The Alaskan Klee Kai can be considered as the miniature version of the Alaskan and Siberian Huskies. This breed comes in three sizes: Toy, standard, and miniature. A breeder by the name of Mrs. Linda Spurlin could be credited for the development of the Alaskan Klee Kai. Originally, the breed was known only as Klee Kai (Inuit word for little dog) but later the UKC registered it as the Alaskan Klee Kai.
Let us study some cool facts, size and weight, temperament, shedding and grooming, and other things you need to know while raising an Alaskan Klee Kai.
Cool facts about the Alaskan Klee Kai
- Klee Kais are Spitz-type dogs from Alaska. The term Klee Kai is Eskimo for ‘small dog’.
- Mrs. Spurlin developed this breed as a companion breed to her Alaskan and Siberian Huskies. She got the idea after she saw an Alaskan Husky mating with a smaller dog. Later Mrs. Spurlin used Siberian husky, Alaskan husky, Schipperke, and the American Eskimo dogs to create the Klee Kai. She had to be very careful in avoiding dwarfism in the breed.
- For a while, the Alaskan Klee Kai and the Klee Kai were considered to be separate breeds. Later on, in 2002, both breeds were consolidated under the name Alaskan Klee Kai.
- Alaskan Klee Kai is a smaller version of the Alaskan Husky. The toy breed measures about 13 inches, the miniature measures over 13 inches up to 15 inches at withers, while the standard breed measures over 15 inches and up to 17 inches. Weight is a minimum of 5lbs and should be proportionate to the height.
- Their appearance reflects the breed’s Northern heritage. They have a wedge-shaped head with a characteristic masked face, prick ears and a beautiful and dense double coat. The mask is the most distinctive facial characteristic of the breed. Ideally, for show dogs, the mask needs to be of contrasting colors and a full face mask is most desirable.
- Like many Spitz dogs, the Klee Kai’s tail is curled and well furred.
- The length of their body is only slightly longer than the height.
- This breed has beautiful almond-shaped eyes in any color. Some dogs have heterochromia (each eye of a different color).
- The double coat can come in gray and white, black and white or with slight red markings. The markings are symmetrical. It also comes in two lengths viz. standard short and full or slightly longer or thicker.
Where to find an Alaskan Klee Kai
In the United Kingdom, this breed is relatively rare; so there are many scams surrounding it. Always research a breeder well before buying. Being a rare breed, there may be long wait times; sometimes even up to 2 years! In the United States, the official club of the Klee Kai can give you information about breeders or rescues for adoption near you. It is a good idea to talk to several Klee Kai handlers and dog owners to ensure that this breed is right for you. After all, they are very active and can be quite a handful if not trained properly. Their grooming needs are also extensive. So you must be willing to spend time exercising and grooming your pet. The reason why many dogs end up in shelter homes is that their owners cannot commit to their regular maintenance. So research a breed carefully before you invest in it. Toy Alaskan Klee Kai can cost anywhere between $300 all the way up to $1000 based on bloodlines and you might have to pay extra for shipping. Miniature and standard Klee Kai cost between $500 and $3500 based on the breeder, bloodlines, etc.
Choosing a puppy
Meet several breeders and ask them questions about their breeding programs. Find out the main purpose behind it. Unethical breeders would be in it only to make money and they will try to force a sale on you. Good breeders would want their pups to go to good homes and would ask you hundreds of questions about your household and your reasons for wanting a pet. When you go to visit the breeders, check out the litters and ask to meet the parents. If the dam and the dog are of friendly, even temperament, then your potential puppy would be more likely to have a healthy temperament as well.
Klee Kai is an even-tempered dog breed with good watchdog and guard dog abilities. They are loyal, alert and friendly and love their families. Alaskan Klee Kais tend to be wary of strangers but once they get to know someone, they are quite friendly and affectionate. They are active, curious, alert and agile. Despite their small size, they can be quite territorial. The miniature version has been developed to be a house dog or companion dog. They tend to be highly ‘vocal’ when talking to their families. This is a highly intelligent breed that is easy to train. However, they can be snappy so teach children never to tease or irritate your Klee Kai.
The Klee Kai fits into a moderately sized home but, like its larger cousins, it has a great deal of energy. So twice a day walks are necessary to keep them mentally and physically healthy. They enjoy obedience and agility courses and many Alaskan Klee Kai have also made great therapy dogs.
Training your Alaskan Klee Kai
This confident miniature husky is eager to please, intelligent and curious. That makes training easy provided you are consistent, gentle and patient. Since they tend to be reserved with strangers, they need early training and socialization. Use reward-based and positive training. End each session with plenty of fun and playtime. This will help your pet look forward to training and he will even bond with you in the process. Start with crate training and housetraining. Follow this up with basic training commands like come, stay, and sit. With regularity, you will soon have a household companion that is a joy to be around.
Grooming and shedding
This is a dog breed that needs regular (daily) grooming. They shed their coat twice a year. So use a slicker brush, a rake brush or a bristle brush to remove dead and stray hairs, stimulate natural oils and keep the fur mat free. Bathe your pet once a month, especially in warmer months. Use tick and flea protection to keep your pet free from parasites. Check his ears from time to time and also brush his teeth every day to prevent dental issues.
Since the breed is relatively new, health concerns are only just emerging. Hematological and immunological issues have been seen in the Alaskan Klee Kai, especially Factor VII deficiency. This is an inherited condition. Thankfully, good breeders are working to minimize this and other inherited issues and genetic testing is also available for many of these conditions. The life span of the Klee Kai is 10 years.