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Judging the Vallhund

by Rosie Peacock-Jackson

The Swedish Vallund (Vastgotaspets) is a pastoral breed that is bred to herd mainly cattle in its native country. The Vallhund is an active working dog which, although a herder, is used for many other tasks on the farm. What has this got to do with judging? It actually makes a big difference.

The Vallhund should be an active, alert dog with an outgoing temperament. The adult dog should give the impression of a dog that could work all day. Well muscled, good topline and above all, active.

Colour can vary from light grey to dark brown including reds and gold. The coat should have hard guard hairs with a good under coat. Good mask and harness markings are desired. Tails, if present, (they can be born tailless or with a natural stub), can be carried in any way and can be any length. They can be either freestanding or stacked.

Often the real qualities of the dog aren’t seen until the dog moves. They should have an easy powerful gait with good forereach with plenty of thrust behind.


Puppies should be active and busy in the ring. They might not stand still but can be settled by moving.

It should be noted that is a long lived breed so they mature slowly, often not fully mature until f ive or six years or even later. A few have gained their titles at nine years old!

We are aware that many all rounder judges have never really had a chance to have a hands on, so we would urge them to come to a Breed Appreciation Day and do just that. The Swedish Vallhund Society is deeply committed to keeping this breed as a working dog. Many members are doing other working activities with our dogs as you will see in this article.

If anyone requires further information please contact the SVS Club Secretary-Mrs Sharon Sibley or Rosie Peacock-Jackson KC BEC

Images showing the desirable harness and mask markings clearly


Colour Changes of the Swedish Vallhund


This set of images demonstrates the coat colour changes a Vallhund can go through as they develop and mature. This set of images are of the same female as she ages.