For this post I wanted to learn about a breed I have never heard of before. So, I googled “uncommon dog breeds” and found a list of dogs I have never seen before but I instantly fell in love with!! One of those breeds was the Swedish Vallhund (I’m pretty sure my initial obsession was because they look veryyy similar to corgi’s). So let’s find out a little more about these cute little guys!
The name Swedish Vallhund means “herding” or “shepherd” dog and they are believed to descend from dogs of Vikings. However, records of dog breeding do not go back that far, so no one can really know for sure. But what is known is that this breed has come from farm dogs in Sweden who herded cattle and other livestock, kept vermin out, and barked to alarm their owners of visitors or danger. They are known in their homeland of Sweden as Vastgotaspets and were recognized by the Swedish Kennel Club in 1943. They were later recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1996, and finally by the American Kennel Club in 2007.
Vallhunds are confident, energetic, curious, and very loyal to their family. They also make good guard dogs as they are not afraid to alert their owners when strangers or danger are near. They also like to bark to let you know they are in a good mood or just to “talk” to you, so it is a good idea to train them to “speak” only on command to keep the barking to a minimum. The Swedish Vallhund is also an adaptable breed that can live in almost any home environment as long as they get plenty of exercise and get to be with their humans as much as possible. Vallhunds usually love children, although they may nip at their heels or pant legs because of their herding background. As long as they are taught this is not allowed, they should get along very well with children. They also get along well with other household pets, even cats, as long as they are introduced at an early age. Vallhunds really enjoy having another dog in the family to play with, especially if it is a fellow Vallhund. The Swedish Vallhund has a double-coat with medium length hair. They don’t require any special coat trimming, only a thorough weekly brushing, brushing all the way to the skin to ensure you get all the dead hair.
Valluhunds are generally very healthy and have very few health concerns, although it is important to be aware of the best way to take care of your Vallhund and the things to keep an eye out for. Because of their short legs and long back, they can be prone to back injuries if not handled properly. It is best not to allow puppies to jump on and off of furniture as their skeletal development is not complete, and make sure to support both their front legs and rear end when picking them up. The Swedish Vallhund can also be prone to Retinopathy, which is a hereditary eye disease that causes degeneration to the retinal photoreceptor cells and can lead to complete vision loss.
I can’t believe I’ve lived so long without knowing about this great breed!! The Swedish Vallhund is the perfect companion for someone looking for a small but athletic pup to accompany them on their daily run or other exercise routine!