Breed of the Week: Swedish Vallhund 05/16/16

Swedish Vallhund 1

Breed Stats

Country of Origin: Sweden

Other Names: Swedish Cattle Dog, Västgötaspets (Swedish)

Average Height: Males 13 inches (33 cm), Females 12 inches (31 cm)

Average Lifespan: 12-15 years

Coat: Medium length coat with a rough overcoat that sits close to the body and the undercoat is quite soft and dense.  Regular brushing is necessary.

Colour: Grey, greyish brown, greyish yellow or reddish brown.

History

            The Swedish Vallhund is a very old breed of Spitz type dog that is clearly related to the Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.  During the 8th or 9th century one of two things happened, either the Vallhund was brought to England, or one of the two breeds of Corgi were brought into Sweden. Due to the fact that larger Spitz type dogs have been found buried with their masters in Scandinavian stone age settlements, some historians claim that the Vallhund was in fact the older of the two breeds.  They were bred for farm work and they are very adept at herding.

In 1942, the breed was just about extinct.  Luckily a man named Bjorn von Rosen, who had fond memories of the breed from his childhood, took it upon himself to salvage the bloodline.  He teamed up with a man named K.G. Zettersen and the two scoured the countryside, looking for the best Swedish Vallhund specimens.  The pair managed to acquire a male and three females, and it is said that the foundation for the modern breed came from those dogs.  .  The breed was first officially recognized in 1943 when the Swedish Kennel Club officially accepted them into the registry.  In 1964 the breed standard was rewritten and it was not until 1974 that the Breed was brought to England but was not recognized by the Kennel Club until 1996.  The AKC recognized the Swedish Vallhund in 2007.

Classifications

FCI: Group 5, Section 3 #14

AKC: Herding

UKC: Herding Dogs

CKC: Group 7 – Herding

KC (UK): Pastoral

Temperament

            The Swedish Vallhund is known to be confident, intelligent, affectionate, even-tempered and independent. They are generally very loyal and love to be around their people.  Many owners say that they love to clown around and have lots of personality.  They make great family companions but require some daily exercise.  Just like all dogs, early socialization and training is key.

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