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QUESTION: How do I go about breeding with my female Bolognese

So, you have decided you would like to have a litter from your female Bolognese. Firstly, you must ask yourself why you would like to breed. Is it because you find your dog rather cute and would like to have an offspring the same or your think it would be good education for your children, or you may even think that by having a litter of puppies you will be making money?


There are a lot of aspects to consider prior to deciding to have a litter of puppies. The first thing to check is your female’s Kennel Club documentation. Is it more than likely that the breeder placed restrictions on your female that ‘progeny cannot be registered’ this means that the breeder put a restriction on your bitch that any puppies she produces cannot be registered. If you find this to be the case that there are restrictions on the KC papers, you will need to contact the breeder and ask if they would be prepared to lift these restrictions. Some breeders would be happy to lift restrictions but with certain criteria having been met.

Health Testing

The next thing to consider is, have you carried out health testing? Although Bolognese are a relatively healthy breed, to keep it that way breeders need to health test to ensure that no hereditary faults are passed on. The main tests for Bolognese are Eye Testing, this must be done by a specialist Ophthalmic Vet. The bitch should also be patella tested and hopefully results 0/0. The third test is a DNA test for PRA prcd. This again is to do with the eyes. The test is very simple and can be done at home with a cheek swab test. There is a company in Cornwall who carry this test out, they are called Animal Genetics, the cost for the DNA test is currently £55.00. The results will come back as one of three results. Clear, Carrier or Positive. If the result is positive, you should not breed as any puppies will run the risk of going blind. If the result is clear that is fine and if the result is Carrier, you can breed your female but she must be bred to a clear male (and vice versa). Once you have carried out the tests you can then start to look for a stud dog. The stud dog should also have undergone all the same tests, so do ask the owner of a stud dog about their results.

Further Information

There is a lot of useful information on the Kennel Club website for beginner breeders. Also, if you have an account with the KC, you can log on and use their ‘find a mate’ service. This is a free service, and it is free to log in. You can also check the ‘Inbreeding coefficient’ which will give you a number and this relates to inbreeding etc. Because Bolognese are a rare breed, we do not have a generous pool of blood lines, so it is essential that we do not inbreed too closely. On the KC website you can also find a list of Assured Breeders most of whom own stud dogs so you can see geographically who would be closest to you. Having said that, not all breeders have dogs that are at public stud, you will need to contact them individually to find out.


If you do decide to go ahead and breed you must be prepared to have the time to spend and availability of funds, firstly for a stud fee and just in case, you need a vet’s intervention for a Cesarean Section as not all litters are straight forward and be prepared to keep the puppies for around 10-12 weeks. You will also be required to vaccinate and microchip any puppies and register them with The Kennel Club.

There is a lot of information on our website regarding breeding, so please have a look through the information before making an informed decision.

If you have any queries feel free to contact us and hopefully, we may be able to answer them.

Chris Thatcher

Devonia Bolognese

Further Reading

QUESTION: What documentation should I expect to see when buying a Bolognese puppy from a reputable breeder?

QUESTION: How do I Find a Bolognese Puppy?

QUESTION: What health checks are required for Bolognese?

Melanie Thomas, Chairperson

Melanie Thomas, Chairperson

I live in St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex with 2 Bolognese and I show one of my dogs.