Other names: Wisigoths Spitz, Västgötaspets, Swedish Cow Dog, Wolf Corgi
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
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
Group 5 - Spitz and primitive types
Section 3 : Nordic Watchdogs and Herders
Physical characteristics of the Swedish Vallhund
Female : Between 11 and 13 in
Male : Between 12 and 14 in
Female : Between 20 and 31 lb
Male : Between 20 and 31 lb
Red-brown, grey, grey-brown, red-yellow, grey-yellow and other variations of the same shade.
Type of coat
The eyes are dark brown.
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!
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!
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!
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.
This is a highly intelligent breed which learns quickly. It is very good at nose work, obedience and tracking.
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.
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.
The Swedish Vallhund really just wants to please its master, to whom it is particularly attached.
Behaviour of the Swedish Vallhund
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.
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.
This dog barks very little and is quite unobtrusive.