THE SWEDISH VALLHUND
The Swedish Vallhund or Vastgotaspets, as they are affectionately known in their homeland, is an ancient breed dating back approximately 1000 years. There are many theories as to its origins, some saying it is an ancient ancestor of the Corgi with the Vikings transporting dogs from Britain to Sweden, and others saying the other way round, with dogs from Sweden going to Britain, then changing and becoming the Corgi. As years went on and wars came and went, only for the results of a few dedicated souls, the breed would have become extinct.
In the 1940’s Bjorn von Rosen remembered that he as a boy had seen specimens of this ancient breed on farms in Vastergotland (West Gotia) and with help from K G Zettersten, headmaster in Vara, he succeeded in collecting some dogs, four bitches and one dog, who became the base of the breeding. From here the breed has been built to current numbers.
Being a working dog and a member of the Spitz family of dogs, the Vallhund bears a marked resemblance to the Pembroke type Corgi. On closer examination there are obvious differences, both types of Corgi are built very much closer to the ground and much heavier bodied than the Vallhund. The ear set, size and shape are completely different as well. Having much longer legs, the Vallhund is a far more active breed than the present day Corgi.
A Vallhund is small in stature – males 33-35cm (13 – 13 ¾ “) and bitches 31-33cm (12-13”), but he is big on heart! He is friendly, active, agile and a very inquisitive little dog who responds well to training, is quick to learn, very trustworthy with children and other animals with an eager to please personality. He is a dog who generally feels so secure in himself, he considers the world to be his oyster!!
The Vallhund is excellent with children. They make good house dogs and are suited to town or country living. Although a working dog they do not need copious amounts of exercise, and just love human company. They are used for agility, obedience, show, cattle and sheep herding, hearing dogs and in on the Russian border, to detect mines.
Like most spitz breeds they do not have a doggy odour and shed their coat twice a year. The Swedish Vallhund is a tough, hardy dog, not subject to any particular ailment and when properly cared for, seldom ill. Generally speaking, the Swedish Vallhund is an all round healthy, honest little dog who is very intelligent, versatile and fun-loving!