Swedish Vallhund

Swedish Vallhund

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.

  • Dog suitable for owners with some experience
  • Some training required
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys walking one to two hours a day
  • Medium dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Non Hypoallergenic breed
  • Very vocal dog
  • Guard dog. Barks and alerts
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids


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.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.


Is this the right breed for you?

All dogs have their own, unique personality, but there are some instincts and behaviours hat they’re born with. Try our Dog Breed Selector and find out which dog breeds better match your preferences and lifestyle.

Thinking about getting a puppy?

Join Growing Pup for help from our Purina experts on how to find the right puppy & prepare for your new arrival. And when you find your new pup, tell us a bit more about them to get a discount off one of our puppy ranges and regular personalised puppy advice.

Join Growing pup

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. Click here for more information.

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. Click here for more information.

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.