Alaskan Klee Kai Dog Breed

Grey & White Alaskan Klee Kai Puppy
iStock.com/goldenKB
  • Other names:
  • Akk
  • Klee Kai
  • Mini Husky
  • Miniature Alaskan Husky
  • View all 4...
Overview

The Alaskan Klee Kai, in appearance, is a very small version of the Alaskan Husky. They are bred in 3 sizes with a height rage of up to 17 inches and weight range of 10-20 pounds. Unlike the Husky, however, these are purely companion canines and should only live indoors. They do well with families and other dogs but remain reserved around strangers, and will need a great deal of socialization to live peacefully with other small pets. They train fairly easily, keep themselves clean and are quiet indoors, but they do shed regularly (and heavily twice per year). This healthy breed has been known to live 12-16 years with few problems.

Alaskan Klee Kai Breed Details

Breed Specs
TypeLifespanHeightWeight
Purebred12-16 yrs.17-17 in.10-20 lbs
  • Friendliness
  • Overall
  • Family Friendly
  • Kid Friendly
  • Pet Friendly
  • Stranger Friendly
  • Maintenance
  • Easy to Groom
  • Energy Level
  • Exercise Needs
  • General Health
  • Shedding Amount
  • Behavior
  • Barks / Howls
  • Easy to Train
  • Guard Dog
  • Playfulness
  • Watch Dog
  • Ownership
  • Apartment Friendly
  • Can Be Alone
  • Good for Busy Owners
  • Good for Novice Owners
  • Intelligence
* The more green the stronger the trait.

One fact about Alakan Klee Kais is that they, unlike their larger Alaskan Husky counterparts, are not working or sporting dogs. Linda Spurling created this breed as an aesthetically stunning, small companion dog that has been increasing in popularity since the late 80's. These are indoor dogs and a small, fenced yard is ideal (but not necessary provided enough exercise). They must be included in the owner/family's daily activities, receive proper obedience training, and adequate daily exercise-- otherwise anxiety, boredom or Small Dog Syndrome can result in nuisance behaviors. Overall, this breed is a good match for a first time owner.

PROS

  • Small size suitable for large apartments and small homes
  • Good with children if well trained
  • Friendly with other dogs
  • Makes an acceptable watchdog
  • Enjoys spending time with the owner/family
  • Light exercise buddy
  • Eye-catching appearance
  • Very clean dogs, little grooming required
  • Fairly easy to train
  • Few well documented health issues


CONS

  • Must live indoors
  • Active, needs daily outdoor exercise (minimum 30 min/day)
  • Needs early socialization to exist well with cats and other small pets
  • Not a guard dog
  • Prone to separation anxiety, boredom, Small Dog Syndrome if not stimulated
  • Sheds regularly, heavily twice per year (weekly-daily brushing)

Alaskan Klee Kai Breed Description

Alaskan Klee Kais are equally as stunning in appearance as their Alaskan Husky relatives, however, these solely companion dogs are less high strung/hyper and less friendly towards strangers. They tend to remain reserved, suspicious or even a bit shy, but this also makes them decent watch dogs. Though they are calmer than the larger Husky dogs, they are still highly active and make great playmates for kids that are steady on their feet and respectful of their pets. Those looking for a breed that loves interaction will be pleased with the AKK as they are often said to be wherever you are-- they even make good partners for light exercise.

Most Alaskan Klee Kai information is in agreement that these are smart dogs that train pretty easily. Of course, with any pack dog the key is to keep you calm, be consistent and firm-- especially resist the urge to treat these small puppies as babies as this encourages Small Dog Syndrome. This breed is naturally agile and also excels in agility training. Early training will nip any excessive barking, jumping, nipping behaviors in the bud, and early socialization will help them become less stranger shy and more likely to leave the cats alone.

Finally, exercise is an important part of keeping your Mini Husky healthy, with less anxiety and boredom. Although they are indoor dogs and a yard is not required, at least 45 minutes or more of daily exercise is. Long walks, short hikes, agility training, games with toys and trips to the dog park are all good ideas for this breed.

Alaskan Klee Kai Breed History

Although they are essentially Mini Alaskan Huskies, Alaskan Klee Kai history includes no sled pulling. In fact, this breed was pure bred for companionship and appearance by Linda S. Spurlin (and family) of Alaska. From the 70's to the late 80's she selected smaller breeds, such as the American Eskimo, to downsize the Alaskan Husky. This breed was finally made available to others in 1988 under the name "Alaskan Klee Kai" which partially translates to "small dog" in Eskimo. Although a fairly recent breed, they are already recognized by several major Kennel Clubs.

Alaskan Klee Kai Appearance

Essentially, the Alaskan Klee Kai is a smaller version of the Alaskan Husky and are certainly in the small dog category. They have thick double coats that can be a variety of colors but must include a dark mask. They have medium-sized "prick" ears that stand erect atop the head. Klee Kais can have blue eyes or brown eyes.

Alaskan Klee Kai Coloring

Surprisingly, pretty much all colors are acceptable in the coat. The greater emphasis in put on the presence of a dark mask that extends below the eyes and partially down the muzzle (the darker the better). There are pure white individuals, however, they are not allowed to compete at this time. Some common Alaskan Klee Kai colors include:

  • red and white (often a dark red)
  • black and white
  • grey and white
  • tan
  • sable
  • yellow
  • brown

Alaskan Klee Kai Size

A fully grown Mini Husky will still be a small-sized dog, with a maximum height of 17 inches (at shoulder) and weight of 20 pounds. There are actually 3 sizes of Alaskan Klee Kais:

  • Standard - 15 to 17 inches
  • Miniature - 13 to 15 inches
  • Toy - up to 13 inches

Weight will vary based upon the type, for example, Toy sized Alaskan Klee Kais will be towards the 10 pound minimum whereas a fully grown Standard Klee Kai may reach 15-20 pounds.

Average Adult Height

17-17 in
*Height is measured in inches from the front paws to the top of the shoulder while the dog is standing on all four legs.

Average Adult Weight

10-20 lbs

Alaskan Klee Kai Variations

The Alaskan Klee Kai is often referred to as the "Mini Husky". They do stay small and even a fully grown individual will not weigh more than 20 pounds. They vary mostly in coat color and size. All coat colors are acceptable as long as there is contrast within the coat as well as a dark mask. There are 3 size types for this breed: Toys are up to 13 inches, Minis are 13-15 inches, and Standards are 15-17.

Alaskan Klee Kai Temperament

The Alaskan Klee Kai temperament with their "pack" is active, attention-loving, clever and amusing. However, they are also alert and make good watchdogs due to the fact they usually remain reserved around strangers. These dogs are easier to train than Huskies provided you can be calm, consistent and firm; if left untrained they may develop nuisance behaviors such as excessive barking, digging, escaping fences and even Small Dog Syndrome. AKKs are should not live outdoors-- they enjoy the company of their owner/family and will like to be wherever you are.

The playful personality of the Klee Kai make them suitable family companions. They do well with other dogs, most of the time, but need early socialization to live peacefully with cats. Typically, Klee Kais retain prey drive towards other small, non canine pets. Note, unless bored or alerting you, these dogs aren't typically barkers; they do vocalize and make sounds to communicate with their owner sometimes.

Alaskan Klee Kais and Children

This breed makes for a good family companion because they thrive on being part of a "pack". Due to their high energy level, baby Alaskan Klee Kais should be trained early to not jump or nip. This breed would be a good match for a family with kids that are steady on their feet (out of the toddler stage) that can be taught how to respectfully handle a pet.

Alaskan Klee Kai Photos

Below are pictures and images of the Alaskan Klee Kai dog breed.

Grey & White Alaksan Klee Kai
Red & White Alaskan Klee Kai
Black & White Alaskan Klee Kai
Grey & White Alaskan Klee Kai Puppy
Alaskan Klee Kai Running

Living Requirements

AKKs make good watchdogs due to the fact they remain cautious, and even skittish, around strangers. However, they are not obnoxiously noisy unless they are suffering from separation anxiety or excessive boredom.

Members of this breed need daily human interaction and do not make good outdoor dogs. Although they enjoy their daily outdoor time, a large apartment or house is preferred; ideally, you will also have a small yard. If left under-stimulated (training and exercise) these dogs may develop anxious and destructive behaviors out of boredom.

Alaskan Klee Kais are not hypoallergenic. In fact, their thick double coat sheds regularly along with a twice-per-year "blowing" of the coat-- during this time they shed heavily. They are considered moderate maintenance due to their need for a weekly brushing, daily during the heavy shedding times. Otherwise, they keep themselves pretty clean. Keep in mind not to shave your AKK since the coat helps keep them cool in the summer.

Alaskan Klee Kai Health

The Alaskan Klee Kai has been known to have a lifespan of anywhere from 12-16 years. According to the American Klee Kai Association of America, they have a few health concerns to be aware of:

  • Autoimmune Hypothyroidism
  • Factor Vii Deficiency
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Vaccination Sensitivity
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Alaskan Klee Kai Breed Recognition

The following dog breed registries and organizations recognize the Alaskan Klee Kai as a dog breed:

  • American Canine Registry
  • American Rare Breed Association
  • Continental Kennel Club
  • Dog Registry of America Inc.
  • National Kennel Club
  • United Kennel Club
  • View all 6...