Swedish Vallhund

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Breed CharacteristicsBalance, outline, temperament and movement are of overriding importance. The Swedish Vallhund is a thoroughly sound animal willing and able to do its work of herding and equally adaptable and eager to be a family companion. The Swedish Vallhund does well with adults and children of all ages. He is also quite adaptable to other family pets, as long as normal adjustment procedures are used. The Swedish Vallhund has the independent judgment and problem-solving abilities of a herding breed together with the inquisitive, playful, persistent nature of the spitz. Swedish Vallhunds come with a natural bob or stub tail, or long tail. In the USA, tails may be docked. All tails are acceptable.Health and NutritionDiet: The Swedish Vallhund has a regular diet.Genetics : 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.Breeding DecisionsThe primary breeding goal is to preserve the breed. Work is done to preserve the balance, structure, temperament and function of the breed. Breeders are encouraged to use sale contracts to provide clear understanding between breeder and purchaser. Full and limited registration designations are used. The average number of pups in a litter is 4 - 6, although there have been litters of 1, 11, and 12 pups. It is recommended that breeding animals be healthy and free of any disqualifications per the breed standard and have both a current CERF and OFA/Penn Hip certifications.TrainingBreeders of the Swedish Vallhund socialize their puppies from birth onwards. Socialization skills and bonding are increased when the pup goes with his new owner to Puppy classes. This is an intelligent, spirited dog who is eager to please and eager to learn. Continued classes in obedience and/or Canine Good Citizen certification are good experiences for the dog and owner.Selection CriteriaBreeders who are listed on the (SVCA)Swedish Vallhund Club of America?s Breeders? List practice the good breeding requirements listed in the SVCA?s Code of Ethics. Breeders discuss living arrangements and specific requests with prospective owners and come to a decision as to the type of puppy which would do well in a certain home. Breeders and Members of the SVCA welcome interested parties to contact them in order to visit a Swedish Vallhund...up close and personal. Contact persons are arranged through the Club Secretary. The SVCA also has a Rescue Committee for SVs in need. Contact Cheryl Albert at caval@voyager.netSources and ResourcesSwedish Vallhund Club of America, 36621 Weideman, Clinton Twp, MI 48035, http://www.swedishvallhund.orgSVCA Quarterly, Spring Edition, 1999.The Swedish Vallhund. Nicky Gascoigne. Dalsetter Designs. Wakefield. UK. 1989.The Versatile Vallhund. The Swedish Vallhund Society. London. UK


The Swedish Vallhund is an original Swedish breed as well as a very old Spitz breed. Sweden has declared that this breed goes back over 1000 years to the time of the Vikings. During the eighth or ninth century, historians state that either the SV was brought to Wales or the Corgi was taken to Sweden, hence the similarities between the two breeds. The SV is an alert, eager to please, energetic, hardy dog that is longer legged, not as long in body, and not as stocky as the Corgi. The Swedish Vallhund was bred to work on farms and ranches . The SV is low to the ground and herds by rounding up & nipping at the hocks. The historian, Clifford Hubbard thought that the Swedish Vallhund was the older of the two breeds. In 1942, the breed was almost extinct. In this year, Bjorn von Rosen, who had worked to save several old Swedish breeds from extinction, remembered the SV from his boyhood and became involved. He and Mr. K.G. Zettersten worked together to save the breed. The men found a few of the old SV?s and began a breeding program.In 1948, the Swedish Kennel Club recognized the breed. The SV was known as "Vallhund" which meant "herding dog." In 1964, with the Swedish standard revised, the breed became known as Vastgotaspets ("Spitz of the West Goths") after the province in Sweden, Vastergotland. In 1974, the first SV came to England, to Ryslip Kennels. The first two SV's were imported to a private owner in the United States from Starvon Kennel, England sometime in 1984. Marilyn Thell of Rhode Island, USA, brought two SV s to the United States in July, 1985,and her first litter of nine SV?s in the United States was whelped at Jonricker Kennel , September 4, 1986.Currently, there are approximately, 10 kennels breeding Swedish Vallhunds in the United States and 3 in Canada.

Height at withers for dogs ranges from 12.5 - 13.75 inches and bitches 11.5 - 12.75 inches. Females may weigh about 25 lbs and males about 35lbs. More important is the relationship of height to length of body, as measured from sternum to the rearmost point of the buttocks. This proportion should be 2:3. This is a solid dog with strong, substantial bone and a solidly built, muscular body.

Colors:A Sable pattern (black-tipped hairs) seen in colors of grey through red and combinations 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.Coat:The coat is of medium length hair; harsh, close and with a tight topcoat. The undercoat is soft and dense.Grooming:Dogs are to be shown natural, with no clipping or trimming. A good weekly brushing helps to keep the dog?s coat in good shape. Daily brushing may be necessary with seasonal shedding.

Common ailments: 

The Swedish Vallhund is normally a hardy, healthy animal requiring only routine veterinary care.Certifications: It is recommended that breeding animals have a CERF eye exam and an OFA/Penn Hip examination


Temperament is a major quality of this dog. The breed is watchful, energetic, fearless, alert, intelligent, friendly, eager to please, adaptable, active and steady, making for a good herding and companion animal, as well as a responsible watchdog. The Swedish Vallhund has a sound temperament and is neither shy nor vicious. Spirited and athletic, as well as steady and dependable, he is a ?big dog in a smaller body.?

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