Bolonka Zwetna Dog Breed

Brown Bolonka Zwetna
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  • Other names:
  • Bolonka
  • Russian Bolonka
  • Russian Tsvetnaya Bolonka
  • Venäjän Bolonka
  • View all 4...
Overview

The Russkaya Tsvetnaya Bolonka (also called the Bolonka Zwetna) is a toy-sized breed that came about in Russia during the . The name translates to "Russian Colored Lapdog" and the Bolonka is just that-- bred for small apartment living. During a time when their homeland of Russia was scarce in resources and space, this small breed became a popular companion. They are charming, sensitive to their humans, and very affectionate. The ideal indoor dog for all ages, from small child to elderly, Bolonkas are calm and rarely bark. They are low maintenance in all aspects from grooming to exercise. Their colorful coats are lovely and hypoallergenic. This breed has few documented health issues due to its rarity in the United States (owners should refer to closely related breeds such as the Bichon Frise for similar information). The estimated lifespan of the Bolonka is 12-15 years.

Bolonka Zwetna Breed Details

Breed Specs
TypeLifespanHeightWeight
Purebred12-15 yrs.9½-10½ in.4-12 lbs
  • Friendliness
  • Overall
  • Family Friendly
  • Kid Friendly
  • Pet Friendly
  • Stranger Friendly
  • Maintenance
  • Easy to Groom
  • Energy Level
  • Exercise Needs
  • General Health
  • Shedding Amount
  • Behavior
  • Barks / Howls
  • Easy to Train
  • Guard Dog
  • Playfulness
  • Watch Dog
  • Ownership
  • Apartment Friendly
  • Can Be Alone
  • Good for Busy Owners
  • Good for Novice Owners
  • Intelligence
* The more green the stronger the trait.

The Bolonka Zwetna is a member of the Toy group of breeds, and were developed in Russia to be low-maintenance, small-sized companions. Bolonkas are best suited for people wanting a small, hypoallergenic pet that doesn't require much space. Here are some pros and cons of this rare breed:

PROS:

  • Extremely affectionate
  • Very low-maintenance
  • Easily trained
  • Playful and personable
  • Lower barking tendency than other toy breeds
  • Great with children
  • Fairly good health
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Low exercise requirements
  • Comfortable in any living situation
  • Socializes very well with other pets
  • Relatively long lifespan (12-15 years)


CONS:

  • May suffer separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods
  • Poor watchdog abilities
  • Tendency for developing Small Dog Syndrome
  • Due to small size, can be injured easily
  • Can be difficult to house-train
  • Rare, and thus difficult to obtain

Bolonka Zwetna Breed Description

The Bolonka Zwetna is considered a toy-sized dog. They stand about 9.5 to 10.5 inches at the shoulders and weigh in anywhere from 4 to 12 pounds.

Members of this breed are an absolute joy to be around and fit into almost every household. The only owners looking for a small dog that should possibly look elsewhere are those in need of a guard dog or those looking for a very sporty dog. Families and single owners, whether young or elderly, will appreciate this breed's sweet, affectionate and gentle nature. They are calm and quiet, an ideal indoor dog, yet they are playful when appropriate. They are so friendly they even get along with any stranger both human and animal.

This is a low maintenance breed in every aspect. Grooming is fairly simple for the Bolonka's hypoallergenic coat. Other than regular brushing to keep the long, wavy coat free of mats and tangles, little more is required. Although they are medium energy dogs, their small size allows these needs to be met with short daily walks as well as indoor/outdoor playtime. Training will not be too difficult as this is a sweet, sensitive and gentle breed that are known for holding their own in the show ring. However, every dog needs consistent and firm training.

Bolonka Zwetna Breed History

Ancestors of the modern Bolonka (Bichon Frise dogs) were brought from France to Russia as early as the early 1700s. They were given as gifts to Russian nobility during this time and more specimens would make their way over later with the French army under Napoleon. During the subsequent centuries very few toy dogs would exist in Russia due to economic climate and the general utilitarian attitude of the Soviet era. The scarcity of resources to wash a pet caused breeders to select for certain traits in the Bolonka such as a dark, silky coat that would not show dirt as easily as well as a soil-repellent undercoat. Like many other breeds they were considered nearly extinct until the fall of the Iron Curtain and after the Soviet regime interest was revived in non-working, non-sporting dogs. Their small size was of particular interest as the desire for companion dogs grew but apartment living was common due to limited housing. It is believed the modern Bolonka is a mix of Lhasa-Apso, Toy Poodle, Shi-Tzu, French Bolognese and several other small breeds. Russian, Czech, Swedish, Slovak, Luxembourg Kennel Clubs recognize this breed; the North American Kennel Club and the American Rare Breed Association also allow them to be shown. The Bolonka Zwetna was added to the Foundation Stock Service as of 2015.

Bolonka Zwetna Appearance

The Bolonka Zwetna is heavier boned than many other toy dogs; it is well balanced but slightly longer than tall. The topcoat of the breed is comprised of long, shiny, wavy hair (not fur) that can for large curls and characteristically comes in any color except pure white. The undercoat is dense and soil repellent. The head is broad and round but with a leaner muzzle that tapers into a black nose; Bolonka Zwetnas also have a noticeable beard and moustache. Members of this breed have round eyes that are dark brown, hazel, or even green and display a sweet yet lively expression. The medium sized, high-set ears are carried folded. The tail curves over the back and the tip of the tail actually touches the back and happily swished from side to side when the dog is in movement.

Bolonka Zwetna Coloring

One of the hallmarks of the Bolonka, the breed comes standard in several colors including: black, brown, gray, wolf gray and red. Although not considered RKF standard, they are also commonly blue, silver, fawn and cream. Markings are favored to be fawn, silver or tan but can be brindle too and frequently occur in a "saddle pattern". Nearly every color is acceptable in this breed aside from white.

Bolonka Zwetna Size

The Bolonka Zwetna is considered a toy-sized dog. They stand about 9.5 to 10.5 inches at the shoulders and weigh in anywhere from 4 to 12 pounds.

Average Adult Height

9½-10½ in
*Height is measured in inches from the front paws to the top of the shoulder while the dog is standing on all four legs.

Average Adult Weight

4-12 lbs

Bolonka Zwetna Variations

The toy sized Bolonka Zwetna has very little variation within the breed, either in physical structure or in coat type. In regards to size, there is a bit of variety: some breeders have used selective breeding methods to develop the extremely rare Teacup Bolonka Zwetna, which can be as tiny as five inches in height and two pounds in weight.

Bolonka Zwetna Temperament

These dogs were bred specifically to be lapdogs and are very sensitive towards and oriented to people. They are playful, affectionate and charming, making them the perfect "cutesy" little indoor dog to entertain your guests. This is definitely a breed that will sit on the couch with you if not in your lap. Although they are not overly needy they are companion dogs that do not do well if left alone for long periods of time without at least another pet around. While many find the idea of a lapdog appealing, if you are away from home most of the day, the Bolonka is not for you.

Training this breed should not be very difficult. They are notable contenders in the show ring and will excel in obedience training if the owner is firm and consistent. Many people tend to think of small dogs as babies and, therefore, do not establish themselves as the pack leader. This can lead to small dog syndrome so owners should always remember to treat a pet as a pet and understand that they have animal instincts.

Bolonka Zwetna and Children

Although this breed is small, they are quite sturdy and can handle a family with children. They are affectionate and playful combined with a sensitivity towards human requirements. Bolonka Zwetnas are not typically yappy barking dogs which can also lend to a peaceful family life.

Bolonka Zwetna and Other Pets

These dogs are gentle and sweet, so they should have no problem getting along with other pets of all kinds.

Bolonka Zwetna and Strangers

Bolonkas are friendly to everyone whether they are family, friend, acquaintance or stranger. This is good news if you have frequent guests and want a dog that is not reserved or yappy; however, this is bad news if you are looking for a guard dog.

Bolonka Zwetna Photos

Below are pictures and images of the Bolonka Zwetna.

Gray Bolonka Zwenta
Brown Bolonka Zwetna in the Wind
Brown Bolonka Zwetna
Brown Bolonka Zwetna Puppy

Bolonka Zwetna Maintenance

This is a low maintenance breed in every aspect. Grooming is fairly simple for the Bolonka's wash and wear coat. Other than regular brushing to keep the long, wavy coat free of mats and tangles, little more is required. Although they are medium energy dogs, their small size allows these needs to be met with short daily walks as well as indoor/outdoor playtime. Training will not be too difficult as this is a sweet, sensitive and gentle breed that are known for holding their own in the show ring. However, every dog needs consistent and firm training.

Grooming Requirements

During the time of origination of the Bolonka Zwetna, resources in Russia were extremely scarce. Grooming products were not readily available or affordable, so the coat of this breed is considered "wash and wear" meaning other than regular maintenance such as brushing, ear cleaning and nail trimming, they do not require much effort to keep them looking good. There coat is considered hypoallergenic as they produce less dander than many other breeds and have hair, not fur. Many owners choose to keep the hair natural but put the brow area into a bow so it does not obstruct the vision of the Bolonka.

Exercise Requirements

Members of this breed are of medium energy level, however, these needs can easily be met with short daily walks or playtime in a fenced yard. Your Bolonka can possible be tiny enough to be mistaken as prey by larger animals including hawks so make sure to keep an eye on them during outdoor playtime in less urban areas.

Living Requirements

Members of this breed were specifically bred to be suitable for apartments and small living spaces. As the name says, they are lapdogs and are very people oriented desiring to be in your presence. They are not frequent barkers and this also adds to their desirability as apartment dogs.

Temperature Range

This is not an outdoor breed so any reasonable indoor temperature should be fine for these small dogs. They should not be left outdoors in extremely hot or cold temperatures for long periods of time.

Bolonka Zwetna Health

Due to the rarity of this breed in the United States not much information exists in regards to typical health problems. Potential owners considering this breed might look to closely related types such as the Bichon Frise. Owners should read up on small dog problems such as eye, joint and autoimmune diseases. Members of this breed typically live 12-15 years.

Bolonka Zwetna Breed Recognition

The following dog breed registries and organizations recognize the Bolonka Zwetna as a dog breed:

  • American Rare Breed Association
  • Dog Registry of America Inc.
  • Foundation Stock Service
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