About The Breed
The Swedish Vallhund is an ancient breed of dog from the Spitz group of dogs. They were used as all purpose farm dogs in the flat cattle country of Sweden and mostly found in the West and Southern provinces. With their short legs, agility and speed, they are ideally suited to cattle herding on the small Swedish farms.
The appearance of the Swedish Vallhund is a medium sized dog of about 33cms (13), with a slightly longer body than tall, he is well-muscled, powerful and robust, with a keen alert attitude. The topcoat is medium short, harsh but closely fitting with a soft woolly undercoat, providing weather and water resistance.
The colour of the coat varies from light to dark shades of grey or reddish yellow with lighter shades found on the cheeks, throat, belly, buttocks, feet and hocks.
A hallmark of the breed is its distinctive and most desirable lighter facial mask, although a dark mask is acceptable, and harness markings near the shoulder and upper arm. Eyes should be dark brown, oval in shape denoting a gentle, soft but alert expression. Nose black.
The tail is a distinguishable feature, with many puppies being born without a tail or with a short stump, while others may be born with varying lengths through to a full tail.
To fully convey the temperament of the Swedish Vallhund is difficult with one not fully understanding the extent of this breeds personality until you are owned by one. They have a strong herding instinct with a natural ability to herd. It is not unusual for their owners to find their dogs coming in behind in an attempt to drive them along. The breed has a sense of humour, with a happy disposition and is important that he/she be included in the family activities enjoying being a principle character. The Swedish Vallhund is a willing positive, honest worker who is easy to teach, is proud, open, frank and unafraid.
The Swedish Vallhund is happiest when playing with other Swedish Vallhunds, with the play often appearing to be rough and noisy, yet rarely hurting themselves. This breed needs mental and physical stimulation and is most comfortable when there is a plethora of activity around their surroundings or an array of activities for them to participate in. The breed is very astute and miss little of what is going on in their environment, they are very much a thinking breed, mental stimulation is extremely important for this intelligent breed. They require freedom but also strong willed requiring a steady hand with training commencing at an early age.
The breed gets on well with other dogs and children. They are low maintenance with a water resistant coat that repels dirt or mud and do not have a doggy odour.
The dog is larger and more masculine looking than the bitch, but both should be strong and capable of doing a good days work.
The preferred height for Males is 33 to 35 cm (13 to 13.75), Females 31 to 33 cm (12 to 13). Weight: 11.4 15.9 kg (25-35lbs
The Swedish Vallhund is primarily a robust healthy breed. The average life span of the breed is approximately fifteen years, with the oldest official recorded age being twenty seven years.
It is important, prior to purchasing a puppy to ensure you have done your research on the breed and the breeders within the breed, check the breeders credentials, ensuring the breeder undertakes health checks on their dogs such as hip scores and eye tests. Ask to look at the sire and dam if possible to determine the temperament of the breeding stock.
The Swedish Vallhund Colour
The colour description of the Swedish Vallhund in the breed standard is as follows: Grey (originally called Steel grey), greyish/yellow, greyish/brown, reddish/brown, reddish/yellow with darker guard hairs on back, neck and sides of body, lighter hair same shade of colour as mentioned above is desirable on muzzle, throat, chest, belly, buttocks, feet and hocks. Instead of these lighter shades, white markings are acceptable, but never in excess of one-third of total colour. Eye colour: Very dark brown. Nose Colour: Black
The Swedish Vallhund is one of the breeds of dog with unusually pronounced agouti hair; with most colour descriptions denoted in the breed standard being agouti.