The Alaskan Klee Kai, sometimes shortened to AKK, is the perfect dog for those who love the idea of a Siberian Husky, but don’t have the space and can’t keep up with their exercise requirements! A smaller, similar breed to the Husky, the Alaskan Klee Kai does not have the same energy levels as a Siberian and therefore is easier to manage, which is the main reason it was bred in the first place.
Don’t be fooled though, this dog still isn’t for the faint hearted and not a pup for first time pet owners. Read on below to find out more about this dog and whether you think they might be the right companion for you.
History Of The Alaskan Klee Kai
The Alaskan Klee Kai comes in three different sizes — Toy, up to 13 inches tall, Miniature, between 13 and 15 inches tall, and Standard, between 15 and 17 inches tall. Although these are three distinct sizes, it is possible to get all three of these sizes in just one litter! This is completely unique to the dog world and no one really knows why it happens!
This breed isn’t recognized by the American Kennel Club or the UK Kennel Club so it is difficult to know how many of these dogs there are in the world. They have been a member of the American Rare Breed Association since 1995 and the United Kennel Club (UKC) since 1997, however, and, according to their breed standard, any dog over 17.5 inches tall is not considered a purebred.
The Alaskan Klee Kai was first seen in Alaska in 1970. They were first bred by a woman named Linda Spurlin who wanted a dog that looked like a Husky, but with much lower energy requirements.
She bred the Alaskan Klee Kai by mating the Siberian and Alaskan Huskies with the American Eskimo Dog. This created a much smaller dog without using dwarfism or selective breeding.
Originally, this mini Husky was just called the “Klee Kai”, which means “small dog”. However, the name was changed to Alaskan Klee Kai in 1995 to avoid political conflict.
Characteristics Of The Alaskan Klee Kai
The Alaskan Klee Kai looks very similar to a Husky, just in a much smaller form. These pups are born in litter sizes of around 1 to 5, which can make them very difficult to find. You can also end up paying anywhere between $1,500 and $3,000 per puppy because of their designer breed. Fortunately, there is a national rescue network for this breed known as the Alaskan Klee Kai National Rescue.
It can be very difficult to estimate the growth rate for this dog because of the three different sizes that they come in. However, they should be fully grown before 18 months old. The most recognizable physical trait of these dogs is their face mask — the way in which their face is white and their bodies are a darker color! They also have a large curled tail.
These dogs can stand anywhere between 10-17 inches tall, depending on which size of the breed they are, and can weigh anywhere between 8-23 lbs.
Because they look like their Husky cousins, it is no surprise that the Alaskan Klee Kai has a thick coat. This coat is a fluffy double coat that is soft to the touch. They do require a bit of grooming, although we will go into more detail about that later on.
The coat color is normally red, black or gray with a white face. Any other colors are not recognized by the breed standard. These dogs also normally have mismatched eyes, which is a common trait of the Husky.
The Alaskan Klee Kai is a loyal and friendly dog that is devoted to their family. While they look like a Husky, they do not have the same work drive as a Husky and are much more companion dogs who like to spend time with their family members. They do not get on well with strangers and can be very wary of them, often shying away. This can be fixed with socialization from an early age.
The temperament of the owner is often reflected it the Alaskan Klee Kai. If you are a cuddly owner, you can expect your dog to be too. If you are not, then your Alaskan Klee Kai will likely be more independent. Either way, they will love you and feel devoted to you.
The Alaskan Klee Kai is an intelligent dog, yet training can be difficult due to their stubbornness. You will have to be patient with them as they learn. Also, although they are not as active as their Husky cousins, these pups do still need a fair bit of exercise. If they are not exercised they can become bored, so try to keep them entertained.
The Alaskan Klee Kai is a relatively healthy dog and has a long life expectancy. On average, these dogs can live to anywhere between 12 and 16 years.
Known Health Issues
Luckily, due to the careful breeding done by Linda Spurlin, the Alaskan Klee Kai does not have many health concerns. The main health problem that this dog faces is obesity, so you need to monitor their diet closely and don’t allow them to free feed.
The Alaskan Klee Kai can also develop patellar luxation. This is a common condition in smaller dogs and is caused when the patella is not properly aligned. This can cause lameness in the leg or an abnormal gait, sort of like a skip or a hop. It can be treated with either pain medication or surgery.
Always remember to take your pup for regular checkups with the vet. This helps to spot the signs of any health issues early on so they can be treated.
Now we know all about the traits and characteristics of the Alaskan Klee Kai, we can take a look at what daily life with these pups is actually like. We will cover their food and diet needs, their exercise needs and their grooming needs.
Food And Diet
On average, the AKK needs around 400 calories of food a day, which equates to around 1 cup of food. Of course, this is going to change based on the size of your Alaskan Klee Kai. You should always check the back of the food packet to see how much of a particular food you should be feeding your dog based on their weight.
You should try to spread your dog’s food into two meals a day. Because these pups are intelligent, they will learn when their food is supposed to be coming. For this reason, you should try to give them the food at the same every day.
Make sure you carefully monitor how much food you give your Alaskan Klee Kai and never allow them to free feed. This dog is prone to obesity and are known to overeat!
Best Dog Food For The Alaskan Klee Kai
Pedigree Adult Dry Dog FoodBUY ON AMAZON
We recommend the Pedigree Adult dry dog food for the Alaskan Klee Kai. Formulated to meet the nutritional needs of adults dogs, this food provides complete and balanced nutrition to keep your pup healthy. There are optimal levels of omega-6 fatty acid to nourish skin and to help keep your dog’s coat shiny, too, as well as whole grains and a special fiber blend to support healthy digestion.
This recipe includes whole grains, protein and vegetables to give a well rounded diet alongside antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to help maintain a healthy lifestyle. Even better, the crunchy kibble pieces help to clean your Alaskan Klee Kai’s teeth as they chew, helping to prevent dental decay. There are also no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives in this food.
The Alaskan Klee Kai doesn’t require as much activity as the Husky, but they still have high exercise needs! These pups need to be active for at least 45 minutes a day and have a tendency to get bored easily, so it is best if this 45 minutes is broken up throughout the course of the day. Therefore, you shouldn’t think about bringing one of these dogs into your life if you won’t be able to dedicate this time to them.
Because they love to be outside, these dogs can make the perfect running or hiking buddy, too. It is good to keep in mind that these pups can have an aloof temper which can result in them often running off. For this reason, it is best to keep them on the leash when you are out in public with them.
The Alaskan Klee Kai is very good at agility and is a breed that has often won at championships. If you are looking for a way to keep them active and entertained, agility training and competing might be something to think about.
The Alaskan Klee Kai is an excellent family pet for those families who are experienced with dogs. They are also a great pet for singles and couples. Because they are so loving and friendly, they do very well in homes with children, and their playful nature means that they can make a great playmate for kids too!
Because they are a smaller breed, the Alaskan Klee Kai is suitable for many different homes of many different sizes. However, they will thrive in a home where they have a yard to play in and to exercise. Although they are not as active as the Husky, they still do need to be able to play and let off some steam! It is a good idea to ensure the fence is secure too, just incase!
As we mentioned above, if you are an owner who likes to cuddle your dog, your Alaskan Klee Kai will be this type of pet. However, if you aren’t, your AKK will become more independent. Their nature often depends on your nature.
These dogs do not bark, but they can howl. This is something to think about if you have neighbors. They also get on well in homes with other animals, but can be wary of strangers and other animals while out and about. This is why socialization from a young age is so important.
The Alaskan Klee Kai is a very intelligent dog and love to learn. However, they can have a stubborn nature which can make training difficult. To combat this, you’ll need to be patient and consistent with your training.
These dogs respond best to positive reinforcement training, such as verbal praise and treats. They are also naturally curious so you can use this to your advantage when training.
We have mentioned above that this breed can excel in agility. Agility training is a way to keep your pup active and engaged so they stay fit and don’t get bored!
This breed can be nervous around things they don’t know. This includes people, places and animals. They will often shy away and, if not treated properly, this can develop into anxious behavior.
To combat this, early socialization is very important. You should introduce them to new sights, sounds, places, smells, people and animals in a safe environment from a young age so they learn there is nothing to be afraid of.
The Alaskan Klee Kai is known to groom themselves for hours at a time. Because of this, you don’t need to groom them as much as you may other dogs. These pups do not shed all year round, unlike there Siberian Husky friends, and instead have two “blowouts” a year.
During this time, it is best to brush them daily. However, for the rest of the year, you can get away with brushing them once a week. They do not need clipping either because this will affect their ability to regulate their temperature.
You can take these dogs to the groomers to get their nails clipped as you need. You should also keep an eye on their teeth and brush them from time to time. The food we recommend above helps to scrub their teeth, too.
Alaskan Klee Kai FAQ’s
How big is an Alaskan Klee Kai?
An Alaskan Klee Kai is smaller than a Husky. The breed was created to be smaller and less active than the Husky.
However, these dogs can come in three different sizes. Sometimes, all three sizes are born in the same litter, which is the first for any breed! It is still unsure how this happens.
The three sizes are Toy, Miniature and Standard. A Toy Alaskan Klee Kai can be up to 13 inches tall, a Miniature can be between 13 and 15 inches tall and a Standard Alaskan Klee Kai can be between 15 and 17 inches tall. An Alaskan Klee Kai that is over 17.5 inches tall is not considered purebred, according to their breed standard.
How much does an Alaskan Klee Kai cost?
An Alaskan Klee Kai puppy can set you back around $1,500 and $3,000 per puppy. Unfortunately, they are born in very small litter sizes and the amount of breeders is not known, which can make them very difficult to find.
There is a national rescue network for this breed known as the Alaskan Klee Kai National Rescue. You can also check your local shelter to see if there is a dog you’d like to adopt. There are many pups out there who need a forever home!
The Alaskan Klee Kai is a much smaller version of their Husky friends, with fewer exercise needs and more of a companionship nature. Friendly and affectionate, this dog is a great pet for a family with children, although you should have experience with a dog before owning one of these pups. Despite their intelligence, training can be difficult and they still need around 45 minutes of playtime and walking every day. However, they make an excellent sidekick and will happily curl up on the couch next to you and give you a cuddle at the end of a long day. Suited to many different homes due to their size, could an Alaskan Klee Kai be the right pet for you?