The Swedish Vallhund!

The Swedish Vallhund, whose native name is Västgötaspets, is also commonly called the Swedish Cattle Dog or Vallhund for short. It was originally bred in Sweden for herding purposes and was brought to the US only in the 1980s. This small breed is actually a type of spitz and is said to be the ancestor of Welsh Corgi. Its mid-length topcoat is close and tight while its undercoat is soft and dense. Its eyes are mid-size, oval, and dark brown. Its ears are also mid-size but pointed and smooth-haired, while its nose is black. Its neck is long and muscular. It has a long tail. These features give the Vallhund its fox-like appearance, which is typical among spitz.

Some Quick Facts:

Life Expectancy:
12-14 years

Energy Level:

Living Conditions:
Great indoor dog.

Barks a lot. Alarm dog.

Exercise Needs:
Self-active. Occasional walk.

Breed Group:


12 to 16 inches

25 to 35 pounds

Standard Hair Colors:
Gray to red and combination of both, or red-yellow, red-brown, and gray-brown.

National breed club:
Swedish Vallhund Club of America

Swedish Vallhund Skills

The Swedish Vallhund was actually used for herding. Vallhund, in fact, means herding in Switzerland. With their small size, they herded by rounding up and nipping the cattles’ hocks. This rare historical breed was said to accompany Vikings on their journeys. This breed is small and versatile, being dependable at farmland tasks. In addition to these skills, the Vallhund is also popular in show rings and tests of obedience and agility.

Swedish Vallhund Personality

The Swedish Vallhund is ideal as a pet and as a working dog. As a pet, it is so easy to get along with. It is popular in the house especially among the kids, what with its even temper, obedience, responsiveness, and spontaneous sense of humor, all of which are signs of its intelligence. It is tremendously active, very protective of its humans. Because it barks a lot, the Swedish Vallhund is a perfect alarm dog. Watch out for those short legs to jump on you, for with its short height, it tries to get attention by doing such thing.

Exercise Needs

Because it is active even when indoors, the Swedish Vallhund’s exercise needs get to be satisfied inside the house.

Living Conditions

With its size and active spirit, the Swedish Vallhund will do well living in an apartment. Its small size makes it adaptable to indoor living, which supports its very active life. In fact, even without a yard, this dog will do fine.

Grooming Requirements

It medium-length hard coat requires minimal maintenance. The usual regular bathing and combing will do plus some pest-control treatments, especially if it is exposed outdoor.

Health Issues

The Swedish Vallhund is considered as one of those generally healthy breeds. However, there have been cases of hip dysplasia and some eye diseases for some Vallhunds.

If you liked this dog…

...for its petite and fox-like looks, you may also opt for a Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Since it is believed that the Corgi descended from the Swedish Vallhund, both breeds possess excellent herding attributes. You may also oft for other spitz breeds like the Japanese spitz, although this breed has spikier hair.


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