Care and grooming needs


Regular grooming of your Bolognese dog is very important because of the nature of his coat. Bolognese dogs have a lot of hair, and they don’t shed. Therefore any dead hair stays within the coat, but are usually removed thanks to brushing. Regular grooming is necessary not only to prevent tangles but to remove dead hair as well. Neglected coats become matted, which is painful and can lead to serious skin infections.

Grooming must be introduced from a very early age.  A few minutes should be set aside every day teaching the dog to stand on a table or work surface and accept grooming. If a puppy gets a quick brush every day or every other day he will get accustumed to the caring human hands and will remain easy to handle and willing throughout his life. Grooming will be a pleasant experience for the dog and his owner.

Before every brushing/combing session it is wise to spray a little bit of detangling spray for easier combing in the coat. Then use a wide-tooth comb to comb the hair on your pup’s face, being particularly gentle around the eyes and mouth. Pay special attention to the area under the ears, where mats often develop.

Lay your pup on his back, so you can groom his belly and legs. Use the wide-tooth comb first, then the pin brush to smooth the hair down. Pay attention to the areas where the leg joins the body, as it is prone to developing tangles.

Stand your dog up and brush the hair on his back. Again, use the wide-tooth comb first, followed by the pin brush.

When there are many tangles in the coat sometimes a slicker brush is needed. Slicker brush is also useful for brushing the paws/legs of your bolognese.

Cleaning of the eyes and mouth

It is advisable that every day you should use a damp cotton ball  to wash a region around the eyes and mouth. This will prevent tear stains from developing and remove any food residue from around your pet’s mouth before it has a chance to cause mats. Puppies and young dogs often have tear stains because of teething. But after teeth are changed also tear stains usually dissapear. If tear stains are present on an adult dog despite good care cause for them usually lies in food your dog is consuming or some other harmful factor and is often a result of some kind of allergy.

Cleaning of the ears

It is advisable that once a week you should clean the ears of your bolognese. Dampen the ear canal with commercial ear cleaner and massage the outer ear for a few seconds to soften any debris. Use a cotton ball to wipe out the cleaner and debris, then finish up by drying out the ear with a clean cotton ball.  Sometimes, it is necessary to pluck out the hair that grows in the ear canal to allow for better air circulation inside the ear.

Feet and nails

In order to prevent knots of hair from forming between the pads of the feet, the hair  should be trimmed with a round-tipped pair of scissors. The trimmed pads prevent slipping on wood or tiled floors. Toenails should be trimmed at least once ot twice a month with a nail clipper.


There are many products on the market for a dog’s teeth but the best option is to clean the teeth a couple of times a week gently with a canine toothpaste and a canine toothbrush. This will help keep your dog’s gums and teeth healthy and strong. Bleeding and inflamed gums can lead to tooth loss and bad breath.

Resistant tartar can only be removed by vet.

Did You Know?
You may have heard these dogs’ non-shedding coats make them a “non-allergenic” breed, but that’s not true. It’s a dog’s dander – flakes of skin – that triggers allergic reactions, not the coat. The non-shedding coat means less dander in the environment and sometimes fewer allergic reactions. But they still produce dander, and can still cause an allergic reaction

Despite bolognese are white dogs they need bathing only when they get very dirty or before the show. The coat of the Bolognese doesn’t hold the dirt for long, so bathing isn’t always necessary.  A regular grooming helps to keep it clean.

It also depends where your live. If you live in a big city with a lot of traffic and smog and you walk your bolognese near big roads your bolognese will need more frequent bathing approximately every 2 weeks or in extreme conditions every week. But if you live on a countryside where air is cleaner a bath every 3 to 4 weeks will be sufficent.

The coat should always be brushed and combed through before bathing. It is very important that  all mats and tangles are removed before bathing your dog.  They are much harder to remove on a wet coat.

It is wise to use a dog shampoo.  Select a shampoo suited for your dog’s coat.  After wetting the coat, stroke in the shampoo rather than rubbing for the latter will create knots.  Rinse, then shampoo again thoroughly before applying a volume protein conditioner.   Then make sure the conditioner is completely rinsed away.

When towel drying the coat, pat rather than rub, to avoid making knots. You can if you wish use a blow dryer on a cool setting rather than hot or if you wish you may leave the damp coat to dry naturally.

Professional grooming

Bolognese is a natural breed and grooming should be as natural as possible. For show purposes he should have a coat that is between 8 and 12 cm long. But from time to time it is useful to visit a professional groomer who will do a complete care of your dog. Any scisscoring has to be done at least 2 weeks before the show. The standard allows to tidy the paws. If there are some split ends in the hair or there are single hairs or fingers which pop out of the coat, it is allowed to cut them into the level of others. It is also allowed to  tidy the region around the sex and buttock too.

How to Groom Bolognese, Compiled by Greta Franklin

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