Activities For Swedish Vallhunds

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Introduction

Looking just like their cousin Corgis, albeit less renowned, the Swedish Vallhund is a working and farm dog known for their energy, alertness and intelligence. Native to the Scandinavian country of Sweden, the Vallhund is an active dog with a herding background. While they have been around for centuries, this breed has only made its way to American shores recently. In fact, it is believed that the first two Vallhunds were imported to the United States around 1985. However, because of their working history and their athletic capacities, they are slowly becoming more popular as a pet, companion and outdoor partner. 

Treibball

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Sunny Day
Free
Easy
30 - 45 min
Items needed
Soccer ball
Goal posts
Treats
Activity description

The Swedish Vallhund is, above all else, known for herding abilities. Unfortunately, actual herding is rarely being done nowadays, except for when you live and work on a farm. Therefore, to scratch that “herding” itch that your dog may intrinsically have, you need to find certain alternatives. One of the best and most effective ways to utilize the Vallhund’s herding instincts is through a game of treibball. Also known as drive ball, this canine sport involves your dog herding a ball across the field and into the goal, similar to how a soccer game is played. It originated in Germany and was intentionally made with herding dogs in mind. 

Step
1
Set up your "field"
In order to play treibball, you will have to have a soccer ball and a field to play in. Since it will be just you and your dog playing, then your own backyard should be good enough. You can make a goal in your backyard using scrap materials or purchase a soccer goal toy so that your dog will have a target.
Step
2
Teach your dog to play
Once you have your field all set up, it is time to teach your dog to play. Get your dog interested in the ball and use commands to get them to “herd” it towards the direction of the goal. You may also demonstrate how to herd the ball into the goal. Give your pooch some treats as a reward if they do it right. This will help them understand what you want from them and will eventually enable them to get how the game works. To up the challenge, have your clever Swedish Vallhund herd the balls by color category.
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Treadmill

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Any Day
Free
Normal
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Treadmill
Treats
Activity description

For an active and energetic breed like the Swedish Vallhund, a good amount of physical exercise is a must. However, there are times when you are too busy and incapable of heading outdoors. There will also be times when the weather won’t permit your usual outdoor activities. An ingenious alternative for your usual walk in the neighborhood or run in the park is to get your dog on a treadmill. The treadmill is an exercise machine that is able to simulate the sensation of running. What’s more, it can mimic virtually all running conditions and can incorporate elements such as speed, inclines and declines. By getting your Vallhund moving on a treadmill, you get to satisfy their physical needs without having to leave your house. 

Step
1
Comfort on the treadmill
Like most people, dogs will not have an instant desire to get on a treadmill. In fact, most canines probably do not know what the treadmill does. It is up to you to introduce your dog to the treadmill and get them comfortable on it. To do this, place some treats on the treadmill. This will entice your dog to go on the treadmill. Do this every day for a couple of weeks until your dog associates the treadmill with something positive.
Step
2
Get moving
Once your dog is comfortable on the treadmill, you can turn it on and see how your dog reacts to the movement. Make sure to start at a slow pace. It may take a while for your pooch to get used to the movement but over time, they will start to move as the treadmill operates. Eventually, you can start to increase the speed or make any other adjustments that you think will suit your dog best. When they have finished a session, give them plenty of praise and a small, healthy treat!
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Backpacking Trip

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Hard
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Dog backpack
Food
Water
Waste bags
Collapsible bowls
First aid kit
Leash
Activity description

Given this breed’s history as a working-class dog, the Swedish Vallhund is the perfect partner-in-crime for some outdoor adventure. If you are feeling the need to check out what the wilderness has to offer, bring your pooch with you on a backpacking trip. The Vallhund is a fairly active breed with a stamina that is innate in athletic dogs. Thus, they can keep up with you on your trekking trips. By taking your dog backpacking, you are giving them the physical and mental stimulation that they need on a regular basis. Furthermore, you get to devote time and attention to your dog, which can ultimately help strengthen your relationship with each other.

Step
1
Bill of health
Preparation is key to any backpacking trip. You want to make sure that your dog gets a clean bill of health before you embark on a taxing activity such as backpacking. Go to your veterinarian and have your dog checked. Also, get the necessary shots and products such as anti-rabies, anti-ticks and all other possible vaccines.
Step
2
Pack your stuff
Once your dog gets the all-clear for the trip, prepare the things that you will need. If you intend to regularly trek with your dog, then you might want to consider investing in a dog backpack. It allows you to bring more stuff and serves as extra weights for your dog, which will help work their muscles out more. Also, bring a first aid kit in case of emergency. It is also important to have enough water and food for your dog. Do not forget to bring a leash since some places require dogs to be kept on a leash.
Step
3
Trek to your heart's content
Choose a hiking and trekking spot to visit for the day. A good choice would be a national park or forest. However, most national parks have strict restrictions when it comes to bringing of dogs and there are only a handful that are dog-friendly. You may opt for a national forest as these plots give more freedom for you and your dog to roam around.
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More Fun Ideas...

Go for a Run

With immense athleticism and a working background, Swedish Vallhunds are not suitable for couch potato owners. Instead, they need someone who can keep up with their active lifestyle. On your next run, take your Vallhund with you to keep them healthy and in shape. 

Romp in the Snow

The Swedish Vallhund originates from the cold Scandinavian region and is used to the cold weather. During the winter season, head out to your backyard and play with your pooch in the snow. You can even throw snowballs and laugh as you watch your dog try to fetch it. 

Conclusion

Spirited, loving and energetic, the Swedish Vallhund is a great dog that can play a variety of roles and bring happiness to the perfect home. However, they are not suitable for owners who have little experience or those who cannot commit and provide all their needs, whether it is physical, mental or emotional ones.