Dog Breed Group: Companion Dogs
UKC group: Northern Breed
Average lifespan: 12-15 years
Average size: 10 to 15 pounds
Coat appearance: Double coat
Coloration: red and white, black and white, or gray and white, though solid white
Best Suited For: families with older children, apartment, houses with/without yards, active singles and seniors
The breed was developed in Wasilla, Alaska, from the early 1970s to 1988 by Linda S. Spurlin and her family. The breed was developed with Siberian and Alaskan Huskies, using Schipperke and American Eskimo Dog to bring down the size without dwarfism. She bred these dogs in private until she released them to the general public in 1988. Originally called the Klee Kai, the breed split into Alaskan Klee Kai and Klee Kai for political reasons in 1995.
The breed consolidated as its current name in 2002. Though a relatively new breed the Alaskan Klee Kai has a rich history. They are extremely energetic and intelligent, and their northern heritage is evident in their appearance. In contrast to Siberian Huskies, which were originally bred as sled dogs, the Alaskan Klee Kai were bred as companion dogs. The Alaskan Klee Kai was officially recognized by the American Rare Breed Association in 1995 and by the United Kennel Club on January 1, 1997.
Alaskan Klee Kais are intelligent, energetic, and loving to their families. They don’t much care for strangers and require lifelong socialization training if they are to be friendly to new people. Their wariness of new faces does, however, make them excellent watchdogs. When it comes to training, Alaskan Klee Kais are quick to pick up on basic commands and may even find themselves at the top of the class.
They are eager to please and highly food motivated, and they are more than capable of taking on agility training, which can help burn off some of their high energy throughout the day. Once they have at least a good, long walk and a healthy play session, they’re usually happy to spend the rest of the day being couch potatoes, but neglect their exercise needs, and they may become bored, anxious, and destructive. Be careful on walks, as these dogs have a high prey drive that may cause them to bolt if they see wildlife. Alaskan Klee Kais love to be the centers of attention in their families, but they will also be vocal when their needs are not being met. Though they do not tend to be overly mouthy and are generally quieter than their Husky forbears, they will bark and whine to express their displeasure, and they can be sensitive.
The Alaskan Klee Kai is considered to be quite a healthy breed with few genetic problems. However, owners should be aware that the breed is predisposed to certain conditions that they should keep an eye out for, including luxating patella, thyroid disease, heart conditions, liver shunts, factor VII deficiency, and cataracts. They may also keep their baby teeth, which can cause problems when adult teeth grow in. They may need to have these teeth removed.
When it comes to Alaskan Klee Kai care, it is very important to make sure their exercise needs are met, as they may become high strung and anxious if they do not have an outlet to burn off energy. Like any dog breed, they require regular teeth brushings, nail clippings, and ear cleanings. You should ask your veterinarian about your dog’s specific needs.
Because of their size, these dogs can live in an apartment, but a house with at least a small yard is recommended.
Due to its high intelligence, the Alaskan Klee Klai typically responds well to training. These dogs are quick learners and they enjoy being given a task to complete. For this reason, Alaskan Klee Klais excel in obedience training as well as agility – agility training also gives the dog a way to exercise its brain as well as its body. Because this breed is prone to developing Small Dog Syndrome, it is essential that you start training early and that you maintain a firm and consistent hand.
The Alaskan Klee Klai is a very active and energetic breed that requires a significant amount of daily exercise. This breed can be adaptable to apartment life but you will need to take the dog for a long walk on a daily basis. Regular playtime is also encouraged to help this breed work off its energy.
Unlike many other breeds, Alaskan Klee Kais do not usually develop a dog odor, and they generally like to groom themselves, so they may not need to bathe as frequently as some other dogs. They will likely need regular brushing during the seasons in which their coats blow out, which happens before summer and winter. During this time, they tend to shed profusely, while they only shed moderately the rest of the year.
Children And Other Pets
The Alaskan Klee Kai is a dedicated family dog that loves its humans, even children. However, they are small dogs, and children that are very young are not always taught how to interact with animals. They may injure or provoke Alaskan Klee Kais to nip. Children should always be supervised when playing with dogs, and the Alaskan Klee Kai is no exception to that rule.
Alaskan Klee Kais are usually good with other dogs, especially if they have been socialized early on, though they have a high prey drive. This makes them ill suited for homes that have smaller pets unless they are specifically trained to live with them.
Is the Alaskan Klee Kai the Right Breed for you?
Minimal Shedding: Recommended for owners who do not want to deal with hair in their cars and homes.
Moderately Easy Training: The Alaskan Klee Kai is average when it comes to training. Results will come gradually.
Very Active: It will need daily exercise to maintain its shape. Committed and active owners will enjoy performing fitness activities with this breed.
Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.