Two adorable, short legged, herding dog breeds with similar temperament, those are the Swedish Vallhund and Welsh Corgi.
The similarities of these two breeds are most likely not coincidental. It is believed, that they are closely related, you can say cousins, and that they share their ancestry. Those are pretty old dog breeds, and historians can not agree on the exact ancestry of those two breeds, but it is widely accepted, that either the Swedish Vallhund was brought to Wales or the Corgi was taken to Sweden, hence the similarities between the two breeds.
It is also important to say, that the Welsh Corgi is not only one breed, but there are two different, officially recognized Welsh Corgi breeds – the Pembroke and Cardigan. Again, both are very similar. The main differences are size, their tail and you can also find some differences in their temperament.
But lets go back to comparsion of Swedish Vallhund and Welsh Corgi. They are both herding dogs and they have the typical personality trait of herding dogs, such as alertness, independence, they are quite active and they are very loyal to the herd and to its family.
The Swedish Vallhund lean a little bit more to the Spitz like temperament, while the Corgi is all herder. The Corgi is typically little bit easier to deal with, they are little bit more easy going. On the other hand, the Swedish Vallhund tends to be little bit more alert, independent and focused. It is also reported, that the Corgi tends to be somewhat friendlier towards strangers, but both dogs are extremely friendly and loyal to its family and owners.
Overall, there are not many differences in the temperament of those two dog breeds. Both also share relatively high energy and exercise needs. Daily longer walks, jogs, hikes and playtime sessions are must for both, so they stay healthy and happy.
And what about the differences in the appearance? The Swedish Vallhund is, on average, slightly taller than the Corgi, but the Corgi tends to be little bit heavier and stockier.
Another difference is the coat and color. The Corgi always has short to medium long doublecoat, which is very dense. Swedish Vallhunds may have different coats, some are relatively long, but most commonly they also have medium long doublecoats. Corgis have typically slightly softer and, lets say fluffier coat, than the Vallhund.
Welsh Corgis can be found in almost any color with or without white markings. On the other hand, the Swedish Vallhund is most often found in grey, wolf like color. That is a reason why many people call them as Wolf Corgis. Their fur color varies from grey, greyish brown and greyish yellow to reddish brown, with darker hair on the back, neck, and sides of the body.
Other than that, there are not many differences between these breeds. Both are heavy shedders and they will require a lot of brushing to minimize the shedding. No other grooming is required. Both are also predisposed to similar health issues, which are mainly orthopedic diseases connected to their long spine and short legs. The Vallhund typically lives slightly longer than the Corgi. The average lifespan of Swedish Vallhund is around 14 years, while the average lifespan of Corgi is around 13 years.
Another important difference is the rarity. It is relatively easy to find a good breeder of Welsh Corgi all around the world but it might be almost impossible to find a breeder of Swedish Vallhund in some parts of the world and overall, the Welsh Corgi is much more popular breed.
Overall, both dogs are very similar and if you are looking for a smaller companion dog that is pretty active, always ready for outdoor exercise, playful, but also affectionate and loyal, you will not make a mistake with neither of these two dogs.
Just remember, both can be little bit stubborn, they have herding tendencies, which means they might nip and try to herd other pets or kids and both are pretty independent, which is why they are not total pushovers to train.
The Nenets Herding Laika was developed by Nenets people, also known as Samoyed people and over the time it spread all over the northern parts of Russia, stretching from Kola peninsula to Chukotka. It is believed that they evolved from ancient dogs from paleolithic era and that they are almost unchanged to this day, which would make it one of the oldest breed in the world. But there are no written evidences about the breeds ancestry, so we will never be 100% sure about its history.
2) Reindeer herding
The original and main purpose of the Nenets Herding Laika is herding reindeer. The breed is also sometimes reffered to as Reindeer Laika or Reindeer Spitz. The Nenets people bred these dogs to herd and guard their herds of reindeer and to move them from one pasture to another. They are very tough dogs that can live and
be with the reindeers even in extremely harsh weather conditions. It is also very endurant, alert, loyal and attentive dog with great bark, all very important traits for herding.
3) Almost extinct
For a very long time the breed lived in isolation and it remained pure. But with the industrial and transport progress, it was easier to access the area of Nenets people and other non-native dogs began to intermix with the Nenets Herding Laika population. This lowered the purity of the breed and at the end of Soviet Era, it was believed that there are no pure Nenets Herding Laikas left. Luckily, the pure specimen survived in lower numbers and these dogs were used to save the population of this breed. Today, the breed is still extremely rare, but not on the verge of extinction anymore.
The Nenets Herding Laika is not only a reindeer herder. The word laika is used in russian language to describe all the spitz like hunting dog breeds. And even though the Nenets Herding Laika is less commonly used for hunting, they can still be very good at it. They do have a prey drive and chasing instincts and excellent sense of smell and hearing.
It is believed that Nenets people were not traditionally using Laikas as a sled dogs. But some arctic explorers did use them for sledding and they performed very good. The most famous explorers who used Nenets herding laika for sledding were Alexander Borisov and Fridtjof Nansen.
Of course, this is not only a worker. The Nenets Herding Laika can make good companion pet for active people and families. It is very active, energetic and lively dog, so it is extremely important to provide this dog with plenty of physical and mental exercise. The breed standard describes the Nenets Herding Laika as a dog with lively and agile temper, that is easily trainable, that can be trained different skills and that can be wary of strangers. This is a loyal dog breed that creates a strong bond with its owners. They can happily live with other dogs in the households and they can be good playful partners for kids, but of course, you should never leave any dog breed with a very young child unsupervised. The Nenets Herding Laika is an affectionate, smart, independent, loving and loyal companion.
This is a medium sized, strong and athletic dog breed, with average height between 40-52 cm, which is 15-20 inch and weight between 10-15 kg, which is 22-33 lbs. Females tend to be slightly smaller than males.
8) Coat and color
This dog breed evolved in very cold region, so it is not surprising, that it posses a very dense doublecoat, which is protecting it from harsh climate. The coat comes in two varieties, long and short. The guard hair are stiff, longer and harsh, while the undercoat is very soft. This breed can be solid or bi-colored and the typical colors are grey, red, brown, white, sable and piebald.
Speaking of the coat, it is important to mention grooming and maintenance as well. This breed does shed all year long, more heavily during the shedding seasons. They do not need any special care about the coat, but regular brushing is definitely beneficial to remove all the dead and loose hair. No other grooming is required. Just like with any other dog breed, you should regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
This is usually very healthy and hardy dog breed with average lifespan around 14 or 15 years. There are no scientific studies about the breeds health, but it is not connected with any serious genetic health issues. Of course, some individuals might suffer from joint and bone problems, some eye problems, skin problems, allergies or infections, but is should not be very common.
Can you recognize the Puli, Komondor and Bergamasco apart? All three share similar appearance due to the heavy matted, flocked or coarded coat. But they are all very different dog breeds, with different temperament, utilization, size and there are even important differences in the coat structure.
All three breeds are used to work with livestock, but they are used for different purposes. The Komondor and Puli are Hungarian breeds that most likely came to the area of todays Hungary with migrating Turkic speaking tribe, known as Cumans.
Most often, they worked as partners, where the large, strong and serious minded Komondor was guarding the livestock and it was protecting it from wolves or strangers and the lively, independent and alert Puli was used to herd the livestock. They most often worked with sheeps. So the Komondor is described as guard dog, while the Puli as herding dog.
Than we have the Italian Bergamasco. It is a breed developed in Italian Alps. They probably have ancestry in ancient Persia and they came to the Alps with nomadic people and their herds. Unlike the Puli and Komondor, who worked together and had separated roles in their job, the Bergamasco was doing everything on its own. It is both – herding and guarding dog breed.
Another difference in their utilization is the environement. While the Komondor and Puli most often work on vast plains, the Bergamasco is used to work in harsh mountainous environemnt of the Alps.
Now you know what is the brief history and utilizitaion of all three breeds. Now lets compare them based on their appearance and we will mainly focus on two areas – size and coat. Lets start with the size.
All three breeds were bred for their utilization, so it is only logical, that the herding dog Puli is the smallest, guardian Komondor is largest and Bergamasco, which is both – herder and protector – has size in between them.
The Puli needs to be quick and agile, so it has smaller size. The Komondor must be strong to deter any intruders and predators, so it the largest. Bergamasco is combination of both. But, the Bergamasco is heavier boned and lets say little bit more muscular than the Komondor.
What is connecting these breeds is their unique coat. It is definitely the most distinctive part of their appearance. The Komondor and Puli has the same coat type with the same cording style, but the Bergamascos coat is different. As you can see on this picture, all three breeds are born with soft coat that is not matted yet and they develop the corded coat later in life.
The Komondor and Puli has rope – like corded coat, which can reach the ground when they are few years old. The coat is formed naturally from the soft undercoat and the coarser outer coat combining to form tassels or cords.
The Bergamasco coat is not formed by rope like cords, but it is formed from long matted locks of hair. The Bergamasco coat is unique, as they not only have the wooly undercoat and coarse outercoat like the other two breeds, but they also have something called „goat hair“. The distribution of various hair types over the body is not homogenous. Some areas might be completely without any flocks, while others, especially the rear, will form mats or cords with maturity. The coat is formed by flocks and clumps, rather than cords.
The final form and look of Bergamasco is not as predictable as with Puli and Komondor, because of the variable presence of the goat hair. The Bergamasco has more unkept and unorganized appearance.
The coat of all three breeds have the same purpose. It is providing excellent protection against nature elements like bad weather and also against attacking predators.
Another difference is the color. The Komondor is always white. Puli comes in white, shades of gray, black and rusty black. And the Bergamasco can be gray, merle or black.
So now you know what is the difference in appearance, but there are also important differences in temperament of these breeds.
It is true that all three are independent, reliable, loyal and intelligent dogs. They need to be extremely independent, but also loyal, so they take instruction from its owner, but they must also be able to take action on their own.
The Puli is the most active and is always ready to herd something or someone. Just like majority of herding dogs, they excell at obedience or agility trials. They are always ready for any action, very active and lively.
The Komondor is much more laid back. They are also more territorial and you can see their natural guarding instincts. They are extremely loyal, protecting, but also loving.
And just like with the appearance, the Bergamasco is once again somewhere in the middle. Definitely not so active as Puli, but also not so laid back as Komondor, even though it is very relaxed breed. They also have protective instincts and may wary of strangers, but they accept the stranger faster and easier than the Komondor.
The Berger de Savoie is a dog breed from Southeast France and from local Savoie Alps, where it was used for centuries as a skilled all around farm dog, good at guarding the cows, shepherding, as draft dog or as search dog. It is a very versatile dog breed.
There is not much documentation about the origin and ancestry of the breed, but it is mostly believed, that the breed evolved as a result of natural selection and by adapting to local mountainous envirnoment and lately to its guarding utilization. It evolved in very isolated geographical region and different types of this breed evolved over the time, based on a mountain valley, where they lived.
The breed was virtually unknown outside the Savoie region for a very long time and the breed was rediscovered in 1940s. Sadly, the numbers of the breed declined a lot in 20th century due to different reasons, such as decline in farming, import of foreign breeds or crossbreeding with other breeds.
Since 2002 group of fanciers, dog enthusiasts, farmers and veterinarians are working together to restore the population of this breed. But today, it is still a very very rare breed.
The Berger de Savoie is a medium to large sized dog breed with height around 21 inch, which is 53 cm and weight around 60 lbs, which is 27 kg. It is a muscular and athletic dog breed, typically with half-perked ears, broad head and tapered and longer muzzle.
The breed evolved in mountainous environment, so it is not surprising that it has a very dense doublecoat, which is providing good protection against cold and bad weather. The coat does not need any special maintenance, but it does shed some deal of fur all year long, so regular brushing is recommended to minimize the shedding. No other grooming is required.
The Berger de Savoie is known for its beautiful mottled color. The breed can be either merle, black and tan, sable and tricolor, all with with or without white markings and patches.
And what about the temperament of this breed? It is a hardy working, endurant and energetic dog breed that needs a lot of daily exercise to stay in good shape, healthy and happy.
The breed creates extremely strong bond with its owner and family. It is very loyal and sensitive breed, affectionate and attached to its master.
On the other hand, it is also pretty protective, alert, vigilant and tough dog. They must be like this, to be good at their original purpose. But they should never be agressive without a reason. It is also a very intelligent breed that can easily learn all the basic obedience commands.
These dogs should not have higher prey drive, so they can typically live with other household pets. They can also be good playful and loyal partners for kids, but of course, you should never leave any dog breed with a very young child unsupervised.
The average lifespan of this breed is around 13 or 14 years, but because of its rarity, there are no studies and reports about the breeds health. It should usually be hard and healthy dog, which does not suffer much from any hereditary health issues.
The Bull Terrier and Miniature Bull Terrier are two extremely similar and closely related dog breeds. For a very long time, they belonged to the same collective breed, but recently, in 1990s, they were recognized as two separate breeds by the AKC.
Many people believe, that the Miniature Bull Terrier is a downsized version of the Bull Terrier, but that is not true. In reality, the first Bull Terriers that were developed in 19th century England were about the same size as the modern day Mini Bull Terrier. Some breeders wanted to increase the size of this breed, so they crossed it with a Spanish Pointer and possibly some other breeds, which resulted in modern day Bull Terrier.
So indeed, the Miniature Bull Terrier pre-dates the „standard“ Bull Terrier and it is the older breed.
So as you can see, these two dogs are extremely closely related together, and even the American Kennel Club say, that except the size, these dogs are almost identical in every other aspect, including appearance, temperament and maintenance.
It is true, that on a single photo, it is impossible to say, if it is a Miniature or Standard Bull terrier. You can only see the difference, when they stand next to each other, just like on this photo. The average height of the Mini Bull Terrier is between 10-14 inch, which is 25-35 cm and height of Bull Terrier is typically somewhere around 21 or 22 inch, which is 53 to 55 cm. Breed standards do not say anything about the weight, but it should be proportional to the body.
There is no other real difference in the appearance of these two dog breeds. They both have the typical egg shaped head, muscular body, triangular ears and both come in wide spectrum of colors.
The temperament of these two breeds is also identical. Both breeds are described as energetic and lively, courageous, full of spirit and with fun loving attitude. They are very friendly with its family, but if socialized properly, they are friendly with almost everyone. Some might be independent and kind of stubborn, which is the main reason why they are not the perfect fit for unexperienced dog owners. They are perfect family dogs, as they typically absolutely love children and they are devoted to the whole family. This description applies to both breeds and there really is not difference between the temperament of Miniature Bull Terrier and Bull Terrier.
Of course, the Miniature Bull Terrier is little bit more manageable, as they need little bit less of exercise and they can live in smaller space. But they are still active dogs, neither of those breeds are coach potatoes, but it is true that the larger Bull Terrier needs little bit more exercise.
Both breeds are also very easy to maintain, as they do not need almost any grooming at all. You should only brush the coat from time to time to keep it in best possible condition. And thats it, no other grooming is required.
In conclusion, there really is not much difference except the size in those two breeds. So if you are choosing between them, you should only look at the size. If you prefer smaller dog, than go for Miniature Bull Terrier, but if you like medium sized breeds, than go for the normal Bull Terrier.
The breed was developed in 17th century in historical swedish province Smaland. They are descendants of various European Hounds from Germany, Poland and Baltic regions, that were brought back to Sweden with returning Swedish soldiers. These dogs naturally cross with each other and later, they were also crossed with local swedish spitz like farm dog, which created the foundation stock for the Smalandsstovare.
The Smalandsstovare was mainly bred by swedish farmers as all around hunting dog breed, specialized on hunting hare and fox, but also squirrels, birds or even large game such as moose. Farmers could not afford more hunting dogs, which is why the Smaland Hound was trained to be independent hunter and they were not used to hunt in packs. This dog is using its strong sense of smell, deep voice and high endurance on the hunt, as well as its high prey drive and chasing instinct. Overall, it is very good hunting breed.
3) Not a Rottweiler
Due to a similar coloration, the Smaland Hound is often times mistaken with Rottweiler or Doberman, but this breed has no links to these two dogs. They are much smaller than the Rottweiler and they have much slimmer face and the similarities are purely accidental and this truly is completely separate dog breed.
Of course, this is not only a hunter, but also amazing lively, loyal and intelligent companion dog. They are very playful and affectionate dogs that create very strong bond with its owner and family and they tend to be very protective over their loved ones. On the other hand, they are known to be suspicious and alert around strangers, but they should never be agressive without a reason. Unlike many other hounds, these dogs were not used to work in large packs, which is why they do not need company of other dogs, but of course, they can be socialized to live with other dogs. Other household pets might be little bit more problematic, because of the high prey drive of Smaland Hound. The Smalandsstovare can be good playful partners for kids as well, but of course, they should never be left with a very young child unsupervised.
It is important to say that the Smalandsstovare is only suitable as companion pet for active owners and families. They are used to hunt all day long and they need some form of mental and physical exercise to stay healthy and happy and in good shape. It is absolutely essential to provide this dog with long daily walks, jogs, hikes, playtime, fun training session, etc. Otherwise they might become bored and possibly develop some unwanted behaviour such as destruction.
The Smalandsstovare is a muscular, robust, but still very athletic dog breed with almost square shaped body. The average height is typically between 41-53 cm, which is 16-21 inch and weight between 15-20 kg, which is 33-44 lbs. Females are naturally slightly smaller than males.
7) Coat and color
The coat of Smaland Hound is in medium length and it is very coarse to touch. The coat is lying very close to the body and it is very shiny and straight. It is a doublecoated dog. The most common color is black and tan, but the markings can range in color from shades of amber to a reddish brown.
The dense doublecoat of Smalandsstovare sheds some deal of fur all year long, more heavily during shedding seasons. Regular brushing is ideal to remove all the loose and dead hair and minimize the shedding. No other grooming is required. Just like with any other dog breed, you should regularly check the dogs ears, eyes, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
For a long time, this breed was bred for purpose, rather than for appearance. Farmers needed a hunting dog and they did not care how it looked. That is why the Smaland Hound came in variety of sizes, colors or different tail types even at the end of 19th century. 19Th century is a date, when selective breeding was put into practice and when the Smaland Hound as we know it today was created. Today, the breed is recognized in many kennel clubs around the world. Next to the swedish kennel club, it is officially recognized by the FCI, UKC or CKC.
The average lifespan of this breed is around 13 or 14 years and it is not linked with any serious genetic health issues. Overall, this is very healthy and hardy breed. They can still suffer from typical doggy health issues like some allergies, infections, eye problems or joint problems, but none of these health issues should not be extremely common in this dog breed.