Everything you need to know to buy or adopt a Bolognese puppy or adult dog.


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Bolognese dog breed

Buying or Adopting a Bolognese

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2018

Is a DOG really the right pet for you?

I've been helping people choose and find dogs for over 35 years now, and I have to say that for many people, dogs are not ideal pets.

Pros AND Cons of Owning a Dog

Should you get a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog?

Don't set your sights on any purebred dog until you read these three eye-opening articles:

The Truth About Purebred Dogs

The Truth About Crossbred Dogs

The Truth About Mixed Breed Dogs

Is a Bolognese the right breed for you?

Bolognese Review: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em

Bolognese Health Problems

Are YOU right for a Bolognese?

Can you provide what this breed needs?

  • Someone home most of the day
  • Fenced yard (not an electronic/underground fence)
  • No young children in the household
  • No large dogs in the household (safety issue)
  • Sufficient exercise after maturity – enough ongoing exercise that your Bolognese stays slim and is tired enough to sleep contentedly and not get into mischief
  • "Mental exercise" – interesting activities that keep the mind stimulated, such as a challenging dog sport (agility, rally obedience, musical freestyle); challenging dog toys; a homemade obstacle course; tricks and games such as Musical Toys and Hide 'n Seek; instructions in my training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words
  • Brushing – a lot (unless the coat is clipped short)
  • Trimming/clipping – every few months
  • An indoor lifestyle, except for exercise and bathroom breaks
  • A meat-heavy diet, either homemade or commercial – meat is expensive, so people with less money should opt for a small dog
  • An owner with enough money to treat the health problems Bolognese are prone to (pet health insurance can really help here!)
  • An owner who is okay with housebreaking perhaps taking a long time
  • Commitment to provide thorough socialization – introducing your Bolognese to lots of people and other animals
  • Commitment to establish the right Leader-Follower relationship with your Bolognese, teaching him to listen to you and do what you say

Should you get a male or female Bolognese?

Symbols for male and female Male Dogs vs. Female Dogs
Which one makes a better pet?

Should you get a young puppy, an older puppy, or an adult dog?

Girl hugging a dog Puppies vs. Adult Dogs
What age should your new Bolognese be?

Where can you buy or adopt a Bolognese?

Bolognese are very uncommon in the United States. It's much harder to find a Bolognese compared to, for example, his Havanese cousin.

Adopting From Dog Rescue Organizations
I'm not aware of any Bolognese available from a Dog Rescue group. You would need to inquire of the breed's national club.

Adopting From Public Animal Shelters and Humane Societies
Same as above.... I'm not aware of any Bolognese in an animal shelter or humane society. Certainly there might be small white dogs who look like Bolognese, but these will probably be Bichon mixes, Maltese mixes, or Poodle mixes, with no Bolognese genes at all.

Buying From a Dog Breeder
If you don't mind going onto a waiting list, you might be able to buy a Bolognese from a show breeder, who breeds Bolognese to match a detailed standard of appearance for the dog show ring. You might also be able to buy a Bolognese from people who "just breed pets" or "just had one litter." But should you? Be sure to read the article to learn more about these people.

Here's one difference between a responsible breeder and an irresponsible breeder – BOTH PARENTS of a Bolognese puppy should have:

  • a certificate from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) – dated within the past year – certifying the dog to be free of eye diseases
  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) certifying the dog to have normal knees

If a seller can't show you those certificates, the puppies are higher risk for health problems. You might choose to accept that risk. But then you need to be willing (and able) to pay a couple thousand bucks for future surgeries and lifelong meds if your Bolognese ends up with cataracts and bad knee joints.

Puppy in a pet shop window Pet Shop Puppies: Buying a Puppy From a Pet Store
I have never seen a Bolognese in a pet shop. Which is good, because I have plenty to say about buying a puppy from a pet shop!

Related Articles

Girl holding up a puppy and looking at him How To Choose a Good Bolognese Puppy
How to test the temperament and personality of Bolognese puppies and pick the best puppy in a litter.

To help you train and care for your dog

book cover To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.

book cover My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.