Swedish Vallhund

Posted in Herding Group

A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function with soundness essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be mindful of features which could be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed.

UTILIZATION:

Herding Heeler.

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY:

The Swedish Vallhund is considered to be an authentic Swedish breed although uncertainty still exists as to the relationship with the type like the Welsh Corgi. Whether or not the Vikings brought Corgi-type dogs back from the British Isles to Sweden or Västgötaspets-like dogs from Sweden to Britain will never be solved. But modern research believes that the Västgötaspets is of Swedish origin. Regardless of the breed’s origin, credit for its recognition goes to Count Björn von Rosen and headmaster Zetterstén. In the early 1940’s von Rosen was told that this old type of herding dog still existed and an investigation took place in the County of West Gotha. Particularly in the planes of Vara specimens of homogeneous type where found; few in numbers but enough for Zetterstén to start the breeding. Breed type was well established without losing the working ability.

GENERAL APPEARANCE:

Small, low on legs and sturdy. Appearance and expression denote a watchful, alert and energetic dog.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS:

Ratio of height at withers to length of body 2:3. The height from lowest part of chest to ground never to be less than 1/3 of the height at withers.

BEHAVIOUR/TEMPERAMENT:

Watchful, energetic, fearless and alert.

HEAD:

Clean cut and fairly long. Skull and nose bridge parallel.

CRANIAL REGION:

Viewed from above as well as from the side, moderately broad and tapering evenly towards the nose.

Skull: Almost flat.

Stop: Well defined.

FACIAL REGION:

Nose: Black.

Muzzle: When viewed from the side, is rather blunt cut and only slightly shorter than the skull.

Lips: Well fitting and tightly closed.

Jaws/Teeth: Lower jaw rather blunt cut and strong, but not prominent. Perfect and regular scissorbite with completeeven and well developed teeth.

Eyes: Medium size, oval in shape and dark brown.

Ears: Medium size, pointed, pricked and ear leather is hard from base to tip, smooth-haired and mobile. Length of ear should slightly exceed the width at base.

NECK:

Long and strongly muscled with good reach.

BODY:

Topline: Back level, well-muscled.

Loin: Short, broad and strong.

Croup: Broad and slightly sloping.

Chest: Long with good depth. Ribs fairly well sprung. When viewed from the front, the chest is oval, from side, elliptical. It reaches two fifths of the length of the forelegs and, when viewed from the side, the lowest point of the chest is immediately behind the back of elbow. Sternum visible but not excessively pronounced.

Underline and belly: Belly slightly tucked up.

TAIL:

Two types of tails occur, long and all variations in length of naturally short tail. In both cases all variations of carriage are permitted as there is no norm for the carriage.

LIMBS:

With strong bone.

FOREQUARTERS:

Shoulder: Long and set at an angle of 45 degrees to the horizontal plane.

Upper arm: Slightly shorter than the shoulder-blades and set at a distinct angle. Upper arms lie close to ribs, but are still very mobile.

Forearm: When viewed from the front, slightly bent, just enough to give them free action against the lower part of the chest.

Metacarpus (Pastern): Elastic.

Front feet: Medium sized, short, oval, pointing straight forward with strong pads, tightly knit and well knuckled up.

HINDQUARTERS:

General appearance: Parallel when viewed from behind.

Thigh: Broad and strongly muscled.

Stifle (Knee): Well angulated.

Lower thigh: Only slightly longer than the distance from hock to ground.

Hock joint: Well angulated.

Metatarsus (Rear pastern): Of moderate height.

Hind feet: Medium sized, short, oval, pointing straight forward with strong pads, tightly knit and well knuckled up.

GAIT/MOVEMENT:

Sound, with good reach and drive.

COAT

Hair: Top coat of moderate length, hard, tight and lying close to body, undercoat is soft and very dense. The coat is short on head and foreparts of the legs may be longer on neck, throat, chest and back parts of the hind legs.

Colour:  Grey, greyish brown, greyish yellow, reddish yellow or reddish brown. Lighter hair in the same nuance of colour as mentioned above can be seen on muzzle, throat, chest, belly, buttocks, feet and hocks. Darker guard hairs visible on back, neck and sides of the body. Lighter markings on shoulders, so called harness markings, and light cheek markings are highly desirable. White is permitted to a small extent as a narrow blaze, neck spot or slight necklace. White markings are permitted on chest, fore-and hindlegs.

SIZE AND WEIGHT:

Height at the withers: Males: 33 cms (ideal height) Females: 31 cms (ideal height) A tolerance of 2 cms above or 1 cms below these heights is permitted.

FAULTS:

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and its ability to perform its traditional work.

  • Too low to ground.
  • Stop not well defined.
  • Snipy muzzle.
  • Lack of two P1 or one P2.
  • Light eyes giving wrong expression.
  • Ears set too low.
  • Chest too deep or too shallow.
  • Too wide in front.
  • Steep shoulders.
  • Too short in upper arms.
  • Over angulated hindquarters.
  • Lack of harness- or cheek markings.

SEVERE FAULTS:

  • Short or rounded skull.
  • Short muzzle.
  • Lower jaw receding, narrow or weak jaw.
  • Pincer bite.
  • Lack of molars (M3 not taken into account).
  • Roach back.
  • Soft coat and stand off coat.
  • Coat too short or too long.
  • Lack of undercoat.
  • White markings exceeding 30% of base colour.
  • Height severely diverging from the ideal height.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS:

  • Aggressive or overly shy dogs.
  • Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
  • Over or undershot bite.
  • Blue eyes, one or both.
  • Hanging ears or semi-erect ears.
  • Long, curly coat.
  • Black, white, liver brown or blue coat colour.

N.B.:

  • Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
  • Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation, should be used for breeding.