Swedish Vallhund

FCI standard Nº 14

Origin
Sweden
Translation
Renée Sporre-Willes in collaboration with Jennifer Mulholland
Group
Group 5 Spitz and primitive types
Section
Section 3 Nordic Watchdogs and Herders
Working
Without working trial
Acceptance on a definitive basis by the FCI
Sunday 03 January 1954
Publication of the official valid standard
Tuesday 29 October 2013
Last update
Tuesday 27 May 2014
En français, cette race se dit
Vallhund suédois
Diese Norm ist in deutscher Sprache sichtbar
Schwedischer Vallhund
En español, esta raza se dice
Vallhund sueco
In het Nederlands, wordt dit ras gezegd
Västgötaspets
In his country of origin, his name is

Västgötaspets

Usage

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. 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 to start breeding. Breed type was well established without loosing 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

Cranial region

Head
Clean cut and fairly long. Skull and nose bridge parallel.
Skull
Almost flat. 
Stop
Well defined.

Facial region

Foreface
Viewed from above as well as from the side, moderately broad and tapering evenly towards the nose.
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 and teeth
Lower jaw rather blunt cut and strong, but not prominent. Perfect and regular scissors bite with complete, even 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

Back
Back level, well muscled.
Loin
Short, broad and strong.
Croup
Broad and slightly sloping.
Chest
Long with good depth. Fairly well sprung ribs. 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

Forequarters

Generality
With strong bone.
Shoulders
Long and set at an angle of 45 degrees to the horizontal plane.
Upper arm
Slightly shorter than the shoulders 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.
Pastern
Elastic.

Hindquarters

Generality
With strong bone. Parallel when viewed from behind.
Upper thigh
Broad and strongly muscled.
Lower thigh
Only slightly longer than the distance from hock to ground.
Stifle
Well angulated.
Metatarsus
Of moderate height.
Hock
Well angulated.

Feet

Medium sized, short, oval, pointing straight foreward with strong pads, tightly knit and well knuckled up.

Gait and 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 backparts of the hindlegs.
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, but white socks may not extend above upper half of leg.

Size and weight

Height at withers
Males 33 cm (ideal height), females 31 cm (ideal height).
A tolerance of 2 cm above or 1 cm 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.
• Faults listed should be in degree of seriousness.

General faults

 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.

Serious faults

 Short or rounded skull.
 Short muzzle.
 Lower jaw receding, narrow or weak.
 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.
 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.

NB :

• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
• The above mentioned faults when occurring to a highly marked degree or frequently are disqualifying.
• 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.

Bibliography

http://www.fci.be/

 

Detailed history

This is a very ancient race of which we know very little, except that the first known traces of its existence were found in the tombs of ancient Egypt, in the form of ornaments carrying a small dog type Västgötaspets wrought iron as emblem of a corporation of craftsmen. These are very mysterious origins. However, the fact that a dog that could be a primitive Dachshund also lived in Egypt throws a little light on this dog family that certainly existed under the Pharaohs and the various German bassets also came from: a branch of small dogs, with an elongated but firm body, a broad head, of a frank and honest character. The Västgötaspets has arrived in Sweden, but we do not know when or how.

The story of this dog's first exports from Sweden is better known. The Vikings probably played an important role, and perhaps even they are responsible for the Egyptian-Swedish journey of the race. Presumably, they scattered throughout Scandinavia and introduced it, from the ninth century, in the different regions where they landed, in Europe and as far as Iceland. It is also said that a descendant of William the Conqueror, eager to improve the craft of his kingdom, brought Flemish weavers, but also Scandinavians who brought with them their families and their dogs, including Västgötaspets. Established in Wales, Västgötaspets would have contributed to the birth of the Welsh Corgi.

Since moving to Western Europe, the Västgötaspets has changed its name. The Anglo-Saxons call him Swedish Vallhund, and in France he is the Dog of the Goths of the West. From sheepdog he became mainly companion dog (although the sister of the first bitch imported to France keeps sheep in Yorkshire).

The breed seems well appreciated in Great Britain, since its numbers are the same as in Sweden. In France, it was not until the beginning of 1988 that a passionate breeder, Mrs Thomas, brought a female - Biba - from Great Britain. At the same time, Alex, a Swedish male, arrived in France thanks to his owner, Mrs. Klimsha. From the union of these two first "Vâstgôs" was born, in August 1989, the first French litter: three males and a female, come to enlarge the ranks of the breeding of Mrs. Thomas. A Swede has also introduced Vallhunds.

A race so discreet, but the expansion should be fast. A breed that only wants to live, because, while it had more or less disappeared from Sweden and was rediscovered there four years, the livestock of this country now stands at about seven hundred people. A very old breed serving Egyptians, Vikings and Welsh people, Västgötaspets is starting a new career in France.

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