Type: Herding Dog
Height: 12 - 16 inches.
Weight: 20 - 35 lbs.
Life Span: 12 - 14 years.
Litter Size: Can have up to 9 puppies.
Country of Origin: Sweden
Watch-dog: High. The Swedish Vallhund is a very alert breed.
Guard-dog: High. Small as he is, this breed is actually known for being a good guard dog.
Description: In its native Sweden, these dogs are called Vasgotaspets, which means "Spitz of the West Goths." Such a powerful name is given to this little dog of great heart. The Swedish Vallhund is not only very friendly but also very eager to please. Loyal and affectionate, these Swedish Cattledogs need plenty of exercise to keep in shape to do as their master asks. They are eager, alert, bold and curious. Energetic, this breed is ideal for children who like to play. The Swedish Vallhund is an intelligent breed and they get along well with other pets and other people. All of this exciting package is wrapped up in a small sized, sturdy spitz type body. They are a rectangular shape, and may be related to the Corgi with their short, long stature and naturally long, bob, or docked tail. The ears are pricked and the coat is double with a thicker undercoat and grey to red coarse outer coat. Swedish Vallhunds have a foxy look to them, with the impression of pride in their expression. For the owner needing a small yet strong, well balanced dog, the Swedish Vallhund is top notch.
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Other Names: Vasgotaspets, Swedish Cattledog, Viking Dog, Spitz of the West Goths
Colors: Ranging from grey to red, this breed has a variety of colors. They can be shaded grey which is preferred, red, brindle, blue-grey, and have white markings. The white markings should be less than 40% of the color of the body.
Coat: Medium length, thick and hard. It is double coated and coarse.
Temperament: Swedish Vallhunds are alert, bold and curious little dogs. They are energetic and fun. Being a hard worker, the Swedish Vallhund is highly intelligent and can be trained easily. They are eager to please and friendly with almost everyone they meet. They get along with children and other pets quite well. The Swedish Vallhund is a talented detector of moods. They are sensitive to their owner's mood, and if they get a particular reaction out of people such as laughing or clapping for some action they performed, they will do it again and again. They have their own sense of humor, is spirited and joyous.
With Children: Yes, gets along well with children.
With Pets: Yes, gets along well with other pets.
Care and Training: Easy to care for, the Swedish Vallhund does not require a lot of maintenance. The coat only requires brushing once a week with a firm bristle brush to remove the dead hairs, as they do shed. They should be bathed as necessary. The most care for this breed would be for exercise, as they need plenty of it to keep fit. They should receive plenty of mental and physical exercise each day, exercising their mind to keep them from boredom. The best method of training for a Swedish Vallhund is positive training.
Learning Rate: High. Obedience - High. Problem Solving - High.
Special Needs: Exercise
Living Environment: Owners of a Swedish Vallhund should be aware that this breed requires activity and exercise. They are very adaptable to different places, however. The best owner for this breed would be an active owner living in the city, suburbs or country with enough exercise.
Health Issues: Cleft palate, cryptochidism, hip dysplasia, luxating patellas and retinal dysplasia.
History: Originating in the Vastergotland plains of Sweden, the Swedish Vallhund is claimed as the Viking Dog. They are thought to be at least a thousand years old. Because the Swede heavily resembles the Welsh or Pembroke Corgi, some consider them to be in the blood of the Vallhund. The Corgi area was certainly visited by Vikings, thus giving some weight to the theory. Once known as the Vikingarnas Dog, this breed was in danger of extinction in the 1930s. Thanks to dedicated fanciers, the leader being Count Bjorn von Rosen, a comeback was made for this breed. They were used mainly for herding cattle and sheep, but served as an all-purpose breed. Surprisingly, until 1948 the breed did not obtain any kind of recognition by a kennel club, and was only recognized as a breed by the Swedish Kennel Club. The Vallhund was taken to England in the 1970s, and initially to the United States in the '80s. Marilyn Thell bred the first litter of Swedish Vallhunds in the U.S. in 1986 from her Jonricker Kennel. By 1984 the breed received British Kennel Club recognition. Very recently did the Swedish Vallhund receive AKC recognition in 2007, which is the year in which this profile was written. Today the breed has a growing number of fans, much of them in England.
First Registered by the AKC: 2007
AKC Group: Herding Group
Registries: FCI (Group 5), AKC(Herding Group), ANKC (Group 5), CKC (Group 7), KC(UK) (Pastoral), NZKC (Working), UKC (Herding Dogs)