Featured Swedish Vallhund

Pedigree Name: NZCH Ryslip Fabian.   Was known As: Puffin.  Bred By: Mrs L Cartledge.

 Owned By: Maree Cooper.  Location: Tauranga, New Zealand.

By New Zealand Swedish Vallhund Historian - Peta Dowle

This months feature is a look back thirty five years into the breed history.  Back to the very first Swedish Vallhund to be imported to New Zealand.  Swedish Vallhunds were and are, a rare breed.  Today there are very few in Aotearoa, their numbers are up around the 300 mark.  In 1974 there were none here at all.  Maree Cooper a young Kiwi teenager was very involved with dogs as her mother, Mera, owned a breeding kennel that specialised in Pekingese.  Maree was showing one of her mother's Pekingese dogs one day when she met international show judge Joe Cartledge.   Joe was impressed with Maree's dog handling skills and it was through Joe that Maree was later invited back to the U.K. At seventeen Maree flew out to work with him and his wife Liz.  The Cartledge's own a large and extensive kennel operation.  It was while she was in England working as a kennel maid that Maree had the opportunity to choose a puppy, Ryslip Fabian, from a litter of Swedish Vallhunds that Liz had just breed.

Maree was able to bring Puffin home to Tauranga at the end of her overseas trip.  Maree described Puffin as a delightful, well temperamented dog.  Everyone who met Puffin loved him.  He was well socialised, spending his his early formative months in a busy kennel with plenty of dogs and people.  He was good natured and great with children, an all round nice boy.  Exactly what a Swedish Vallhund should be.

Photos show that Puffin was a little longer in the coat than is desirable, but this was his only apparent fault.  Along with his fabulous nature, Puffin had a great structure and  body type.  With a nice top line, a  good size and substance he was an attractive dog.  He was noted for having great angulation and a "nice front".  Puffin was to make a very good option as a stud dog, he had an impressive backline in his pedigree and came from a reputable breeder.  

Puffin was shown to become a New Zealand Champion and sired one litter in 1978, as Maree by now had also imported a wee bitch out to New Zealand to join him.  The litter resulted in three puppies registered with the N.Z.K.C.  

Interestingly, Ian and Lesley Gray of Valdemar fame met Puffin.  He went to stay for a few days on holiday when he was about seven years old.  The Gray's were seriously considering the breed for themselves in the early 1980s.  Ian remembers Puffin as a very nice little dog also.  It is a shame that the Ryslip Fabian blood line didn't continue on.  However he will always be remembered as the first Swedish Vallhund to New Zealand, the first New Zealand Champion Swedish Vallhund, and an ambassador for his breed with his great nature.


NZCH Ryslip Fabian. 

Read more about Puffin and the early dogs on our history pages found off the menu bar. ~ Ed.