Swedish Vallhund

A Dog Resembling the Corgi with a Similar Disposition, The Swedish Vallhund Serves as a Great Watchdog

Are you looking for a pet that can also double as a watchdog – one that's affectionate but watchful? Would you prefer a smaller-sized pet to one that's significantly larger? If so, the Swedish Vallhund may just be for you. Affectionate and intelligent, this dog will love you and actually wants you to be in charge. With a sense of humor that rivals the best, you'll find this little dog to be a perfect complement to your life. Suitable for apartment living, you can pretty much take your Swedish Vallhund with you wherever you go – although this little canine is active and will need to be walked regularly.


The Swedish Vallhund looks a lot like the Pembroke or Cardigan Welsh Corgi. Genetically, however, they're not even closely related. This actually is a Spitz-type breed originally used as a hunting dog and in fact the name itself means "shepherd" or "herding" dog. Some think that it came from the dogs of the Vikings, but no one really knows because records don't go back that far in history. It is known that Swedish Vallhunds were used as farm dogs in Sweden, perfect for handling livestock and herding cattle. They could also perform any other suitable tasks their owners needed, such as making sure that vermin were kept in check and keeping an eye out for danger. This little dog is a very good watchdog because it's very vocal and can bark an alarm whenever needed.

Recognized by the AKC in 2007, it is part of its Herding Group and is often described as a “big dog in a small body.”


With short legs and a small body, this little dog is sturdier than it looks. The head is long and has a squared muzzle, with darkly expressive eyes that are oval and medium-shaped. The most "expressive" parts of this dog are its ears; mobile and "perky," you may even know what your pet is thinking just by looking at them – although it will never let you simply guess at its mood. The tail is naturally long, and can be docked, but this is illegal in most places in Europe. The outer coat is of medium length, rough and tight, with a dense, soft undercoat. Coat colors are red-yellow, gray, brown-red, and brown-gray. Some dogs have white markings, and there can also be a well-defined mask with hair of a lighter shade around the eyes, muzzle, and beneath the throat. In adulthood, Swedish Vallhunds weigh between 25 to 35 pounds and stand 12 to 16 inches at the shoulder.


Ready for some fun? Lively and curious, this little dog is confident, courageous and independent, but very loyal and devoted to you at the same time. It will have no problem letting you know that there are "strangers" afoot, whether actual strangers or simply people with whom it is not yet acquainted. This little dog is calm and affectionate to family, extremely good humored, and even a little bit of a clown. Don't be surprised if you find yourself being entertained by its antics and clever problem-solving or innovative actions. This dog loves to find new ways to use toys and other things it finds suitable for playtime.

This breed barks to let you know that something may be afoot that's not quite right – but it can also simply bark to have a little conversation with you! Most owners find this charming rather than disturbing, although you may want to train it carefully to "speak" only when commanded to do so. That way you won't be disturbing your neighbors unintentionally.

You should start to train your Swedish Vallhund at an early age, as soon as you bring it home, and certainly not later than about four months of age. This smart little dog loves to learn, especially if it becomes fun. You can take it to obedience classes if you need some structure, although your little pet is devoted enough that it will take to you quite easily as long as you set some firm boundaries. Although your pet does have an independent streak and may "test" you to see what it can get away with, a few simple rules and a gentle, calm, but firm demeanor as you train will let your pet know that you're in charge. Again, your pet actually wants this to happen, as this is a dog that likes clearly defined etiquette.

Early socialization is important, too, so make sure you take your puppy out and expose it to different sights, sounds, people, dogs, experiences – anything you will want your adult dog to be comfortable with. The Swedish Vallhund can tend to be shy or anxious as a breed and needs extra attention and plenty of puppyhood exposure to experiences if you want a well-rounded adult dog. When properly socialized and raise with plenty of love and gentle discipline, the Swedish Vallhund is a dog that's not afraid of strangers, loves children, will easily make other animal friends – and get along with other pets in the family – and can even be left alone without worry.


The Swedish Vallhund is a very healthy dog in general. Your pet can be prone to hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, and patellar luxation (knee problems). Ask your breeder to provide certifications that clear both parents of such disorders; these certifications should include both hip evaluations from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and eye test results from the Canine Eye Registration Foundation.

The Swedish Vallhund lives a long life, from 12 to 15 years on average.


There's no need to trim the Swedish Vallhund and in fact it's best to show the Swedish Vallhund in its "natural" state. Your pet should be brushed thoroughly every week, however, going all the way down to the skin so that dead hair is removed and the oil glands are stimulated. The Swedish Vallhund is very accommodating, and should not protest if you brush its teeth at least two to three times a week. This is highly recommended to remove plaque and bacterial buildup that can lead to gum disease, bad breath, and tooth loss. If your pet likes it, you can even brush every day, which is certainly even a better regimen. Start when your pet is a puppy to get the dog accustomed to these activities.

Ears should also be checked for odor and infection on a weekly basis and nails trimmed once or twice a month.


Meet the Swedish Vallhund.

Retrieved June 28, 2015.

Swedish Vallhund.

Retrieved June 28, 2015.

Swedish Vallhund.

Retrieved June 28, 2015.

Swedish Vallhund.

Retrieved June 28, 2015.

Swedish Vallhund.

Retrieved June 28, 2015.

Swedish Vallhund (Västgötaspets) (Vaestgoetaspets) (Vallhund) (Swedish Cattle Dog) (Västgötaspets).

Retrieved June 28, 2015.

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