Breeding goals and guidelines as established in RAS (breedspecific breeding strategy)* 2019-09-07
Overall breeding goals
The breeding of the Swedish Vallhund is above all focused on keeping the breed healthy, natural, fertile, with good herding instinct, stable mentality, allround working qualities and as a well functional family member.
Priorities for the breed
SKV finds it of utmost importance to maintain all of the breed’s typical attributes and not change nor refine it, neither its exterior nor its mentality. We have an old canine heritage to maintain. The breed is healthy. Many Swedish Vallhunds live to be 13-14 years or older with maintained vitality. SKV strives for the breed to remain the healthy, robust and natural dog it always has been; that is, a breed without exaggerations.
1. Health and genetic diversity
A healthy constitution with high durability and longevity (healthy, mobile, strong and robust). Natural reproductive functions (dogs with normal sex drive without over-exaggerated aggressiveness towards other dogs, bitches with regular heat cycles and willingness to mate). Instinctive bitches (bitches without problems taking care of and raising her puppies). Breeding focused on maintaining genetic diversity is crucial for maintaining health and good reproductive abilities within the breed.
Lively and attentive (not too intense). Fearless (with no tendency towards shyness or fearfulness, not overly bound to its owner). Sober (able to relax between tasks).
3. Working qualities
Lively and attentive (not too intense). Interested in independent work (taking initiative). Able to concentrate (at specific tasks). Mobile and durable (ability to move effortlessly in different gaits for a long period of time – not heavy or clumsy). Herding instinct (interest in herding).
4. Appealing exterior
Corresponding a good or very good result of breeding; quality grade excellent, very good or good at a dog show or type at an exterior description.
In order to maintain the breed’s health for future generations, a wide genetic diversity is necessary, with a wide spread of genes in the population. A wide gene pool is vital in small breeds. Many individuals are required in the breeding of the Swedish Vallhund, with an equal number of dogs and bitches. One should strive towards further breeding on as many different offspring from one stud dog or brood bitch as possible, and avoid that one individual offspring becomes dominant in the following generations; instead using a sibling or an entirely different dog/bitch.
The goals are achieved by:
– using many different blood lines
– avoiding to mate closely related individuals
– not having more than one average-sized litter from the same combination
– neither dogs nor bitches should have more than approximately 20 offspring or 4 litters (whichever comes first)
– neither dogs nor bitches should have more than 80 grandchildren
– all breeding animals should have known HD-status (hip joint dysplasia-result from x-ray screening). Average HD-index for litters born should be at least 100. The majority of combinations should have an average index over 100.
– to preserve the stub tail gene, one individual in each combination is recommended to have a natural stub tail
– It’s forbidden to mate two stub tailed individuals in many countries. SKV doesn’t consider there to be sufficient evidence that this ban is required. SKV does, however, recommend that an individual with no tail at all should not be mated with another stub tailed individual, just to be safe.
– Good sex drive and reproductive abilities within the breeding stock is essential. Natural matings, where the dog and bitch can manage the act on their own, is desirable. Individuals with recurrent movement disorders, birthing difficulties, poor health status (e.g. under regular medication) or other constitutional weaknesses should not be bred.
– participation in offspring evaluations should be encouraged, above all SKV’s exterior description and herding test, as well as BPH/mentality evaluation.
* all breeds must have a breedspecific breeding strategy within the Swedish Kennel Club, stating the current situation of the breed, future goals and a strategy for how to reach said goals.