All About the Breed Swedish Vallhund

Have you recently fallen for the Swedish Vallhund or do you simply love rare breeds? Learn all about the breed here, including: Breed History, Personality Traits, Train-ability, Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed, and Common Health Concerns.

Also known as the Vastgotaspets, Swedish Cattle Dog, or simply the Vallhund, the Swedish Vallhund is an obedient and intelligent breed.

But how do you know whether you are ready to purchase a pet and if this breed is right for you?

This information is absolutely necessary in making the decision to purchase a pet.


The origin of the Swedish Vallhund can be traced back to 18th century Sweden. Enthusiasts believe the Swedish Vallhund to have originated as far back as the 9th or 10th century and to have been an ancestor of the Welsh Pembroke Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, though this has never been proven scientifically or otherwise.

Throughout its history, the Swedish Vallhund has been most commonly used for herding and driving cattle, proving its superior abilities to work and avoid injury from cattle due to its long body and short legs.

The Swedish Vallhund made its United States debut in 1985, when two specimens were imported into California. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2019, and categorized into the Herding Group.

Today, while the Swedish Vallhund has attained an underground popularity as a working and companion dog, the breed remains rather rare outside of Europe.

Personality Traits

Best known for its friendly and outgoing nature, the Swedish Vallhund thrives on strong and dependable relationships with humans. This breed is extremely intelligent, obedient by nature, and easily trainable. The Swedish Vallhund is very alert, protective of its owner and property, and somewhat territorial. As a pet, these dogs are obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate. This breed is very energetic and enjoys spending time outdoors.


Due to its obedient attitude and need for human relationships and leadership, the Swedish Vallhund generally responds well to basic training and commands. These dogs are quite intelligent, and have the ability to learn to perform most any task their trainer is willing to take the time to teach.

Establishing immediate dominance, trust, and respect is key to successfully training the Swedish Vallhund. This breed responds best to a stern yet gentle approach by a confident and caring handler.

Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed

There are many benefits to owning a Swedish Vallhund, such as its no hassle, low maintenance coat. These active dogs are always on the go, and often quite amusing and entertaining to watch while at play. The Swedish Vallhund is very intelligent, and capable of learning to perform many impressive tricks and tasks.

When properly socialized from a young age, the Swedish Vallhund gets along well with small children and other pets, often making friends quickly. This breed is alert, making an effective watch dog, announcing the arrival of guests and unwanted visitors. The Swedish Vallhund is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate, making an excellent family pet and companion alike.

Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to owning a Swedish Vallhund. This energetic and athletic breed requires large amounts of daily exercise and room to run and play. Anyone wishing to purchase this breed lacking the adequate amount of time and space to dedicate to the dog is strongly advised against doing so.

A Swedish Vallhund not receiving the proper amount of exercise and space will often act out by destroying property, chewing, barking, whining, and ignoring basic training such as housebreaking.

The Swedish Vallhund has a strong instinct to herd and will occasionally indulge in a good chase. When on the run, this breed is surprisingly fast, and may pose a threat to other animals, neighborhood pets, and small woodland creatures. The Swedish Vallhund must be leashed or properly secured at all times when outdoors.

This breed is known for being somewhat excitable and barking loudly, sometimes at seemingly nothing at all. Proper obedience training and socialization can break this habit.

As previously mentioned, the Swedish Vallhund remains rather rare outside of Europe and can prove difficult to obtain. Individuals seeking to purchase this breed often encounter such challenges as inability to locate a breeder, high prices, and being placed on long waiting lists.

Common Health Concerns

While the Swedish Vallhund is typically known as a healthy and hearty breed, they do suffer from a few health problems, including: hip dysplasia, degenerative disk disease and other back and spinal issues, progressive retinal atrophy, glaucoma, cherry eye, obesity, and bloat.

Now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own a Swedish Vallhund?

Remember, purchasing a pet is a big decision and should be discussed thoroughly and seriously with your entire family.