BaxterBoo Blog
September 3, 2013

Meet the Breed: The Swedish Vallhund

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Overview:

  • Height: 12"-16”
  • Weight: 25-30 pounds
  • Historical function: Herding, vermin hunting
  • Modern function: Companion, obedience
  • AKC classification: Herding

Physical Characteristics:

The Swedish Vallhund is of the Spitz type of breeds. They are long, substantial and low to the ground. The head is somewhat long with a defined stop and tapering muzzle. The teeth meet in a scissors bite. The medium-sized eyes are oval and dark. The ears are mobile, pricked triangles. The body profile is rectangular, being longer than tall. The legs are short. The front paws face forward. The tail may be long and curled, or naturally stumpy or bobbed. The double coat i s medium in length, in a sable pattern that may be gray or red. 

History of the Breed:

The Swedish Vallhund is around 1,000 years old and was the farm dog of the Vikings. They were used for herding and ratting. They are considered to be closely to the Pembroke and Welsh Corgi breeds. Either the Swedish Vallhund traveled with the Vikings to England where they became the foundation for the Corgi breeds, or the Corgi was imported into Sweden, which created the Swedish Vallhund. Many believe the SV is the older of the two breeds. The SV is not as stocky or as long as the Corgi breeds. The breed was nearly extinct after World War II but were saved through a breeding program by a couple of fanciers. They became known as the Vastgotaspet in Sweden. This breed is gaining popularity in Europe. 

Temperament:

The Swedish Vallhund has been described as being a big dog in a small body. They are active, outgoing and intelligent. The Vallhund is responsive and easy to train with good human leadership. They retain their herding abilities but also make great family dog companions. They crave human companionship. 

  • Best suited for: Active families who enjoy trick and obedience training. Excellent farm or service dog. 
  • Preferred living conditions: This dog is adaptable to many conditions provided they get the exercise and human companionship they crave. 

Care and Health:

  • Grooming requirements: Easy-care coat sheds moderately. A stiff-bristled brush used regularly and rare bathing is all that is needed. 
  • Exercise needs: Daily walk as well as mental exercise is required for this active, intelligent breed to thrive.
  • Life expectancy: 12-14 years.
  • Health concerns: May occasionally be prone to retinopathy, an eye disorder.

Breed Club Links:  Swedish Vallhund Club of America

BaxterBoo.com Perfect Pairings: Busy Buddy Teeter Treater Dog Toy

Have any stories about a Swedish Vallhund? Please share!

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

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