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Bolognese
This breed of ancient lineage and the joyful companion of royalty at least since the Renaissance is initially appealing because of its physical charm and vibrant expression.  For those who are truly smitten, it is the personality, playful, vivacious and exuberant that ultimately wins them over.  Like many toy breeds, the dark side emerges when they are in a home that either overly indulges them and/or makes them overly dependent and fearful (typically due to inadequate socialization).  These are truly dogs and not playthings, dedicating time and effort to helping them develop into adults with confidence and some independence will only succeed in deepening and more satisfying relationship over the life of the dog.
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General Information
Group(s): Non-Sporting Height: 10-12
Weight: 5-9 pounds Longevity: late teens
Colors: solid white, any off colors are disallowed Coat type: long, rather dense, fluffy
Recognized Registries: FCI,
Overall Appearance: The Bichon Bolognese shares many general characteristics with its cousins the Bichon Frise, the Maltese and Bichon Havanese. All are small and solid white. The Bolognese, once the most treasured of them all, is a toy dog, smaller than the Frise with straight white hair. The dog is also more diminutive and fragile. It's body type and expression is more similar to a Papillon than to the Frise. Overall a very delightful little dog that comes in any color you want, as long as it's white!
Personaility - Behavior - Training
Energy Level: moderate
General Nature: Ideally, with properly socialization, they are happy, playful, and inviting.
  with Children: generally, toy breeds are not advised with children under 8
  with other pets: generally good but not too difficult to intimidate
  with dogs: can be very good but often intimidated by bolder or larger dogs
Socialization requirements: high; inclined to shyness which can lead to fear aggression and/or territoriality without proper support and guidance
Ideal home characteristics: Probably not the ideal country companion. Coat would pick up alot of debris. By contrast the ultimate city dog, easy to carry or walk with and would get adequate exercise even living in a relatively small city apartment.
Temperament Notes: Easily intimidated, especially if lacking proper training, inclined toward anxiety issues if they are excessively indulged or insulated. It is important to help them have a sense of confidence in the world, not just in the idea that
Training requirement: minimal; socialization and basic manners
Trainer notes: The challenges of working with such a small dog are more in the area of how well your knees, back and waist handle all the bending!  Happy and intelligent, they can seem very distracted but often it is just their way of offering behaviors to determine what you want and to show their delight at the time you are spending with them.  Once you are able to focus on shaping the behaviors you desire with appropriate reinforcement you will find a fabulous training partner... again, that doesn't mean your shoulders, knees and back won't be a bit sore after an hour of training!
Background Information
Year range of first recognition: 14th century in the court of the De'Medici's probably
Country of Origin: Italy
Original Function: companion
History: Small white fluffy dogs date back to the era of Aristotle in their popularity. The Bolognese has been recognized as a treasured companion of royalty at least since the Renaissance.
Adoption Information
Deviations from Standard:
Health Notes: luxating patellas, eye problems, hip dysplasia/elbow dysplasia
Health Testing: CERF, OFA
Questions to ask Breeder:  http://www.digitaldog.com/breeder_questions.html  - The Breeder Questions as listed here provided with explanations and answers you will want to be looking for!
  • How long have you had Bichon Bolognese?
  • Why do you have Bolos (show, performance, hunting, etc.)?
  • What do you consider to be the most important single characteristic of a Bichon Bolognese?
  • What health issues have you seen in the breed?
  • What criteria do you set for your breeding stock?
  • Do you plan to keep a puppy from this litter?
  • How often do you have puppies?
  • Do you have a written contract and puppy guarantee?
  • At what age do you sent your pups to their homes?
  • How would you describe the ideal Bichon Bolognese?
  • How would you describe the ideal Bolo home?
  • Are your puppies whelped in your home?
  • What advice would you offer someone in raising and training a Bichon Bolognese?
  • Web Sites:

    www.bichonworld.com - Excellent fun site developed by an apparent Bichon Bolognese enthusiast (with more than a few titles on her Bolo) that covers some basic aspects of all the Bichon breeds.

    It is surprising to note that with all the enthusiasm to get the Bolognese recognized by the AKC (they are currently in the FSS) and the assertions of the charm and obvious popularity the breed will enjoy once introduced to the US public, that no Bolognese Club in North America has yet organized a rescue for this breed they "adore" so much despite the fact that this breed's physical appeal and diminutive size means that many people who have no real commitment to a dog would be very likely to make an impulsive decision to have an Bolognese.

    Other Resources
    Breed standard:

    http://members.aol.com/BologneseAmerica/bolognes1.htm- Bolognese Club of America

    Breeder Ethics:

    http://www.bcoc.ca/home/codeofethics.asp- The Bolognese Club of Canada Code of Ethics, it is a serious oversight that no similar document is available on the BCOA site.

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