The Swedish Vallhund – fit for agility!


We’ve collected our breeder’s stories in our new Breeder Blog, and here you can read about the different experiences of breeding, the different breeds of dogs and cats plus some top tips from our members.

IMG_3519 - Copy

One member of the Agria Breeder Club, Stella Coombes, kindly shared with us an update on her recent litter of Swedish Vallhunds and some key tips for training your Vallhund in agility.

Stella, who was brought up in a family with dogs, has been a breeder since the late 1970’s and has owned several breeds including German Shepherd Dogs and Japanese Akitas. It was not until later, however, that she first got introduced to the Swedish Vallhund.

 “I first met a Swedish Vallhund in 1990 when I was breeding and showing Hunters, and I completely fell in love with them. I have now owned them for more than 15 years and have even written books about the breed” says Stella.

Stella continued breeding Vallhunds and now issues Kennel Club Pet Insurance 5 Weeks Free insurance with all her litters. She has also been successful in the show ring with her dogs, and for the past 5 years she has been busy with her new favourite activity; agility!

Training the Swedish Vallhund for agility

pups 2nd day out 056

Training a dog for agility is all about knowing your breed and what works best for them. According to Stella, the Swedish Vallhund absolutely love agility and are quite easy to train because of their speed and desire to please.

Stella says, “You do need to have a sense of humour with the Vallhund, because they are very clever at changing sides if you take your eyes off them!”

Vallhunds may be great dogs for Agility, but Stella points out a couple of things owners should be aware of when training them:

“One thing to keep in mind is that you cannot train Vallhunds like you train, for example, Border Collies. You can send a Border Collie over a set of jumps, or through the weaves over and over again, and they will just carry on doing it.

If you do that with a Vallhund they will most likely start doing it wrong. In a Vallhund’s eyes, if they have done something two or three times correctly, and you keep making them do the same thing, they will think it is wrong and therefore change what they are doing”.

Get into it!

Stella recommends anyone to try out agility as it is great fun for both dog and owner, and everyone can start, no matter what your experience level.

The great thing about agility (other than the fact that it’s much cheaper than showing and a lot of fun) is if you knock a jump down, miss a jump or get the course wrong, everyone can see it and those rules are quite clear. It’s very different from the showing world!”

If you’d like to know more about agility or wish to attend shows, you can have a look at our scheduled events for 2016 at


The new generation!

Stella and her Vallhund, Teija, welcomed a litter of puppies to the world in December 2015 and kindly sent us some photos of the lovely pups.


“This is Teilja’s first litter, and I’m proud to say she has done so well and has had 6 lovely puppies, 4 girls and 2 boys. They are growing very fast and I am very pleased with them so far.

I am hoping to keep a girl from this litter for showing and to enhance to my breeding lines for the future”.

We wish Stella the best of luck with the litter and with all future breeding and agility activities!

Teija’s litter is leaving for their new homes with 5 Weeks Free insurance cover from Kennel Club Pet Insurance in place and a great start in life. Make sure you cover your litter too; read more about our 5 Weeks Free insurance here.

Do you wish to be featured in our Breeder Blog? Send us a photo or story about your pet or litter at