A medium-sized, short, sturdy dog with a body that is longer than he is tall, the adult male Swedish Vallhund stands at 33-35cm and the adult female at 31-33cm and the weight range is 11.5-16kg. The short, weather-resistant coat comes in steel-grey, grey-brown, grey-yellow, red-yellow, and red-brown. For full details of coat colour and patterns, see the breed standard.
- Category size: Medium
- Grooming requirements: Once a week
- Shedding: Moderate
- Allergies: No
- Noise: Vocal
- Dog Group Kennel Club: Pastoral
- Alone: 1 to 3 hours
- Other pets: High
- Stability as a guard: High
Also known as the Swedish Cattle Dog, the Swedish Vallhund dog breed is thought to be almost 1,000 years old. It is believed that he is related to the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, another ancient dog that was used for droving cattle. In his homeland, the Vallhund is called Vastgotaspets, meaning 'spitz of the West Goths'. Despite being such a long-established dog type, the Vallhund dog almost died out in the 1940s, but the dedicated efforts of two breeders were successful in saving the breed.
An alert, lively dog, the Swedish Vallhund is a natural watchdog. Friendly and amenable, he is a joy to train and spend quality family time with, and is a loyal companion to his loved ones. Left for too long, or not given the exercise and attention he needs, he will bark and become destructive, as many dogs would.
The Swedish Vallhund is generally a healthy breed. As with many breeds, eye disorders and hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems) can arise and so eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is recommended.
The Swedish Vallhund needs at least an hour's daily exercise and is capable of much more! He is a versatile breed that is responsive to new challenges – from herding sheep to agility.
Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's also important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food.
The low-maintenance coat consists of a dense, soft undercoat and a harsh-textured, close topcoat. A weekly brush through is recommended.
Is this the right dog breed for you?
All dogs have their own, unique personality, but some instincts and behaviours they’re born with. Try our breed selector and find out which dog breeds better match your preferences and lifestyle. If you and your dog enjoy similar things, you will be more likely to live a happy, fulfilling life together.
What to Consider next
It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption.
Finding a good breeder
If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed.
Welcoming your dog home
Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information