Swedish Vallhund

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Is the Swedish Vallhund right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Svensk Vallhund; Vallhund; Swedish Cattle Dog; Swedish Shepherd; Västgötaspets

The basics:
An ancient Swedish spitz known for at least a thousand years, the Swedish Vallhund was originally developed to herd cattle, catch vermin, guard, and serve as a general-purpose farm dog. Although honored as Sweden's national herding breed, the so-called "the little cattle dog of the Vikings" was almost extinct by 1942. Fortunately, it is now on the road to recovery and is still working in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries.

This intelligent and versatile dog responds well to challenges and meaningful tasks. Like other herding dogs, they may try to nudge their family members together in one place. This is not a breed that's happy being left alone with nothing to do.

Appearance / health:
Quite similar in appearance to the other spitz breeds, the Vallhund has a fox-like expression owing to their long muzzle and stiff, prick ears. It has characteristically small, yet powerful legs. Their small constitution hides great courage and muscular strength. It has a fox-like bushy tail that smartly stands over the back or is naturally bob-tailed. The coat is quite hard and medium in length with a soft undercoat. The neck, like the rest of the body, is long and muscular.

The Swedish Vallhund is an average to above-average shedder. Hair and fur may be found all over the house. The medium-length coat requires frequent brushing. Bathing is done on an occasional basis.

The Swedish Vallhunds are naturally active little dogs and need a minimum amount of exercise everyday. The best part is that this breed is very active indoors and does not necessarily need a yard. About an hour of rigorous activity is good to burn off the innate energy.

The Swedish Vallhund is a naturally healthy breed. Ear passages however may need to be regularly inspected and kept clean and hair-free.

Behavior / temperament:
Swedish Vallhunds are well known for their ability to separate fighting bulls by nipping at their ankles. These mild-tempered, versatile, and thinking dogs also excel at search and rescue work. The Vallhund is an all-purpose farm dog, good at guarding, droving, and vermin control.

For the wonders it can do, Vallhunds do not seem intended to be only household pets. Since genetically they are wired to chase, nip, poke, herd, bark, they need to have ways to channelize this behavior. Their versatility and thinking intelligence makes many kinds of training good for them. Tracking, search and rescue, obedience, agility, fly-ball, ground hunting, lure coursing and herding are some of the activities that Vallhunds enjoy and excel in. In some countries they are enlisted to help in search and rescue work too. They also make excellent show dogs.

The one thing that has to guarded against when it comes to Swedish Vallhunds is boredom. When bored, they may resort to annoying and destructive behavior like excessive barking and chewing.

The breed tends to bark a lot and is often too quick to sound the alarm at every new sight and sound. They may have to be trained to not bark so often.


training, perfect companion, Great Pet, sweet little soul, excellent alert dog


allergies, ear problems


double coat, stout little frame, powerhouse Suki

Swedish Vallhund Health Tip

Swedish Vallhund

From 1477 days ago

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