Breeds 101

Swedish Vallhund


Classified in Sweden as an indigenous breed, it is likely that this energetic herder descends from the bassets of continental Europe.

The Swedish Vallhund is an ancient breed with origins that go back to the Vikings, when it was known as the Vikingarnas Hund, or “Viking Dog.” It is likely that this multi- purpose drover, watchdog and ratter arrived in Scandinavia with Vikings who had previously settled in Pembrokeshire, Wales. In looks and temperament very similar to the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Although the Corgi and the Swedish Vallhund share some similarities, the Swedish Vallhund is longer legged and not as stocky. The dog faced extinction in Sweden in 1942 but was rescued by a devoted fan. The AKC recognized the breed in 2005.

Tenacious and tough, it is an ardent worker and has the reckless courage typical of heelers.

An excellent farm dog, it guards and drives livestock, protects property and controls rodents.

It makes a rewarding companion for seasoned dog handlers, but its instinct to nip never quite disappears. When kept in large numbers, Vallhunds are likely to fight among themselves.

Size: Small to medium; 12 to 16 inches, 25 to 35 pounds.

Color: Gray through red and combinations of these colors in various shades.

Alert, fearless, intelligent. Responsive, devoted, and affectionate; loves attention and craves leadership. Can be overprotective if not trained and socialized; may bark a lot.

Medium energy level.

Best Owner: Active owner with yard or time for daily walks.

Needs: Daily exercise, early socialization and training, regular brushing.

Life expectancy: 12 to 14 years.