Swedish Vallhund

Other names: Wisigoths Spitz, Västgötaspets, Swedish Cow Dog, Wolf Corgi

Swedish Vallhund

The Swedish Vallhund is an energetic, jolly, friendly and smart small-medium dog breed. Originally used to work on Swedish farms as a herder and ratter, the breed has become a popular family companion dog due to its loyal and affectionate temperament. While this cheerful breed certainly makes for a great pet, potential adopters should be aware that it’s a lively breed which requires plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.

Key facts about the Swedish Vallhund

Life expectancy :

7

19

12

14

Temperament :

Affectionate Playful Intelligent

Size :

Origins and history

The Swedish Vallhund used to be known as the ‘Viking Dog’ because, according to Swedish records, it was brought to Sweden over a thousand years ago by (you guessed it!) Vikings. Many also believe the Vikings travelled to Wales with this breed, which then contributed to the evolution of the much-loved Corgi, hence the similarity. The breed was generally used to work on farms for herding, ratting and guarding, but slowly gained popularity as a companion dog.

FCI breed nomenclature

FCI Group

Group 5 - Spitz and primitive types

Section

Section 3 : Nordic Watchdogs and Herders

Physical characteristics of the Swedish Vallhund

Adult size

Female : Between 11 and 13 in

Male : Between 12 and 14 in

Weight

Female : Between 20 and 31 lb

Male : Between 20 and 31 lb

Coat colour

Brown
Blue
Red
Sand

Type of coat

Long
Hard

Eye colour

Brown

Description

The Swedish Vallhund is extremely similar in appearance to the beloved Corgi. This breed is long and short yet fairly stocky and robust. The head is long, with a defined stop and square muzzle. The eyes are oval-shaped and dark, while the medium-sized ears are relatively large, erect and pointy.

Good to know

 Interestingly, Vallhunds are born with different tail lengths - in fact, some even have no tail whatsoever!

Temperament

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    Affectionate

    The Vallhund is very affectionate, loyal and devoted to the people it loves. With that said, it’s normally warm and friendly towards pretty much anyone it meets!

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    Playful

    Energetic and jolly, the Swedish Vallhund loves getting involved in games and activities. It also has a fantastic sense of humour and is sure to have you in fits of giggles!

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    Calm

    This breed is active, energetic and chirpy, requiring plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. While we wouldn’t necessarily describe it as calm, it can be chilled-out and docile within the home providing its needs are met.

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    Intelligent

    This is a highly intelligent breed which learns quickly. It is very good at nose work, obedience and tracking.

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    Hunter

    The Swedish Vallhund was originally bred to work on the farm, and as such, still holds quite a high prey-drive. This breed must be kept on a lead around wildlife and livestock, unless you’re absolutely certain it’s obedient enough to come back to you when called.

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    Fearful / wary of strangers

    This breed is super friendly around strangers who are accepted into the home by its family, but may be wary of those who enter its territory unannounced.

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    Independent

    The Swedish Vallhund really just wants to please its master, to whom it is particularly attached.

    Behaviour of the Swedish Vallhund

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      Tolerates solitude

      Although the Vallhund will tolerate short amounts of time alone if accustomed to it gradually, this vocal breed is likely to become a nuisance barker if left alone for too long, too frequently. This dog can be prone to separation anxiety.

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      Easy to train / obedience

      This is a smart dog who understands quickly what is asked of it, but as always it is important to establish yourself as a leader from the get-go. Start training the Vallhund while it’s still young, using plenty of positive reinforcement.

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      Barking

      This dog barks very little and is quite unobtrusive.

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      Tendency to run away

      The Swedish Vallhund does have a relatively strong prey-drive and may chase at the first sight of prey. It will be necessary to keep this breed on a strong lead in areas with livestock and wildlife unless extremely well-trained. Strong fencing is also recommended.

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