Swedish Vallhund

September 23, 2020 // 6 minute read

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The Swedish Vallhund is a medium-sized dog that almost quite resembles the corgis. They are known for their solid but low built bodies, wedge-shaped heads that make them look like wolves, and erect ears. Their bodies are covered with waterproof coats that come in sable color.

Swedish Vallhunds are energetic and playful dogs fit for active families. Don’t consider these dogs only because they come in a convenient size. These dogs are not for everyone. They need work, and they undeniably need attention.

Swedish Vallhund

Swedish Vallhund Statistics

Dog Breed GroupHerding
Breed SizeMedium
Height12.5-13.75 inches (male); 11.5-12.75 inches (female)
Weight20-35 pounds
Lifespan12-15 years

Swedish Vallhund Ratings

Energy level
Exercise needs
Requires attention
Friendly with family
Friendly with kids
Friendly with strangers
Friendly with other dogs
Prey Drive

Swedish Vallhund History

Swedish Vallhunds originated from Sweden thousands of years ago. They are believed to have descended from Viking dogs brought to the area around the 8th or 11th century. It is thought that these dogs were then crossed with the Corgis to create the Swedish Vallhund.

However, these are all just speculations, and the truth behind how this breed was developed is still unknown. Though, what is sure is that the dogs are known to be Vastgotaspets or Swedish Cattle Dogs in their homeland.

They are known to have served Swedish farmers for centuries. They are very versatile dogs – herding cattle, driving off critters, and also make excellent watchdogs.

Though they have existed through centuries, the breed was only recognized by the Swedish Kennel Club in 1943. By the year 1983, the first Swedish Vallhund was brought to the United States.

It took years before the American Kennel Club finally recognized the breed in 2007. Now, he ranks 168th as the most popular dog breed in the US and is probably more popular pets in his homeland, Sweden, and Britain.

Swedish Vallhund3

Swedish Vallhund Temperament

Swedish Vallhunds are friendly, energetic, and watchful dogs. Despite their small size, these dogs are excellent herding dogs, which makes them very athletic too.

Most owners refer to this breed as “a big dog with short legs.” Like any other herding dogs, they have a strong desire to work, so be sure to keep him entertained by giving him something to do. You can take him out hiking, ask him to herd (if you have livestock), or simply play with him.

It’s clear that Swedish Vallhunds are the best fit for active owners, and they most especially love to be included in family activities. They are loyal and affectionate to their family and will be great playmates for your children and other pets. If given the right outlet where he can spend his energy, they will be easy dogs to live with.

Swedish Vallhunds are generally friendly dogs, even with strangers. They are not aggressive, but they are very alert. Expect them to whenever he senses something suspicious, and this makes them excellent watchdogs.

Like any other dog breeds, Swedish Vallhunds must be socialized at an early age. This will help them become more well-rounded, and they’ll be able to manage their feelings better.

They also respond well to obedience training. However, you should be consistent and firm always. These dogs may have an independent streak, and they will try to manipulate you to get what he wants.

Swedish Vallhund2

Swedish Vallhund Care Requirements

  • Nutrition: Swedish Vallhunds should stay fit and healthy if given high-quality and well-balanced meals daily. It’s also important that this is specific to their needs based on their age, activity level, or metabolism. So, asking your vet for a specific dietary guide would be a great start. You should remember that a growing dog needs three nutrients – proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. You can get this from many sources like animal meat, fish oils, or whole grains. Just make sure that you’re always buying high-quality ingredients. Add fruits and vegetables to your dog’s diet too for fiber and vitamins. Dog food and dog treats should also be of premium quality. Always check the label and make sure that it’s free from any fillers, additives, and by-products as these have very low nutritional value. Take note of any ingredients your dog is allergic to and make sure to stay away from those.
  • Grooming: Swedish Vallhunds have medium-length double-coated hair that sheds seasonally, about twice a year. It’s very easy to maintain and would only require occasional brushing. However, during the shedding season, you might need to brush their coats daily to keep shedding to a minimum. Baths are given occasionally, too, depending on if your dog gets too smelly or messy. However, ears should be cleaned regularly to prevent ear infection. Nails should be trimmed regularly, so it doesn’t get too long. Long nails will cause pain and discomfort to your dog, and we don’t want that.
  • Exercise: Swedish Vallhunds are highly energetic dogs that need lots of exercise. However, when you say exercise, this doesn’t mean letting them run around all day. For Swedish Vallhunds, it’s important to give them work. Long daily walks and a few hours of playing sessions in a secured backyard should do. Training them for performance sports is an excellent form of exercise too. Other than physical exercises, they also need mental stimulation. Examples of mind-stimulating games you can play are puzzle games and clicker training.
  • Health: Swedish Vallhunds are generally healthy dogs with a long lifespan. Although they are still susceptible to a couple of health conditions, they will not acquire these in their lifetime. It’s always important to be aware of what these are: eye diseases, hip dysplasia, and patellar luxation are very common. Some also acquire a hereditary condition called retinopathy. Screening tests are available to detect these diseases early, and you can also meet at least one of your dog’s parents to be sure if there are chances your dog may acquire them. We also recommend researching the symptoms. If you notice any behavioral changes from your dog, take him immediately to the vet.
  • Lifespan: The life expectancy of Swedish Vallhunds is 12-15 years.

Famous Swedish Vallhunds

  • Mopsen, Vivi, Lessi, and Topsy: Four Swedish Vallhunds used to revive the breed when they are almost close to extinction.

Fun Facts about Swedish Vallhunds

  • The Swedish Vallhund is an ancient dog breed that is at least 1000 years old.
  • They are believed to have accompanied Vikings.
  • They were originally known to be “Vastgotaspets” or “Swedish Cattle Dogs”.
  • The name “Vallhund” is Swedish for “herding dogs”.
  • They were developed to herd cattle and sheep, hunt vermin, and guard homes.
  • They are closely-related to Corgis (no wonder some people mistake them as corgis).
  • They almost became extinct in 1942.
  • They have appeared on postage stamps.
  • Their tails come in different lengths, with some having no tails.
  • They were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2007.

Check Out Other Herding Dog Breeds:
Australian Cattle Dog, Australian Shepherd, Bearded Collies, Beaucerons, Belgian Malinois, Belgian Sheepdog, Belgian Tervuren, Bergamasco Sheepdog, Berger Picards, Border Collie, Bouviers des Flandres, Briards, Canaan Dog, Cardigan Welsh Corgis, Collie, Entlebucher Mountain Dogs, Finnish Lapphund, German Shepard, Miniature American Shepherd, Norwegian Buhunds, Old English Sheepdog, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Polish Lowland Sheepdogs, Puli, Pumi, Pyrenean Shepherd, Shetland Sheepdog, Spanish Water Dog

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