Swedish Vallhund

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20-35 lbs
11-13"
Sweden
SV, Vallhund

Powerful and smooth in its gait and stance, the Swedish Vallhund originated from Sweden over 1,200 years ago. This breed dates back to the Viking days and has been documented through time. Its coat is of sable color with a sturdy, muscular body. This breed is known as an active herding dog that resembles the Corgi in appearance, and like that breed, has an aptitude that makes it easier for them to be able to nip at the heels of cattle and prevent injury to the head. Historically, the breed was successful at tracking and hunting down small game and was a favorite among workers. Other qualities that made the breed stand out were its affectionate personality, size, and easy-to-maintain coat. Today, while still a good herder, a playful and sweet nature allows for it to be part of a family. Its high energy levels mean this dog requires an outlet of intense play and frequent walks, while the herding background means that it will have a naturally watchful nature and bark to warn against intruders. Maintaining the coat of the Swedish Vallhund is relatively simple. Regular brushing should reduce the amount of shedding and dead hair. 

Purpose
tracking and flushing game
Date of Origin
ancient times
Ancestry
spitz, corgi

Swedish Vallhund Health

Average Size
Height: 12-14 inches Weight: 20-35 lbs
Height: 11-13 inches Weight: 20-35 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Retinopathy
Minor Concerns
  • Hip Dysplasia
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Hips
  • X-Rays
  • Eye Examination

Swedish Vallhund Breed History

The Swedish Vallhund is said to have originated with the Vikings over 1000 years ago in Sweden. The breed name is derived from its origin. The Swedish Vallhund was previously known as the “Vikingarnas Hund” or the “Viking Dog”. While documentation is scarce, present findings indicate that the Swedish Vallhund was taken to Wales and mixed with the Corgi breed, due to its similarities. This dog also has ties to the Spitz family. The original purpose of the Swedish Vallhund was to work on farms as a sheep herder, nipping the ankles of the flock to catch their attention. Their short size allowed them to easily nip the ankles while remaining unharmed due to their agility. In 1942, Mr. Bjorn von Rosen of the Swedish Kennel Club worked to save older Swedish breeds and launched a breeding program with the Swedish Vallhunds. In 1974, the first Swedish Vallhund was imported to England. In 1980, the Swedish Vallhund Society received approval from the UK Kennel Club and was formed. In 1985, the first two Swedish Vallhunds were imported to the state of California. During the same year, Marilyn Thell fell in love with the Swedish Vallhunds while visiting England and brought two more to the United States. In 1986, the first litter of the breed was whelped by Jonricker Kenner. The Swedish Vallhund has been part of the Foundation Stock Service since 1999. In 2005, the Swedish Vallhund was approved to compete in the AKC Miscellaneous Class. In 2006, the Swedish Vallhund became eligible to participate in AKC Herding Events and became eligible for AKC registration in early 2007. In mid-2007, the Swedish Vallhund was officially recognized by the AKC. 

Swedish Vallhund Breed Appearance

The Swedish Vallhund has a medium-length harsh coat with a close and tight topcoat and a soft and dense undercoat. Its coat is short on the head and the foreparts of the legs and can be seen in a sable and white pattern, but can also be seen in combinations of gray and red. Lighter shades are usually noticed on the chest, belly, lower legs, feet and hocks. The tail may be naturally long, stubbed, or bobbed. The expression of this agile, eager canine is that of intelligence and alertness. A strong, well-boned, well-developed body leads to a skull that is broad and slightly flat with a squared muzzle. Its nose remains on the same line as the muzzle. The breed has a wedge-shaped head with pricked ears. The expressive eyes are medium in size, oval-shaped, and are dark brown. This breed has black lips and strong, well-developed teeth in a scissors bite. Its paws are well-boned and muscular. 


Swedish Vallhund Breed Maintenance

The Swedish Vallhund requires daily brushing to reduce the amount of dead hair. Occasional baths can allow your Swedish Vallhund to look his best and should be completed every 6 to 8 weeks, more often if necessary. Nails should be trimmed every 3 to 4 weeks to ensure there is no overgrowth of nails. Ears should be cleaned and wiped weekly to avoid a buildup of debris and teeth should be brushed weekly. This breed is not hypoallergenic, is an average shedder, and is not known to have any significant smells. The activity level of this energetic family member is relatively high as this dog loves to herd and therefore, supervision is best when around small animals. Engaging in play and chasing after animals are natural traits so this pup would fare best in a home with a large yard where energy can be easily be burned off. A small apartment may not be suitable. An average climate would be best for this breed due to its double-coat. There is no specific diet for this breed but extra precaution should be taken so obesity does not become an issue. 

Swedish Vallhund Temperament

The Swedish Vallhund is considered to be friendly and even-tempered. It loves to bark which means that early training is of vital importance in order to teach your dog when it is appropriate to bark. It is an animated breed with much to say in the form of yips and howls. This breed is smart, playful, and willing to engage with its family, making for a great companion. Described as a breed with a sense of humor that provides great happiness in lives, the Swedish Vallhund is also loyal and hardworking, eager to please, and easy to train. The breed is known for its versatile determination and can easily participate in traditional herding or proper training. This charismatic dog gets along well with family members, children, and other animals as long as training is provided early and he is taught appropriate behavior. The Swedish Vallhund may be slightly hesitant towards new people and strangers but with early socialization, can learn the difference between an intruder and a friendly stranger. This breed maintains a lot of energy and it is important the owner be able to keep up with the requirements of daily exercise and intense play.

Swedish Vallhund Owner Experiences