The Swedish Vallhund (SV) is a very old Spitz type breed known since the time of the Vikings. Sweden states the Swedish Vallhund dates back over 1000 years to the time of the Vikings when it may have been known as the “Vikingarnas Dog”. During the eighth or ninth century, historians state either the SV was brought to Wales or the Corgi was taken to Sweden, hence the similarities between the two breeds. The historian, Clifford Hubbard thought the Swedish Vallhund was the older of the two breeds. The SV is an alert, eager to please and learn, energetic, hardy dog that is longer legged, but not as long in body, nor as stocky as the Corgi. The Swedish Vallhund was bred to work on farms and ranches and originally herded cattle. Sweden has declared that this breed is a “Lantras”. This designation includes the exhibition of qualities such as: long life, patience to hardship, and hardiness.

General Appearance

The Swedish Vallhund (SV) is a very old Spitz-type breed known since the time of the Vikings. For centuries the SV has been kept as a farm dog and used for herding cattle. The SV is a small, powerful, fearless, sturdily built Spitz herding dog. The correct relationship of height to length of body is 2:3. The SV has a wedge-shaped head, prick ears, and a close-fitting hard coat of medium length and sable coloring. The double coat and the characteristic “harness markings” are essential features of this breed. Tail may be natural (long, stub, or bob) or docked. The appearance of the Swedish Vallhund conveys intelligence, alertness and energy. Balance, outline, temperament and movement are of overriding importance. The SV is a thoroughly sound animal, versatile in its desire to do traditional herding or with proper training compete in companion events such as obedience, tracking and agility, and/or serve as a family companion.


The breed is watchful, energetic, fearless, alert, intelligent, friendly, eager to please, active, and steady, making a good herding and companion dog. Sound temperament, neither vicious or shy.


Height at the withers for dogs ranges from 12.5 – 13.5 inches and bitches 11.5 – 12.5 inches.


A sable pattern seen in colors of grey through red and combinations of these colors in various shades. All are equally acceptable. Lighter shades of these colors are desirable on the chest, belly, buttocks, lower legs, feet and hocks, with darker hairs on back, neck, and sides of the body. Lighter harness markings are essential. Although a dark muzzle is acceptable, a well-defined mask with lighter hair around eyes, on muzzle and under the throat, giving a distinct contrast to the head color is highly desirable. White is permitted as a narrow blaze, neck spot, slight necklace, and white markings on the legs, and chest.

Learn more at the Swedish Vallhund Club of America.