If you look at a photo of what’s known as a “Wolf Corgi”, you’d be forgiven for thinking these dogs really are Corgis because the resemblance is so striking. Be that as it may, “Wolf Corgi” is just a nickname used to describe a herding dog hailing from Scandinavia and that may even date back to the time of the Vikings—the Swedish Vallhund. This is the breed’s official name.
In this post, we’ll explore the Swedish Vallhund’s history, characteristics, and personality to feed your curiosity about this unique and historical breed.
Swedish Vallhund History
The origins of the Swedish Vallhund are somewhat murky and the specifics as to where and when the breed was developed are unknown. It is believed that they may date back as far as the 8th century when Britain was invaded and conquered by the Vikings.
Though Swedish Vallhunds are distinct from Corgis, it’s possible that Swedish Vallhunds came about as the result of breeding between Scandinavian Spitz dogs and Welsh Corgis.
In Sweden, the Swedish Vallhund is believed to be a natural breed with over 1,000 years of history. These dogs are also known for serving as cattle herders on Swedish farms—their low bodies which allow them to better control cattle coupled with their nimble paws make for excellent herding dogs.
Swedish Vallhunds’ stocky bodies are low to the ground and are supported by short but quick legs. They have pointed, upright ears, medium-sized oval-shaped eyes, and an alert expression.
Their coats are medium in length and course with a soft undercoat. They come in a variety of coat colors—black, blue, gray, red, white, and yellow, though only gray and red are standard AKC colors. Acceptable markings are white and sable.
Swedish Vallhunds have natural stub tails, full curl tails, or, in some cases, bobtails. They stand between 11.5 and 13.75 inches tall (males are typically taller than females) and can weigh anywhere between 20 and 30 pounds.
Swedish Vallhunds are typically very affectionate dogs that often get along well with children and other dogs. Due to their history as herding dogs, they’re capable watchdogs and many Swedish Vallhunds are very energetic. For this reason, they need plenty of daily exercise and mental stimulation to prevent them from becoming bored.
Swedish Vallhunds are also generally cooperative dogs that respond well to training—especially to the rewards involved in training! That said, these dogs are hard workers, and some have a tendency to be rather determined to have their own way. They need plenty of patience and consistency when it comes to training.
One of the things you’ll quickly learn if you adopt a Swedish Vallhund is that they can be quite “talkative”. They produce several vocalizations and many love nothing more than a good chinwag. Basically, these are the ultimate motormouths of the dog world so you might not get a great deal of peace and quiet!
Swedish Vallhunds have undercoats, so expect some fluff to clean up during the shedding seasons (spring and fall). You can make use of a de-shedding tool to remove the loose undercoat, but, apart from this, Swedish Vallhunds are pretty easy to groom.
Outside of shedding seasons, you can simply brush your Swedish Vallhund through now and again for maintenance purposes. Keep their teeth clean with daily brushing and trim their claws often to prevent overgrowth.
So, to recap, “Wolf Corgi” is the term sometimes used to refer to the very beautiful Swedish Vallhund—a dog that looks strikingly like a Corgi and a wolf all in one. Though they may have come about as a result of interbreeding with Corgis, the Swedish Vallhund and the Corgi are two separate breeds.