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Swedish Vallhund
History
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In Sweden, it is believed that the Swedish Vallhund is indigenous to that country and goes back more than 1000 years to the days of the Vikings. Then the Swedish Vallhund was known as the "Vikingarnas Hund", the "Viking Dog." During the eighth or ninth century, historians state, either the Swedish Vallhund was brought to Wales or the Corgi was taken to Sweden, hence the similarities between the two breeds. The historian Clifford Hubbard thought that the Swedish Vallhund was the older of the two breeds.

The Swedish Vallhund is longer legged, shorter in body length and not as stocky as the Corgi. Swedish Vallhunds are bred to work on farms and ranches as a cattle/sheep herder. Their herding style is low to the ground and they herd by rounding up and nipping at the hocks.

In 1942, a member of the Swedish Kennel Club, Mr. Bjorn von Rosen, became involved. He had worked to save several old Swedish breeds from extinction and remembered the Swedish Vallhund from his boyhood. He placed an ad asking about them, to which Mr. K.G. Zettersten responded. By 1942, the breed was almost extinct. Working together, the men found a few of the old Swedish Vallhunds and began a breeding program. In 1948, the Swedish Kennel Club recognized the breed and the Swedish Vallhund was known as "Vallhund," which meant "herding dog." In 1964, with the Swedish standard revised, the breed became known as Vastgotaspets after the Swedish province Vastergotland in which the revived breeding originated. Swedish Vallhunds are sometimes also referred to as "Spitz of the West Goths." In 1974, the first Swedish Vallhund came to England, to Ryslip Kennels. In 1978, Nicky Gascoigne, a force in the introduction of this breed to England, worked with others to form the Swedish Vallhund Society, which received approval from the UK Kennel Club in 1980.

The first two USA Swedish Vallhunds were imported to California around early 1985 but were not bred at that time. Also in 1985, Marilyn Thell of Rhode Island, was visiting England and saw Swedish Vallhunds at Crufts. Being of Swedish descent, she wanted to know more about the Swedish Vallhund. After learning more about the breed's background, Marilyn brought two Swedish Vallhunds to the United States in July 1985. Two others followed shortly and the first litter of nine Swedish Vallhunds in the United States was whelped at Jonricker Kennel, September 4, 1986.

  • At the November 2006 Board Meeting the Swedish Vallhund became eligible to participate fully in AKC Herding Events and to compete for Prefix and Suffix titles, effective January 1, 2007.
  • At the October 2006 Board Meeting the Swedish Vallund became eligible for AKC registration, March 1, 2007 and was eligible to compete in the Herding Group, effective June 27, 2007. There will be an open registry for the breed until February 28, 2010.
  • At the April 2005 Board Meeting the Swedish Vallhund was approved to compete in the Miscellaneous Class effective September 1, 2005.
  • At the May 2004 Board Meeting the Swedish Vallhund was approved to compete in Herding Tests and to participate in Herding Trials on an Exhibition Only Basis, effective September 1, 2004.
  • In December 2003 the AKC Board approved the eligibility of some Foundation Stock breeds, which meet certain criteria, for competition in AKC Companion Events (Obedience, Tracking, and Agility), effective January 1, 2004. The breeds must have a minimum of 150 dogs with three generation pedigrees recorded in the FSSĀ®, a national breed club with members in at least 20 states, and an AKC approved breed standard. The Swedish Vallhund was one of 20 breeds who met the requirements. Requests by breed clubs to have their breeds compete in the various Performance Events would be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • The Swedish Vallhund has been assigned the Herding Group designation.
  • The Swedish Vallhund has been recorded in the Foundation Stock Service since 1999.




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