8 Things to Know Before Getting a Bolognese Dog
By Sviat Oleksiv | Updated on September 1, 2021
The Bolognese or Bolo dog is a small and fluffy white toy dog of Italian origin. It is incredibly people-oriented, affectionate, and willful.
Do not be confused by the Bolo’s 12 inches, height, and 9 pounds weight – there is a powerful personality lurking behind the small measurements. Here are 8 Things to Consider Before Getting a Bolognese Dog:
1. The Bolognese Dog Has Noble Roman Blood and Makes an Excellent Companion.
Depicted in Renaissance art, the Bolognese dog has a **rich and royal history **that started around the year 1200 AD. The Bolo dog was famous among Italian aristocracy ladies and kept solely for the purpose of being furry companions.
The Bolognese dog was a token of wealth, and royals, nobles, and aristocrats used to gift each other Bolo dogs as a sign of appreciation and power.
Some of the distinguished owners of Bolognese dogs were influential figures like Madame de Pompadour, Catherine the Great of Russia, and Maria Theresa of Austria.
Today, Bolo’s royal background is just a façade. Namely, Bolos are more than willing to get off the high horse and do** shenanigans** for the purpose of making their owners happy.
Therefore, the modern Bolo dog is considered to be an excellent companion. It is keen on doing what the owner does and capable of adapting to different lifestyles.
2. The Bolognese Dog is Rare and Consequently Comes with a Hefty Price Tag.
The Bolognese dog’s history is rich but also dangerous. Namely, at one point, when the Roman aristocracy declined in money and power, the Bolo dog almost went extinct, and the breed was downsized to a handful of dogs.
Luckily, it was saved by breed enthusiasts determined in their efforts to breed as many Bolo dogs as possible. However, despite the struggles, even today, the Bolo dog remains relatively rare.
The rarity of the breed is accompanied by a not-very-affordable price. Buying a purebred Bolo dog is likely to set you back between $1800 and $2500.
However, this is just the initial price, and depending on the pup’s ancestry, it can be much higher than $2500. Plus, when doing the math, do not forget to include the ongoing expenses for food, toys, grooming, and of course, veterinary care.
Bottom line, if the cost is not an issue and you do not mind the waiting lists, you need to find a reputable breeder .
Reputable breeders have their dogs tested for genetic conditions and pay extra attention to parents, the babies, and the overall breeding process.
3. The Bolognese Dog is a Bright Thinker, a Skilled Problem Solver, and a Remarkable Emotion Detector.
The Bolognese dog is the most brilliant member of the Bichon family. It likes to include its mind in everything it does and enjoys solving puzzles and problems.
The Bolo is intelligent, but it can be stubborn to training efforts. However, with positive reinforcement, you can successfully take advantage of its eagerness to please and willingness to learn new tricks.
The Bolo dog can make an excellent competitor in obedience competitions and agility when adequately trained and approached.
However, sport is not the only area where this breed excels. The Bolo dog also males an amazing support dog. This is because the Bolognese dog is an impeccable emotion detector.
As unusual as it sounds, the Bolo dog can read body language and facial expressions. It picks up even on subtle cues and empathizes with the owner.
4. The Bolognese Dog is Polite and Loving with Friends and Shy and Reserved with Strangers.
As mentioned, the Bolognese dog is excellent at picking up cues from the owner, including the owner’s attitude toward other people.
If the owner is friendly, the Bolo will just copy the friendliness, and if the owner is withdrawn, the Bolo will be reserved too.
The Bolognese dog has a **low prey drive **making it suitable for living with other pets – dogs, cats, and even rodents.
However, the Bolo needs more extensive socialization than other small dogs to learn proper manners and accepted behavior.
Finally, we should note that watching duties are not just for German Shepherds and Bulldogs. The Bolo dog makes an ** exceptional watchdog**.
The qualities that make this dog adept at such heavy-duty tasks are keen eyesight, loud bark, and fearless nature.
5. The Bolognese Dog Has Separation Anxiety and is Not Suitable for People with Nine-To-Five Jobs.
Separation anxiety is a modern dog problem affecting many breeds, and sadly, the Bolo is not an exception.
**Separation anxiety **is an ongoing behavioral type of anxiety that stems from the fear of being left alone. A Bolo dog with separation anxiety cannot stand being on its own, even for just a couple of hours.
Bolognese dogs with separation anxiety are destructive and prone to excessive barking and howling. The destructiveness usually targets the furniture – sofas, pillows, carpets, curtains.
As for the barking and howling, do not be misled by the Bolo’s diminutive size – when a Bolognese dog barks, the whole neighborhood is annoyed.
Because the Bolognese dog is not adept at spending time alone, it is the perfect dog for senior citizens. Plus, it has lower exercise requirements – another feature making it suitable for seniors.
6. The Bolognese Dog is a High-Maintenance Breed with Shiny White Fur and Special Grooming Requirements.
There is both good and bad news when it comes to the Bolo’s fur and grooming needs. Let’s starts with the good news.
The Bolognese dog sheds very little. In fact, some owners say that it is impossible to determine when its shedding season starts and when it ends.
This is an excellent feature for people allergic to dog hair and dander. It is also suitable for people with a dislike of finding hair clumps around the house.
However, the hypoallergenic coat comes with a price – it requires regular and extensive grooming. The Bolo needs ** daily brushing** sessions and frequent bathing to keep the coat shiny white and free from mats and tangles.
To make things simpler for maintenance, you can occasionally have it professionally groomed. For extra simplicity, you can ask the groomer to clip the coat short.
7. The Bolognese Dog Can Be Hard to Housebreak and Prone to Number 1 and Number 2 Accidents.
We said that the Bolo is bright, eager to learn, and highly trainable. These characteristics are valid for all areas except one – housebreaking or potty training.
The Bolognese dog is notorious for its resistance to potty training. No matter how patient you are and how many times you go through the house training process, you will still find wet puddles on the floor and smelly surprises under the sofa.
There are various ways of making the housebreaking process a bit less frustrating – from covering the floor with pads, through extensive crate training, to installing a doggy door to the yard.
However, do not expect miracles. Even if you think your Bolo dog is fully housebroken and has not made a mistake in weeks, give it time, and it will prove you wrong.
8. The Bolognese Dog Suffers from Several Health Conditions, so Regular Vet Checkups are Mandatory.
Like most toy dogs, the Bolognese is a relatively healthy breed with an average lifespan of between 12 and 14 years. However, the breed is predisposed to several health conditions.
Patellar luxation is when the knee cap jumps out of the femoral groove, thus compromising the knee stability. Luckily, patellar luxation is treatable, or better said, it can be surgically corrected.
Periodontal disease or dental diseases are prevalent in all small and toy dogs. This is probably due to the anatomy of the teeth and mouth and the preference for wet foods.
Regular teeth brushing at home teeth scaling at the vet’s office will prevent or at least delay the onset of periodontal disease.
Hip dysplasia is an orthopedic condition in which the femur ball and pelvis socket do not match in size and shape, thus leaving the hip joint unstable and causing impaired mobility. The joint can be surgically corrected.
Eye issues are also common in the Bolo dog. The most frequently reported conditions are progressive retinal atrophy and cataract. Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a degenerative condition affecting the retina, and cataract is clouding of the lens.
Both conditions affect the vision and require adjustment and adaptations to compensate for Bolo’s vision deficits. There are no available treatments.
Summing Up: The Bolognese Dog
The Bolognese dog is affectionate but demanding, small but fearless, and friendly but careful. In simple words, the Bolo comes with a spirit twice its size.
Although physically the same, there is a big temperament difference between males and females. The males are more affectionate, easy-going, and cuddly. On the other hand, the females are more independents, calm, and mellow.
Last but not least, regardless of which sex you choose, the Bolognese dog makes a perfect choice for first-time dog parents. Its adaptability, ease of training, and overall requirements are suited for new owners.