The Bolognese dog is a toy breed that closely resembles the Maltese. A well-muscled little dog, he has a long, white coat covering the entire head and body. Adult males stand at 27-30.5cm and females at 25.5-28cm. Fully grown Bolognese weigh 3-4kg.

No, this will be my first dog and I am ready to learn!
I'd feel more comfortable keeping training to the basics
I'm looking for a dog to take on gentle walks
For half an hour a day
I'd like a little toy dog to carry around
Dog drool? As little as possible, please!
I can fit in daily grooming sessions
Yes, I require a hypoallergenic breed
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
Yes - Barks and alerts


The Bolognese dog breed is thought to have descended from the Bichons of southern Italy and Malta. They were developed centuries ago in Bologna in Italy, as early as the 11th and 12th centuries. They enjoyed a lot of popularity with the ruling families and the nobility in the 1500s as companion dogs, and have been owned by some fascinating people – from Catherine the Great of Russia to Marilyn Monroe!


The Bolognese dog breed bonds very closely with his owners and generally dislikes being separated from his loved ones. He can be quite reserved with strangers, and although they will bark to notify the owner of anything unusual or new, they should not be yappy or aggressive little dogs. They love to please and are quick to learn.


The Bolognese dog is generally a healthy breed with no widely recognised breed specific health problems.


These little dogs are quite happy with several short walks every day, but they will never refuse a long walk. Likewise they will be quite content to play in the garden with their owner.


Toy dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.


The long Bolognese dog's coat is prone to tangling and needs to be combed every day, paying particular attention to the stomach, behind the ears and the legs. As they do not shed, dead hair has to be removed by grooming.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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Closely resembling the Maltese breed, Bolognese dogs like to stay close to their loved ones. Learn more about this elegant Toy Dog breed with Purina.

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Is this the right dog breed for you?

All dogs have their own, unique personality, but some instincts and behaviours they’re born with. Try our breed selector and find out which dog breeds better match your preferences and lifestyle. If you and your dog enjoy similar things, you will be more likely to live a happy, fulfilling life together.


What to Consider next


It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption.

Finding a good breeder

If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed.

Welcoming your dog home

Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information