Swedish Vallhund

The Swedish Vallhund is a herding dog breed that originated in Sweden, as their name suggests. Its original Swedish name is Västgötaspets which translates in English as Swedish cow dog.

This breed had a close encounter with extinction in 1942 but Swedish Vallhund enthusiasts, lovers, and breeders, with the great support of the Swedish government, managed to save this breed. The “revival” of the Swedish Vallhund started in Västergötland and after that, the breed was named after that region.

Swedish Vallhund Height

Height:

11-14 in (28-36 cm)

Swedish Vallhund Weight

Weight:

20-35 lb (9-16 kg)

Swedish Vallhund Origin

Origin:

Sweden

Swedish Vallhund Life Expectancy

Life Expectancy:

12-15 years

Breed History

The Swedish Vallhund’s history is a long and unknown one. Canine historians believe that these dogs are descendants of the Viking dogs but so far, we have not been able to trace them so far back.

What we can be sure about, is that these dogs are related to other Spitz-type dogs from Scandinavia and there are many theories regarding the role that the Swedish Vallhund played in the creation of the Welsh Corgi. Some say that these dogs were brought to Wales and others say that Welsh dogs were brought to Sweden. We will probably never be 100% sure.

Archeological evidence was found on ancient burial sights in Sweden of dogs being buried with their owners and the skeletons of those dogs are remarkably similar to those of the modern-day Swedish Vallhund. That evidence was dated to the 8th or 9th century.

Dog Breed Characteristics

Energy Level
Grooming Needs
Exercise Needs
Trainability
Intelligence
Kid Friendly
Dog Friendly
General Health

As we already mentioned, the Swedish Vallhund characteristics are very similar to those of the Welsh Corgi. The Västgötaspets is a small dog breed with short legs, but nevertheless sturdy and strong. They give an impression of alertness and that of a highly energetic dog.

The Swedish Vallhund has a long head and slightly oval eyes that are usually dark brown in color. These dogs have medium-sized ears that are pricked and pointed. They can be born with a normal, long-tail, or have a naturally short one.

Swedish Vallhund standard

FCI

  • Group 5 (Spitz and primitive types), Section 3 (Nordic Watchdogs and Herders)
  • height - male 12,5- 14 in (32-36 cm), females 11-12.75 in (28-33 cm)
  • date of acceptance - 1/2/1954

AKC

  • Herding group
  • height - male 12.5-14 in (32-36 cm), females 11-12.75 in (28-33 cm)
  • weight - 20-35 lbs (9-16 kg)
  • date of acceptance - 2007

Grooming

Swedish Vallhund has a soft and dense undercoat and a harsh outercoat. You should brush them at least once a week to keep the amount of hair under control.

Swedish Vallhund coat colors:

  • sable patterns of gray to red or combinations of colors

Brush their teeth at least three times a week to prevent tartar buildup and infections. Make sure you use products that are made especially for dogs as human products could potentially harm them. Trim their nails if they don’t wear them down naturally. A good indication is if you can hear them clicking on the floor while they walk. Clean their ears and check for signs of redness or infections. Use a cotton cloth and never insert anything in their ear canal. You can always check with your Vet about the products you should use and the proper technique.

 

Exercise

Swedish Vallhund dogs are medium active and they will need a proper amount of daily activities to be happy. Playing with his owner in the house, chasing the ball, or just long walks can all do the trick and keep this dog satisfied. If you provide him with enough daily activities you don’t have to worry that your dog will miss behaving.

Swedish Vallhund temperament

The Swedish Vallhund is a lively and playful dog that is extremely devoted and affectionate towards their own family. They are quite adaptable and their small size allows them to adapt to different living conditions.

The Swedish Vallhund has been described by many owners and breeders as a dog breed that has a great imagination and a sense of humor. They are naturally curious and love to find new and creative ways to play and use their toys.

Training and socialization

The Swedish Vallhunds training should begin as soon as they come to your home, as well as socialization. Expose your new puppy to different situations, change the surroundings often, expose them to new sights and sounds, and think of new and interesting ways to train and socialize your dog.

Training should be done using only positive training methods and reinforcement. When training a Swedish Vallhund, include as many treats, praises, and food as possible and you can be sure that your puppy will be very interested in training sessions. When using food in puppy training, the puppy sees a direct benefit for himself in a form of food. Their motivation to obey a command will automatically be higher.

Kids

Swedish Vallhund are excellent family dogs that will get along with every family member including children. Take note that kids need to be taught how to properly play and interact with a dog so Swedish Vallhund can enjoy their company. If they are raised together from an early age they will be their playing parting and they will enjoy spending time together.

Other animals

These dogs can get along well with other dogs and can enjoy their company. Generally, the Swedish Vallhund is a great pet to have if you already have other pets at home. They are extremely friendly and love having company, so your Swedish Vallhund won’t mind other pets. 

Health problems

The Swedish Vallhund is generally considered a healthy breed, but they are prone to some health issues and concerns like any other dog breed. These dogs have an average lifespan of 12-15 years. 

When getting any breed, the breeder must show you health tests that they have done for their breeding dogs. Dogs must be adequately tested because taking a chance and hoping that the puppy’s parents are healthy is a risk no one should ever take. Only healthy dogs should be bred because that is the only way to assure that bloodlines will remain healthy and without any problems. Health problems associated with this breed are;

  • Hip dysplasia - Genetic problem affecting hips resulting from an improperly formed hip joint.

Breeders

When getting a dog, the most important thing is to get it from a responsible and reputable Swedish Vallhund breeder. Responsible breeders will breed dogs that don’t only look good but have great characters as well. You must find a good Swedish Vallhund breeder that can help you learn about this breed and make an informed choice about getting a dog with these characteristics. 

Swedish Vallhund is still a rare dog breed and if you are interested in getting one of these dogs you must be prepared that you will be put on the waiting list.

When you bring your new puppy home start with the training and socialization immediately. By doing so, you will end up with a well-behaved dog whom you can trust. Provide him with enough daily exercise for him to be happy.

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World Dog Finder team

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Updated at18.05.2021.

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