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Alaskan Klee Kai – The Ultimate Guide To The Mini Husky Breed

Alaskan Klee Kai are a small breed that started in Alaska in the 1970s. Often described as mini huskies, the Alaskan Klee Kai are little sled dogs with big personalities. They were bred to be companion-sized pets so Alaskan Klee Kai love the company of humans. They're a highly intelligent breed that have a mischievous streak.

The Alaskan Klee Kai is breed that is often confused with a mini Husky or a Pomsky. These little dogs have striking eyes and beautiful coat colors like the Alaskan Huskies and Siberian Huskies. The former was initially used to create the breed in Alaska.

AKK are very intelligent dogs that comes with a mischievous streak. Klee Kai have a reputation for being expert escape artists like their husky relatives. They usually can’t be trusted off the leash given their high prey drive.

Alaskan Klee Kai were bred to be companion dogs, so it’s no surprise they love to be in the company of the humans that they’re bonded to. This affectionate side comes at a cost as the breed does have a reputation for suffering from separation anxiety.

Quick Facts

Real name: Alaskan Klee Kai
Other names: AKK, Klee Kai
Origin: Alaska
Breed type: Spitz-type
Sizes: Standard, Miniature, Toy
Weight: Standard – up to 20lbs; Mini – 14 to 20lbs; Toy – up to 10lbs
Height: Standard – 15 to 17 inches; Mini – 13 to 15 inches; Toy – up to 13 inches
Lifespan: 10-12 years
Color: Black and white, gray and white, red and white and all white.
Coat: Double coat: inner and outer

History

The Alaskan Klee Kai was created by an American woman called Linda Spurlin in 1970s.

The breed’s journey started when Spurlin encountered a small husky called Curious during a trip to visit family in Colorado. The small husky wasn’t more than 17 inches in size, substantially smaller than the average height of an Alaskan Husky. She was so taken by Curious that Spurlin got permission from her brother in law to bring Curious back to Alaska.

Inspired by the comments she received about Curious, Spurlin set about recreating this “little curiosity”. She opted for the hard-working Alaskan Husky to lay down the foundation of the Alaskan Klee Kai breed. Spurlin used a little Siberian Husky, which explains the AKK’s breathtaking appearance. The breed’s creator incorporated some American Eskimo Dog and Schipperke to reduce the size of these dogs.

Speaking to the Alaskan Klee Kai Association of America about why she named her dogs Alaskan Klee Kai, Spurlin explained that she “derived the name Klee Kai from the Eskimo words meaning ‘little dog’”.

Alaskan Klee Kai were bred to be companion dogs and Spurlin didn’t release these “mini huskies” to the general public until 1988. While this adorable breed isn’t recognised by Kennel Club or the United Kennel Club, the Alaskan Klee Kai was granted full status by the American Rare Breed Association (ARBA) in 1995 and by the United Kennel Club (UKC) in 1997.

Physical Appearance

Alaskan Klee Kai come in three different sizes: standard, miniature and toy.

Standard AKK can grow to a height of 17 inches and can weigh up to 20 pounds. Miniature Alaskan Klee Kai are between 13 and 15 inches in height and between 14 and 20 pounds in weight. Toy Klee Kai to reach a height of 13 inches and weigh as little as 10 pounds.

Alaskan Klee Kai have an awkward phase when their legs start to grow but their body takes a while to catch up. They look like supermodels walking on heels. This phase should pass around the one year mark.

These “mini huskies” have the following coat colours: black and white, gray and white, red and white and all white. While that’s the breed standard, you can find sub categories within those four shades. There’s a lot of variety.

They’ve got striking faces with dramatic masks. Alaskan Klee Kai can have blue or brown eyes – some rare AKK have green/hazel eyes. Not only that, but the breed can come with bi-eyes (two different color eyes) or even part-eye (two different colors in an eye).

Their tails usually curl over the top and rest on their backs, either to the left or right side.

Temperament And Personality

Alaskan Klee Kai are smart dogs but can be quite stubborn. They’ll need to attend puppy training classes to learn basic obedience skills but their intelligence should make them quite easy to train. However, these “mini huskies” have been known to outsmart their owners if given the opportunity to! They do particularly well with agility.

They’re an alert and curious breed that will notify their owners if a visitor is at the door. Usually the will do with this with a bark, howl or a noise that is often described as a “woo woo” sound. While they make good watch dogs, their size means Alaskan Klee Kai aren’t effective guard dogs.

Alaskan Klee Kai do have a tendency to be shy and wary around people that they don’t know. For that reason, it’s a good idea to socialise these dogs from a very young age to get them used to meeting people. Puppy Manners classes can help them learn how to interact with other dogs (and their owners).

Bred to be companion sized dogs, Alaskan Klee Kai love to be with their humans. Whether it’s going for long walks, runs on the beach or snuggled up on the couch in front of the television. However, this bond between dog and owner can come at a cost. Alaskan Klee Kai are known to suffer from separation anxiety. They can resort to persistent screaming, howling and scratching if left alone for a long time. If you have to spend a lot of time away from home, this breed probably isn’t a good fit for you.

With a reputation for being like cats, Alaskan Klee Kai can be aloof and independent. They like to perch in elevated places, such as the top of a chair or couch. They’re quite fastidious too.

Klee Kai owners will need to ensure their garden or yard is secure because these dogs are known to be clever escape artists. Most breeders recommend keeping AKK on leash because they’re recall isn’t great and they’ve got a small prey drive.

Grooming

Alaskan Klee Kai have a double coat – an inner and an outer coat. They shed a moderate amount throughout the year, which requires regular brushing and vacuuming. Their inner coat blows out twice a year, which can be a very testing time to be an Alaskan Klee Kai owner.

They don’t require a lot of baths, three or four times a year should suffice. Alaskan Klee Kai will need to have their nails trimmed if their daily walks hasn’t already done so.

It may be a good idea to regularly check their eyes for ingrown eyelashes. This can be quite painful and result in tear stains appearing around their eyes. If you’re concerned about an ingrown eyelash, you should contact your local vet immediately.

Training

Alaskan Klee Kai are clever dogs that should be easy to train with some consistent practice. While they can be stubborn at times, starting training from an early age should give them a good understanding of basic obedience.

If you’re willing to be patient with a Klee Kai, you can get a loyal, well-rounded dog.

Like we mentioned above, Alaskan Klee Kai are quick to learn agility. They may be small but their athletic frames make them ideal for agility classes and competitions.

Exercise

Alaskan Klee Kai require between 50 and 60 minutes of exercise a day. They enjoy regular walks in the city or countryside, while they like to socialise with other pups at the dog park.

While they may be much smaller than the Alaskan Husky and the Siberian Husky, Klee Kai are able to jog with their human companions over medium-length distances.

Like any dog, you should avoid going for exercise with an Alaskan Klee Kai in hot temperatures, especially between noon and 3pm.

While they’re able to live in hot and cold conditions, AKK owners need to take sensible steps to ensure their dog is comfortable and hydrated.

If you want to see how these dogs behave and play, here’s a video and see for yourself! (Get prepared for some cuteness overload)

Health and Longevity

Alaskan Klee Kai don’t have too many health problems, but it is still early days for the breed. Given Spurlin only started breeding these dogs in 1970s, it may take time to learn if Alaskan Klee Kai are predisposed to any health issues.

Having said that, male AKK can suffer from cryptorchidism, which occurs when the testicales fail to move into the scrotum. However, this condition is only an issue for those who want to breed Klee Kai.

Another health problem that can affect some Alaskan Klee Kai is elbow and hip dysplasia. It is the abnormal formation of the elbow joint or hip socket that can be painful and could eventually lead to lameness.

Alaskan Klee Kai usually live to around 10 but healthy members of the breed can reach the ripe old age of 15.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Is An Alaskan Klee Kai?

Alaskan Klee Kai can vary in price depending on the breeder. Some will charge more depending on their eye colors, while others Klee Kai may be more expensive based upon their coat color. Usually, an AKK puppy should cost between $1400 and $2800. You should always contact a responsible breeder, who will usually ask you to fill out a detailed questionnaire.

Do Alaskan Klee Kai Make Good Pets?

These little dogs do make great pets, but they’re a number of things to keep in mind. Given they’re quite shy, they need to be given plenty of socialization. They’ll do better in a home with older children that can be taught how to approach and treat an AKK with care. They don’t like to be left alone for a long time, so if you’re away from home for more than four hours a day, an Alaskan Klee Kai probably isn’t the right dog for you.