Swedish Vallhund


A small to medium sized Swedish Vallhund
Swedish Vallhund Quick Summary
Also Known AsSwedish Cattle Dog
Height (at withers)12-14in (31-35cm)
Weight15-35lbs (7-16kg)
Hair Colour(s)Greys, browns
Lifespan9-15 years
Energy LevelHigh
Litter size6-8
Barking TendencyHigh
Exercise requirementsHigh
Ease of trainingHigh
Suitability for kidsHigh
Animal compatabilityMedium
Aggression levelsLow
Distress if leftMedium

The Swedish Vallhund is a robust dog similar in appearance to a Corgi. The body is long with a level topline, straight front legs and an often docked tail carried horizontally or slightly downwards. The head is long and wedge-shaped with a square muzzle, pointed areas and oval brown eyes. The coat consists of a dense undercoat and a harsh outercoat, and the colouring varies but includes greys and browns often with a darker mask and harness markings over the shoulders and back.


Swedish Vallhunds are friendly and active dogs. Even tempered and often eager to please, they can be clownish at times and become devoted to their families, and so make fine companions and family pets. These are responsive and intelligent dogs that enjoy agility and obedience, and so are relatively easy to train; however, they can be prone to excessive barking and need plenty of mental and physical stimulation so are suitable mostly for experienced dog owners. Swedish Vallhunds get on well with older, more considerate children as well as other dogs, but care will be required around small pets such as hamsters. Their herding traits of heel nippping will need discouraging too. They are wary of strangers and so make relatively effective watchdogs, but they will need early socialisation and training to prevent them from being too over protective.

History & Skills

Swedish Vallhunds originate from Sweden, as the name suggests, and date back around a thousand years to the time of the Vikings. With some resemblence to the Corgi, their exact origins are unclear but they were farm dogs used for herding sheep, cattle and horses, and were also used as watchdogs and for controlling vermin. These dogs were on the brink of extinction in the 1940s before a breeding programme was set up to save the breed. They were reintroduced into Britian in the 1970s and are still worked in Sweden and other Scandinavian Countries.

Breed Specific Ailments

Swedish Vallhunds tend to live between 9-15 years and are a very healthy breed. One of the health problems that has been noted in this breed includes hip dysplasia. The ear canals should be inspected regularly and kept clean and hair-free.


Swedish Vallhunds are low shedders, typical casting once a year, and so may be suited to those suffering with allergies. Their grooming requirements are not high and they will simply need a weekly brushing to keep the coat in good condition. This breed does not suffer from doggy odour, which is a plus.

Exercise & Environment

Swedish Vallhunds tend to live indoors and can be suitable for small homes such as apartments. However, they are primarily country dogs with lots of energy and so will need plenty of exercise, and an outside area in which to play would be an added bonus. These are not dogs to be left alone all day.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)

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