​​​​My Darling Dogs

​​​​Bolognese Breeder in the USA  



Choosing a Purebred Dog

It is a purebred dog for only one reason: because someone cared and supervised the birth of every single generation. For decades past, or even for hundreds of years in some breeds, someone saw that the right dog was bred to the right bitch, and reared the pups to a healthy adulthood. Think how hard it is to keep a bitch in heat from cavorting about with any cur that passes by. Do you think that she cares about the lineage of her whelps? No! Humans care! And ever since the breed was originated, humans have supervised every step to improve on the features that make every breed useful, special, and unique."

Chow Time--Come and Get It!

Just like we want to maintain a healthy body and mind for ourselves, we like our dogs to be healthy, smart, and happy too! One thing that is crucial for humans and dogs alike, is to have a healthy diet to keep everything working at an optimum level. We have found that the people who buy pets from us are very concerned about their pets' health and nutrition and want to feed them the best possible diet so their pets live a long, healthy life and are family members for many years.

Over the years we have used several different kinds of dog foods and have refined what works best for us and have recommended certain dog foods and treats to you as well. There are lots of brands of dog foods on the market and differences of opinions when it comes to doggie diets. The main thing we have realized and support is the fact that dogs are basically carnivores and they thrive on meat. Here are the main things we look for in the dog foods we purchase:

  1. The first two ingredients should be real meat, poultry, or fish (not by-products of these).
  2. Whole grains, brown rice, and oats. (No wheat or corn because they can make their eyes run.)
  3. Vegetables and fruits such as sweet potatoes, carrots, apples, cranberries, etc.
  4. Natural fat like sunflower and fish oil.
  5. Natural preservatives like Vitamin E, but no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives like BHT or BHA.

Sometimes you have to be careful about herbs that are added, just depending on your dog.

Then, we feed our dogs small treats regularly: cheese, small pieces of meat, fish, or chicken and carrots. We also feed them beef and chicken strips from Costco. We just recently had a lamb butchered and ground into "lamburger". About every other day, we add about 1/4 cup of boiled lamburger to their dog food. Sometimes we'll add a scrambled egg to their food (no salt ever added). We also buy raw bones for them to chew on. This is so good for their teeth--added calcium--let alone that they will chew for hours. I swear, you can see them licking their lips

Bolo in the Bidet!​

Casper a Bolognese, lives in Florida with his his owners Ann and Bruce. They trained Casper to potty in their bidet as a young puppy. They say Casper never has accidents in the house. While we might definitely consider this the ultimate in potty training a puppy, most of us don't have bidets and so we resort to taking our puppies to the great outdoors or training them to a puppy pad. The main thing to remember when training a puppy is to be very consistent. Always take your dog to the same location, use the same command such as "Potty" or "Out" or whatever you decide and have the puppy on a leash if you are not in a fenced-in area or yard. Wherever you take them, that is where they will learn to go. If you are training to a puppy pad, keep it sufficient distance away from his crate or sleeping area and food. Puppies like to keep their sleeping area and living area clean, so keeping the puppy pad 5 or 6 feet from this area lets him know this is the place to go. Many puppy pads have a scent on them that attracts the puppy to them. When the puppy goes where he is supposed 

The Story of Catherine the Great of Russia

Catherine the Great was a real fan of the Bolognese. This little lap dog was her favorite. This fall we sold a Bolognese to a lady from Florida and she told us the most interesting story. She has a pendant made from a Catherine the Great coin that her brother makes. They were going to an art show and she said she always wears the coin pendant as it generates so much conversation. Catherine the Great used to toss the coins out the windows of her chariot to the peasants who scooped them up! Her coin is from the year 1768. This lady wore her Catherine the Great pendant and 

to, always praise him and/or offer him a small treat. When training him to go outside, at first you must take him out every hour or so. Stay no more than five or six minutes. When he goes, praise him lavishly, offer him a small treat and then take him back indoors. Then he will learn that going outside is the time to relieve himself, not play time, If he doesn't go, but goes when you come inside, say: "No!" firmly and take him back outside for a few minutes. Always take your puppy out after sleeping and eating, and after play periods and anytime he indicates he is looking for a place to potty... most commonly, by sniffing. Bolognese and Coton de Tulears are smart dogs and it doesn't take too long to get them trained. Be patient however, they are just babies and do not have fully developed muscle control. With consistency and patience, you will not only have a happy puppy, but you will be an even happier owner!​

Play Gently!

Puppies often tend to nip at fingers while playing and even though this is the natural way that puppies play with their siblings--nipping and pulling and rolling, it can be a bit annoying and sometimes painful as their little teeth get sharper as they grow. The trainer advised that when playing with your puppy, if he/she tends to bite, stop playing, rub butter on your hand .Let the puppy lick it off, all the while saying "Gentle, gentle." Do this a couple times a day for 2-3 days. Then later if the puppy forgets and bites, again, just say "Gentle, gentle" and the puppy will respond accordingly. What a great positive reinforcement

Do You Want to Dance? Bolognese and Coton de Tuelars love to dance! They endearingly jump and walk on their hind legs. Just like the merrry marionettes of a French circus, both the Bolognese and the Cotons dance, twirl, and especially the Bolognese roll their paws in the air inviting you to join in the fun! No wonder the royalty and nobles in times past were entertained by these vivacious, playful little friends! The Cotons de Tulear were nicknamed "clown dogs" because they were used as street performers and in circuses. They love to spin, dance, flip, and show off! Both Cotons and Bolognese are intelligent, eager to please, and are easily trained. Everything is a game for them and they love to play!!

As Phyllis A. Holst so aptly describes in her book Canine Reproduction, we have a huge responsibility to keep our breed "pure, strong, and correct." Each breed has specific characteristics typical of that breed and we want to breed dogs that are of excellent quality, that meets their breed standard, have wonderful temperaments, and are in top health without hereditary defects. When you are looking for a breed to fit in with your family's lifestyle, know what you want. Do you want a large dog, small dog, guard dog, working dog, a loveable companion, one who is good with children? All of these are important questions. In this day where "designer" dogs are popular, it is still reassuring to know that you can find a dog specifically bred to suit your requirements. Our Coton de Tulear and Bolognese are carefully bred to maintain their specific breed characteristics. Bolognese are intelligent, sensitive, affectionate, and playful. They have been bred for centuries as strictly companion dogs. They are very interactive and love to greet you with their "bolo" dance. Coton de Tulears are friendly, calm, highly trainable dogs with very sweet, endearing personalities. Historically, it was law that only nobility could own a Coton de Tulear and Bolognese sat in the courts of kings and queens. Now they are accessible to you and your family as wonderful pets and loving companions.

carried her Bolognese puppy to the art show and reminisced with visitors about a bit of history. Catherine the Great ruled Russia from 1762 to 1796. She believed that coins should contain their value in the metal. 5 Kopeks was a fairly valuable coin and so these coins are quite large and beautiful. These coins were the largest coins ever used in daily business. They are made of copper and are about 1 3/4" in diameter and about an 1/8" thick, so they really are quite impressive alone or in pendant form. One side has the date and Catherine the Great's monogram. The "I" stands for "Imperatrista" which is Russian for Empress and the "E" stands for "Ekatarina" which is the Russian form of Catherine. The reverse side has the two headed Russian eagle. When the communists took control of Russia in the 1900's, these coins were aggressively melted down. Some were hoarded in barrels and this accounts for their fine condition. 
After the lady told us the story, of course we had to have one and promptly ordered one from her brother. Every time we look at the coin, we envision the colorful Catherine who was famous for many exploits, territorial expansion, and enlightenment. We can imagine her regally tossing her coins from her grand carriage to her subjects with her lovely Bolognese in her lap!

My Darling Dogs Articles

long time, dog reasearch itself is a surprising new area of science. Professor Daniel Mills of the University of Lincoln in England says: "What makes our relationships so special is the dog's ability to be able to read our emotions so effectively."

We treat them like they are fellow human beings, with all the thoughts, feelings and emotions of a family member. We share our lives, our homes, even our beds with them. One area that professor Mills is using is eye tracking technology to probe how close our relationship is. "When humans express emotions in our faces, we don't do it symmetrically. It's been shown that, if you take somebody's face when they're expressing some emotion like happiness or anger or something like that, there is a difference between the left and the right side. One of the theories is that maybe our emotions are more faithfully presented in the right side of our face, and that's the side that we tune in to And when we look at a face, we have what's known as a natural left-gaze bias, so you naturally look much more towards the left, i.e. the right hand side, of somebody's face." Eye-tracking software demonstrates that, when presented with a human face, we nearly always look left first. Daniel Mills wanted to find out if dogs us the same trick to read human faces. "We found that dogs, when they are looking at pictures of dog faces or objects, will look randomly on the left or the right. But, when it comes to human faces, we made a remarkable discovery. Dogs look at movement on the left of human faces. As far as we know, no other animal has this relationship with the human face. And dogs don't do this with each other. This suggests that dogs have acquired a new skill enabling them to communicate with us on an emotional level. Evidence appears to underpin our conviction that dogs understand us in a way that other animals cannot."

Another interesting discovery is that our interaction with dogs has a biochemical signature that may be similar to what happens between a mother and baby. Professor Kerstin Uvnas-Moberg has been studying the role of the hormone oxytocin in creating the bond between mothers and their newborns. Oxytocin helps the mother quickly establish the positive feelings and the bond between mother and baby. Professor Uvnas-Moberg believes oxytocin plays a similar role in the bond between dogs and their owners. To test the theory, blood samples are taken from dogs and their owners before and during a petting session. "We had a basal blood sample, and there was nothing, and then we had the sample taken at one minute and three minutes, and you could see this beautiful peak of oxytocin. The fascinating thing is, actually, that the peak of oxytocin is similar to the one we see in breastfeeding mothers. Surprisingly, it's not just the owners who are affected. Blood samples taken from dogs reveal a similar burst of oxytocin. It is a mutual kind of interaction." Oxytocin has a powerful physiological effect. It can lower the heart rate and blood pressure and may lead to reduced levels of stress. Research indicates that owning a dog could even extend your life. If you have a dog, you are much less likely to have a heart attack, and if you have a heart attack, you are three to four times more likely to survive it if you have a dog than if you don't.

The rest of the interview describes studies with wolves, chimpanzees, foxes, and the differences between these animals from the time they are babies and their relationship to humans in comparison to dogs. Puppies trust people and are interested in them right away. Humans respond to puppies and seem to have a natural desire to nurture them. Experiments show that there is no animal so connected to us like dogs. As Daniel Mills concludes, "I don't think it's any coincidence that that dog is referred to as man's best friend."

Science-- Bonding Between Dogs and Humans

A friend was telling me about a program on PBS called "NOVA--Dogs Decoded" that she had watched on television. It is about the remarkable bond between humans and dogs and the scientific study behind it. I downloaded the transcript and if you'd like to read it in its entirety, the website is
http//www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/nature/dogs-decoded.html. For the rest of you, the short version is below:

After thousands of years of living together, dogs are attuned to us like no other animal. Given the fact that dogs have been around a