The Swedish Vallhund is a herding dog that originates from Sweden, where it was bred to herd cattle and other livestock for farmers. They’re known for being energetic, curious and loyal.
Do they shed much? Yes, Swedish Vallhunds are a heavy shedding breed with a thick double coat. They shed year round but will lose more fur a couple times per year, typically during spring and fall, as they shed their undercoat. Thankfully, they’re quite easy to groom and regular brushing can keep the moulting under control.
Let’s take a more detailed look at what makes the Vallhund shed so much, what it will take to keep your home hair free and why they make such great companions.
Swedish Vallhund Shedding
Swedish Vallhunds are a heavy shedding breed, so you are going to notice fur on your furniture, clothing and floors.
They have a tough, coarse outer coat and a soft, dense undercoat. Both coats work to protect his skin from the elements, keeping him warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Which is well suited to a working dog like the Swedish Vallhund.
Unfortunately though, double coated breeds tend to shed more than single coated breeds, especially during seasonal changes. They typically shed their winter coat in spring and their summer coat in autumn.
At these times you are going to notice a significant uptick in how much fur they leave around your home. So brushing is going to become even more important.
The only saving grace here is that they’re not a very big dog. They’re short in height and long in length, but overall not a large dog.
Which means there’s only so much hair they can lose in comparison to larger heavy shedding, double coated breeds like the St. Bernard or Newfoundland for example.
Either way, the shedding will be enough to drive you mad if you don’t keep it under control, and one of the best ways to do that is through regular grooming.
What Are They Like to Groom?
Thankfully, the Swedish Vallhund coat is easy to maintain, a brush once or twice per week is all they really need. They’re a tough dog that was said to have been the companions of Vikings, so they don’t need any special treatment.
With that being said, brushing everyday or every second day is one of the best ways to reduce shedding. So if you don’t want a house full of fur, brush regularly. Especially during times of seasonal shedding when they blow coat.
What sort of brush should you use?
The best type of brush for a Swedish Vallhund is a combination of a slicker or pin brush for the outer coat, and deshedding tool or metal comb for the undercoat.
Start with a slicker brush to work out any matts and dead hair from the outer coat and finish up with a metal comb or deshedding brush to remove the undercoat fur. It’s important to reach all the way down to the skin in order to remove as much loose hair as possible.
Related: Dog Shedding Brush Reviews and Buyer’s Guide
This is not a difficult process but given the texture of the coat, and the fact he has an undercoat, it will take time. And consistency is key.
Aside from brushing, regular care such as bathing, teeth cleaning and nail trimming are things you will need to keep up with.
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Are Swedish Vallhunds Hypoallergenic?
No, Swedish Vallhunds are not hypoallergenic. In fact, they are on the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to non-allergenic breeds.
Dog allergens don’t actually come from the fur, they come from the dogs dried saliva and dander, which attaches itself to the fur. Which means that heavy shedding breeds, like the Swedish Vallhund, tend to spread allergens throughout your home more readily than a low shedding breed since more fur is falling off of them.
No dog is ever completely hypoallergenic though. It’s just that lower shedding breeds are typically more suitable for allergy sufferers. For example, the Bolognese and Italian Greyhound.
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How to Reduce Excessive Shedding
The best way to stop your Swedish Vallhund from shedding an excessive amount of hair is brush him regularly. Which may sound overly simple, but it works.
Not only does a proper brushing regime remove the dead hair from his coat, but it helps to stimulate the sebaceous gland, which in turn produces a natural oil that moisturizes the skin.
Dry, irritated skin is a leading cause of shedding. So keeping his skin and coat healthy is of paramount importance. Another way you can do this, besides brushing, is through a healthy diet.
Make sure your dog is getting plenty of quality nutrition, that contains the right amount of healthy fat, as this can make a difference. Some even supplement this with a small amount of virgin coconut oil, or virgin olive oil, which is a natural home shedding remedy.
Bathing in warm water can help too, especially as he is blowing coat. A good bath with a quality dog shampoo, followed by a blow dry and brush, can make the world of difference.
Just be sure to avoid over bathing, or using cheap shampoos or human shampoo, as this can dry out his skin.
You can’t stop shedding completely, but keeping these simple tips in mind, and sticking to a regular brushing routine, can significantly reduce how much fur you have to clean up.
Related: How to Stop Your Dog Shedding Excessively
Brushing does take time, but it’s better to work on preventative measures like this than spend a ton of time cleaning. There are some great vacuum cleaners for dog hair out there that can make your life a lot easier, but you’ll still save a lot of time with brushing.
Should You Adopt a Swedish Vallhund?
Swedish Vallhunds (AKA Swedish Cow Dogs) were originally bred to herd cattle and other livestock in Sweden. They might be small, but they’re a working dog at heart and are very good at this. So much so that this is how they got their name, the “Vallhund” in their name literally means “herding dog.”
Some say their heritage goes back even further to the days of Vikings, and that they come from the Welsh Corgi and Scandinavian Spitz, but this isn’t exactly clear.
Either way, they have many similarities to the Welsh Corgi.
They’re about the same size, look similar and share a number of personality traits. But the Swedish Vallhund looks more like a wolf, which is why some refer to them as the “wolf corgi.”
In any case, Swedish Vallhunds aren’t just good at herding.
They also make excellent watchdogs. They’re alert, courageous and loyal nature means they will let you know if trouble is near and do their best to guard you, your home and family.
This does mean they tend to bark often. But this is something that can be dealt with through proper training, which is a good idea to do early on anyway given that they aren’t the best dog for novice owners. When you get your dog professional training, it’s just as much about training you as it is them so it can be worthwhile.
All in all, if you don’t mind a high shedding breed, Swedish Vallhunds make great family companions and will stick by your side through thick and thin.