With their thick sable coats, sturdy construction and overall no-frills look, the Vallhunds are a timeless breed who have been comfortable in suburban backyards since they were victims of Viking longships 1,200 years ago. These lively shepherds are built tall and low on the ground – not as exaggerated fashion as their distant cousin Corgis, but the idea is the same: their construction makes it easier to avoid ping and kicking on the heel of cattle is. Head. Balance, power and smooth movement are the hallmarks of the breed.
Between the 8th and 11th centuries, the sea Vikings of Scandinavia raided vast areas of Britain, conquered and settled. Traces of Viking influence can still be seen in the names of Scandinavian places around the British Isles. Another reminder of Britain’s Viking past is the Valhund, which is believed to be a cross of Scandinavian Spitz dogs with Welsh corgis. When and where the breed evolved is unknown, but we know that for centuries the Vulhunds were rugged cattle dogs and all-purpose farmhands in western Sweden.
The Swedish Valhund is a small, powerful, fearless, robustly built Spitz shepherd dog. Length is the correct relation of body length to 2: 3. The SV has a wedge-shaped head, pricking ears and a close-fitting rigid coat of medium length and sable color. The double coat and characteristic “harness marking” are essential features of this breed. The tail may be natural (long, stub, or bob) or docked. The presence of the Swedish Valhund conveys intelligence, vigilance and energy. Balance, outline, temperament and speed are of utmost importance.
The gestation period in lasts for 60-64 days The primary period of the reproductive cycle of the female is called Proestrus and goes on for around 9 days. During this time the females begin to draw in males. The subsequent part is the Estrus when the bitch is receptive to the male. It goes on for around 3 to 11 days. The third part is the Diestrus. Usually, it happens around day 14. In this period the bitch’s discharge changes for distinctive red and reaching its end. The vulva gets back to average, and she will no longer allow mating. The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time span between heat periods ordinarily keeps going around a half year. The litter size ranges between 6 to 8 puppies at a time’
Swedish vulhunds sometimes require a nice, downward brush on the skin and a bath if dirty. They shed their undercoat twice a year, which will make you wonder how many dogs you have, who are going through a snowflake of hair. Valhund are very easy dogs when it comes to grooming. When they are shedding, a warm bath and a good massage while shampooing, followed by drying with the dryer and brushing well, can get rid of the worst.
Most Valhunds should work with you; This is one of the traits of the breed. They do best with positive, reward-based training, as most only need to understand what you want. Keep in mind that this is a cattle grazing breed. They are strong-willed (as they need to do their job), and your goal should be to get the dog to work happily with you. Most clickers do very well with training, and most are very bidable.
The breed has considerable individual variability in terms of exercise needs. Some Swedish Vallhunds have more energy than others. Keep in mind that while it is not a full-day breed, the vulhund is a working farm dog and requires regular exercise. A good walk daily with some time playing or doing sports or other activity is enough for most Valhunds, but some require more. They also require mental exercise in addition to their physical exercise. Puzzle games, clicker training and participation in a sport can all contribute to their mental and physical well-being.
The Swedish vulhund should perform well on high quality dog food, whether it is commercially manufactured or prepared at home with the supervision and approval of your vet. Any diet should be appropriate for the age of the dog (puppy, adult, or senior). Most Vallahunds are “easy keepers” and require little food, even if they are very active. They become overweight easily even after exercising too much. Owners should not feed the Wahlunds (or any dog) for free – it is not common for dogs to graze, and it quickly becomes difficult to know if the dog is not eating well. Know which human foods are safe for dogs and which are not. Contact your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water must be available at all times.
Responsible breeders screened their stock for health conditions such as hip dysplasia. A genetic test for an eye problem called Swedish vulhund retinopathy was developed in 2017; Breeders can now identify carriers and breed according to them to ensure that they do not produce affected offspring.
Recommended health tests from the National Breed Club: