This breed can be traced back at least 1,000 Years. It is known in Sweden as Vastgotaspets, meaning a small spitz of the West goths, an area in the middle of Sweden.
The breed nearly became extinct in the early 1940's. Because of the work of two enthusiasts, the breed was saved and we have it to enjoy today. This breed is long-lived, healthy and strong, is still able to do the job it was bred for, herding. They make extremely good pets and companions, are very loyal and like nothing better than to be with you or please you and to this end are great little working dogs. They learn tasks very quickly and are very responsive.
This breed still remains quite rare and although they are fast growing in popularity and spreading throughout the world, and still have only a small gene pool to work with.
The Vallhund is a healthy and hardy breed, robust and strong. Many live to a great age - the average being 14 years - and many live well beyond this.
The Vallhund being one of the Spitz breeds has a weatherproof coat that is easy to care for and needs no trimming.
Weight between 25 to 35 Ibs
Height Bitches 31 to 33 cms (12 to 13 inches)
Dogs 33 to 35 cms (13 to 13 3/4 inches)
For more information click our Breed Standard.
The breed can be born with a naturally short tail, the length of which can range from an almost full tail, half, bob-tail right down to no tail. While the custom of tail docking was once common in the breed this is no longer done in the UK, so all short tailed dogs born here since 2007 will be natural short tails.
Click for more information on the Short Tail Gene
The Vallhund is still used today in Sweden as they have been for centuries, the Vallhund has served man as a general farmers dog and helped bring in the cows, and take them to market. They are excellent watchdogs and in this modern world are increasingly being trained for agility and obedience.
In Sweden, they are used by the Swedish army in search and rescue and some have been trained to hunt truffles. (A kind of wild mushroom). In the UK, there are some trained as Pat dogs to visit the elderly and one that is known to work in a hospital with terminally ill children.
The breed was recognized by the Swedish Kennel Club in 1943 and was introduced to the UK by Swedish born Elizabeth Cartledge.
The breed is well established in this country and is gaining in popularity. Their versatility and gentle and kind nature endears them to all who meet them.
This is truly a remarkable breed. The Vallhund now lives in many countries around the world including: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland-North and South Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the U.S.A.
Please click here to read an interesting article about the mental evaluation of dogs in Sweden, written by Britta Hammarstrom.