The Bolognese is a rare Italian breed dog. It is estimated that there are only about 700 Bolognese in the entire continent of North America. Its history includes the courts of Europe where it was a beloved favourite of royalty. Originally, the only way to attain a Bolognese was as a gift. At some point, the breed fell out of popularity and the Bolognese world population dropped to a dangerous low level.
Lovers of this fine breed both in Europe and in North America have worked hard to help re-establish this exceptional dog.
The Bolognese is cousin breed to the Bichon Frise and the Maltese both of which are beautiful white dogs, and the varied coloured Havanese.
Legend has it that the dogs, from which these breeds originated, were once closer related than they are today. The Bolognese have a European history with ties to Northern Italy, and more specifically Bologna, thus the name ‘Bolognese. This breed too, became a court favourite in both France and Italy.
These small dogs were taken aboard ships and carried into port to be presented as gifts. The recipient was most likely the wife or daughter of a wealthy merchant or nobleman, sometimes they were even given to royalty. The beneficiaries were most likely people with whom the sea captain wanted to find favour and thus establish ‘trade relations.’ Once these delightful canine creatures were welcomed into a home, the giver of the gift attained a certain level of fondness that would have been otherwise unknown to them, thus furthering their careers in a most inventive way.