• Swedish Vallhund in Great Britain
  • Swedish Vallhunds in the UK
  • Swedish Vallhunds
  • Swedish Vallhunds in Great Britain
  • Swedish Vallhund in the UK
  • Swedish Vallhund Dogs
  • Swedish Vallhund Puppy
  • Swedish Vallhund Dog
  • Swedish Vallhund Puppies
  • Swedish Vallhund
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Grooming:
Exercise Level:
Trainability:
Barking Level:
Good with Children:
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Affectionate:
Protective:
Height: 33 - 35cm M | 31 - 33cm F
Weight: 12 - 16kg M | 16 - 16kg F
Life Expectancy: 12 - 15 Years

Looking for a Swedish Vallhund?


Introduction

The Swedish Vallhund is a quick-thinker, fleet-footed, and intelligent dog. They are mall in size with a great aptitude for herding.

As a canine companion, he is full of life with a goofy personality. With a high energy level, the Swedish Vallhund enjoys activities and excels in sports and performance events. The breed makes for a great companion dog for active owners.


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History

Swedish Vallhund Origin

The Swedish Vallhund’s exact origins are unclear, however, it is agreed that the breed originated from Sweden. The breed is called Vastotaspets in its native land, which translates to “small Spitz of the West Goths”, a region found in the country.

The name also means “shepherd” or “herding” dog. The Swedish Vallhund is said to be descendants of dogs owned by the Vikings. Others believe that the breed was created through crossing Corgis of the British Isles and Scandinavian spit-type dogs.

The Swedish Vallhund is an indispensable canine companion in his native country. He is a dog with many capabilities such as herding cattle and other livestock, vermin control, and keeping out trespassers. 

The breed was on the brink of extinction in 1942, but with the help of two breeders, namely Biorn von Rosen and K G Zettersten, the Swedish Vallhund grew in numbers again. The two breeders obtained a male Vallhund named Mopsen and three females named Lessi, Topsy, and Vivi. They were able to revive the breed through breeding these four dogs.

In 1943, the Swedish Vallhund was recognised as an official breed by the Swedish Kennel Club. In 1974, this hardworking dog is imported to England. A lady named Elizabeth Cartledge introduced the Swedish Vallhund in the UK.

A decade later, the breed was officially recognised by the Kennel Club in 1984. Find the perfect Swedish Vallhund for your family by checking out our For Sale and Rehoming page.

Are Swedish Vallhunds related to Corgis?

The Swedish Vallhund dog and Pembroke Welsh Corgi do share quite similar traits. Some people believe that they are “cousins.” Historians speculate that Corgis were brought from Wales to Sweden between the 8th and 9th century.

Others believe that the Swedish Vallhunds were brought to Wales during this time. As a result, interbreeding took place which explains the similarity in physical traits.

Despite the strong physical resemblance, the two breeds are not closely related, genetically speaking. Some experts surmise that the Swedish Vallhund is a member of the spitz family. This puts the breed in the same family as the Alaskan Malamute, Finnish Spitz, and Norwegian Elkhound and not in the Corgi family.


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Appearance and Grooming

Appearance

What does a Swedish Vallhund look like?

The Swedish Vallhund is a stocky dog with a muscular body. His sturdy and compact physique stems from being a high energy level breed.

He has a wide, wedge-shaped head and a square muzzle. His nose is adjacent to the line of the muzzle. He has pointy ears which makes him look alert and on the go at all times.

The Swedish Vallhund has dark brown eyes that are medium-sized and oval-shaped. He has black lips with strong teeth in a scissors bite. His legs are short and well-muscled and his paws are densely boned and muscular as well. As for the breed’s tail, it comes in three types which are the long full tail, natural bobtail, and stub tail.

The weather-resistant double coat of a Vallhund is medium in length. The coat consists of two hair types: a soft undercoat and a coarse topcoat. He has shorter hair on his head and the lower legs.

Meanwhile, the fur on his chest, neck, and back of the thighs are slightly longer. The Vallhund’s coat colour comes in a sable pattern of grey to red or a mix of various shades. He has light-coloured “harness markings” on his back which distinguishes him from other dog breeds.

How big do Swedish Vallhunds get?

Adult Male Vallhunds are slightly larger than their female counterparts. They measure between 33 and 35 cm whilst females measure 31 to 33 cm. They weigh anywhere from 11.5 to 16.0 kg. Being a medium-sized dog, it would take approximately 12 months for Vallhunds to reach maturity.

Grooming

Do Swedish Vallhunds shed a lot?

The Swedish Vallhund is a heavy shedder due to his thick double coat. To prevent getting fur everywhere in your home, brush him at least once or twice a week. This will get rid of any loose or dead hair. Consider trimming the hair on his footpads as they easily catch debris and dirt.

How to care for a Swedish Vallhund?

Vallhunds do not need to be bathed regularly; wash him when he starts getting stinky or too dirty. Too much bathing can dry out his skin and coat which can lead to skin problems. Daily toothbrushing is advised to prevent teeth and gum disease, but two or three times a week will suffice.

Clean his ears at least once a week. Use a clean, soft cloth or cotton ball moistened with gentle ear cleaner for dogs. Make sure to inspect his ears for signs of infection including bad odour, redness or inflammation.

Dogs naturally wear out their nails every time they walk and run around. However, if you hear clicking on the floor when he walks, it signals a need for nail trimming.


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Temperament and Intelligence

Temperament

Are Swedish Vallhund Good pets?

The Vallhund is a lively dog that’s buzzing with so much energy. Be ready to be entertained when this dog is around since he has a terrific sense of humour. He is known to be very loyal to his family and shares a deep bond with them. This trait makes him a suitable guard dog.

However, he must be socialised at an early age. It ensures that he is capable of differentiating who is a threat from those who are not. Moreover, early socialisation shapes him to become a sweet and gentle-mannered dog as he matures.

The Swedish Vallhund is a barker. While this helps in deterring trespassers, it can be a nuisance to the neighbours. Thus, you can inhibit this behaviour through proper training.

The lively Swedish Vallhund is a good companion for children and other pets. However, since his herding instincts urge him to chase and nip anything that moves, make sure to always supervise their interactions. Small children should also be taught how to gently handle pets to prevent playing roughly with them.

If there are other pets in the household, proper introduction and socialisation must be done straight away.  By following the correct socialisation techniques, your pets will start to warm up to one another in no time.

Intelligence

Swedish Vallhund Training

As a herding dog, the Swedish Vallhund shows high intelligence and confidence in executing tasks. This makes him a quick learner and easily trainable. However, his independent nature may cause some hiccups along the way. The best way to handle this is by providing a firm and consistent training.

Patience and gentleness are needed as well. Never use harsh or punishment training methods. This will only cause your dog to lose his trust and respect for you.

Instead, apply positive reinforcement. Shower him with praises, give him a tasty treat, or let him play a fun game as a reward. Doing this will motivate him to do his best.


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Nutrition and Feeding

Nutrition

Swedish Vallhund Diet

Choose a premium-quality dog food for your Swedish Vallhund. Check with the vet to determine the most suitable option for your dog’s age, breed, and energy levels. This ensures that he will receive sufficient nutrients and minerals.

Avoid commercial dog food. It may be affordable but it often has less nutritional content. Feeding this to your Vallhund may cause him to suffer a nutrient deficiency. Fresh water should always be available especially during hot days to prevent dehydration. 

Feeding

How much should a Sweedish Vallhund eat?

Puppies should be fed at least three to four times a day. Their daily meals should be split into smaller portions for easier digestion. Three to six-months-old puppies need around 1 to 2 cups of food each day.

Once they reach 7 to 12 months of age, feed them approximately 1 cup of food per day. Full-grown Swedish Vallhunds need to eat at least two meals daily. Divide his portions into smaller servings to prevent overfeeding. Feed them about 1 cup of dog food a day.


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Health and Exercise

Health

How long do Swedish Vallhunds live?

Swedish Vallhunds' lifespan is 12 to 14 years if properly cared for. Others may even exceed this age and enjoy a longer life. To help extend your dog's life, keep him in optimum health by providing him with a balanced meal, adequate exercise, a stress-free and happy home, and proper care and grooming.

Swedish Vallhund Health Issues

This herding breed is a hardy canine. However, the Swedish Vallhund is still prone to a few health issues. Below are the most prevalent health problems found in the breed:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Retinopathy

One way to prevent your dog from developing these diseases is through regular check-ups. Regularly visiting the vet also helps in keeping track of his current health status. The vet will also be able to impart useful advice and tips on how to keep your Swedish Vallhund healthy and strong.

Exercise

How much exercise does a Swedish Vallhund need?

The Swedish Vallhund has extremely high levels of energy as expected from a herding dog. Lack of exercise can lead to behaviour problems such as excessive barking or destroying of furniture. Give him opportunities to do activities. Forty-five minutes to an hour of exercise will burn off his excess energy.

If you have a spacious garden, give him the freedom to explore and run around in it. Before doing so, check the fences and make sure they are secure to prevent your dog from escaping.

Mental stimulation should be a part of his daily work out as well. Provide him with toys and games that will keep his brain working. Give him dog puzzles and food dispensing toys, play hide-and-seek, or simply teach him new tricks. 


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Cost of Ownership

If you are interested in purchasing a Swedish Vallhund, be ready to go on a waiting list as this breed in rare in the UK. The price for a well-bred pedigree puppy is anything from £400 upwards. You also need to factor in pet insurance if you want to offset some expenses on health emergencies and accidents. Insuring a Swedish Vallhund will set you back a monthly premium of £23 for a basic cover and £44 for a lifetime cover. These prices depend on your dog’s age, health, and where you are in the UK.

Good nutrition is important in maintaining your dog’s health and minimising visits to the vet. Feeding your dog high quality dog food can set you back another £20-£30 a month. Routine checks with preventive care including neutering and spaying, can cost £800 annually. This does not include major treatments and confinement in case of health emergencies.

You also need to factor in the basic accessories and equipment that can cost up to £200 initially. These include food bowls, collars and leads, bed, grooming kit, and toys. On average, caring and raising a Swedish Vallhund will cost £50 to £80 a month.


Swedish Vallhund Breed Highlights

  • The Swedish Vallhund is a bright-eyed dog that is devoted to his family.
  • He is a great companion for families with children and pets but needs early socialisation.
  • Even with a stubborn streak, the Vallhund responds well to firm and consistent training combined with positive reinforcement.
  • He is a heavy shedder that requires frequent brushings.
  • A moderate amount of exercise is enough to tire him out.

Planning to become a forever home for a Swedish Vallhund? Browse our For Sale and Rehoming page to look for your very own furry companion.

Swedish Vallhund

Are you sure the Swedish Vallhund is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.

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Disclaimer:
The information, including measurements, prices and other estimates, on this page is provided for general reference purposes only.