Zeppelin is a Swedish Vallhund who was born on July 3rd 2018. He lives in Christchurch, New Zealand with his humans and four cat siblings.
Zeppelin is not part Corgi, or part Husky, or part German Shepherd—he is all Swedish Vallhund!
Swedish Vallhunds, or Västgötaspets, are an ancient breed, dating back to the 8th or 9th century. They were used in Sweden to herd cows—being low to the ground, they could nip at the hocks of cattle. They were almost extinct in the 1940s before being carefully bred and brought back to popularity. They were first brought to New Zealand in the 1970s, however they are still a relatively uncommon sight with only around half a dozen breeders in New Zealand.
Vallhunds grow to around 11-14kg and about 30-35cm at the withers. Half the breed are born with a stub tail—this is a genetic feature of the breed, their tails are not docked! They have an average lifespan of around 15 years.
Swedish Vallhunds are considered one of the easiest dogs to train—they are highly intelligent, fiercely loyal, and want to please. However, they do have a stubborn streak! They like having something to do and thrive doing agility and obedience. They are prone to barking, so need redirectional training to learn when barking is and isn't appropriate. They also have a tendency to nip at heels due to their breeding and history as cattle dogs, which must be trained out of them.