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8 Interesting Swedish Vallhund Facts You’ll Love to Learn

Written by: Kristin Hitchcock

Last Updated on June 3, 2024 by Dogster Team

swedish vallhund dog standing

8 Interesting Swedish Vallhund Facts You’ll Love to Learn

Swedish Vallhunds are instantly recognizable dogs. They’re very “wolfish” pups with short legs that resemble those of a Corgi. This makes them pretty easy to spot and sought-after by dog lovers. Who wouldn’t want a tiny wolf, after all?

However, there is more to these dogs than meets the eye. For instance, they’re one of the most vocal dogs in the world and were once common on Viking ships.

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The 8 Swedish Vallhund Facts

1. Viking Ancestry

The Swedish Vallhund is an ancient breed that dates back to at least the time of the Vikings. They were originally all-purpose dogs used for everything from herding to hunting. Historians believe that the breed was either brought by the Vikings to the coast of Wales or taken to Sweden, where they interbred with local Spitz-type dogs. Some also think that the Swedish Vallhund is older than the Welsh Corgi and may have influenced their development.

Swedish Vallhund swimming in a river in summer
Image Credit: cynoclub, Shutterstock

2. No Tails

This canine can be born without a tail (referred to as a bobtail), a stubby tail, or a full tail. All variations are accepted in the breed standard. The tail length is determined by a natural gene mutation that affects about half of the population. Any tail type is acceptable for show dogs, and tail docking is illegal in Sweden.

3. Compact & Muscular

While being very small, the Swedish Vallhund is muscular. It’s best to consider them “compact,” not “small.” They don’t act like other smaller dogs and were made to work—not sit on laps.
They have a long body in proportion to their height, which gives them agility and balance. Their body is strong and sturdy, with heavy bones and well-developed muscles. The Swedish Vullhund is generally healthy and long-lived but may be prone to some genetic eye disorders and hip dysplasia.

swedish vallhound dog playing in the grass
Image By: Sari Pitkänen, Pixabay

4. High Energy

Because they were originally bred to work hard, Swedish Vallhunds have a lot of energy. Therefore, they require plenty of exercise and are more suitable for active families. They retain their hunting and herding instincts, which they will exhibit occasionally, even when not trained. They excel at just about any canine sport and love having a job to do.

They can make great hiking or jogging companions. They are very devoted to their owner and family and like to be involved in everything they do. They’re a great dog for active individuals who want their canine to do everything with them.

5. Very Vocal

Swedish Vallhunds are some of the noisiest canines in the world. They use a range of barks, howls, and yips to communicate. Some people don’t mind their vocal nature and may even find it endearing. However, others may find it overwhelming or unsuitable for their home life. Don’t get a Swedish Vallhund if you don’t want a yappy dog.

Of course, you can train this out of them to some extent. However, the dog will always be keen and watchful, which means they will notice and bark at things that may not bother other canines.

Swedish Vallhund dog close up looking at the camera
Image By: Vera Reva, Shutterstock

6. Intelligent, but Stubborn

Yes, Swedish Vallhunds are incredibly smart. However, they have an independent mind and are more challenging to train, and they require quite a bit of mental stimulation. Therefore, they are recommended for experienced dog owners who have trained a challenging breed before.

7. Chasing

Originally, Swedish Vallhunds dogs were bred for several functions. One of the tasks was chasing animals away from gardens and flocks. Therefore, they chase just about everything. They may get along well with some cats, but if the cat runs, they will probably chase them. Therefore, they don’t do well with cats unless socialized from a very young age.

Other small animals, like rodents and birds, also make unsuitable companions for them. However, because they’re made for herding, they may be able to handle livestock.

swedish vallhound dog walking in the grass
Image By: Marcel van den Bos, Shutterstock

8. Rare

These canines are extremely rare outside of Sweden and finding one in the United States is challenging. For this reason, they’re often only adopted by those devoted to the breed (who are willing to wait for a puppy to become available).

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Swedish Vallhunds are very interesting canines you rarely see in the United States. While they are relatively small, they aren’t your average “toy” dog. They require a lot of mental stimulation, exercise, and grooming. They’re also quite noisy and can be challenging to train.

However, they make excellent pets for the right family when appropriately raised. They’re compact companions that love to go hiking and jogging.

Featured Image Credit: everydoghasastory, Shutterstock

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