Alaskan Klee Kai are companion-sized dogs that are often confused for mini huskies. Recognised by the United Kennel Club as a breed since 1997, the Alaskan Klee Kai were created by an American woman called Linda Spurlin in the 1970s.
Spurlin used Alaskan Husky, Siberian Husky, American Eskimo Dog and Schipperke to create her initial Alaskan Klee Kai before making her AKK available to the public.
Nowadays, you can only create one of these dogs by breeding two UKC-registered Alaskan Klee Kai together. In 2014, there were around 13,500 Klee Kai registered with the UKC.
Some celebrity Klee Kai owners include Game Of Thrones actress Sophie Turner, musician Joe Jonas and New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
Whether you’ve never heard of Alaskan Klee Kai or you’re a big fan and considering purchasing an AKK puppy, here are some pros and cons of the breed.
Pros of Alaskan Klee Kai
Alaskan Klee Kai are often dubbed as mini huskies. Spurlin set about creating the breed after she adopted an under-sized Alaskan Husky called Curious in the 1970s.
She wanted to create a companion-sized husky rather than the much larger Alaskan Husky and Siberian Husky. Alaskan Klee Kai come in three different sizes: standard (15 to 17 inches), miniature (13 to 15 inches) and toy (up to 13 inches).
These dogs are much smaller than their sledge dog relatives, so they’re easier to handle and take up less room. However, they still have the appearance of Huskies thanks to their coat colours, eye colours and face masks.
The UKC set out three colours for Klee Kai: black and white, red and white and grey white. You’ll encounter AKK that are white or predominantly black.
This is a fault as set out by the UKC’s breed standard. They can have blue eyes, brown eyes, bi-eyes or parti-eye. The Klee Kai should have a mask that covers part of their face. These physical traits give the appearance of a mini husky.
Here’s an Article on Comparison between Husky and Akita.
So you love Huskies but you live in an apartment in a city. Well, the Alaskan Klee Kai could be a good alternative. They’re small size make them ideal for urban dwelling.
Although a home with more space may be preferable, Alaskan Klee Kai are very adaptable so they can thrive in an apartment. You can easily tire out with AKK with games such as fetch and tug-of-war at home.
Having said that, they’ll still benefit from a trip to the dog park or regular daily walks to. This is a relatively energetic breed that needs mental and physical stimulation.
Considering Linda Spurlin started the breed out of a desire to create a companion-sized Husky, it should come as no surprise that Alaskan Klee Kai makes great companion dogs.
Usually, Alaskan Klee Kai will become attached to their family members, sometimes one person in particular. Once the attachment is created, you’ll have a velcro dog on your hands!
These little dogs do have an independent streak so some AKK owners complain that their pups aren’t affectionate. In my experience, Alaskan Klee Kai loves attention and are more than happy to curl up next to their pet parents in bed or on the sofa.
When it comes to Companionship, Shiba Inu and Akita are the breeds which form great bonds with humans as well.
Cons of Alaskan Klee Kai
If you find an Alaskan Klee Kai group on Facebook, you’ll almost certainly encounter an owner asking for help with their dog’s separation anxiety. It’s an issue that seems to affect a good proportion of Alaskan Klee Kai.
As companion dogs, they like to be around their owners as much as possible. However, when they’re left alone, some Klee Kai can become anxious. Separation anxiety can manifest itself in a number of different ways, such as relentless barking, howling or whining, destructive chewing or digging.
If you’ve got a demanding lifestyle that means your Alaskan Klee Kai will have to be left alone for long spells at home, this may not be the right breed for you.
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Some Alaskan Klee Kai can be aloof, shy or skittish around people they don’t know. They can even by wary around members of their family! This is a trait that the Alaskan Klee Kai Association of American recognise on their website: “While loyal and affectionate with family members, the Alaskan Klee Kai is reserved and cautious with strangers and in unfamiliar situations”.
Some Klee Kai breeders recommend bringing your AKK puppy with you everywhere to get them used to different people and situations. It’s a good idea to bring your Alaskan Klee Kai to socialisation classes from a young age to help them learn puppy manners.
If you don’t like being the centre of attention, your best bet is to avoid getting an Alaskan Klee Kai! Most AKK owners have become accustomed to being stopped in the street and asked lots of questions about their Klee Kai.
These little dogs always attract a crowd wherever you go. A quick trip to the shop can take hours with your mini husky.
If you don’t like the idea of receiving a lot of attention from strangers, you may want to go for a more unassuming breed that won’t trigger the interest of dog lovers to the extreme extent that the Alaskan Klee Kai does.