When we think of Corgis it’s only natural to picture the cute shake they offer as they walk away or the elegance of witnessing the Queen’s Corgis when she was on television. These little dogs are something of an enigma around the world, so much so that one particular dog breed has found itself being called a Corgi when it really isn’t.
Enter the Wolf Corgi better known as the Swedish Vallhund. Seeing this dog would instantly make you think Corgi, however, that is not true. The Swedish Vallhund is not a Corgi at all. They are their own breed that is strikingly gorgeous and amazing in its own right. Below, we’re going to take the time to get to know this dog breed and finally put an end to the Wolf Corgi enigma.
The Earliest Records of Swedish Vallhunds in History
While the true origins of the Swedish Vallhund are as mysterious as the breed itself, it is believed they date back to the 8th century when Vikings came to England to invade and conquer. It’s possible that when this happened, the Scandinavian Spitz was crossbred with Welsh Corgis to create the breed now nicknamed Wolf Corgi.
The Swedish don’t believe this potential history. There, the Swedish Vallhund is considered a natural breed with a history that spans more than 1,000 years. In Sweden, these dogs are used as cattle herders, much like the Corgi. This is thanks to their small size making it easy to nip cattle on the ankles and then quickly get out of the way before being hurt.
How Swedish Vallhunds Gained Popularity
The Swedish Vallhund isn’t one of the most popular dog breeds out there. In the United States, they are still considered quite rare. However, thanks to their resemblance to the Corgi and the fun nickname of Wolf Corgi, this breed is beginning to get the recognition it deserves outside its namesake country of Sweden.
Formal Recognition of Swedish Vallhunds
With the popularity of the Swedish Vallhund on the rise, it only makes sense that the American Kennel Club would take the time to recognize them. However, this is a fairly new acceptance. The Swedish Vallhund became formally recognized by the AKC in 2007 and is considered a new dog breed here in the United States. It is believed that this breed didn’t make its first appearance here until the late 1980s.
There are only two recognized colors of Swedish Vallhund: red and gray. This breed also has harness markings which are colored bands running down the Wolf Corgi’s side to its shoulder. All Swedish Vallhunds have pricked ears, but they can be born with bobtails, stub tails, or full tails that curl. They are also small dogs, normally between 11 and 13 inches and only weighing 20 to 35 pounds.
Top 3 Unique Facts About Swedish Vallhunds
1. The Wolf Corgi Is Actually a Spitz
According to the AKC, the Swedish Vallhund, aka the Wolf Corgi, is actually a Spitz. This means they are kin to Alaskan Malamutes, Finnish Spitz, and Norwegian Elkhounds. Although they look a lot like Corgis, the Swedish Vallhund and the Corgi are relatively distant relations.
2. The Swedish Vallhund Nearly Went Extinct
The Swedish Vallhund Club of America claims this beautiful breed nearly suffered extinction back in the 1940s. Thankfully, two Swedish men, Bjorn von Rosen and K.G. Zettersten, came together to save the breed. A male Swedish Vallhund by the name of Mopsen helped them save the breed.
3. Swedish Vallhunds Are Well-Rounded Dogs
While this dog breed is still used in parts of Sweden for herding, they are well-rounded and excel at many things. These zesty companions do well at agility trials, obedience training, and even tracking.
Does a Swedish Vallhund Make a Good Pet?
Yes, Swedish Vallhunds make good pets, if you have patience. This breed is highly energetic and intelligent. This makes them great at picking up on training cues and commands. However, they are working dogs and often show intense determination. This means you need a firm hand when training to keep them from doing their own thing.
When it comes to being part of the family, however, these dogs are amazing. They do well with children and other pets. This makes it easy to introduce one to an already-established home. This breed is intelligent and energetic. When they don’t have a job to do, you may find they get a little bored. To avoid this, offer challenging toys and games. This will keep their minds stimulated and help avoid issues with disobedience when they are bored.
As you can see, the Wolf Corgi may be a myth, but the Swedish Vallhund definitely isn’t. While these dogs may look a lot like a Corgi, they are a breed all their own. These little dogs are fun, loving, intelligent, and a little stubborn. They do make amazing dogs, however. If you have the chance to bring one into your home, you should. They are great best friends and family dogs that will be there for you no matter what.
Featured Image Credit: Marcel van den Bos, Shutterstock