The history of the emergence of the Bolognese breed

Table of contents:

The history of the emergence of the Bolognese breed
The history of the emergence of the Bolognese breed

Description of the bolognese, the territory of the breeding of the dog, its name and versions of its appearance, purpose, appearance in art, famous owners of the breed, development, restoration and recognition of the dog. The content of the article:

  • Territory and time of appearance of the breed, as well as the origins of its name
  • History of origin and their purpose
  • Evidence of existence in ancient chronicles and art
  • Notable personalities who kept the dog
  • Development and influence on the breed of world events
  • Livestock recovery activities
  • Recognition and popularization

Bolognese or Bolognese is not a delicious Italian sauce. This is a kind of companion dog that first originated in Italy. Along with her close relatives bichon frise and maltese, she is one of the oldest European companion dogs and was a great favorite of the nobility during the Italian Renaissance.

These pets are known primarily for their small size, friendly disposition and fluffy white coat. Although they are very well known in their homeland, they are much less known in other parts of the world than some of her relatives. The popularity of the species is currently growing in other states, especially in the United States of America. They also have other names: bichon bolognese, bolognese toy dog, bologneser, bolo, bottolo, botoli, and italian bichon.

Bolognese, like his cousin the Bichon Frize, is a miniature white dog with a curly coat. Unlike its cousin, bolognese hair is famous for its long, wavy curls that fall down. This gives it the look of a fabulous animal, which is why the species has survived through difficult times. Sometimes a little shy, these pets become attached to one person. There is no better happiness for them than close contact with their masters. Dogs can bask for a long time on their laps.

They have a wavy coat and round dark eyes that attract people with their delicate expressiveness. Beneath this cloud of curls, bolognese are tough little dogs that love to have fun. They do not need long walks every day, but if you want to do so, gladly respond to your proposal. When the owner is not very energetic, such dogs can perfectly lie on the couch all day. They are curious, funny, loyal and smart.

The "coat" of the bolognese is single-layer, so they are in demand among allergy sufferers. Such animals are stocky and compact. They have a square body and are quite muscular. The head is of medium length. The skull is slightly ovoid. The muzzle is large, black and almost square. Despite its diminutiveness, the dog has a developed jaw, and the upper lips do not cover the lower ones. Teeth are white, evenly aligned. The eyes are well developed, open and round. The skin around the eyelids is black and the iris is dark ocher. The ears are set high, long and drooping, but stiff at the base. The tail is carried over to the back.

Territory and time of appearance of the Bolognese breed, as well as the origins of its name

Bolognese puppy

Such dogs are a very ancient breed. It is so old that it was formed many centuries before the original written notes on dog breeding began. As a result of this situation, it is almost impossible to make any definitive statements about their main lineage gene pool.

It is especially difficult to trace the origin of the variety because historically it has often been confused with the Maltese and Bichon Frize. All that can be said with certainty is that the bolognese is a native of Northern Italy.The data on the time of their development are also reliable. This happened between the Roman era and the 1200s. Representatives of the species are traditionally associated with the city of Bologna, from which they got their name.

The Bolognese is one of the oldest members of the canine family known as the Bichon. "Bichon" comes from an archaic French word used to describe small white dogs. Other members of the family include bichon frise, coton de tulear, havanese, maltese, bolonka and the now extinct bichon tenerife.

The history of the bolognese and their purpose

Bolognese puppy for a walk

The origins of the group of these typical animals are shrouded in mystery, but one thing is clear that they almost certainly played the role of European companions. Because of this confusion, experts and historians have developed some versions that explain the origin of these varieties, including the bolognese. Many amateurs adhere to the statement that all members of the family originate from the Bichon Tenerife - natives of the Canary Islands.

Legend has it that these breeds were brought to continental Europe from these islands by Spanish traders. While such a theory may have implications for the development of several distinct bichon species, it will not explain the pedigree of Bolognese or Maltese origin, since the recorded history of these breeds predates the discovery of the Canary Islands hundreds or thousands of years ago.

Another theory of origin, expressed by connoisseurs, claims that the Bichons, close relatives of the bolognese, were developed in France by breeders who took the poodle and / or barbet as the basis. Poodle and barbet are both incredibly old-fashioned canines, so this might sound like a realistic assumption. However, there is very little evidence to support this view, and in any case it does not explain the existence of such dogs in the Italian state millennia ago.

At one time, it was hypothesized that these animals, the predecessors of the bolognese, may have descended from the East Asian companion dogs, which were imported from the Roman Empire. But, carried out numerous genetic tests and historical research, almost completely exposed such guesses.

Of all the speculations to explain the origin of the Bichons, it is most likely that these varieties originate from the Maltese. With a definitive historical record that stretches back at least 2,500 years, maltese is certainly one of the oldest canines in the entire world found in Europe.

Evidence of the existence of bolognese in ancient chronicles and art

Bolognese puppy muzzle

Named in Greek as "melitaei catelli" or in Latin as "canis melitaeus", the ancient inhabitants of the Mediterranean knew this breed very well. The Maltese, blood relatives of the Bolognese, appear in numerous works of art. Their names are mentioned by such ancient intellectual giants as the ancient Greek Aristotle and Strabo, Pliny the Elder (ancient Rome) and Callimachus of Cyrene. Even writers of the period debated the origin of this species, but most likely these animals were developed either from Spitz dogs from Switzerland or from primitive Mediterranean greyhounds such as the cirneco dell'etna and ibizan hound.

However, when dogs such as the Bichon appeared, the forerunners of the Bolognese, they immediately became extremely popular in Roman Italy. Along with the Italian greyhound, the bichon is the most popular companion pets of the Italian lands. Their images were present in countless works of art of the time. Some of these canines had straight, silky Maltese hair, while others wore a fluffy and sparkling Bolognese coat.

Although it is impossible to put forward the hypothesis of breeding bolognese from Maltese lapdogs with certainty, it is also impossible to reject it. Bolognese may have been developed by breeding Maltese with extraordinary hairline. But, it is also possible that this happened as a result of crossing the maltese with the curly variety. Due to the age of the breed, the most likely potential progenitors were poodle, barbet, lagotto romagnolo or some common ancestor of these species.

Although the lack of facts makes it impossible to prove that these Roman dogs may be the ancestors of the modern Bolognese species. It is unclear how this breed came to be associated with the city of Bologna, but it has been around since at least the 1200s. During this time, the Italian Renaissance began to gain momentum. Bolognese became a sought-after and beloved companion of noble families throughout Northern and Central Italy and was often depicted alongside the greats of the time. Until the 20th century, the bolognese was considered one of the most famous species of canines and appears in the works of famous artists throughout Europe. Among the most virtuoso masters who depicted these animals were Titian, Goya, Gosset, Watteau and Pierre Brueghel. It was at this time that the breed began to appear regularly in written annals, for the first time since the fall of Rome.

Notable personalities who kept the bolognese dog

Bolognese puppy on a bed

The friendly and handsome bolognese has been extremely attractive and fashionable in Europe for centuries. The Italian noble strata of the population often presented these wonderful dogs as gifts. In recent years, it has been suggested that Bolognese presented as gifts (a way of displaying good manners) in this way may indeed be the ancestors of all other Bichon breeds - an idea that is rapidly gaining ground in the dog world.

Throughout its incredibly valley history, Bolognese has attracted an increasing number of renowned amateurs. One of the most powerful noble houses in Italy, Gonzaga was a famous breeder of these dogs. Cosimo de Medici (Italian banker and politician (1389-1464) brought eight such copies to Brussels to present them as gifts to Belgian nobles and noble ladies in the early 1400s.

Philip II of Spain admired the two pets he gave to the Duke d'Este in the 1500s so much, wrote about this: "These two little dogs are the most elegant royal gift that can be given to an imperial person." The Russian Empress Catherine the Great and Madame de Pompadour (the official favorite of the French king Louis XV), like Empress Maria Teresa of Austria, owned these dogs. The Austrian archduchess loved her bolognese so much that when he passed away, she ordered them to be stuffed and displayed in a Vienna museum.

The development of bolognese and the influence of world events on the breed

Bolognese bitch with a bow

The variety remained very popular in Europe from the 1200s to the late 1700s. During this period, the bolognese regularly crossed with a number of similar species, which may or may not be its direct descendants or ancestors, including bichon frize, bichon tenerife, maltese and lowchen. Both bolognese and bichon frize were imported into the Russian state. The Russian nobility developed their own breeds and took such dogs as a basis. Subsequently, these little relatives became known as lapdogs.

Unfortunately for the Maltese, the aristocratic tastes and preferences of the population began to change around the beginning of the 19th century. By that time, dozens of other accompanying canine pets had been withdrawn in Europe, and new ones were imported from all over the world. Bolognese did not come to the court too much, and the number of its livestock began to decrease.These dogs were also heavily influenced by the constant decline in power and activity of the nobility, which began rapidly with the American Revolution in 1776 and the French movement in 1789.

The Bolognese managed to survive only because they gained new fans. Middle- and upper-class Europeans began to acquire such pets, first in an attempt to imitate the life of the noble population. But, after a certain period, they got these dogs, because they themselves became avid lovers of the variety. By the 20th century, breed representatives received significant support in the Netherlands, France and Italy.

The state of the Bolognese livestock was strongly influenced by military events in the world. World War I and World War II devastated Western Europe, and too much damage was done to the total bolognese. Many dogs died as a result of the military conflict, and most others died when their owners were forced to leave them to their fate, due to the impossibility of feeding. But, nevertheless, despite this, such pets have survived much better than many other breeds, mainly because their representatives turned out to be quite common in all European countries.

Bolognese restoration activities

Bolognese with puppies

By the middle of the 20th century, Bolognese were very few in number and were rarely bred. They were below the dangerous line of extinction. But, the species were saved thanks to a very dedicated and loyal group of worshipers. Breeders in Western Europe, especially in countries such as France, Italy and the Netherlands, began to work hard to revive bolognese. Their efforts and activities were largely successful, and these pets were again recognized throughout European territory. The global population of such dogs is steadily increasing, and the breed is now being distributed in all countries of the world.

In recent years, several bologneses have been imported into the United States as well. Despite the fact that in America the variety is still quite rare, it is confidently gaining new fans in this country. In 1995 bolognese received full recognition from the United Kennel Club (UKC) as a member of the companion dog group.

The American bolognese club (ABC) was founded to protect and promote the variety in America. The main goal of the ABC is for such canines to be fully recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Recognition and popularization of bolognese

Bolognese puppies in hands

In 1999, members of this breed made initial attempts to work closely with the AKC. When the species was introduced into the main fund (AKC-FSS) it was the first step towards full AKC acceptance. Later AKC was chosen as the official parent club. If the co-founders reach certain agreements with this organization, then ultimately, bolognese will move to the AKC “Other class” category. And, ultimately, it will be included in the "Toy or Non-Sporting groups".

The Bolognese is one of the oldest companion dogs in Europe and is exclusively kept everywhere as a companion. In recent decades, due to its loyal disposition and attractive appearance, the variety has also shown successful activities in exhibitions in the show ring. Pets also received awards in competitive obedience competitions and as therapy animals.

Their toy appearance with prominent shiny black eyes and a nose on a snow-white white fur coat, soft and pleasant disposition, very attract and calm people. Although the sporting achievements and abilities of the bolognese show good results, it is likely that the future of the species will manifest itself mainly as a companion animal. After all, these pets cope with such a task just fine.

Popular by topic