Dogster is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

8 Interesting Swedish Vallhund Facts You’ll Love to Learn

Written by: Kristin Hitchcock

Last Updated on April 10, 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” dogs with short legs, a bit like a Corgi. This makes them pretty easy to spot and sought-after by many dog owners. 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 they were once common on Viking ships.

dogster paw divider

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 that were 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 from there to Sweden, where it interbred with local spitz-type dogs. Some also think that the Swedish Vallhund is older than the Welsh Corgi, and may have influenced its 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, this breed is muscular. It’s best to think of them as “compact” not “small.” They don’t act like other smaller dogs and were made to work—not sit on laps.

The breed has a long body in proportion to its height, which gives it agility and balance. The body is also strong and sturdy, with heavy bones and well-developed muscles. The breed 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 this breed was originally bred to work hard, they have a lot of energy. Therefore, they require tons of exercise and do best for active families. They retain their hunting and herding instincts, which they will exhibit from time to time, 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. The breed is very devoted to its owner and family and likes to be involved in everything they do. They’re a great dog for active individuals that want their canine to do everything with them.

5. Very Vocal

These dogs are some of the noisiest in the world. They have a range of barks, howls, and yips that they use to communicate. Some people don’t mind the vocal nature of this breed and may even find it endearing. However, others may find it overwhelming or simply not suitable for their home life. If you don’t want a yappy dog, don’t get a Swedish Vallhund.

Of course, you can train this out of them to some extent. However, this breed is always going to 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, these dogs are incredibly smart. However, they have an independent mind and don’t always put their intelligence where their owners want. Therefore, they’re harder to train but they do require quite a bit of mental stimulation. It’s not the greatest combination and can be more than some dog owners can handle.

Therefore, this canine is often recommended for experienced dog owners who have trained a challenging breed before.

7. Chasing

Originally, these dogs were bred for all sorts of things. One of these 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 are also a no-go. 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 and often requires you to sit on a waiting list for a very long time. 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).

dogster paw divider


Swedish Vallhunds are very interesting canines that you rarely see in the United States. While these dogs 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, when properly raised, these dogs can make wonderful pets for the right family. They’re compact companions that love to go hiking and jogging.

Featured Image Credit: everydoghasastory, Shutterstock

Get Dogster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.
Dogster Editors Choice Badge
Shopping Cart


© Pangolia Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.