Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Swedish Vallhund

Swedish Vallhund
The Swedish Vallhund is a dog breed that goes back around 1,000 years-- way back to the Viking times! Their name translates to "Herding Dog," which is exactly what they are, short legs and all. Like the more famous Welsh Corgis, the short-legged Swedish Vallhunds were bred to herd the much larger cattle!

Interestingly, there may be an ancestral link between the Vallhund and the Corgis. Some historians believe that the Vallhunds were brought to Wales during Viking expeditions, while others think that the Corgis were taken back to Scandinavia as prizes. The exact history and relationship is still unknown, and perhaps DNA testing will someday solve the puzzle.

However, despite their long history, Swedish Vallhunds nearly went extinct during World War II. If not for the  work of two men, Bjorn von Rosen and K.G. Zettersten, we may have lost the breed completely.  Those two searched the country for the best specimens they could find, and then started a breeding program.  Swedish Vallhunds have since been exported to numerous countries around the world, though they are still a relatively rare breed to encounter. They were only recently admitted into the AKC, entering in 2007.

As a breed, the Swedish Vallhund is known for its good temper, active lifestyle, intelligence, and sometimes clownish behavior. They are incredibly versatile dogs, and do well in all sorts of events, including herding, agility, flyball, and even tracking (a callback to their days as combination herding dogs/vermin exterminators).

Status : Domesticated
Location : Sweden
Size : Shoulder height around 13in (33cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Carnivora
Family : Canidae -- Genus : Canis -- Species : C. lupus -- Subspecies : C. l. familiaris

1 comment:

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