–Both Breeds To Compete In Herding Group–
The Swedish Vallhund and Beauceron became eligible for American Kennel Club® registration on March 1, 2007 and will compete in the Herding Group at shows held on and after June 27, 2007.
The Beauceron is an old, distinct breed closely related to the longhaired Briard. They were developed solely in France to herd large flocks of sheep up to 50 miles a day without showing signs of exhaustion. When sheep production experienced a sharp decline in the late 1800s, sheepdogs became for the most part obsolete. To preserve the Beauceron, the French breed club promoted the dog in other fields, specifically in the area of protection of home and family. Beaucerons served bravely in both world wars as messenger and mine-detection dogs and experienced a surge in popularity after World War II.
Today's Beauceron is a well-balanced, solid dog with a noble carriage. It is still utilized as a herding dog. The breed also serves as a personal protection dog and is used for tracking, police, military and search-and-rescue work. The Beauceron is known to be a true athlete with a steady disposition and an uncanny ability to focus on the task at hand.
“The earliest record of this breed is said to date back to a Renaissance manuscript from 1578. Since then, the Beauceron has developed into a multi-faceted and eager-to-please dog that is a hardworking and faithful family companion.” said Marion Karhatsu, President of the American Beauceron Club. “We are extremely pleased that our breed will soon be competing in the AKC Herding Group.”
The Swedish Vallhund, a sturdily built Spitz-type breed known since the time of the Vikings, has been kept for centuries as a farm dog and used for herding cattle and eventually sheep as well. Historians believe that during the eighth or ninth century, either the Swedish Vallhund was brought to Wales or the Corgi was brought to Sweden, hence the similarities between the two breeds. The Swedish Vallhund is longer-legged and less stocky than the Corgi; the breed herds by rounding up and nipping at the hocks of their herd. By 1942, the Swedish Vallhund was almost extinct; Bjorn von Rosen is credited with beginning a program to revitalize the breed.
Currently the Swedish Vallhund is a spirited and athletic breed that often participates in obedience, agility, tracking, herding and flyball. He is both willing to work and eager to be a family companion.
“The Swedish Vallhund is a wonderful companion as well as a great herding dog. Many people refer to this enthusiastic, energetic breed as a 'big dog in a small body',” said Louise McCombs, President of the Swedish Vallhund Club of America. “We are thrilled that the Swedish Vallhund will compete in the Herding Group in June and be recognized for its many wonderful qualities.”