I love watching dogs at play. I was walking a neighbor’s 2 dogs this morning when I met another neighbor who was out w/ his 2 dogs. It was a stitch watching them interact and horse around (and walking w/in the pack structure was damn satisfying as well.)
You mention also the vallhund (or vastgotaspitz – no umlout on my keyboard). It is sometimes assumed that they may have some joint origin with the similar looking Pembroke corgi and reference is made to ancient trade between Wales and Scandinavia. Others hypothesise that it’s just coincidence. Personally I don’t think i’s entirely coincidence as our western celts are the only British tribes who bred and utilised a spitzlike dog (two if you include the Cardigan variant of the corgi) Also Vikings sailed and plundered a lot down that western coast. I often imagine that possibly the blue eyes and blonde hair of my wife’s family may be due to past contact with either the seventh to ninth century viking ‘visitors’ or the flemings who settled at a later time. They all subsequently adopted Welsh as their language – sadly now a language just hanging on but at last being fairly treated by being taught in all Welsh schools.
The corgi was a useful design for driving cattle on the long walk into England to provide London with meat. They were fattened enroute on the lusher English grass as they went across the border. The Welsh themselves had long been driven west by the partly romanised anglo saxon mercenaries and their descendants once the romans had left to defend Rome. These victorious anglo saxons were content then not to pursue the Welsh further into slavery or extinction largely because the mountainous western part of our island was deemed too infertile, windy and acid for animals and crops to achieve adequate potential.
Incidentally, the corgi cattle dogs evolved partly because their dwarf legs allowed them to duck quickly out of range of flaying hooves. The cattle were justifiably annoyed because those corgis were also selected for their tendency to bite heels to hasten progress of their charges. This heel biting tendency is a reason which now mitigates against the corgi becoming a more favoured pet despite the best efforts of our royal family and others to popularise the pembroke variant.
Three possibilities occur to me: 1) simple convergence based on the need for a dog w/ this conformation & temperament; 2) one people saw value in the conformation & temperament of the other peoples’ dogs and purposely developed the traits independently (really a subset of 1); or 3) there was at one time a close genetic connection but the genetic markers have since been swamped through breeding practices.
Occam’s Razor would suggest #3 as the best answer, but genetic evidence has to be the go-to in the absence of anything more definitive.