness of Pompadour, Catherine of Russia, owned specimens of this breed. Cosimo de Medici brought at least eight examples of puppies of Bolognese breed as a gift to Belgian nobles.
Although the breed risked extinction during the Second World War, it managed to survive thanks mainly to Italian breeders, in fact it is quite well known in Italy, while in the rest of the world it is almost unknown.
Its name “Bolognese” arrived around 1200, when in the noble courts of the city of Bologna it was very fashionable. In the field of art many painters have painted these dogs together with their masters; painters such as Titian, Goya, Watteau, Abrabam Bosse. Even a French poet Paul Scarron wrote a book about his sister’s Bolognese.
Character of the Bolognese dog breed
The Bolognese is a companion dog par excellence that loves comfort, cuddles, and a sedentary life. It has a beautiful character; docile, obedient, cheerful and playful, always looking for his master to spend time with him. It’s suitable for families with children, and also for elderly people, for its posed and calm character, playful but never intrusive and not very demanding.
It is easy to train because it is very receptive, brilliant in learning and eager to please; it learns everything with ease but at the same time can find the weaknesses of the owner so it should be immediately ‘framed’ in the family and educated and socialized with care, so that it does not grow spoiled or neurotic.
Even if it is mainly a companion dog, very sedentary, it is advisable to educate it to walk on a leash and get it used to the presence of dogs and people, so that it gets used to the most varied situations, especially if it lives in the city.
It is not a natural predator, so it gets along well with other animals, it is also an excellent sentinel that will make its voice ring out when needed. With strangers it is usually sociable apart from an initial inspection phase, then it plays and cuddles willingly.
It is a dog that suffers from loneliness, so if it is left alone for many hours it may find things to destroy. If you really can’t do otherwise then you have to think about getting another dog. Even not of the same breed, but they would keep each other company and suffer less from loneliness.
Appearance of the Bolognese dog breed
The Bolognese is a small dog, a male can measure 27 – 30 centimeters at the withers and weighs no more than 4 kilograms. The body has a firm and well-developed musculature; it is a dog built on the square, which means that the length of the trunk is identical to the height of the withers.
The skull is almost oval and is rather flat in the upper part. The truffle is black and voluminous, the eyes are large, round and black and often hidden by tufts of hair, the ears are long and droopy and the gait is proud. The tail is bent over the back.
But its main characteristic is the hair of the coat; it is long all over the body, it can form ringlets, but sometimes it is flaky and ruffled. The color is only one: ivory white.
Health and care of the Bolognese dog breed
The Bolognese is a dog breed that enjoys excellent health, and has no particular predispositions for genetic disorders. The only health problems that can be found with some frequency are hereditary oculopathies and luxation of the patella.
It is quite long-lived, easily reaching 14 years of age. It is quite demanding in terms of coat care. He needs daily care for his coat, ears and eyes. In particular, it is the coat that needs to be brushed daily to prevent knotting. Even the eyes, which tend to water a little, need to be cleaned daily to avoid unsightly spots under the eyes. The Bolognese has minimal shedding.
Its coat is long but does not shelter it from the cold as it is not very thick, for this reason it is useful to put a cape or a sweater on the dog in winter for its daily walks. He tolerates heat better even if it is better to avoid taking him out in summer during the hottest hours.
As far as food is concerned, always prefer quality food. It is not a dog that tends to eat more than necessary, but it is advisable to feed it twice a day, to avoid that it eats very quickly with the risk of stomach twisting.