Some of the early dogs from the time of the rescue in the 1940s
The Swedish Vallhunds were originally developed, maintained and preserved as a working farm dog. The little dog served as a companion to the farmer and a dog that could drive cattle. The decline of the breed in the 1940s saw a concerted effort by two older gentlemen to save the breed by searching farmlands for surviving dogs and revive the population.
Today all Swedish Vallhunds come from those rescued dogs. Today they are chosen primarily as family companion dogs, though they still retain strong herding instinct and love the outdoor life.
Kiwis enjoy Swedish Vallhunds as they are loyal dogs that bond to their owners. They are compact and medium sized but do not have small dog or terrier temperament. Swedish Vallhunds have a 'double layer' coat and they are rather moderate shedding dogs with a significant moult usually once per year as they shed the tight soft undercoat.
Swedish Vallhunds are robust and hardy dogs. They need firm but kind ownership. They especially need full, well rounded socialisation meeting many people of all ages, and a wide variety of experiences as a young puppy to create the happy, sound confident dog they have the potential to be. Poor socialisation will create behavioural problems in all breeds of dogs but particularly in Swedish Vallhunds so do ensure if you get a puppy to put the time and effort into them while you can positively impact their development.
Swedish Vallhunds are not big eaters, have great recall, high intelligence, monumentally big personalities and are growing hugely in popularity as a result. However, they do, like all breeds have some down sides that wont suit everyone. Some Swedish Vallhunds can be quite barky, note not 'yappy', but they vocalise a lot. If your Vallhund has hours home alone they are likely to end up driving your neighbours loopy and annoyed. They as herders (herding being modified prey drive) can develop to have a crack at chickens. Usually around 12 - 14 months of age, a percentage of Vallhunds if given the opportunity can become chook chasers and killers. Its simple enough to contain either your chooks or your dog, but it is best to be aware of this potential so you can supervise, train and manage this. Finally the only other noticable negative is again SOME Swedish Vallhunds have a tendency when young to nip little running legs in play. Its instincual to nip at the hocks of cows when herding. Just knowing this could pop up for your new puppy is enough to ensure there are no out of control running/screamy kid and dog games. Its just easier to head this off at the pass rather than ignore till it becomes a biting habit.
Over all the pros for most people far outwight the cons of owning a Swedish Vallhunds. Socialised and raised well they make the most superb family dogs, great with kids and visitors and a joy to love and own.
The Swedish Vallhund is considered a land race.
A landrace is a domesticated, locally adapted, traditional variety of a species of animal or plant that has developed over time, through adaptation to its natural environment.
In Västergötland, in Sweden where Västgötaspets (Swedish for Swedish Vallhunds) came from a dog skeleton with short legs was found in the autumn 1983 during an archaeological excavation. The little dog skeleton is small to medium in size with short legs. The skeleton has been carbon dated to find it is 9,300 years old.