The Alaskan Klee Kai is a relatively new breed of dog that started in Alaska in the 1970s, thanks to Linda Spurlin.
These small dogs are often confused for husky puppies, mini huskies, or even a Chihuahua-Siberian Husky mix, but this is an independent breed.
Alaskan Klee Kai, often shortened to Klee Kai or AKK, look like Huskies thanks to their striking coats, mesmerizing eyes, and impressive face masks.
Unlike Alaskan and Siberian Huskies that were bred to pull sleds in Alaska at the start of the 20th century, breeders created the breed to serve as companion dogs.
Spurlin, who first created the breed, used Alaskan Huskies, Siberian Huskies, American Eskimo Dogs, and Schipperke to develop the Alaskan Klee Kai as we know it today.
If you’re thinking about getting one as a pet, there are several factors to consider before you decide to welcome one of these unique little dogs into your home.
The breed standards show this breed comes in three sizes: standard, miniature, and toy. They can grow to a height of 17 inches, while the smallest member of the breed won’t be taller than 13 inches. Klee Kai can weigh between 10 and 20 pounds depending on whether the AKK is standard, miniature, or toy.
The dogs come in various colors: black and white, grey and white, red and white, and white. There are subcategories within those four primary colors. Their eyes can be blue, brown, or green. The dogs can be bi-eyed or even a parti-eye and look like they have a facial mask like their larger husky cousins.
The dogs bond quickly with their owners. While you may love their affection, it can come at a price. The breed has a reputation for being high strung and suffering from separation anxiety. If you’ve got a job that requires you to leave your house for more than three or four hours a day, the breed probably isn’t the right dog for your lifestyle.
While they’ve got a deep loyalty to their owners, Alaskan Klee Kai can be reserved and shy around strangers. It’s a good idea to socialize these dogs from a young age to get them used to regularly meeting new people and new dogs.
Similar to Alaskan and Siberian Huskies, the dogs are talkative. They’ve got little voices that make a sound similar to a “woo-woo.” Some will howl like their sled dog relations. If they are unhappy with you or a situation, they won’t be afraid to let you know.
The Klee Kai sheds, so if you’re looking for a low-shedding dog, you’ll be disappointed to learn these dogs are far from a hypoallergenic breed. The dogs have a double coat, which requires a moderate amount of grooming and regular brushing to control shedding.
The outer coat sheds all year, while their inner coat will blow out twice a year. Brush the dogs at least twice a week to get rid of dead or loose hair; otherwise, be prepared for little furballs to appear around the home.
The Alaskan Klee Kai is a smart dog, but they can be quite stubborn and prone to operating on their own terms. Regular training from a young age will help to teach these spunky dogs to learn basic commands and obedience.
They make great dogs for dog owners with interest in trying agility classes. Their intelligence and high energy levels make them a great companion on a doggy obstacle course.
The Alaskan Klee Kai requires quite a bit of daily exercise. Generally, they need an hour of daily exercise, whether it’s a long walk, a jog, or trips to the dog park.
They may be small, but the dogs can easily last on a long hike in the countryside or hills. While depleting their energy levels is a good idea, the dogs are equally happy to curl up on the couch next to their owners.
The Alaskan Klee Kai is a beautiful and intelligent dog. They may be small, but they have big personalities.
These pups, often dubbed mini huskies, need a lot of socialization from a young age to prevent them from becoming too introverted.
With surprisingly high energy levels for small dogs, they make perfect training partners for people with a fitness regime.
Kieran Beckles is the co-founder of helloBARK!, a website created to help pets and their owners enjoy a happy life together. The site features the latest products, helpful advice, training tips, and more.