Swedish Vallhund

Breed Registries:

Note: The all-breed registries indicated above are the most recognized all-breed registries. The breed may be recognized by other registries not indicated here. For further details about dog registries, please see the document: Dog Breed Registries in North America.


  1. — The FCI is the World Canine Organization, which includes 84 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 339 breeds, with each being the "property" of a specific country. The "owner" countries of the breeds write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.




12 to 14 inches (30-36 cm)


20 to 30 lbs (9-13.5 kg)

Breed Profile:

The Swedish Vallhund, also known as the Västgötaspets, Vikingarnas Hund or Viking Dog, is native to Sweden and dates back more than 1000 years to the days of the Vikings. The breed has long been treasured in his homeland for his cattle-herding ability, strength and stamina. He was bred to work as a cattle and sheep herder, herding low to the ground by rounding up and nipping at the hocks. He is also an accomplished ratter and watchdog.

He is intelligent, alert, energetic, self-confident, courageous, loyal, and makes an excellent family companion. The SV is easily trained as he is eager to please. The breed is known to be friendly, healthy and hardy. Always alert and watchful, he will stand his ground but is not aggressive.

The Swedish Vallhund is a versatile family companion as well as a working dog. In addition to herding, he also excels in the show ring, obedience trials and agility.

His coat is of medium length, harsh to the touch, close and tight fitting. He may be steel-grey, greyish brown, greyish yellow or reddish brown. He should also have lighter markings on the shoulders which are called "harness markings".

The breed is commonly seen in Sweden, Britain, Finland, Norway and Australia and is gaining popularity in North America. In North America, Swedish Vallhunds are recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club, the United Kennel Club and other registries. At this time, the Swedish Vallhund Club of America is working to gain American Kennel Club recognition of the breed.

Health Issues

The Swedish Vallhund is known to be a healthy breed with relatively few genetic disorders. However, some disorders have been seen, including: Hip Dysplasia, Patellar Luxation, Cleft Palate, and Eye Diseases.

If you are considering the adoption of a Swedish Vallhund puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy's parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. The Swedish Vallhund Club of America recommends x-raying and OFA/PennHip certification against hip dysplasia, CERF certification against eye disorders, as well as any other testing for health disorders directly related to the breed. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main Breed Listing and Breeders page.)

Additional Health Resources:

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Breed Standards

Swedish Vallhund

BIS Ch Dlarah Puta Spell on You (Spirit)
Photo courtesy of Dlarah Swedish Vallhunds

Grooming Information

  • Grooming — This section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.

Training Resources

  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.

Training Tools & Equipment
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Additional Information

  • Herding Dogs — A section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website which includes training and general information about Herding/Stock Dogs; listing of Stock Dog Clubs and Associations; listing of upcoming shows and events; and more.
  • Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
  • Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.

Select from the following links to view Breeder listings; Breed Clubs; Rescue Organizations; as well as Books and other Merchandise specific to the breed:

Breeders  /  Breed Clubs  /  Rescues  /  Books & More