Swedish Vallhund Overview
The Swedish Vallhund can trace his history back to the west of Sweden, where he has long worked as a multipurpose farm dog. The breed is long and low to the ground, making him adept at herding cattle, and he also makes a competent watchdog and vermin hunter. The breed became almost extinct by the 1930s, however, a breeder named Bjorn von Rosen helped bring the breed back to popularity.
Swedish Vallhund Characteristics
The Vallhund looks almost like a mix of husky, corgi and fox, although his origins are different. They are built low to the ground and have long bodies and short legs, keeping them easily out of cattle kicking height. Ears are pricked and rounded like a fox, while tails can be kept long, curling over the back, or docked. The unique foxy markings on the Vallhund give him a distinctive appearance.
Swedish Vallhund Temperament
Vallhunds are known to be clever and enjoy showing off their skills to their friends and family. The breed is very vocal, and will happily announce when he is enjoying his situation. Vallhunds are very loving and affectionate, making great companions when they are not at work. Early socialization will also make them friendly toward small children and other pets.
Swedish Vallhund Care
The average lifespan of the Vallhund is 13 to 15 years, typical for a dog their size. Some health concerns include cryptorchidism (failure of one or both testicles to properly descend), hip dysplasia, luxating patellas and renal (kidney) dysplasia. They may also be more prone to back problems like other long-bodied breeds, so care should be taken for good back and joint health.
Swedish Vallhund Coat
A weekly brushing with a firm brush or comb is enough to keep the coat of the Vallhund looking its best. This will help remove any dead or loose hairs in the coat. The Vallhund does have a shedding season and may benefit from more frequent brushing during this time to prevent excess hair in the environment.
Swedish Vallhund Training
As a herding breed, the Vallhund is quick to pick up on any obedience training. They are eager to learn and happily pick up on tricks and other tasks. Vallhunds are happy with any task given to them, and do well in activities such as agility and obedience, even in spite of their shorter legs.
Swedish Vallhund Activity
Vallhunds are naturally active dogs, and require a bit more exercise than other dogs their size. Daily walks and other activities will help keep the breed in good shape. As an intelligent herder, providing puzzles and other mental activities will also help prevent boredom and destructive behaviors.