Swedish Vallhund vs Black Norwegian Elkhound - Breed Comparison

Swedish Vallhund vs Black Norwegian ElkhoundSwedish Vallhund is originated from Sweden but Black Norwegian Elkhound is originated from Norway. Swedish Vallhund may grow 15 cm / 5 inches shorter than Black Norwegian Elkhound. Swedish Vallhund may weigh 6 kg / 13 pounds lesser than Black Norwegian Elkhound. Both Swedish Vallhund and Black Norwegian Elkhound has same life span. Swedish Vallhund may have more litter size than Black Norwegian Elkhound. Swedish Vallhund requires Moderate maintenance. But Black Norwegian Elkhound requires Low maintenance

Basic Information

Herding dogs
Herding dogs
Height Male:
30 - 34 cm
11 - 14 inches
44 - 49 cm
17 - 20 inches
Height Female:
30 - 34 cm
11 - 14 inches
43 - 46 cm
16 - 19 inches
Weight Male:
9 - 14 kg
19 - 31 pounds
16 - 20 kg
35 - 45 pounds
Weight Female:
9 - 14 kg
19 - 31 pounds
16 - 19 kg
35 - 42 pounds
Life Span:
12 - 15 Years
12 - 15 Years
Litter Size:
4 - 10
4 - 6
Medium dog
Medium dog
Other Names:
Västgötaspets, Swedish cow dog
Norsk Elghund Svart Norsk Elghund Black Black Elkhound Norwegian Moose Dog (black)
Colors Available:
Cream, grey, brown
Medium length, thick
Dense, short double coat
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Docile, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Quiet, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Alert, Curious, Intelligent, Loyal, Stubborn
Moderate maintenance
Low maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:


swedish vallhundKnown also as the Västgötaspets or Swedish cow dog, the Valhund hails from Sweden. It’s a herding dog, and was always a farm dog in that country.

It was in 1943 that the dog was first recognized as a breed by the Swedish Kennel Club. Only later, in 1996, did the American Kennel Club start registering the breed.

black norwegian elkhoundThe Black Norwegian Elkhound was first bred in Norway in the early part of the 19th century as a smaller version of the Grey Norwegian Elkhound. The Black version is a Spitz and is very seldom seen anywhere in world but Norway. He is designed for the same job that the Grey Norwegian Elkhound performed. The difference is that the Black Norwegian is smaller, easier to see in the snow and ice of Norway and smaller than the Grey. It is a hunter, a herder, a guard dog and a watch dog. Because of the temperatures in Norway it was very important to have a hunting dog that was able to deal with the cold, the snow and the heavy fall rains in Norway and Scandinavia. The Black Norwegian Elkhound is a powerful and prideful dog. Much more so than the grey, he is independent and strongminded. It is highly intelligent and is one of the most ancient of breeds. He is more durable and more quarrelsome than his cousin the Grey Norwegian Elkhound or the more familiar Swedish Elkhound.

Ancestors of the Black date back to the first days human kind went hunting around 4000-5000BC. There have been skeletons of dogs very much like the Black Norwegian Elkhound found that dated back to that time period. They hunted and guarded for the Vikings and pulled sleds as well. They hunted deer, moose, badger, elk, mountain lions, bears, wolves, lynx, rabbit and reindeer. They are trackers who hold their quarry at bay by barking until the hunter can find them. Today they serve as loved family pets and guard dogs. In a National Emergency the leader of Norway can call up all the privately-owned elkhounds of any kind and assign them to work in a variety of sledding duties. Within the FCI, the Black Norwegian Elkhound is classified as a primitive Nordic hunting dog.


swedish vallhund puppyLooking much like a cross between a Corgi and the German Shepherd, the Swedish Valhund is a medium sized dog that stands between 30 and 34cm in height and weighs between 9 and 14kg.

His medium length weather-resistant coat is available in wolf like shades – cream, grey, brown etc. The tail can be long or bobbed and the medium sized ears are held erect.


Intelligent, confident, independent, alert, playful and active, your Swedish Valhund promises to make a good family pet.

You'll need to be an active, outdoor type of family though, as he isn’t a couch potato type of dog, snoozing in front of the TV.

He wants to be up and about going on long walks or playing ball games that give him a good run. If he gets his fair share of exercise he can adapt to life in the city or the countryside.

He is intelligent too and will respond well to training and socialization.

He just loves his human family and wants to be constantly with them. He won’t do well if you just keep him locked outside away from everyone. He is social, alert innovative and entertaining as well as being a good guard dog.

black norwegian elkhound puppyThe Black Norwegian Elkhound is a short compact Spitz with dark eyes and a curly tail. It is the coat that sets this dog apart. It is an all-weather coat suitable for the cold, the snow and the rain of Norway. Ears are pointed and erect while the head is wedged and broad. His head is almost like that of a wolf. Its body is strong and compact. Its coat is coarse, short and double. He has a broad black nose with a straight bridge and with black lips and dark brown oval eyes. His legs and withers are strong boned and powerful with well padded feet to protect it from the freezing temperatures of Scandinavia.

Health Problems

swedish vallhund dogCapable of living a long, healthy life, the Swedish Valhund isn’t likely to fall victim to some of the many dog illnesses there are, and yet it is wise to be alert to some of them that he could get.

One of these is an hereditary eye disease known as retinopathy. Its where there is degeneration of the retinal photoreceptor cells. This eye disease can lead to blindness.  

You need to be careful with this pet of yours, because with his long back and short legs he can so easily hurt his back if he leaps off a bed or high chair.

Whenever you pick this dog up, always support his legs and back. Don’t pick them up without supporting both the front legs and the rear end.

black norwegian elkhound dogThe Black Norwegian Elkhound is a strong and hardy dog, though he is susceptible to some of the problems many breeds face. These include issues with luxating patella, optical entropion, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and Fanconi syndrome. The most serious of these is the Fanconi Syndrome which is an abnormal functioning in the tubules of the kidneys. This can be a life-threatening situation.

Caring The Pet

swedish vallhund puppiesTry and feed your Swedish Valhund two meals a day instead of just one, so that he doesn’t gobble down his food too quickly.

Your dog can be prone to obesity, so you have to be careful with the way you feed him. Overfeeding a dog packs on extra weight and this puts strain on the joints.

Apart from the dry kibble that you feed him, try to include some tasty, nutritious homemade food such as boiled chicken, brown rice or pasta, sweet potatoes, carrots and spinach.

This can all be chopped up and added to his dry kibble. Some raw meat added to the diet can only be to his benefit. Remember to always ensure a bowl of fresh, cool water is available.

General Care:

Give his thick coat a brush twice a week to remove dead hair. Brushing also stimulates the sebaceous glands that produces oil which gives the coat is sheen.

Open his mouth and check for rotting teeth which can be painful for him.

Trim his nails because left long, they can hook onto things and rip the skin open.

Check inside the ears too for redness which could mean an ear infection.You get dog wipes that you can wipe the ear out with. There are always professional dog groomers who can do these chores for you if you don't want to.

See that his vaccines are up to date and that if he shows signs of illness, you get him to the vet.

black norwegian elkhound puppiesThis is an energetic active dog, or she should be. Feed her high nutritious food twice a day. Do not overfeed.

The most potentially troublesome health issue is Fanconi Syndrome. This kidney disorder can impact the of the body’s absorption of electrolytes, water and nutrients. These nutrients include Sodium, Potassium, Glucose, Phosphate, Amino Acids and Phosphate

The Black Norwegian Elkhound loves to play, and they love to work. Exercise is vital, but it must be one of those two things – play or work. Don’t leave him alone to figure it out for himself or you wont like what this intelligent dog decides to do. She needs a large yard, a long walk daily but jogging with you is even better. Make him heel when on leash or he will think he oversees you. These are roaming dogs who will follow a scent anywhere and ignore your commands for her to come to you. They are better off on a leash unless you are in a dog park or a fenced yard.

The Black Norwegian Elkhound is great at all dog athletics, games and sports such as agility, rally obedience, flyball, tracking, herding.


swedish vallhund dogsYour Swedish Valhund is such a confident, independent dog and he promises to be a loving, faithful pet. He's also alert and will let you know if strangers are approaching his property.

He is a calm, easy going pet and is capable of adapting to quiet or noisy homes. He may be quite a strange looking dog, but he's got a whole lot of loving to give.

black norwegian elkhound dogsThis dog was made for families. He loves children and is not a one person dogs. He gets attached to everyone in the family. However, he is smart and stubborn. He loves to join in with whatever the family is doing but he does it to please himself not his owner. He loves, loves, loves to play and has the stamina to do so all day long. He is agile, bold, independent, strong, curious and loyal. His loyalty can be territorial, and he can become protective of his home and his family. This makes him an excellent watchdog until your friends come to visit and he won’t let them in the house. You need a high fence to keep him safe in your own yard and away from strangers and even guests till he gets to know them.He tends to be dominant and aggressive with other dogs. They also have strong hunting instincts.

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