Swedish Vallhund
Suecia FCI 14 - Nordic Watchdogs and Herders.

Vallhund Sueco

It is practically unknown outside the Nordic countries.



The Swedish Vallhund (Västgötaspets), known as also as “Viking dog“, was bred to herd cattle, capturing vermin (as the rats, for example), and as a watchdog.

The origin of the Vallhund is believed to date from ago 800 or 900 years, during the time of the vikings, and although there are theories that claim, race historians dismiss that there is a connection between the breed we know today as Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Despite its resemblance.

During World War II, the race was on the verge of extinction, but with time and much care was recuperada…

Then, in 1964, the Swedish breed standard was revised and the name Västgötaspet (in Swedish) was officially adopted in recognition of the region the dogs come from Västgötaland.

In 2008, the Swedish Vallhund, the dog of Basset, the Tibetan Mastiff, and the Beauceron They competed for the first time, in the sample Westminster Kennel Club International.

In the news, the Swedish Vallhund still known as Sweden's cattle keeper, par excellence, although it is still very rare around the world.

Physical characteristics

The height at the withers expected according to the Swedish Vallhund, is of 33 cm in males and 31 cm in females. A variation of 1,5 cm above or below these measures, is allowed. With regard to the weight, round between 9 a 14 kg.

The Swedish Vallhund, it is a breed endowed with good muscles (something very important in dogs with short legs). Their fur, It should be of medium length (pulling short), and hard. The outer layer is thin and firm and the inner layer is dense and soft. The hair is short on the head and in the earlier parts of the legs, While a little longer in the neck, the chest and back of the hind legs.

The desired colors are grey, grey-brown, reddish brown or greyish yellow with darker spots on the hairs in the back, the neck and sides of the body. The color white is allowed on a small proportion, as a narrow shining, (neckstop) or a light collar. White markings are allowed in the anterior and posterior limbs and chest. White patches that exceed more than the 30% on the colorful coat is generally considered a lack.

Character and skills

The Swedish Vallhund, It was created as a working dog in to the farm, but it also has history as company mascots. This leads to it fit perfectly, in rural areas as well as life in cities.

The Swedish Vallhund it is a great companion as a pet, but - also- It can be used for grazing. They love human attention and are very devoted to their owners.

It's a funny dog, happy and having fun with any group game. It is a dog friendly with most of the people, but they can be wary with strangers and should be, correctly, socialized and trained from pups, Since, going to try to protect your home, as it is, without being aware of its small size.

The Swedish Vallhund, You can compete in agility, obedience, show, Flyball, follow-up, and the raising of events. Also, can be measured in non-competitive grazing trials.

Swedish Vallhund Education

Small but mighty. This original worker is by no means a spoiled lap dog. Is persevering, brave and energetic and can keep up well as a farm dog with a close family relationship. Children should be slightly older and used to respectful contact with dogs. Because if you disturb the Swedish Vallhund, tends to be aggressive. According to your original task, cattle grazing, loves to exercise in the fresh air and only after a corresponding load of work does he appreciate a cozy afternoon on the couch. To a balanced Swedish Vallhund likes to snuggle and play and is loyal to his two-legged pack.

Like many northern dogs, this breed also tends to bark extensively, which should already be managed in a controlled way at the puppy stage. However, will not be a particularly calm pet, even after successful training, so don't set your expectations too high. How a dog for a city walk may have a tendency to collide with other dogs, it is particularly sensible to attend puppy play classes and basic obedience courses with him at dog school. This strengthens their social skills and can also lay the foundation for friendships with other animals..

Swedish Vallhund Health

The Vallhund it is a small but powerful breed of dog, brave, alert, strong, Intelligent, friendly and healthy. They have few known health problems (genetically inherited), and are considered robust dogs, healthy and with a life expectancy around the 14 years.

In some cases, they may face problems in the column, due to its short legs (distribution of the peso…).

Swedish Vallhund diet

A species-appropriate dog food with a high proportion of meat is the best foundation for the life of a healthy dog. So choose a dry or wet food that contains meat as the main ingredient, you can tell by the fact that meat tops the ingredient list. Avoid dog food that contains cereal as cheap fillers. If you choose dry food, you should also make sure that your Vallhund drink enough. In any case, fresh water must always be available to him at all times and everywhere.

If you want to give your four-legged friend a special treatment, you can choose healthy treats such as jerky snacks especially for dogs or dental care snacks. Avoid anything that contains sugar. You can give your little companion an appetizing treat to chew on with dry chew items like cow ears or special dog bones for medium-sized dogs. Avoid being overweight: If your four-legged friend gains weight, exercise more or reduce daily servings – you usually don't need a diet food.

A Swedish Vallhund is recommended

The Swedish Vallhund you are comfortable with active people who give you a task. For example, can live as a garden dog with close contact with his two-legged pack. Here you will do an excellent job as a watchdog, but you will also need an extra workload in the form of some common activities – unless you really have the task of herding other animals.

If you are thinking of moving in with a Swedish Vallhund, you should already have experience with dogs. Can make close friends with older children, provided they give you a place to retreat and introduce you to respectful handling of dogs. With younger children up to elementary school age and sometimes beyond, misunderstandings may arise. The former rat catcher should not live together with smaller pets and should only consider socialization with cats if the breeder's household has already socialized him with them before or if he ensures that a Swedish Vallhund adult have a lot of experience with calm cats.

In any case, before moving, make sure all family members agree with the new family member and that no one is allergic to animal hair. Also consider how to organize care during your vacation – the Swedish Vallhund you are welcome to be taken on a walking holiday, but remember it's still a dog that likes to bark. You should also keep this in mind with regard to your neighborhood. In any case, despite its practical size, the Swedish Vallhund still a four-legged friend who doesn't fit in well in a city apartment, but rather in a house in the country, where it is better to have a fenced garden.

Before moving, consider the costs of the dog itself and the basic equipment, as well as the regular expenses of adequate food for the dog, veterinary costs, dog tax and liability insurance. Of course, unforeseen amounts may be added in relation to veterinary expenses: Inform yourself about dog health insurance in advance and consider whether such insurance is possible for your four-legged friend.

Where can I find my Swedish Vallhund?

Outside of Scandinavia there are very few examples of this breed of dog. Please, inform yourself in advance about the particularities of the puppy's entry and the necessary vaccinations. The best thing to do is to search the internet for breeders who should definitely belong to a club – only then can you be sure that you really have a Swedish Vallhund. In addition, friends of the breed should always support serious and ambitious breeding and, therefore, health maintenance, the type and character of the breed. It makes sense to contact Nordic dog clubs – they can help you contact breeders of the breed.

These clubs are also a good place to contact if you want to offer a Swedish Vallhund adult a new home. However, depending on the region you live in, you should also watch out for adult crossings or look for alternatives, since outside of Scandinavia fortunately there are not many Swedish Vallhund that lose their homes among the already very few Walldogs. If you have an older dog, find out more about their history, because it is not uncommon for dog owners who have to shed their Swedish Vallhund underestimate him for his size and do not allow him to be trained properly. Here knowledge of dogs may be necessary to correct educational errors, but the Swedish Vallhund smart learners quickly in the right hands.

Evaluations of the Swedish Vallhund

Coexistence is important that you have with your new friend. Before considering the acquisition of a dog of the breed “Swedish Vallhund” you know certain factors. Not all breeds of dogs are apt to live in an apartment, You must take into account their character, their need for exercise, their interaction with other pets, your care and if you have young children, their level of tolerance towards them.

Training ?

3.0 rating
3 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Suitability of the apartment ?

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Can be alone all day ?

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Suitable as a first dog ?

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3 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Weight gain ?

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Health ?

3.0 rating
3 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Intelligence ?

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3 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Kindness with child ?

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3 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Tendency to bite ?

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4 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Tendency to bark ?

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5 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Tendency to flee ?

3.0 rating
3 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Hair loss force ?

4.0 rating
4 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Suitable as a guard dog ?

3.0 rating
3 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Joy ?

3.0 rating
3 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Cat friendliness ?

3.0 rating
3 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Power level ?

3.0 rating
3 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Images of the Swedish Vallhund


1 – Swedish Vallhund by https://flic.kr/p/a4mJMv
2 – Swedish Vallhund by WestportWiki / CC BY-SA
3 – Kiki, a Swedish Vallhund by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kiki,_a_Swedish_Vallhund.jpg
4 – A Swedish Vallhund doing agility by Ron Armstrong from Helena, MT, USA / CC BY
5 – Swedish Vallhund by Matt Lemmon / CC BY-SA
6 – Swedish Vallhund by WestportWiki / CC BY-SA

Videos of the Swedish Vallhund

Type and recognitions:

  • Group 5: Spitz and primitive types.
  • Section 3: Nordic Watchdogs and Herders. Without working trial.


  • FCI – Group 5 – Section 3 Nordic Watchdogs and Herders..
  • AKC – Nordic Watchdogs and Herders.
  • CKC – Nordic Watchdogs and Herders.
  • ​KC – Nordic Watchdogs and Herders.
  • NZKC – Nordic Watchdogs and Herders.
  • UKC – Nordic Watchdogs and Herders.

FCI Standard of the Swedish Vallhund breed

Swedish Vallhund FCI Swedish Vallhund FCI

Alternative names:

    1. Swedish Cattle Dog, Swedish Shepherd, Vallhund, Västgötaspets (English).
    2. Spitz des Wisigoths (French).
    3. Westgotenspitz, Schwedischer Schäferspitz, Swedish Cattle Dog, Schwedischer Vallhund (German).
    4. (Portuguese).
    5. Vallhund, spitz de los visigodos, Perro de los visigodos (Spanish).
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