Alaskan Klee Kai: A Comprehensive Breed Profile and Guide

Alaskan Klee Kai: A Comprehensive Breed Profile and Guide

If you are considering adding a new furry member to your family, the Alaskan Klee Kai is a breed worth considering. Known for their striking resemblance to Siberian Huskies, these compact and energetic dogs are perfect for those who love the Husky look but prefer a smaller size. In this comprehensive breed profile and guide, we will explore everything you need to know about the Alaskan Klee Kai, including their history, temperament, care requirements, and more. Whether you are a first-time dog owner or an experienced enthusiast, this article will provide you with all the information you need to decide if the Alaskan Klee Kai is the right fit for your lifestyle.

History and Origin

The Alaskan Klee Kai is a relatively new and captivating breed that originated in the United States. Developed in the 1970s by a woman named Linda S. Spurlin from Alaska, this breed was specifically bred to resemble the larger Alaskan Husky. Let’s delve into the fascinating history and origin of the Alaskan Klee Kai.

Ancestry and Development

The Alaskan Klee Kai is a result of careful crossbreeding between the Alaskan Husky, Siberian Husky, and the Schipperke. Linda S. Spurlin, an Alaskan native, had a vision to create a miniature version of the Alaskan Husky without compromising its striking appearance and majestic characteristics. Through selective breeding, Spurlin aimed to create a small-sized companion dog that would exhibit the same wolf-like appearance and friendly demeanor as its larger counterpart.

The Alaskan Husky, known for its endurance and working abilities, contributed to the Klee Kai’s strong physique and stamina. The Siberian Husky, with its striking eyes and thick coat, added an element of beauty to the breed. Lastly, the Schipperke, a small Belgian breed, was included to enhance the Klee Kai’s compact size and intelligent nature.

The development of the Alaskan Klee Kai involved several generations of careful breeding, with Spurlin meticulously selecting individuals that possessed the desired traits. This process aimed to create a breed that would retain the alluring qualities of the larger Alaskan Husky in a more manageable size.

Recognition and Standardization

The Alaskan Klee Kai gained recognition and popularity over time, primarily due to its unique appearance and endearing personality. In 1995, the United Kennel Club (UKC) officially recognized the Alaskan Klee Kai as a distinct breed. This recognition provided a platform for breeders and enthusiasts to showcase the Klee Kai’s exceptional qualities and establish breed standards.

To ensure the uniformity and preservation of the breed, the Alaskan Klee Kai Association of America (AKKAOA) was established in 1988. This organization played a crucial role in setting standards for breeders, promoting responsible ownership, and educating the public about the breed. The AKKAOA continues to work tirelessly to maintain the integrity and health of the Alaskan Klee Kai breed.

In addition to the UKC, the American Rare Breed Association (ARBA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) have also recognized the Alaskan Klee Kai as a rare and distinctive breed. These recognitions have further solidified the breed’s position in the dog-loving community and have opened doors for participation in various dog shows and events.

Overall, the Alaskan Klee Kai’s recognition and standardization have contributed to its growing popularity as a sought-after companion dog. This breed’s unique history and careful development have resulted in a delightful and captivating canine companion for those who appreciate its distinctive appearance and endearing personality.

Appearance and Size

Physical Characteristics

The Alaskan Klee Kai is a small to medium-sized dog breed that closely resembles a miniature version of the Alaskan Husky. They have a well-proportioned body with a sturdy build. One of the most distinctive features of this breed is their facial mask, which often comes in various colors such as black, grey, or red.

The Klee Kai has a double coat that provides excellent protection against the harsh Alaskan climate. Their outer coat is dense, straight, and slightly longer than their soft undercoat. This combination helps keep them warm in cold weather and cool in warmer temperatures.

Size and Weight

The Alaskan Klee Kai comes in three different sizes: standard, miniature, and toy. The standard size Klee Kai stands between 15 to 17 inches (38 to 43 cm) at the shoulder and weighs between 16 to 22 pounds (7 to 10 kg). Miniature Klee Kais stand between 13 to 15 inches (33 to 38 cm) and weigh between 10 to 15 pounds (4 to 7 kg). The smallest size, the toy Klee Kai, stands under 13 inches (33 cm) and weighs between 5 to 10 pounds (2 to 4 kg).

Despite their small stature, Alaskan Klee Kais are known for their agility and athleticism. They have a well-muscled body and a graceful gait, allowing them to excel in various dog sports and activities. Their size makes them suitable for both apartment living and spacious homes, as long as they receive adequate exercise and mental stimulation.

In conclusion, the Alaskan Klee Kai is a small to medium-sized dog breed with a well-proportioned body and striking physical characteristics. Their size can vary depending on the specific type, but they all share the same agility and athleticism.

Temperament and Personality

The Alaskan Klee Kai is known for its friendly and affectionate temperament. They are often described as being loyal, intelligent, and energetic companions. With their loving and playful nature, they make great family pets and are especially good with children. However, it is important to note that each individual dog may have its own unique personality traits.

Intelligence and Trainability

The Alaskan Klee Kai is a highly intelligent breed, which makes them relatively easy to train. They are quick learners and thrive on mental stimulation. With consistent and positive reinforcement training methods, these dogs can quickly pick up commands and tricks. It is important to start training early and establish yourself as the pack leader to ensure a well-behaved and obedient pet.

Socialization and Behavior

Socialization is crucial for the Alaskan Klee Kai breed. Early exposure to various people, animals, and environments is essential to prevent any potential behavioral issues. These dogs can be initially reserved or cautious around strangers but can warm up quickly with proper socialization. They are generally friendly with other pets if properly introduced and raised together. Providing them with plenty of social interaction and positive experiences will help them grow into well-rounded and confident dogs.

Activity Level

The Alaskan Klee Kai is an active and energetic breed that requires regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental well-being. They enjoy various activities such as long walks, runs, and playtime in a securely fenced yard. Mental stimulation through puzzle toys and obedience training is also important to prevent boredom and destructive behaviors. It is recommended to provide them with at least 30-60 minutes of exercise daily to keep them happy and healthy.

Care and Maintenance

Grooming Needs

Proper grooming is essential to keep your Alaskan Klee Kai looking and feeling their best. Despite their small size, these dogs have a dense double coat that requires regular brushing to prevent matting and tangling. A slicker brush or a comb with wide teeth should be used to remove any loose hair and keep their coat in top condition. During shedding seasons, which occur twice a year, more frequent brushing may be needed to control the amount of hair that ends up on your furniture and clothes.

In addition to brushing, it is important to maintain their dental hygiene. Regular teeth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste is recommended to prevent dental issues such as plaque buildup and gum disease. Nails should be trimmed regularly to avoid overgrowth, as long nails can cause discomfort and difficulty in walking.

Exercise and Activities

Alaskan Klee Kais are an energetic and active breed that requires regular exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. Daily walks, playtime in a securely fenced yard, or engaging in interactive games such as fetch or hide-and-seek are great ways to keep them entertained and burn off their energy.

Apart from physical exercise, mental stimulation is equally important for these intelligent dogs. Puzzle toys, obedience training, and agility exercises can provide mental challenges and prevent boredom. Consider enrolling them in obedience classes or participating in dog sports to keep their minds sharp and maintain a strong bond with your furry companion.

Health Concerns

Like any other breed, Alaskan Klee Kais are prone to certain health concerns that owners should be aware of. One of the major health issues seen in this breed is patellar luxation, which is the dislocation of the kneecap. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian can help detect this condition early on and prevent further complications.

Another health concern to watch out for is dental problems. Alaskan Klee Kais are prone to periodontal disease, so it is crucial to establish a dental care routine from an early age. Regular veterinary dental cleanings, along with daily tooth brushing, can help maintain their oral health.

Additionally, these dogs may be susceptible to certain hereditary eye diseases such as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and juvenile cataracts. Regular eye examinations by a veterinary ophthalmologist are recommended to monitor their eye health and detect any issues before they progress.

By being proactive in their care, providing regular veterinary check-ups, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you can help ensure the well-being and longevity of your beloved Alaskan Klee Kai.

Training and Obedience

Basic Training

Basic training is essential for every Alaskan Klee Kai. It forms the foundation for their behavior and ensures they grow up to be well-behaved and obedient companions. Here are some key aspects of basic training for Alaskan Klee Kai:

  1. Socialization: Start socializing your Alaskan Klee Kai from an early age. Introduce them to various people, animals, and environments to help them become confident and friendly. This will prevent any potential behavioral issues in the future.

  2. House Training: Teach your Alaskan Klee Kai where to eliminate by establishing a consistent routine. Use positive reinforcement techniques, such as rewards and praise, to encourage them to go outside. Be patient and consistent during the house training process.

  3. Leash Training: Alaskan Klee Kai are known for their strong prey drive, so leash training is crucial to ensure their safety. Teach them to walk politely on a leash using positive reinforcement. Start with short walks and gradually increase the duration and complexity of the routes.

Advanced Obedience

Once your Alaskan Klee Kai has mastered basic training, you can move on to advanced obedience training to further enhance their skills and mental stimulation. Here are some areas to focus on during advanced obedience training:

  1. Commands: Teach your Alaskan Klee Kai advanced commands like "stay," "heel," "leave it," and "come." These commands not only display their obedience but also ensure their safety in various situations.

  2. Off-Leash Training: Gradually introduce off-leash training in a controlled and safe environment. Use a secure, fenced area and practice recall commands to ensure your Alaskan Klee Kai responds reliably even when not leashed.

  3. Trick Training: Alaskan Klee Kai are intelligent and love learning new things. Engage their minds by teaching them fun tricks like rolling over, playing dead, or fetching specific items. Trick training strengthens the bond between you and your dog while providing mental stimulation.

Common Challenges

While training an Alaskan Klee Kai, you may encounter some common challenges. It’s important to address these challenges promptly and with patience:

  1. Stubbornness: Alaskan Klee Kai can be independent and stubborn at times. Use positive reinforcement techniques and rewards to motivate them during training sessions. Consistency and persistence will help overcome their stubborn nature.

  2. Prey Drive: Alaskan Klee Kai have a natural prey drive, which means they may be tempted to chase small animals. Train them to control their instincts and redirect their focus towards you during walks or outdoor activities.

  3. Separation Anxiety: Some Alaskan Klee Kai may experience separation anxiety when left alone. Gradually introduce periods of alone time, provide them with interactive toys or puzzles, and create a safe and comfortable space for them to relax while you’re away.

Remember, training and obedience are ongoing processes throughout your Alaskan Klee Kai’s life. Regular training sessions, positive reinforcement, and patience will help you develop a well-behaved and happy companion.

Feeding and Nutrition

In order to keep your Alaskan Klee Kai healthy and happy, it is crucial to provide them with a well-balanced diet that meets their specific dietary requirements. This section will guide you on the dietary needs of this breed, a recommended feeding schedule, and the use of treats and supplements.

Dietary Requirements

Alaskan Klee Kai have specific dietary requirements that should be met to ensure their optimal health. As an active and energetic breed, they require a diet rich in high-quality proteins, healthy fats, and carbohydrates. Proteins are essential for muscle development and maintenance, while fats provide energy and promote a shiny coat. Carbohydrates, such as whole grains and vegetables, provide the necessary fiber and vitamins for proper digestion and overall well-being.

When selecting commercial dog food for your Alaskan Klee Kai, look for options that list real meat as the first ingredient. Avoid food with excessive fillers, artificial additives, and by-products. It is also important to consider your dog’s age, size, and activity level when determining the appropriate amount of food to feed them. Consulting with a veterinarian can help you determine the specific dietary needs of your Alaskan Klee Kai.

Feeding Schedule

Establishing a consistent feeding schedule is essential for Alaskan Klee Kai. Puppies typically require more frequent meals compared to adult dogs. As a general guideline, feed your Alaskan Klee Kai puppy three to four small meals a day until they reach around six months of age. From six months onwards, you can transition them to two meals a day.

Adult Alaskan Klee Kai should be fed twice a day, ideally in the morning and evening. This schedule helps maintain their energy levels throughout the day and prevents hunger-related behavioral issues. It is important to measure the appropriate amount of food based on their age, weight, and activity level to prevent overfeeding or underfeeding.

Treats and Supplements

Treats can be used as rewards during training sessions or as occasional snacks. However, it is important to choose treats that are appropriate for the size of your Alaskan Klee Kai and do not exceed 10% of their daily caloric intake. Opt for healthy treats made from natural ingredients, and avoid those that are high in sugar, salt, or artificial additives.

Supplements may be beneficial for Alaskan Klee Kai, but it is important to consult with a veterinarian before introducing any supplements to their diet. Common supplements for this breed include omega-3 fatty acids for a healthy coat and joints, as well as probiotics for a balanced digestive system. Your veterinarian can guide you on the specific supplements that may benefit your Alaskan Klee Kai based on their individual needs.

Remember, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is crucial for the overall well-being of your Alaskan Klee Kai. By understanding their dietary requirements, following a consistent feeding schedule, and providing appropriate treats and supplements, you can ensure that your furry companion remains healthy and happy for years to come.


In conclusion, the Alaskan Klee Kai is a remarkable and captivating breed that is gaining popularity among dog enthusiasts around the world. This comprehensive breed profile and guide has provided valuable insights into the history, characteristics, temperament, and care requirements of the Alaskan Klee Kai. Whether you are considering adding one to your family or simply intrigued by this unique breed, it is evident that the Alaskan Klee Kai is an intelligent, loyal, and energetic companion that thrives in a loving and active environment. By understanding their needs and dedicating time to their training and socialization, you can ensure a rewarding and fulfilling relationship with your Alaskan Klee Kai for many years to come.