While the Swedes are among the tallest people in the world, you should know that the Swedish Vallhund isn’t going to live up to his human stereotype. But don’t fret because this short-legged dog is a cutie, and even though he may often times be confused for a Corgi, this little cutie from the North is 100% Swed and definitely an animal that many people should consider getting as a pet.
But is the…
Swedish Vallhund the “right” dog breed for you? That’s the “million dollar” question and one that we hope to help you answer after reading this article. Because the last thing that we here at IndulgeYourPet would want to see happen is for you to end up adopting a Swedish Vallhund puppy only to determine later on that this awesome little dog isn’t right for you.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Fast Facts about Swedish Vallhunds
Country of Origin: Sweden
Original Purpose: Herding dog
Height: 11 to 13 inches at the shoulder (roughly 1 foot tall)
Weight: 20 to 35 pounds (best kept at 20-30)
Dog Breed Classification: Herding group
Other Names: Vastogotaspets, Swedish Cow Dog, Swedish Shepherd, Swedish Cattle Dogs
Lifespan: 11-15 years
Origin of the Swedish Vallhund Dog Breed
While people sometimes refer to them as a Viking dog, that’s technically inaccurate. You see, the Vikings were around way earlier than the Vallhund, who only probably came into existence in the late 1800s or early 1900s. But, as you probably know, when most people think of Scandanavia, they think of Vikings so it’s easy to understand why there’s this confusion about these little guys.
Wouldn’t it be cool to own a dog from the Viking era? It would… but this isn’t the one! And don’t confuse the name Vallhund with Valhalla the Viking name for heaven because while Vallhund may seem similar it’s actually the Swedish word for “herding”, which when you think about it makes much more sense.
Now prior to…
1943, these dogs weren’t all that popular yep; during the World War 2, they had time to recognize new dog breeds! Strange, isn’t it?), however right around this time, they began gaining some recognition from the Swedish Kennel Club. It was during this time that two Swedish breeders by the names of Bjorn von Rosen and K. G. Zettersten that really started getting the Vallhund dog breed the recognition that it deserved.
That said however…
These little guys still didn’t become all that popular here in the United States even after the American Kennel Club (AKC) finally decided to recognize the breed in 2007.
Physical Characteristics of the Swedish Vallhund Dog Breed
Of course, the first thing you’ll notice is that these guys have short legs and a broad chest. Technically, they are a medium-sized dog, but their little legs make them look not so tall and a bit small (and cute!). These small legs are also why folks will often mistakenly identify these little guys for Pembroke Welsh Corgi, but actually they aren’t related.
Swedish Vallhund dogs also…
Have a medium length double-coat hair. Like most dogs bred for harsher conditions, the top is rough and the undercoat is soft. You’ll find lighter hair highlighting the eyes and muzzle, but some darker colors of grey, red, and brown on the body and back. They have a variety of tail types: long and bushy or bobbed and stubby. Their ears stand upright and are pointy.
You’ll need to remove dead hair regularly by brushing once a week. You should make sure to touch the brush to the skin (of course not roughly). This will help with gland stimulation Swedish Vallhund so your pup can produce necessary oils.
Swedish Vallhund Temperament
As a working dog, this guy is confident and stands tall (for his height!). He’s free-spirited, but loyal. He’s not the quiet type; he’ll bark to talk with you. Training of a Swedish Vallhund puppy is essential; don’t wait until later on in life. These are definitely smart dogs that like a challenge, so a bit of puppy school will be fun rather than a pain. Even after training, puppies and an adult dog will love mental stimulation – it’s necessary for your Swedish Vallhund to live a healthy life.
Swedish Vallhund Health
Unlike other breeds, this dog doesn’t have too many inherent health problems, particularly if you use a good breeder. If you’re going to buy one, definitely only choose from breeders recommended by the American Kennel Club or another reputable dog organization that recognizes.
Of course, even if you use the best breeder, your dog could still have a health problem. The most common health problems for Swedish Vallhunds are:
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Hip Dysplasia
If your dog has either of these problems, he or she may need surgery, which can be costly. You may be able to identify either of these problems when the dog is a puppy, but not always. Progressive retinal atrophy could result in total blindness if left untreated.
Other Health Issues
In addition to this, like any dog, your Vallhund could have an accident or contract a disease. If he does, then you will have to do whatever treatment necessary. Trying to estimate the total expenses associated with raising a Swedish Cow Dog is impossible, since there are any number of things that could go wrong in his lifetime.
Many of these conditions may not be life threatening, they can certainly become quite expensive to deal with particularly if they become recurring issues.
This is why…
We here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.
Now will a pet insurance policy be right for everyone?
No, probably not. But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?
For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.