10+ Dogs Similar to Bolognese

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Dogs Similar to BologneseThe Bolognese is a popular Italian dog breed with plenty going for it.

It’s small, cute, and was literally bred to be a companion. It has close bonds with everyone in its family and will be happy to play or chill out. There are, however, reasons that this breed might not suit your home.

If that’s the case, here is a list of similar breeds that might be better suited to you!

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Bolognese’s Family: The 6 Other Bichon-Type Breeds

The Bolognese belongs to a family of dog breeds called the Bichon. These breeds are very similar in many ways, so if you’re looking for a breed similar to the Bolognese, consider one of the following.


Havanese DogThis Bichon-type is from Cuba and is known for how incredibly affectionate it can be. It is often said to stick to its family like glue and will follow those it loves around like a little shadow. Owners looking for affection and endless cuddles will be happy with this silky little breed.

Learn more about how the Bolognese and Havanese compare


Maltese DogThe Maltese is from the Mediterranean, and it is a gentle Bichon-type that loves attention in all forms. It is affectionate, although not as much as the Havanese, and it is very intelligent. Unlike other Bichon-types, the Maltese is a people pleaser and thus is pretty easy to train.

Learn more about how the Bolognese and Maltese compare


Löwchen (Little Lion Dog)The German Bichon-type is named after its appearance; Lowchen means ‘little lion dog’. The breed is active, intelligent, and always seeking company. It loves attention, as do the other Bichons, and will be happy to do pretty much anything so long as it is the center of attention at all times.

Coton de Tulear

Coton de TulearThis Bichon is from the island of Madagascar. It looks just like a tiny cloud and is full of energy all the time. The breed is cute, fun, and bubbly, and gets on with pretty much anything or anyone. It’s a great choice for anyone with children or other pets, as it loves to be social.

Learn more about how the Bolognese and Coton de Tulear compare

Bichon Frise

Bichon FriseThe Bichon Frise is a curly-coated small dog that is full of energy and love. It is a really affectionate breed and is pretty intelligent, but does suffer from the typical Bichon-stubbornness that can make training quite a battle for owners.

Learn more about how the Bolognese and Bichon Frise compare

6 Best Non-Bichon-Type Alternatives to Bolognese

Along with the other Bichon-types, there are a number of non-Bichon alternatives to consider!

Toy or Miniature Poodle

Miniature PoodlePoodles are one of the smartest dog breeds on the planet. They are renowned for their intelligence and are used in agility competitions because of it. The breed is unique with a dense curly coat that comes in a number of colors, and also comes in three sizes. The Toy Poodle is the smallest, measuring less than 15” tall. The Miniature Poodle typically measures 15,” and the Standard Poodle is much bigger.

The Poodle is similar to the Bolognese in many ways, it’s fun, goofy, and affectionate, and the Toy and Miniature Poodle are great options for those living in an apartment or a condo. The breed is happy to live with kids or other animals and is a great family pet or companion dog.

Cairn Terrier

The Cairn Terrier is from Scotland and is a sensible and independent dog breed. It loves being a companion and can be really affectionate to those it loves. The breed is the right size for apartments, just like the Bolognese, measuring 9” to 10” tall.

The Cairn Terrier, like many terriers, is very high-energy and active, so will require plenty of exercise, attention, and mental stimulation in order to prevent the breed from acting out in any way. The breed struggles with being left alone, like many of the Bichon types, so it isn’t well equipped to live in a house with a busy social or work calendar.

Shih Tzu

Shih TzuThe Shih Tzu is elegant and perky. It is known for being endlessly happy and bubbly and is really friendly with pretty much everyone. The breed is so friendly, in fact, that it gets on well with children, dogs, and other pets, making it a great addition to a large family.

Just like the Cairn Terrier and many other breeds, the Shih Tzu is not well equipped to handle time alone and will often develop separation anxiety if left alone too often for too long. But, on the other hand, the breed is intelligent and trainable!


The Cockapoo is a mixed-breed dog that has become increasingly popular in recent years. The breed is a combination of the Cocker Spaniel and the Poodle and was bred in order to create a sturdy companion dog that is a light-shedder and full of energy. They got it spot on!

The Cockapoo is incredibly people-oriented and is super affectionate all of the time. The breed is easy to train, happy to be petted and loves to play. It is great around children and other animals and is relatively easy to groom.


The Papillon is named after the French word for ‘butterfly’ because of its wispy hair and incredibly erect ears. The breed is the descendant of small spaniel breeds and is a companion dog through and through.

The breed is small but by no means just a lap dog. Papillons are full of energy and excitement and will chase pretty much anything, anywhere. It is a breed that doubles as both a loving family companion but also an incredibly feisty guard dog. The breed is easy to train, but a little bit high-maintenance when it comes to grooming. It makes up for it, though, with how friendly it is!

Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso is a small dog that is not aware of its size. It thinks it is much larger and is a fierce protector of those that it loves. The breed is endlessly loyal and affectionate, having been bred to be a guard dog many many years ago. Happy to run around and play or sit guarding your lap, the breed is well-rounded.

Lhasa Apsos are also very independent, which can mean that training them can be quite difficult. The breed is very intelligent, but its stubbornness simply gets in the way when it comes to training. Nevertheless, the breed is very popular and can be trained with enough positive reinforcement and treats.

Bolognese Mixed Breeds

The other option if you’re looking for a breed like the Bolognese is to get a Bolognese cross. These are breeds that are the result of a Bolognese and another breed mating, providing them with the benefits of the Bolognese and whatever other parent breed. Often, mixed breeds tend to have fewer health conditions and are bred to remove certain undesirable traits. Some of the most popular Bolognese mixed breeds are:

  • Beaglolo (Bolognese x Beagle)
  • Bolo-chi (Bolognese x Chihuahua)
  • Bolo-tzu (Bolognese x Shih Tzu)
  • Bologco (Bolognese x Cocker Spaniel)
  • Bolonauzer (Bolognese x Schnauzer)


Whilst the Bolognese is a great dog breed and is a well-loved pet by many, it does have traits that certain people might choose to avoid. In this case, they can choose from six other Bichon breeds, small dogs like the Papillon and Lhasa Apso, or a crossbreed like the Bolonauzer to get the best of both worlds.

Whether you are looking for food for your dog or other pet supplies, Chewy.com has them all. Right now, they are even running a promotion where you get 40% OFF your first Instinct Raw Frozen autoship order.