Swedish Vallhund

Swedish Vallhund

Other Names

Swedish Cattle Dog


The Swedish Vallhund is a small, low to the ground, but sturdy dog. The head is rather long with a muzzle that looks square when viewed from the side, with a well-defined stop. The nose and lips are black. The teeth meet in a scissors bite. The oval-shaped, medium-sized eyes are dark in color. The ears are rather mobile, and firm from the base to the tip. The tail is either naturally long, stub, or bobbed, but is also sometimes docked. Note: docking tails is illegal in most parts of Europe. The neck is long and muscular. The legs are short, but powerful. Dewclaws are sometimes removed. The oval-shaped feet are medium in size, pointing straight ahead. The dog has a tight, harsh, medium length outer coat with a soft, dense undercoat. Coat hairs are slightly longer on the neck, chest and the back of the hind legs. Coat colors include gray, red-yellow, red-brown and gray-brown. May have a small amount of white markings. The dogs can have a well-defined mask with lighter hair around the eyes, muzzle and under the throat.


The Swedish Vallhund is a responsive and even-tempered companion. It is intelligent and affectionate. He loves attention and instinctually craves leadership. Owners are never disappointed in his multi-faceted ability or his spontaneous sense of humor. Extremely active and devoted little dog. Be sure you are this dog’s pack leader to avoid Small Dog Syndrome, human induced behaviors where the dog believes he is above humans in the pack order. Dogs that do not clearly know their place in the pack can be untrustworthy with children, may begin to guard, bark obsessively, become wary of strangers, and be dog aggressive with other dominant dogs. Properly socialize this dog, providing rules he must follow, and limits as to what he can and cannot do, in order to avoid overprotective behaviors. These dogs sometimes try to herd people by nipping at their heels, although they can be trained not to do this. The Swedish Vallhund makes a good alarm dog, but should be told to quiet down after it has already given off its warning bark. This breed makes a great companion and can be used for herding and ratting. They also make excellent show and obedience dogs.


Height: 12 – 16 inches (30 – 40 cm)
Weight: 25 – 35 pounds (11 – 15 kg)

Health Problems

Living Conditions

The Swedish Vallhund will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. This breed is very active indoors and will do okay without a yard.


Naturally active little dogs, they should always be encouraged to remain so. They need to be taken on a daily walk.

Life Expectancy

About 12-14 years

Litter Size

About 4 to 10 puppies


The hard, tight, medium-length coat is easy to groom. Comb and brush with a firm bristle brush, and bathe only when necessary. This breed is an average shedder.


The Swedish Vallhund may be related to the Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. The breed was brought to Wales by the Vikings in the 800s. The Vikings knew the dog as the “Vikingarnas Hund,” which meant the “Viking Dog.” “Vallhund” means “herding dog.” Some of the breed’s talents are cattle drover, watchdog and ratter. The dog is becoming more popular at European exhibitions. The Swedish Vallhund was recognized by the AKC in 2007.