Wendy had admired this breed for several years but had no immediate thoughts of owning one. As her interest grew, she spent time at shows watching the dogs and talking to breeders and owners in order to gain more knowledge. The docking of tails, that was allowed in the UK until quite recently, was a rather alien concept having owned a breed that is totally natural for over 40 years. However, the Breed Standard in the UK has been changed in order to allow for dogs with no tail, a natural bob tail to full tails to be shown. Sweden has, of course, banned tail docking since 1989.

In 2003, I made contact with Anita Whitmarsh of the Svedala Kennels in Sweden to ask if she could help me find a puppy of good breeding. Following her suggestion, I contacted Lucia Wikmark of the Kopparås Kennels and Kopparås Freyia joined our team at the end of that year. I took Freyia to our house in Norway where she got to know me and the Norwegian Elkhounds before being ready to enter the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme.

Freyia is grey and has a full tail. It was amusing to see the puzzled look on peoples’ faces when I was walking her whilst she was a puppy with the Norwegian Elkhounds. Their first thought was that she’s a Norwegian Elkhound puppy and, upon second glance, decided that something didn’t appear quite right. She was, of course, longer in body and shorter on the leg and curiosity would get the better of them and they had to ask, “Is she a Norwegian Elkhound puppy?”

As time passed my affection for the breed grew and in 2005 Kopparås Krister av Naraena joined us. He is not mistaken for a Norwegian Elkhound due to his colour and lack of a tail. Thanks to meeting Lucia, who has become a very special friend, and getting to know many other Västgötaspets enthusiasts in Sweden, we decided to make our home there in 2007.

The Västgötaspets will always be our second breed because we cannot visualize ourselves being without a Norwegian Elkhound having owned them for 40 years. However, sadly one does not get any younger and a smaller breed is perhaps more appealing, although one should never under-estimate the power of this breed as they are all muscle and can work or run on the farm or in the forest for hours. Their working ability is regularly demonstrated in Sweden where many are working farm dogs herding cattle amongst other animals.


Enjoy the song The Swedish Vallhund by Nancy Simmonds -  Musical Tails whilst visiting this page

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