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Swedish Vallhund
SwedishVallhundAgility wb.jpg
Vallhund running out of a dog agility tunnel
Other names Swedish Cattle Dog
Swedish Shepherd
Vallhund
Västgötaspets
Country of origin Sweden
Traits

The Swedish Vallhund is a breed of dog. It is believed that the Swedish Vallhund distinguished itself during the age of Vikings, more than 1,000 years ago. Known as the "Viking dog", the Vallhund were bred to herd cattle, catch vermin (such as rats), and guard the home. The Vallhund were also referred to as "the little cattle dog of the Vikings".

Contents

Etymology

The name "vallhund" is derived from Swedish vallhund, meaning herding/ pasturing dog.

Description

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Appearance

The Vallhund are a powerful, fearless, watchful, energetic, alert, intelligent, friendly, and healthy small breed of dog that have a tendency to bark and nip. It is suitable for many kinds of activities, including herding and dog agility.

Size and Weight

Height for these little dogs ranges from 12.5 - 13.5 inches for males and 11.5 - 12.5 inches for Females. The proportion is more important though for these dogs. The AKC states: "The relationship of height to length of body, as measured from the prosternum to the rearmost portion of the buttocks, should be 2:3." [1] They should be strong for their size and have a muscular body. They can weigh anywhere from 20 to 35 pounds. Some Vallhunds are considered rather pudgy, but they usually aren't, for their breed. Of course, like any dog, the Swedish Vallhund can become overweight, but many of these dogs tend to look heavier than they actually are. Again, like any dog, they come in all shapes and sizes.

Color and Coat

The dog's coat should be of medium length, and harsh. The topcoat is close and tight and undercoat is soft and dense. The hair is short on the head and on the foreparts of the legs, while a little bit longer on the neck, chest and back parts of the hind legs.[2]

Temperament

This breed makes a great companion and can also be used for herding and ratting. They love human attention and are very devoted to their owners. They are a clownish type dog and can be a show-off at times. The Swedish Vallhund is responsive and even-tempered with most people, but they can be wary of strangers and should be properly socialized and trained as a puppy as to avoid over-protective behavior as an adult. They will try to guard your home even if they are three sizes too small, so to say, for the job at hand. [1]

History

The Swedish Vallhund closely resembles the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, although it is not known whether the two breeds are related. It is possible that the ancestors of the Swedish Vallhund may have been transported by the Vikings, either to or from Britain. The Vallhund (meaning herding dog) is a canine of many talents, such as a cattle drover, watchdog, ratter and versatile farmhand. It is a more and more common sight at European exhibitions.

Revival

By 1942 the Vallhund was almost extinct, until Count Björn von Rosen and Mr. Karl-Gustaf Zettersten, both from Sweden, began looking for dogs to keep the breed alive. As a result of their work, the Swedish Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1948 and the Vallhund was given its name, which in Swedish means "herding dog". In terms of ownership, the breed remains quite rare.

In 2008, the Vallhund,the Plott Hound, the Tibetan mastiff, and the Beauceron, competed for the first time, in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

http://www.slate.com/id/2184198/

External links

References

  1. ^ American Kennel Club - Swedish Vallhund
  2. ^ American Kennel Club - Swedish Vallhund

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