The Swedish Vallhund, also referred to as Swedish Cattle Dog or simply Vallhund, is a breed of small, sturdy dog that originated in Sweden. It belongs to the herding breed family which is noteworthy for their exceptional ability in controlling the movement of other animals. Swedish Vallhunds have been bred to herd animals such as cattle and sheep. Their medium-length double coat is tight and harsh outside, and soft and dense underneath. Coat hairs are a bit longer around the neck, hind legs, and chest. Coat colors usually include gray, red-brown, red-yellow, and gray-brown. Some members of the line have small white markings in their body.
Height and Weight
Both the male and female members of the Swedish Vallhund breed normally stand a height of 12 to 16 in at the withers, and weigh between 25 to 35 lbs.
Swedish Vallhunds, in general, are responsive, even-tempered, and intelligent dogs. They are affectionate, and tend to love attention. The breed craves for leadership, and is recognized for their multi-faceted ability as well as innate sense of humor. Vallhunds are active and very devoted pets. Because of their propensity to develop Small Dog Syndrome, owners have to display firm yet gentle authority over them. Otherwise, the breed will demonstrate unwarranted behavior problems such as obsessive barking, inappropriate guarding behavior, and or aggression. Early socialization is also highly necessary to keep them from becoming over-protective, and aloof with strangers. Swedish Vallhunds make excellent watchdogs. They make great family companions, and could be excellent for herding and ratting work.
Swedish Vallhund dogs are easy to groom. In fact, weekly brushing would already suffice to maintain the coat’s good condition. However, combing may be done on a daily basis when the breed is shedding. Bathe sessions may only be carried out only when necessary.
Swedish Vallhunds are generally a hardy breed when it comes to their genetic health. As a matter of fact, they have an average life expectancy of 12 to 14 years. Nevertheless, like any other canine, the breed is also susceptible to a few health issues. These include hip dysplasia, slipped kneecaps, retinal dysplasia, cleft palate, cryptorchidism, missing teeth, and even bad bites.
Members of the Swedish Vallhund breed are adaptable to apartment living. Despite their small size, the breed is very active. Owners have to provide them a lot of daily exercise. Vallhunds can also readily adjust to a country lifestyle. Nonetheless, it is ideal for them to have access to a fenced yard that allows them to freely roam and play.