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Swedish Vallhund Dog Breed Profile

Swedish Vallhund

Other Names
Vastgotaspets, Vall, Swedish Cattle Dog 
Dog Group Kennel Club
Breed Classification
The Swedish Vallhund is a member of the pastoral group. They were originally bred to herd cattle, sheep and horses and were also used as watchdogs. Today they are used as companions and seen in the show ring. They are still worked in Sweden and other Scandinavian Countries. 
Cost of Ownership
Average Food Cost
< £4 per week
Feeding Requirements
It will cost less than £4 per week to feed a Vall. 
Other Expenses
The average cost of a puppy is between £400 to £600. 
9 - 15 years
This breed will live on average 12 – 15 years, although there are records of 18 or 19 years. 
Average Litter Size
There are generally 6 to 8 puppies in an averaged sized litter. 
General Physical Description
A strong, robust breed with a fairly long body, the Vallhund, on first glance, is similar in physique to the Corgi. On closer inspection, they are longer in the leg and have smaller mobile ear’s with a wedged shaped head not foxy like the Corgi, and also have a typical spitz personality!

Height Min Max
Bitch 31cm (12") 33cm (13")
Dog 33cm (13") 35cm (14")
Weight Min Max
Bitch 11kg (24lbs) 16kg (35lbs)
Dog 29kg (64lbs) 32kg (71lbs)
Size Category
Weight Height Range
Dogs should measure between 33 - 35cms and weigh between 11.5 - 16kgs. Bitches should ideally measure between 31 - 33cms and should be 3 to 4 kg’s lighter than the males. 
Despite being long-backed, this breed has no specific health problems. However, ear passages should be regularly inspected and kept clean and hair-free. 
Common Ailments
Susceptibility To Illness
The Vall is originally of Viking blood and has been identified as very similar to the Welsh Corgi. Although, which breed came first is debatable: did the Vikings bring their cattle dog over from Sweden or did they take the Corgi back to Sweden? Over the centuries, very little change was injected into the breed and they worked on Swedish farms, not only driving cattle but also being used for controlling vermin. However the breed did reduce in numbers and in 1942, Count von Rose realised that it was verging on extinction. He, along with Herr K G Zettersten, set up a breeding programme to increase the genetic pool and searched out 3 suitable bitches and one dog. One of these bitches is still thought of as being the ‘ideal’ Vall and it is her measurements that are used in today’s breed standard. The breed was introduced to the UK in 1973 when an in-whelp bitch was imported. Another two bitches and a dog followed shortly and these four dogs formed the foundation UK stock. 
Being quick on the uptake, this breed is easy to train. They adore agility and obedience.< 
Show Characteristics
The head should be rather long with a clean-cut blunt wedge and a well-defined stop. The muzzle should be rather square and slightly shorter than the skull. The lower jaw should be strong. The eyes should be medium-sized, oval and very dark brown. The medium-sized ears should be pointed, pricked, smooth-haired and mobile. They should have a scissor bite. The neck should be long, strongly muscled and with good reach. The front legs should be well-boned and straight when viewed from the side. The hind legs should be well-angulated, with well-bent stifles and low hocks. Again the legs should be well-boned and have strongly muscled thighs. The back should be well-muscled and level with a short, strong loin. Harness markings should be clearly defined. The feet should be medium-sized, short and oval, well-knuckled up and with strong pads. If docked, the length should not exceed 10cms when adult and should be carried horizontally or slightly downwards. It may be raised at attention. If undocked, it should be set on as a continuation of the croup line and be carried naturally. The movement should be free and active, with elbows fitting loosely to the sides. The front legs should move well forward without too much lift with a powerful thrusting action coming from behind. The recognised colours are steel grey, greyish brown, greyish yellow, reddish yellow, reddish brown with darker guard hairs on the back, neck and sides of body. Lighter hair of the same colours is desirable on the muzzle, throat, chest, belly, buttocks, feet and hocks or, alternatively white markings are acceptable but never in excess of one-third of the total colour. 
Country Of Origin
Famous Examples
Records Held
Overall Exercise
40 - 60 minutes per day.
This is a working dog that does need plenty of exercise. However, if given the chance to burn off their energy, they can easily live in a flat in the city centre. 
Distress if Left Alone
Personal Protection
Guard Dog Suitability
Risk of Sheep Worrying
Tendency to Bark
Level of Aggression
Compatibility With Other Animals
Suitable For Children


General Character And Temperament
This is a friendly, active breed, being eager to please and devoted to their family. They get on very well with children, protecting them from any strangers who attempt to get too close to them. They will accept other dogs, although care should be taken with small furries!  
Coat Length
Grooming Requirement
Once a week 
Requires Professional Groomer
Grooming requirements are not great, a regular combing and brushing will keep the coat in good condition. Vallhunds do not cast their coat all the time, once a year being the norm. They are also free from dog odour.  
Valls come in steel grey, greyish brown or reddish yellow, reddish brown with darker guard hairs on back, neck and sides of body, a lighter shade of colour mentioned above is desirable on muzzle , throat, chest , belly buttocks feet and hocks, also normally with a dark and well-defined mask, with harness markings over the shoulder’s and back.  
Suffers From Allergies

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