Swedish Vallhund vs Corgi – What’s The Difference?

A lot of the breeds that are among the popular family dogs nowadays were bred with totally different intentions in mind, mostly as working dogs.

Two closely connected breeds that fit this mold are Swedish Vallhund and Corgi. There’s a bit of dispute as to how these two are connected.

Corgi breeders claim that Viking raiders took Corgis for the British Isles and brought them to Scandinavia to develop a new breed.

Swedish Vallhund enthusiasts see the things in reverse.

They claim that Vikings brought Vallhund type of dogs with them and some were left in Britain playing the part in the development of the new Corgi breed.

One thing is certain, comparing Swedish Vallhund vs Corgi reveals a lot of similarities between them.

Nevertheless, in this article, I’ll focus on the differences between the two and what makes each breed more suitable for certain owners.

So, let’s dive in!

AttributesSwedish VallhundCorgi
Good For First Time OwnersNoNo
Good Guard DogNoNo
Apartment FriendlyWith Enough ExerciseYes
Good Family DogYesYes
Shedding Moderate To HighModerate
Barking And Howling HighHigh
Height11.5-13.75 inches (29-35 cm)10-12 inches (25-30 cm)
Average Life Expectancy 12-15 Years12-15 Years


Swedish Vallhund – Dog Breed Information

Swedish Vallhund by TS Eriksson (CC BY 3.0)

Swedish Vallhunds, as their name says, hail from Sweden where they were mostly used for herding purposes.

In fact, their name, when translated means “herding” or “shepherd” dog. Initially bred by Vikings, these breed shares a lot of characteristics with their original owners.

They’re hard-working, tireless, alert, and intelligent dogs.


Dogs of this breed are athletic and agile with medium-sized bodies.

At first, they may seem small due to their short legs, but their bodies are more similar to those of larger breeds.

Like most Spitz-type breeds, Swedish Vallhunds have a double coat.

The hair is of medium length and it provided enough protection to keep them warm in harsh North European climate.

The topcoat is coarse while the undercoat is softer and denser.

The coat can vary in color but the base is commonly gray or red with white or sable markings.

The head of a Swedish Vallhund is wedge-shaped with a short and square muzzle. The eyes are dark-brown and oval-shaped while the ears are pointed and medium-sized.

Male Swedish Vallhunds grow up to around 11-14 inches (30-34 cm) and weigh at 19-31 pounds (9-14 kg)/

Females are about the same size and weight as males.


Swedish Vallhunds are great for families. They’re active, curious, confident, and lively dogs willing to engage in all family activities.

Also, they’re very adaptable and capable of living in all sorts of environments as long as they get enough exercise.

This breed loves people and wants to spend as much time with them as possible.

Swedish Vallhunds are very loyal and protective of their humans. They’re rather alert and will notify their owners of any potential danger.

In addition, they’re very vocal and besides alerting you to the danger they will bark just to info you that they’re happy and enjoying their time with you.

They’re also very smart and enjoy being challenged. The Swedes will happily solve any problem and fulfill any task you put in front of them.

They do great with kids but require early socialization to suppress their nipping instincts.

Corgi – Dog Breed Information

Corgis are one of the most famous breeds in the world, mainly thanks to being the favorite breed of the British royal family.

They originate from Wales and two main breed variants are named after the Welsh counties they hail from – Pembroke and Cardigan.


Corgis are rather small but quite sturdy and strong for their size. Their name is derived from Welsh words for “dog” and “dwarf.”

Still, they’re very athletic and agile and more than capable of keeping up with the sheep they used to herd.

The body of a Corgi is covered with a double coat. Similar to other northern breeds, their coat is water-resistant and provides protection against harsh weather conditions.

The soft undercoat keeps them warm while the medium-long topcoat is thick and more coarse.

The most frequent colors are fawn, red, sable, or tan. Some dogs may have white markings.

Due to their pointy muzzles, Corgis have a fox-like appearance. Long bodies and prick ears only contribute to this.

Adult Corgis can be 10-12 inches (25-30 cm) high and weigh 22-31 pounds (10-14 kg).

Female Corgi’s height is in the 10-11 inches (25-28 cm) range and they weigh 24-28 pounds (11-13 kg).


Even though they earned their fame as working dogs, Corgis today are mostly used as family dogs.

Despite their size, they’re rather feisty and courageous. Corgis are fearless and not to be messed with.

However, they have a gentle side to them and are very affectionate, loving, and loyal to their owners.

They cherish time spent with their family and are willing to be a part of group activities whenever possible.

One of the main Corgi traits is their limitless energy. Although they’re small, Corgis are incredibly agile and energetic.

They will have no trouble keeping up even with the most demanding owners when it comes to hikes, bike rides, or runs.

Being smart and willing to learn, Corgis are also fairly easy to train. Still, due to their occasional stubbornness, it’s imperative to start the training early.

They’re rather sensitive, so it’s better to use positive reinforcement than punishment.

Swedish Vallhund vs Corgi – What’s The Difference?

Swedish Vallhund Corgi
Swedish Vallhund by TS Eriksson (CC BY 3.0)

As noted above, Swedish Vallhund and Corgi are closely connected breeds, so they share a lot of common traits.

Both have herding origins but are now mainly used as family dogs. The Swedes are somewhat bigger and require a bit more living space.

Also, they have higher grooming requirements, so Corgis are probably more suitable for people living in small apartments.

The downside is that they bark more which can be an issue depending on the neighborhood.

Both breeds get along great with kids, but you can expect more nipping at the heels from Swedish Vallhunds.

Still, it’s nothing that can’t be solved with early socialization. On the other hand, Corgis are more playful and patient with their little ones.

Each of these breeds has a similar life expectancy of about 12-15 years but Corgis are a bit less prone to dog diseases.

Swedish Vallhund vs Corgi – Which One Is Better?

When it comes to which dog is better for potential owners, there’s not much separating these two breeds.

It mainly comes down to what kind of owner you are.

If this is your first dog, then Corgi is likely a better choice. They’re a bit smarter and easier to train.

Still, Vallhunds are more easy-going and get along better with kids and other animals.

They’re also more friendly towards strangers which is nice but makes them less suitable for guarding duties.

No matter which dog you choose, be aware that you’ll have some work ahead of you. Each one is rather active and requires a lot of exercise.

Of the two, Corgis are probably more laid back and will spend more time sleeping and lying around the house.

Also, you’ll need to invest more time in grooming Swedish Vallhunds and taking care of them.

Authored By

Madeline Wright

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