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Smaller breeds were considered superfluous and unnecessary, even more so during the Soviet Regime. During this time, dogs were not imported to Russia, so breeds were developed by selections from already existing breeds. Since 1966, they have been called Tsvetnaya Bolonka. Interest in the specific breed of Bolonka revived after the fall of the iron curtain.
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Tsvetnaya Bolonka means "colored lapdog". The Bolonka has several different nicknames. They have been called Russian colored Bichons or Russian lapdogs. Toy Bolonki. In Germany, the dogs are known as Bolonka Zwetna since the 1980's or Deutscher Bolonka. Both breeds have similar bloodlines. In the Czech Republic the breed is called Barevny Bolonsky Psik (Bolognais color). Sometimes they are mistakenly called Bolognese. The common name of the breed in all countries is Bolonka. The Bolonki have a life expectancy of 13 to 17 years.
They are small dogs with sturdy little bodies, and in temperament comparable to Bolognese. They come in black, brown, gray, beige, red, and a mixture of black and tan, black and gray, and gray and tan. All colors are accepted except solid white and no more than 20% white markings are allowed in the standard. We have found them to be very personable, sweet, little companion dogs. Bolonki are the rarest of the Bichon family.
The Bolonka breed had its beginnings as far back as the early 18th century. King Louis IV of France presented the Bolonka as gifts to Russian nobility. Later, the ancestors of the Bolonka migrated to Russia with napoleon's army and they were known as the French Bolonka. Russia was never known for its toy breeds, partly because of its harsh environment and its economic need for working dogs.
Check out this section to learn more about the Bolonka breed. Everything from bath time to playtime.