Swedish Vallhund Dog Breed
Nicknames: Swedish Cattle Dog, Swedish Shepherd, Vallund, Vastgotaspets,SV
|Right Breed For You?||The Swedish Vallhund is an active, fun loving dog. Apartment living is fine for this breed. They need to get plenty of exercise but most can be obtained in the house. As long as children are respectful, this breed is friendly with them. They are a good companion for older people. Socialization is extremely important so they are not wary or over-protective around strangers. Their owner needs to have time to train them to not nip at people’s heels. Training is something the Swedish Vallhund enjoys and excels at. They bark a lot which can make them a good watch dog but can also be annoying to families and neighbors.||Discount Pet Supply Recommendations|
|Life Span:||13-15 years|
|Litter Size:||up to 9 puppies|
|Color:||Ranging from grey to red, this breed has a variety of colors. They can be shaded grey which is preferred, red, brindle, blue-grey, and have white markings. The white markings should be less than 40% of the color of the body.|
|Recognized By:||FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR|
The Swedish Vallhund (SV) is a very old Spitz-type breed known since the time of the Vikings. For centuries the SV has been kept as a farm dog and used for herding cattle. The SV is a small, powerful, fearless, sturdily built Spitz herding dog. The appearance of the Swedish Vallhund conveys intelligence, alertness and energy. Balance, outline, temperament and movement are of overriding importance
They have large yellow or brown colored eyes, and their large ears stick straight up. These dogs should have a light color of fur down the middle of the face and on the muzzle. Like Corgis, they have very short legs compared to their body size.
Their tail is bushy and curls up on their back like the tails of many arctic breeds. A top coat of fur is not soft and is medium length. Many coat colors are acceptable, such as red-yellow, gray, gray-brown, red-brown, and some white markings.
The coat is of medium length hair; harsh, close and with a tight topcoat. The undercoat is soft and dense.
A Sable pattern (black-tipped hairs) seen in colors of gray through red and combination’s of these colors in various shades. Lighter shades of these colors are desirable on the chest, belly, buttocks, lower legs, feet and hocks, with darker hairs on back, neck and sides of the body. Lighter markings on shoulders, so-called harness markings, are essential. White is permitted as a narrow blaze, neck spot, slight necklace, and white markings on the front and hind legs, and chest but not in excess of one third of the dog’s color.
The Swedish Vallhund is a very old breed of dog who has been known for at least 1,000 years. His name means “Herding Dog” in Swedish, and he is also known as the “Viking Dog.” For centuries he was used to herd livestock, guard farms, and catch rodents. He is still used in Sweden as a herder, and by the Swedish Army as a Search and Rescue dog.
In 1942 his breed almost became extinct, but was carefully revived in his home country and in 1948 he was recognized by the Swedish Kennel Club. The first American litter of Swedish Vallhunds was born in 1986, and the breed admitted to the AKC in 2007. Still a relatively rare and unusual dog, he was shown for the first time at the Westminster Kennel Club Show in 2008. His AKC popularity was 87th out of 157 breeds in 2007.
The Swedish Vallhund is an alert, affectionate, devoted, energetic, happy and friendly dog. He’s a fun-loving, clownish show-off who takes his even-tempered attitude with him everywhere he goes. He loves attention, but he also needs human leadership. He is extremely dedicated to his family, is always ready to play or to learn something new, and wants to be with you as much as possible.
Swedish Vallhund is intensely focused on you. He is not a dog who can be left alone in a house or yard. He is a high-energy dog who needs a great deal of mental as well as physical exercise. He is easy to train as he is very eager to please you, and he loves performing all kinds of challenging tasks. Swedish Vallhund is a confident, thinking dog who can occasionally be a bit strong-willed–but for the most part he can’t wait to learn anything you can teach him! He excels at herding and agility and even search and rescue, and makes a wonderful outdoor companion.
Although he can be quite active indoors, he also needs a daily leashed walk, and loves to chase and fetch sticks, balls, and Frisbee. Swedish Vallhund may chase away dogs he isn’t familiar with, but he is good with pets he knows and has been introduced to, and loves and is friendly and polite with people. Swedish Vallhund does well with children, although he does have a tendency to herd them and nip at heels, and must be trained not to do this.
Swedish Vallhund makes a good watchdog because he is alert and will bark loudly at any strange sound or sight. He is a very vocal dog who can sometimes bark too much, and must be told to quiet down. Swedish Vallhund is a heavy shedder, and so will not be a good pet if you dislike the idea of finding dog hair everywhere or having vacuuming more frequently.
The Swedish Vallhund is normally a hardy, healthy animal requiring only routine veterinary care. There are few negative genetic factors known about the SV at this time. Although they are uncommon, cleft palates and heart problems have been occasionally reported in the breed.
These problems are noted at birth and are dealt with by the breeder. There may also be an eye condition which, given current knowledge, does not affect visual acuity but needs to be considered in breeding circumstances.
The Swedish Vallhund with its short hair and highly weather resistant coat needs very little grooming and coat maintenance. If you brush it regularly with a firm bristle brush and they receive good nutrition, the coats will stay healthy.
There seems to be some differences of opinion on how often to bath your Swedish Vallhund – some saying regular baths won’t hurt and others insisting they only be bathed when they really need to be. It often boils down to a matter of what is right and works for YOUR dog.
Those who prefer to wash often say regular bathing won’t harm your dog’s coat but make sure you a good quality dog shampoo (not human) that doesn’t dry the coat. An oatmeal shampoo or tea tree oil shampoo works wonders. Often called the wash and wear breed, it tends to clean up really well.
Those who only bathe the dog when it’s necessary suggest brushing once a week.
Since these are herding dogs, their feet really important. Their nails should be kept short to maintain their strength and the pads inspected regularly for cuts or bruises and other foreign matter. Keep the ears clean as well. The Swedish Vallhund sheds up to twice a year (depending on sex and geography).
Since the Swedish Vallhund is such an active breed an owner/handler must make a firm commitment to exercise frequently. Swedish Vallhund’s are great running or biking companions but don’t over exert the young dog or it will ruin its joints.
Due to their high intelligence, they make great obedience prospects. Be aware this very intelligence can also be a drawback as this dog is not beyond manipulating you to get what it wants. Swedish Vallhund’s are also outstanding in Dog Sports – like Flyball, Agility and Frisbee. Many also like to holler at things that fly and have been known to chase birds up and down the yard, barking at them to smarten up and fly right.
Sponges for affection, these dogs will sit and grin at you when you take the time to talk to them and play games with them.
Due to their intelligence, the Swedish Vallhund is easy to train, however they are hard-headed and stubborn. Meaning, they would be less compliant than some other breeds. To have a well trained Swedish Vallhund you need to have the dog’s respect, and vice versa.
Keep things interesting while you are training your Swedish Vallhund. While this breed learns fast it can get easily bored with repetition. Firm but fair training methods are best. You must be the pack leader or Alpha dog. At home, you are the dog’s pack and if you don’t set yourself up to be the leader your Swedish Vallhund will take the role over, and usually with some disastrous results.
Being a pack leader isn’t about being big and mean and scary. It is an attitude, an air of authority. Your dog must learn you have the power to handle him, and that handling will not lead to any harm. Your dog must trust you completely.
Your Swedish Vallhund won’t learn if he isn’t paying attention. Make sure any stimulus is strong enough to get him to give you eye contact. Working with signals only is a good way to teach your dog to keep one eye on you at all times.
Use positive, not negative reinforcement to train. Positive reinforcement is something your dog perceives as a good result. Negative reinforcement is any result that doesn’t please him. Remember any inappropriate behaviors cannot be eliminated overnight. Good behaviors take time to develop.