Västgötaspets Breed description: Character & Co



Ancient Roots: The Origin of the Västgötaspets

The Västgötaspets, often known as the Swedish Vallhund, has deep roots in Scandinavian history. The breed is believed to have been bred by the Vikings over 1,000 years ago, making it one of the oldest dog breeds in Scandinavia. Its origin can be located in western Sweden, particularly in the Västergötland region.

History: From Viking companion to farm dog

Originally, the Västgötaspets was used as a cattle dog. Their size, agility and intelligence made them ideal for herding sheep and cattle. Over time, however, they evolved from working to companion dogs without losing their instinctive herding qualities. Although they were almost forgotten, the breed experienced a renaissance in the 20th century thanks to dedicated breeders who recognized their versatility.

Suitability: A versatile and loyal companion

The Västgötaspets is suitable for a variety of lifestyles and tasks:

  • Family Dog: With its friendly and loving nature, it makes an excellent family dog.
  • Working Dog: His herding instinct is still strong, making him ideal for farms and rural areas.
  • Sports & Agility: Because of his agility and intelligence, he is highly sought after in dog sports such as agility and obedience.


The Västgötaspets is a dog with a rich history and versatile suitability. Whether as a faithful companion on a farm, a family dog, or a talented athlete, this breed has much to offer. Their centuries-old history and deep connection to Sweden make them a valuable cultural heritage and a beloved four-legged friend.

Banner: Depositphotos / cynoclub
The portrait of a typical Swedish Vallhund in the garden Swedish Vallhund at fast coursing for cats Typical Swedish Vallhund in the garden Swedish Vallhund dog isolated on a white background
Alternate Name West Gothic Spitz, Swedish Shepherd's Spitz, Swedish Vallhund
Origin Sweden
Life expectancy 12 - 15 years
Care requirements low-maintenance
Activity level average
FCI group Nordic Watchdogs and Herders
AKC group not recognised
KC group not recognised

A versatile being: The heart of the Västgötaspet

The Västgötaspets, also known as the Swedish Vallhund, is more than just a pretty face. Behind its attractive appearance lies a strong character and versatile nature.

Loyalty and Devotion: One of the most striking traits of the Västgötaspet is his deep bond with his people. He is an extremely loyal and affectionate companion who is closely bonded to his family.

Intelligence and Willingness to Learn: Thanks to his history as a herding dog, the Västgötaspets is highly intelligent and eager to learn. He loves mental challenges and is always willing to learn new things.

Will to work and energy: Even though he no longer herds cattle on a daily basis, the Västgötaspets still has a lot of energy and will to work. This means that regular exercise and mental stimulation are essential to keep him happy and balanced.

Social behavior and interaction with other animals: Generally, the Västgötaspets is friendly and sociable, but can also show a strong herding instinct towards smaller animals. Early socialization is therefore important to ensure that he gets along well with other dogs and pets.

Alertness: A natural watchdog, the Västgötaspets is very alert and may be reserved with strangers at first. However, with proper introductions, he usually shows himself to be friendly and approachable.


The Västgötaspets is an intelligent, loyal and energetic dog with a versatile character. With proper training and management, he will become an indispensable and beloved member of any family.

Swedish Vallhund against white background Swedish Vallhund against white background

Care of the Västgötaspets

The Västgötaspets has a dense and weather-resistant coat that requires regular grooming.

  • Coat Care: The coat should be brushed at least once a week to prevent matting and skin problems. During the coat change, daily brushing may be appropriate.
  • Bathing: It is recommended that the dog be bathed only when necessary. Frequent bathing can strip the coat of its natural oils.
  • Ears, eyes and teeth: regular inspection and cleaning of these areas is essential to prevent infection.

Health of the Västgötaspet

The Västgötaspets is considered hardy and durable, but as with all breeds, there are potential health issues.

  • Hip Dysplasia: Some Västgötaspets can be prone to hip dysplasia. Regular veterinary checkups and choosing responsible breeders can minimize the risk.
  • Eye Problems: It is possible for the Västgötaspets to develop eye problems. An annual eye examination is therefore recommended.

Breeding the Västgötaspet

Responsible breeding is critical to maintain the health and temperament of the breed.

  • Genetic testing: reputable breeders have their breeding stock tested for known genetic diseases.
  • Socialization: Puppies should be socialized early and well to ensure a balanced character.
  • Breeding Criteria: Adherence to breed standards for appearance and temperament is essential.


The Västgötaspets needs regular care and attention regarding his health. Responsible breeding is essential to maintain the quality of this wonderful breed.

Standing Swedish Vallhund

A characteristic feature of the Västgötaspet is its dense, medium-length, weather-resistant coat. The double coat structure consists of a short, dense undercoat and a longer, harsh outer coat.

  • Color: Coat color varies and can be solid or bi-colored, with gray, blue, black and brown being the predominant tones. White markings are also often found on the face, neck, chest and legs.
  • Feature: Despite its dense coat, the Västgötaspets does not have a strong tendency to shed. This is especially advantageous during the coat change.

Size and weight

The Västgötaspets is a small to medium sized dog with a robust and compact build.

  • Size (Male): Shoulder height is approximately 31 to 35 inches.
  • Size(female): Here, the shoulder height ranges from about 28 to 32 cm.
  • Weight (male): The weight varies between 10 to 15 kg.
  • Weight (females): Females usually weigh a little less, between 8 to 12 kg.


The Västgötaspets impresses with its robust appearance and weather-resistant coat. Its compact size and moderate weight make it a handy and at the same time robust companion. Particularly striking are his coat colors and the often present white markings.

Fur length short
Fur -
Ear shape Standing Ears
Tail -
Anatomy strong
Size ♀ 29 - 33 cm
Weight ♀ 9 - 14 kg
Size ♂ 31 - 35 cm
Weight ♂ 9 - 14 kg
Suitable For Beginner, Children, Seniors
Swedish Vallhund dog isolated on a white background
Swedish Vallhund against white background
Swedish Vallhund against white background
  • Hip dysplasia (HD)

    Hip dysplasia (HD) is a genetic condition in dogs where the hip joint is not shaped properly. This leads to pain, stiffness and restricted movement.

  • Eye diseases

    Often occur with allergies and intolerances.

  • Patellar luxation

    Patellar luxation is the term used to describe a displacement of the kneecap, which is one of the most common causes of lameness in dogs.

Other medium dogs

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