Swedish Vallhund vs Corgi: Which Breed is Right for You?

These two great breeds are both herding dogs, and roughly the same size and weight, although the Vallhund is considered a medium breed while the Corgi is a small breed. The Corgi does tend to cost more to buy and, despite their similarities, there are several differences between the two breeds.

So, which is suitable for you and your family? Below, we look at each breed to help you decide which is better for your situation and requirements.Divider 1

Visual Differences

Swedish vallhund vs corgi visual differences
Left: Clare W, Wikimedia Commons (CC 3.0); Right: Pixabay

A Quick Overview

Swedish Vallhund
  • Average Height (adult): 11-12 inches
  • Average Weight (adult): 22-35 pounds
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Exercise: 2+ hours/day
  • Grooming needs: Low
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Dog-friendly: Often
  • Trainability: Excellent, highly intelligent
Corgi
  • Average Height (adult): 10-12 inches
  • Average Weight (adult): Up to 30 pounds
  • Lifespan: 12-14 years
  • Exercise: 1+ hours/day
  • Grooming needs: Low
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Dog-friendly: Often
  • Trainability: Excellent, highly intelligent

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Swedish Vallhund Overview

Swedish Vallhund
Image Credit: TS Eriksson, Wikimedia

The Swedish Vallhund is a herding dog that is popular in its home country of Sweden, but less popular in other countries. According to Swedish legend, they descend from the dogs of the Vikings, and they have been used for herding for centuries. They may also keep down vermin and rodent levels on farms and will alert the herd owner to any potential threats by barking.

The Swedish Vallhund is a playful dog, and he will be much easier to manage if you provide him with games and entertainment to keep him mentally and physically busy.

You should expect to pay around $600 for a Vallhund puppy. The cost for this breed is low because he is not popular outside Sweden, so he is rarer than a lot of other breeds. You may have to search hard for a Vallhund breeder.

Personality 🐕

The Vallhund is a herding dog and, even if you won’t be working with him in the fields, your dog will retain a lot of the habits that this requires. He can live in any home or apartment, as long as he is given enough exercise and gets to spend time outdoors. He does enjoy games and is capable of learning. This, combined with his physical attributes, make him suitable for dog agility and other physical classes. He will also enjoy accompanying you on walks and hikes.

This breed can be quite vocal, which means that you will want to train him to limit his vocalization while he is young. This will not only please you but your neighbors as well.

Generally friendly with all people, the Vallhund is good with children, but he will need training to ensure that he isn’t too physical or rough with kids. He may get on with other dogs, but care should be taken introducing him to cats and any smaller animals.

Training 🎾 

Early socialization will help ensure that the breed is not shy, which can happen if he isn’t exposed to new sights, sounds, and experiences when he is a puppy.

Although the Vallhund is intelligent, he is also quite independent. He can be difficult to train, often preferring to try and train himself and developing his own habits. But training is important, especially to prevent his tendency to nip at fast-moving objects. This isn’t an aggressive move on the Vallhund’s part but instead instinct, thanks to his herding history.

You will have to show dominance and be assertive in training. You will also have to be consistent, otherwise, the Vallhund will quickly pick up bad habits. Try to turn training into a bit of a game, and the playful Vallhund will be more likely to pick up new commands and display the temperament you want.

The Vallhund is not considered an ideal dog for new owners because he is not the easiest to train for novice handlers.

Swedish Vallhund
Image credit: Marcel van den Bos, Shutterstock

Health and Care 🏥

Feed your  Vallhund approximately 1.5 cups of good quality food per day. This should be fed over two meals, and adjust your feeding amount according to the activity level of your dog.

With his double coat, the Vallhund can cope with cold weather but does not tend to do well with extreme heat. He will need a good brushing at least once a week, potentially more during shedding season, but he does not require any special trimming or cutting. You will also need to brush his teeth two or three times a week and trim his nails at least every month, depending on how often he is walked on abrasive and hard surfaces.

He is generally considered a healthy breed, which means that veterinarian visits should not be too frequent.

Suitable For: Adaptable, friendly, and personable, the Vallhund can make a good family pet. His tendency to bark, his potential for stubbornness, and his tendency to nip at the heels of children and other animals mean that this breed is not best suited to first-time owners, however.

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Corgi Overview

welsh corgi
Image Credit: Bernard Spragg. NZ, Flickr

The Corgi originates from Wales and his popularity has spread throughout the world. He was bred as a herding dog and used to herd cattle, sheep, and even horses. They would have also been used to complete other tasks on the farm, including hunting and culling rats. They may still have a prey drive and certainly need lots of exercise, but they are intelligent and eager to please their owner. They can make excellent family pets and they are considered good dogs for novice owners. There are two breeds of Corgi, the Cardigan Welsh and the Pembroke Welsh. (Find out their differences here)

A Corgi puppy will usually cost around $1,500. Because this is a purebred breed, you are unlikely to find them in shelters, although the breed’s high energy requirements mean that some owners do give them up.

Personality 🐕

The Corgi is a highly adaptable breed. Although he would prefer a house with plenty of yard space, he will easily adapt to living in an apartment. He does tend to vocalize his feelings, though. This can be endearing when he greets you from work, but it can be a nuisance if he barks at every noise and every shadow that passes the door. It will also annoy the neighbors, so you will want to train him to limit his barking while he is still a puppy.

The Corgi is loving with all family members. He tends to get on well with children, but they should be respectful that he needs his space and he doesn’t want to be poked and prodded. His prey drive means that he will chase after virtually any fast-moving object, whether it’s his toys,  or your child’s toys, your cat, or even the neighbor’s small dog. Ensuring that he gets plenty of exercise will minimize this tendency, but it will always exist so do pay attention when he is off his leash and when he is around small and active children.

Training 🎾 

Intelligent and eager to please, the Corgi is considered easy to train and is suitable for novice owners as well as experienced handlers. He does bark and he does retain some prey drive, but this is not as pronounced as it is in other similar breeds. He also doesn’t tend towards nipping the feet of children, which is a problem with the Vallhund.

Early socialization is advised with any dog and all breeds. It helps teach the dog that new encounters, new people, and new dogs are not to be feared and that new situations should be welcomed. This is true for the Corgi breed as well.

His playfulness means that the Corgi can be trained just as effectively with games as with food and treats. He will take well to agility classes. Don’t let his short legs fool you, he has a serious turn of pace when he feels like it.

corgi in flowers
Credit: Kristina Holovach, Shutterstock

Health and Care 🏥

Your Corgi’s coat is medium in length and easy to brush. He does not require any special trimming or cutting, but he will need you to brush his teeth two or three times a week, and his nails once or twice a month. If your Corgi walks on concrete or other abrasive surfaces, he may not need his nails trimming as frequently.

Although the Corgi is generally considered a healthy dog, you should watch for signs of hip dysplasia, cataracts, retinal dysplasia, and Von Willebrand’s disease, and get him checked out by his veterinarian if he shows symptoms of any of these complaints.

Suitable For: Despite his relatively small stature, the Corgi is an active and energetic dog. He has surprising speed for one with such small legs, but he is easy to train and his prey drive is not as marked as in other herding dogs. He will enjoy his time with all family members, will get along with other house visitors, and will especially enjoy walks and hikes.

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Which Breed is Right for You?

There are many similarities between these two breeds. They look alike, although the Vallhund tends to have darker patches than the Corgi. They are both herding dogs and retain some of the habits required for this work – they are lively, loud, and tend to chase after small animals.

However, the Corgi is considered easier to train and is less likely to race after other animals. He is also less prone to nipping at feet and pant legs and is considered a better choice for first-time owners as well as owners that have families.

The Corgi is more expensive than the Vallhund, typically, because he is in greater demand. This also means, however, that it is easier to find Corgi breeders than it is to find Vallhund breeders. Although both breeds are considered quite healthy, the Corgi is prone to more genetic health complaints than the Swedish herding dog.