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Swedish Vallhund Mobile

Swedish Vallhund

The Swedish Vallhund is a short legged sturdy dog of the spitz type. Slightly longer than they are tall, they have an attractive, intelligent face crowned with strong pricked ears, and a thickly furred tail that curls tightly over the back. Their short, thick coat comes in steel-grey, grey-brown, grey-yellow, red-brown and red-yellow and is shaded across the body being darker on the shoulders and back, lighter on the muzzle and underneath the dog. Small white markings are sometimes seen but they should never be more than one-third the total colour of the dog. 

The need-to-know
  • 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

Key Facts

Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Weight:  11.5-16kg 
Height:  33-35cm for males and females 31-33cm
Colours:  Steel-grey, grey-brown, grey-yellow, red-brown and red-yellow
Size:  Medium
UK Kennel Club Groups: Pastoral


Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 5/5
Easy to train: 5/5
Tolerates being alone: 3/5
Likes other pets: 3/5
Energy level: 5/5
Grooming needs: 4/5
Shedding: 4/5


Clever, lively and alert, the Vallhund is a natural watchdog, informing their owners of anything interesting, suspicious or unusual that they have seen or heard! Friendly and amenable, they are a loyal companion and enjoy spending time with their people. Easy to train with the right motivation, the Vallhund will enjoy a variety of doggy activities, but beware leaving a Vallhund to get lonely or bored – they will bark and become destructive if so!

History and Origins

Also known as the Swedish Herder Spitz or the Swedish Cattle Dog, the Vallhund is thought to be almost 1000 years old. Believed to be related to the Pembroke Welsh Corgi (although opinions differ as to which came first), it is clear at a glance that the two breeds share some similarities in function and form. 
The Vallhund’s original function was to herd and drive cattle but as a useful farm dog they would also perform the role of watchdog and ratter. Despite this usefulness, the breed nearly died out in the 1930’s but thanks to the efforts of Count Bjorn von Rosen and a group of dedicated supporters and breeders, numbers rose again and the Vallhund found favour as both a show dog and a family pet. Recognised by the Swedish Kennel Club in 1940, it wasn’t until the 1980’s that they achieved recognition by the UK Kennel Club. 

Did You Know?

  • Vallhunds are so versatile, they have taken part in herding, agility, flyball, obedience, vermin control, search and rescue and have even been trained to sniff out valuable truffles. 
  • For a relatively unknown breed, the Swedish Vallhund has featured on a remarkable number of postage stamps including those from Tajikistan, Mali, Nicaragua, Ukraine, Russia and of course, Sweden.
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