Alaskan Klee Kai

Huskies are beautiful but for some, they’re just too big! Check out the Alaskan Klee Kai, one of the newest dog breeds, and the answer to finding a small lookalike Husky!

alaskan klee kai lying on grass and leaves

Height: Standard up to 13 inches, Miniature 15.17.5 inches, Toy 13-15 inches
Weight: Standard 7-11 kilos, Miniature 4.5-8 kilos, Toy 3-5 kilos
Lifespan: 13-16 years
Pedigree? (registered with the KC?): No, this breed is not registered with the Kennel Club.

Positives and Negatives

Check out the pros and cons of the Alaska Klee Kai below:

Pros:

  • Hardly sheds and easy to groom
  • Ideal watchdog
  • Easy to train
  • Adaptable to changes of environment and living spaces

Cons:

  • Not a hypoallergenic breed
  • Prone to separation anxiety
  • May wander off on an exploration
  • Very vocal

blue eyed alaskan klee kai

Overview

The Alaskan Klee Kai is essentially what many describe as a mini Alaskan Husky. They’re known to have fewer needs and are a lot less demanding than the bigger Husky types.

This adorable-looking pooch is a member of the Spitz family. A group of dogs categorized by their thick, mostly white fur, curly tail, pointy ears, and muzzle.

This breed will become deeply attached to its owner. They won’t be able to be left alone regularly as the Alaskan Klee Kai is prone to separation anxiety.

Smaller versions of the breed are more reliant upon their owners compared to the Standard variety.

The Klee Kai size varies from small to medium. An ideal choice for those looking for a smaller version of the Husky. This breed is one of the newest recognized and can be found in sizes Standard, Miniature, and Toy.

The difference in size is by height not weight.

Although the Klee Kai sheds minimally, they are not hypoallergenic. Meaning they won’t be an ideal breed choice for allergy sufferers. These canines aren’t prone to weight gain which is unsurprising due to their energetic nature.  and are low droolers.

The term ‘couch potato’ would not be an ideal way to describe the Alaskan Klee Kai. This pooch has a lot of energy and needs an owner that loves the outdoors, just as much as they do!

Agility is a sport the Alaskan Klee Kai thrives in. They make excellent competitors!

alaskan klee kai in woods

History

The Alaskan Klee Kai originates from Wasilla, Alaska. The breed was developed by Linda Spurlin in the 1970s to create a smaller version of the popular Alaskan Husky.

Her inspiration derived from Oklahoma after she spotted a Miniature Alaskan Husky.

Alaskan Klee Kais share a similar genetic background to the Alaskan Malamute and the Siberian Husky. Other dogs included in the genetic pool also include Schipperke, Alaskan Husky, and the Alaskan Eskimo dog.

Ms. Spurlin created a strict breed standard and eventually began selling Alaskan Klee Kai puppies in 1987.

A decade later Linda Spurlin retired from breeding and other enthusiasts took over. Originally this breed was known as the Klee Kai, but this was changed to Alaskan Klee Kai in 1995 to pay homage to their native land.

Klee derives from Eskimo Dialect and means ‘small dog’.

In 1997 the United Kennel Club recognized the breed, unlike the AKC and KC. However, the AKC does allow spayed and neutered Alaskan Klee Kais to sign up for the AKC Canine Partners Program.

This allows the dogs to compete in events such as agility competitions where they can also win titles.

Personality

Energetic, loving, playful, agile curious, and just adorable! The Alaskan Klee Kai makes an excellent companion but they’ll need a dedicated owner that has time for them.

Ideally, an owner with experience would be better suited. To members in their household, the Klee Kai will bond closely showing their affection and loyalty.

alaskan klee kai looking up

 

Naturally, this canine has the instinct to roam, so they should be kept on a leash at all times. Alaskan Klee Kais are at times vocal and will make their feelings known, although they are slightly quieter than huskies.

Always on the alert, the Klee Kai makes a fantastic watchdog.

Recommended: Smooth Fox Terriers were one of the first varieties of Fox Terriers to be established as their own breed. Learn all about them in this guide.

Is the Alaskan Klee Kai Good with Strangers?

Whilst they may look super cute, these canines don’t take well to strangers. They’re suspicious and reserved but for this reason, they make excellent watchdogs. Some Alaskan Klee Kais won’t even let a stranger pet them! Even with socialization, some dogs will still be wary around a person they don’t know.

Is the Alaskan Klee Kai Good with Children?

Alaskan Klee Kais are better suited to a household with older children. This pooch loves being the center of attention and thrives off interactive games. Younger children may irritate the Alaskan Klee Kai so play should always be supervised. This breed may nip in retaliation.

Is the Alaskan Klee Kai Ok with Other Dogs?

Yes, these canines get along well with other dogs, given the right socialization during puppyhood. Cats can live alongside the Klee Kai if they have been raised together. Due to their high prey drive introducing a cat during their older years could be dangerous.

Exercise

A standard Alaskan Klee Kai should receive up to an hour and a half of exercise daily. Miniature and toy varieties should receive between 45 minutes to an hour daily.

Be careful not to overexert Klee Kai puppies by splitting their daily activity needs into multiple walks across the day.

These dogs were bred as companions, as opposed to the Siberian Husky who is an active working dog. For this reason, they won’t require as much mental stimulation.

Due to this breeds high prey drive, they should only be exercised off-leash in enclosed spaces. Many owners find they can’t trust their Klee Kai off-leash.

alaskan klee kai on snow

Recommended next: The Xoloitzcuintli (pronounced Show-low-itz-queent-ly) is one of the most ancient dog breeds of the Americas. Read our guide to find out about this breed.

Health

Find out the breed-related health conditions of the Alaskan Klee Kai below:

  • Factor VII Deficiency- This is an inherited blood clotting disorder. Symptoms include easy bruising and excessive bleeding. A lack of Factor VII protein is the cause.
  • Juvenile Cataracts- This describes a cataract (opacity in the lens) that has formed before or shortly after birth.
  • Patella Luxation- Luxating is another word for dislocation. A luxating patella is a kneecap that temporarily dislocates out of position, before quickly returning to normal.
  • Pyometra- Hormonal changes in a female dog’s urinary tract can result in a womb infection. This condition is common in unneutered female canines.
  • Hypothyroidism- An underactive thyroid will cause weight gain, lethargy, hair loss, intolerance to the cold, and flaky skin. It is a common endocrine disease.

Intelligence & Training

The Alaskan Klee Kai puppy is incredibly eager to learn and please, making training that little bit easier. This breed is food motivated so always keep a treat to hand to prevent distraction.

Just like the Husky, these canines are highly intelligent and may bore easily through repetition.

Klee Kais’ can be sensitive, although it is more common amongst the smaller varieties of the breed. For this reason, training should be focused on positive reinforcement.

Harsh training may upset the Klee Kai, resulting in a reduction in their interaction with training.

Housebreaking is mostly simple, provided an owner is consistent. Owners that live in an apartment will need to go outdoors every few hours to allow toilet breaks.

brown alaskan klee kai

Those with gardens may conquer housebreaking quicker, but overall they’re a fast learner.

Barking is a way the Klee Kai communicates with their owner. Although it isn’t known to be excessive as other breeds. Owners will certainly benefit from teaching this pooch the ‘Quiet’ command.

As easy as they learn commands, they can pick up bad habits just as quickly.

Socialization with strangers is deeply important for a Klee Kai. It will take a lot of work and daily interaction for them to even become accepting of strangers.

Group puppy classes are one way of helping them interact with new people. Give them a reward whenever they are being nice to strangers.

Recommended: Saved from extinction in the 1940s, this cute canine has certainly made a comeback! Read all about the Swedish Vallhund in today’s guide!

Grooming

This breed should never be shaven. Their fur has the ability to keep them cool in warmer temperatures. Dogs that live in colder climates will have a thicker undercoat.

They shed moderately and coat colors generally consist of black and white, grey and white, and red and white.

Brush through the coat thoroughly once a week to remove any debris. A pin brush or metal grooming rake would be the most ideal tool to use. When the Klee Kai blows out their coat twice a year, weekly brushing should be increased.

alaskan klee kai on maple leaves

Alaskan Klee Kais pick up the dirt rather quickly therefore, they should be given a bath every 4-6 weeks. Washing anymore frequently can be damaging to the skin.

Grooming can be introduced as early as 3 months of age and is a great way to bond.

Ears will need to be cleaned once every week. Claws will need to be trimmed every fortnight, although daily activities may file them naturally.

Teeth should be brushed at least three times a week, although vets do recommend this is done daily.

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