Meet The Viking Dog

No not this kind of Viking dog ….

We are talking about the Swedish Vallhund –

an ancient, national dog breed of Sweden breed is at least 1,000 years old, going back to the age of the Vikings. At that time, the breed probably had been known as “Vikingarnas Hund,”or the Viking Dog.

Also known as the Västgötaspets and Swedish cow dog, the breed’s name, Vallhund, when translated into English, means herding dog, as the Swedish Vallhund was originally bred as a drover and herder of cows over 1,000 years ago. Being low to the ground allows the Swedish Vallhund to nip at cattles’ heels and avoid getting kicked. The Swedish Vallhund has been used for herding cattle and sheep, and also for hunting vermin and guarding the home or farm.


Wuff da! bowls make good food even better

The Swedish Vallhund. Swedish Vallhunds originated in the county of Västergötland, which lies just south of lake Vänern. Even if you’re not familiar with the Swedish Vallhund, you probably know his “cousins,” the Corgi breeds. Some historians think Corgis were taken from Wales to Sweden in the 8th or 9th century, while others believe the Swedish Vallhund was taken to Wales in that time frame. Either way, interbreeding after the migration resulted in these two breeds having similar characteristics, i.e., long and stocky bodies.

In 1942, the dog came close to extinction, but careful breeding and publicity by Swedish national Bjorn von Rosen and K. G. Zettersten managed to revive the breed in popularity and save it from its likely end. They acquired one male, named Mopsen, and three females, named Vivi, Lessi, and Topsy, and these four dogs revived SV breeding in Sweden.

In 1943, the Swedish Kennel Club recognized the Swedish Vallhund as a breed, and officially categorized the Swedish Vallhund as “the Västgötaspets” for Västergötland, the province in which their revival took place. Since then, the breed has been recognized by, and bred in, over ten countries and has gained popularity appearing on postage stamps in Sweden, Ukraine, Russia, Tajikistan, Mali, and Nicaragua.

Flag leashes and collars

The Swedish Vallhund is related to larger spitz dogs and moose hunting dogs of Scandinavia. The skeleton of a Swedish Vallhund is remarkably similar to that of the modern Norwegian Elkhound, another breed of spitz dog. One unique characteristic of SVs is that many of them are born without tails. Others are born with stub tails or full-length tails.

According to

The Swedish Vallhund is energetic, playful and loving. Even better, he knows how to make you laugh and get you through any rough times you may be facing. Vallhunds will create games to entertain themselves and their people, but it’s better if you channel their brains and activity level more formally, through training, dog sports and activities such as hiking or making therapy visits.

While he sounds ideal, with his medium size, athleticism, and happy personality, the Vallhund is not a breed for everyone. He can be a barker — at door-to-door salesmen, the dog next door or the rat beneath the floor — and his energy level makes him unsuitable for a couch potato owner. But if you are an active person and experienced dog owner who enjoys hiking or long walks and will appreciate this dog’s companionship in whatever you do; he’s definitely a dog to consider.

The Vallhund is friendly toward others and readily accepts attention and treats from everyone he meets. He is highly intelligent and learns quickly, responding well to positive reinforcement techniques. This versatile breed excels in performance events such as agility, flyball, herding, nose work, obedience, rally, and tracking. He also has the skills to be a valuable assistant on a farm or ranch. The official breed standard is maintained by the Swedish Vallhund Club of America.

The Swedish Vallhund is a member of the Spitz family. He is energetic and playful, much like his Corgi cousins. His medium-length double coat is easy to care for, but it does shed. A Vallhund can be great with well-behaved kids and is a super watchdog, but he can be a barker.

You can also get specific information about the Swedish Vallhund at

The United States has an official Swedish Vallhund Club of America and there is even a website suggesting the 145 best Swedish Vallhund names.

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