Swedish vallhund is a short-legged mobile pooch with a fairly short, dense, wolf-colored coat, pointed muzzle and alertly protruding ears. It was used to herd cattle: he had to develop alertness, sharpness and courage. He is also cheerful, cheerful and intelligent. He is a cousin of Welsh corgi, especially the Pembroke variety – in both breeds there are naturally short tails.
Västgötaspets, also called vallhund, is a lively, energetic, alert and smart dog. He is cheerful, willing to cooperate, which translates into the fact that he likes to participate in the daily life of the family. Strongly attached to a man. He has a gentle and friendly attitude towards people, including children.
Some individuals are barking – so pay attention to this when raising a puppy. In addition, they are talks that make a lot of different sounds: they moan, moan – especially when they miss because a member of the herd has moved away.
Swedish vallhund does not usually show aggression towards other animals. When another dog accosts him, he will rather show submission. He likes playing with his friends very much, but in his own specific style – quite sharply and with different sounds. Therefore, it gets along best in this respect with other quadrupeds preferring a similar style.
Gifted with a strong pastoral instinct, he can sometimes use it also in relation to his human flock. Vigilance makes him an excellent watchman who will definitely inform you that something disturbing is happening in the surroundings.
Representatives of this breed are suitable for agility, herding, they are rescue dogs and work in dog therapy. The Swedes use their help when hunting. They are valued for their accuracy and moderate pace of work, convenient for a pedestrian hunter.
Swedish vallhund. Training and education
The Swedish vallhund is easy to arrange, he is an open and confident dog. He learns very willingly, but in the case of some representatives of the breed, you have to do the tasks skillfully, because they get bored quite quickly.
Apart from the natural need for biting during the puppy season, västgötaspets are not destroyers, but they are not couch dogs, although they like to be on the couch if they are allowed to. They need a daily dose of movement, not only in the form of free running, but also in specific classes and mental stimulation. Left unattended, they will organize a job in the form of biting shoes or making holes in the fence.
Swedish vallhund requires training and consistency, which does not mean that it has to be hidden with a hard hand. You just have to remember that he has incredibly beautiful eyes that he can use charm and is a master of begging.
Who is this race for?
Even a novice owner should cope with vallhund, provided that he is consistent and provides the dog with some occupation to let his energy escape.
Swedish vallhund. Advantages and disadvantages
requires some sort of occupation, bored can be a destroyer
devoted to the family
willing to cooperate
not requiring nutrition and care
resistant to weather conditions
The representative of this breed is healthy, resilient and long-lived. The average life expectancy of these quadrupeds is 15 years, and according to official data, the oldest animal has lived to 27 years.
Genetic diseases occur sporadically in Swedish Vallhunds. Breeders examine their pupils for hip dysplasia and eye diseases. When choosing a dog of this breed, it is worth paying attention to the characters of the parents, because there are sometimes fearful individuals.
Vallhund is undemanding in terms of nutrition, you can feed it with ready-made food of good quality or food prepared by yourself. He usually enjoys an excellent appetite.
The västgötaspets coat do not require any special care. Just brush the dog thoroughly. In contrast, his wolf hair with a generous undercoat during molting can cause some trouble because it sticks into carpets and upholstery.
Swedish vallhund. History
Västgötaspets (Swedish vallhund) is an old breed from the group of Spitz. These small, agile short-legged animals lived on the Swedish plains in places where cattle were bred, mainly in the west and south of the country. At Lake Hornborgasjön in western Gotland (Västergötland) stone age settlements have been discovered, and some of them have graves of domestic dogs. One of the skeletons comes from before 9 thousand. years old and is the oldest found in the north. These dogs may have been the ancestors of various Swedish Spitz.
According to researchers, västgötaspets is related to welsh corgi, especially the pembroke variety, as indicated by their naturally shortened tails. It is still unclear whether the Vikings brought these dogs from Wales to Sweden or vice versa, although it is currently suggested that this is a originally Swedish breed. Adherents of Welsh theories argue that no other Swedish Spitz has shortened paws, but this mutation may well have first occurred in Sweden. It is also difficult to find the source of the short tail mutation common to most shepherd breeds in which it appears – including Pembroke and Vallhund.
Locals called their pupils “hunn” (“dog” in the local dialect). Their selection criteria were simple: the dog was supposed to herd cows just like the grandfather’s pet, guard the farm and scare off intruders. Only such animals had a chance to survive, which made the dog robust and resistant.
In the modern history of Swedish Vallhund, the famous terrier judge Count Björn von Rosen played a decisive role. At the beginning of the 1940s, he drew attention to the shepherd’s tip type popular in West Gotland. In the summer of 1942, he posted in the newspaper that he was looking for “short-tailed västgötaspets.” They were answered by Karl Gustav Zettersen, a Scottish terrier teacher and breeder, who helped find the surviving dogs and took care of them.
Probably only one male and four bitches were used to reproduce the breed, but they had to have good genes, because västgötaspets are healthy and long-lived. In 1943, the first model was created, and the breed was named Swedish vallhund (shepherd dog). In 1953 it was changed to västgötaspets.
Västgötaspets is the most popular in the country of its origin. In Europe, he is also found in England, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland, Norway, and in Australia, New Zealand, and the popularity of these dogs in the United States is also growing.
Västgötaspets (Swedish vallhund) – Group V FCI, section 3, reference number 14
Country of origin: Sweden
Character: perceptive, energetic and alert; he is distrustful of strangers; excellent watchman; sometimes barking
Size: dogs 33 cm, bitches 31 cm (+2 cm / -1 cm).
Weight: 11-16 kg (dogs usually weigh around 14-15 kg, bitches are slightly lighter)
Coat: short, two-layered: straight, stiff, dense and close-fitting topcoat and dense and soft undercoat; shorter hair on the head and front of the limbs; may be longer on the neck, chest and back of the hind legs
Color: wolfberry in various shades: gray, gray-brown, gray-yellow and reddish-brown; lighter in the same shade of hair may appear on the muzzle, neck, chest, abdomen, buttocks, paws and metatarsus; darker topcoat on the neck, back and sides of the torso; desirable lighter shades on the shoulder blades, the so-called harness, and lighter cheeks (a black mask is also allowed); white is allowed as a small arrow, a spot on the neck or collar, as well as on the chest and feet, but socks should not reach more than half the length of the limb
Lifespan: 15 years
Vulnerability to training: high
Activity: high, but run out at home, behaves calmly
Resistance/susceptibility to diseases: resistant to weather conditions; healthy, hip dysplasia and eye diseases are rare
Possibility to buy a puppy: for now only abroad
Some Swedish vallhund are born with a naturally short tail, but it may not be at all or it may be of different length.
This is a trait found in many shepherd breeds, including Pembroke Welsh Corgi , with whom vallhund are related. It is conditioned by the dominant gene, i.e. if one of the parents has a shortened tail, statistically half of the puppies can inherit it.