Swedish Vallhund Temperament
The Swedish Vallhund is a versatile dog for its size and stature. They make for fantastic farm dogs, as they are excellent at rounding up cattle, can protect farm animals, and are excellent vermin hunters. They are extremely devoted and loyal to their owners, another aspect of being bred as farm dogs. In general, the Swedish Vallhund is a mild, even-tempered dog, but they do enjoy being silly and clownish, which makes them fun to be around. That said, they can be suspicious of strangers, so it’s important that this dog be properly trained as a young pup to not overreact in their presence. These are very bright, intelligent dogs, so training should be easy during the early years. This dog makes for a fantastic family pet and is great with children.
Swedish Vallhund Upkeep
Bred for farm life, these gods need lots of exercise. They enjoy the thrill of hunting, rounding up animals, and playing hard. Mentally, they are not capable of living exclusively indoors. They should spend a majority of the day outdoors, but be allowed to sleep inside at night, as they prefer to be highly integrated into family life. Their coat is fairly rugged and only requires an occasional brushing – every week or so.
Swedish Vallhund Concerns
The Swedish Vallhund is an overall healthy breed, as it’s meant for rugged farm life. It is more susceptible to some illnesses than others. One of these is hip dysplasia, which is when the femur begins to fit poorly into the pelvis. This causes them to limp, or even make their hind legs go lame. Although symptoms only occur later in age, this can be addressed when they are puppies. A veterinarian can check for this. Patellar luxation is similar to this, and Swedish Vallhund’s are susceptible to this, as well. Hypothyroidism can also develop, which is when the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, which reduces their metabolism. Symptoms include weight gain, lethargy, dry skin, hair loss, and depression, to name a few. Dogs should be taken to see the veterinarian immediately. Cataracts may also develop in old age. This can be cured if addressed early enough, and save a dog’s eyesight.
Swedish Vallhund History
The Swedish Vallhund is the national dog of Sweden. It is thought to originate in the 13th or 14th century, bred as an all around farm dog. These were common dogs before WWI in Europe, but shortly after became almost nonexistent, with no living Swedish Vallhunds known. Two men – Count Bjorn von Rosen and Karl Gustave Zettersten, well known breeders – took it upon themselves to single-handedly save the breed from extinction. They scoured the Swedish countryside during the years of WWII and managed to find a bitch and a stud to breed. Through their own marketing campaign, writing articles for local papers, they drove up the demand for Swedish Vallhunds, thereby catapulting a once nearly extinct breed back into popularity.