Swedish Cattle Dog

20-31 lbs
Wolf Corgi, Vastgotaspets, Swedish Vallhund

The Swedish Cattle Dog is a short legged, spitz-type dog who closely resembles the Corgi. He has been around for thousands of years as an overall farm dog great for herding livestock. The Swedish Cattle Dog is an energetic, lively dog who loves his family. He also is a mischievous little dog and loves playing games to keep him entertained. He can become a nuisance barker if he is left to his own devices for too long. He craves social interaction with humans and other dogs, he also does well with cats and other small pets when introduced at a young age. The Swedish Cattle Dog has a medium-long, dense coat that is easy to maintain.

purpose Purpose
history Date of Origin
ancestry Ancestry

Swedish Cattle Dog Health

Average Size
Male Swedish Cattle Dog size stats
Height: 12-14 inches Weight: 20-31 lbs
Female Swedish Cattle Dog size stats
Height: 12-14 inches Weight: 20-31 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Hip Dysplasia
Minor Concerns
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Multi-Drug Resistance Gene (MDR1)
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA)
Occasional Tests
  • OFA
  • X-Rays
  • Eye Examinations
  • Full Physical Examination

Swedish Cattle Dog Breed History

Even though the Swedish Cattle Dog is an older breed, dating back over two thousand years, there is not much information regarding his ancestry. Many researchers believe that the Vikings brought these dogs with them when they raided the coastal regions of England. Some of these dogs were left behind and evolved into the Corgi that we know today. The Corgi then migrated to Sweden and the Swedish Cattle Dog came into existence. However, other researchers wonder if the Vikings brought the Corgi back from England as part of their booty, then the Corgi became the Swedish Cattle Dog. It will never be decided for certain which is the correct history. The Swedish Cattle Dog is also called the Vastgotaspets in his native Sweden. He is an overall great farm dog who excels at herding cattle and keeping varmints away from the barn and homestead. He also acts as a watchdog, although he will rarely bite. The Swedish Cattle Dog almost disappeared from existence until some fanciers of the breed took notice and began preserving the breed. The Swedish Kennel Club officially recognized the Swedish Cattle Dog in 1943. After that time, he became a very popular family companion in Sweden. Since he closely resembled the Corgi, he also became popular in England. In 1983, the Swedish Cattle Dog was imported into the United States. 

Swedish Cattle Dog Breed Appearance

The Swedish Cattle Dog is a small but powerful herding dog. He is a sturdily built Spitz-type breed with a tail that curls over his back, small erect ears and bright, inquisitive eyes. He has a hard coat that is close fitting to his body. His coat should be medium length, overly long or overly short coat is not acceptable. He has a double coat and can shed excessively. His tail should be natural but it can be docked. The Swedish Cattle Dog should look alert and convey his intelligence through his confident demeanor. He has a strong herding instinct that can get him in trouble if not properly channeled. His topcoat is harsh with the undercoat being soft and dense. He comes in a sable pattern with grey and red that run throughout his coat. This gives him several color variations including mahogany, blue, yellow, grey and grey brown. His face and legs should be darker than his body; however a lighter face and legs are acceptable. 

Eye Color Possibilities
brown Swedish Cattle Dog eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Swedish Cattle Dog nose
Coat Color Possibilities
blue Swedish Cattle Dog coat
gray Swedish Cattle Dog coat
brown Swedish Cattle Dog coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
coat density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
coat texture
Swedish Cattle Dog curly coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Swedish Cattle Dog Breed Maintenance

Since the Swedish Cattle Dog has a double coat, he does experience excessive shedding especially during seasonal changes. Females will shed after each heat cycle. He does need to be groomed once or twice a week. This will remove any dead hair and reduce loose hairs from gathering on clothing or furniture. He can be groomed with a natural bristle brush or a slicker brush. His whiskers are kept long, even when shown in the conformation ring. He does not need excessive trimming, except between his footpads to keep dirt and debris from collecting between his toes causing pain. His ears should be cleaned weekly to prevent infection. His nails should be trimmed as needed, usually every two to three weeks. A nail grinder can be used instead of nail clippers. Routine dental care should also be done to ensure his teeth and gums remain healthy. The Swedish Cattle Dog does not need to be bathed often, usually two to three times a year. He should be bathed when he begins shedding his undercoat to loosen the coat and hasten the shedding process. 

Brushes for Swedish Cattle Dog
Pin Brush
Pin Brush
Slicker Brush
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
fur daily fur weekly fur monthly
Swedish Cattle Dog requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Swedish Cattle Dog Temperament

Many Swedish Cattle Dog owners claim that he is the quintessential “big dog in a small body”. He does not perceive himself as small, but rather able to conquer the world. Lively, intelligent and energetic, the Swedish Cattle Dog is a great family companion who loves playing games and participating in dog sports. The Swedish Cattle Dog is trained easily and does great in obedience, herding trials, rally and agility. He does great with children and other pets. He is sturdy and an independent thinker. He loves interactive toys that make him think. He can easily become a nuisance barker if he is left alone with nothing to do. It is best to keep him contained within a sturdy fence since he is a herding breed and will chase cars. Since his herding instincts are high, he can become excited and nip at a person’s heels. He should be watched closely for over excitability when playing with children to keep him from nipping at them and causing injury. He is not being mean or aggressive; he is just trying to herd the child or children, following his natural instinct. 

Swedish Cattle Dog Owner Experiences

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