Breed Spotlight: Alaskan Klee Kai

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My husband loves dogs, especially ours, of course. But he has always said how he would love to have a Husky. He also wishes he had a Husky that would stay small so it would be comfortable living in our apartment. Well, I may now be able to make his wish come true someday! The Alaskan Klee Kai is a mini version of the Alaskan Husky, and what a cute version it is!

History/Origin – Klee Kai, in the Alaskan Athabaskan language, means small dog. The breed was born in Wasilla, Alaska in the middle of the 70s when Linda Spurlin observed an “accidental” mating of a husky and a small dog of an unknown breed. Spurlin developed the breed by mating Siberian and Alaskan Huskies with Schipperkes and American Eskimo Dogs. They were bred in private by Spurlin, until 1988 when she introduced them to the public. Other names for this breed are Miniature Alaskan Husky and Mini Husky.

Size – The Klee Kai come in three different sizes.

Toy – up to and including a height of 13 inches and a weight of up to and including 9 pounds.

Miniature – between 13 inches high and 15 inches high and weighing between 10 and 15 pounds.

Standard – between 15 and 17 inches high and between 16 – 23 pounds.

Appearance – This breed comes in four color varieties: solid white, black & white, gray & white, and the rare red & white. The last three are the only color varieties recognized by the United Kennel Club, or UKC. They have medium sized eyes that can be any color or combination of colors.

Grooming – Klee Kai will spend hours each day grooming themselves, so they rarely require a trip to the groomer’s for their coat. However, if the dog has a longer coat, the hair can become matted if not brushed and groomed properly. They require regular nail trims and routine brushing.

TemperamentThese dogs are highly intelligent, curious, and active. They can be cautious around strangers, making them effective watchdogs, but also around other dogs. Because of this, a lifetime of proper socialization is highly important. Klee Kai have a strong prey drive, so unless they are properly introduced to smaller animals, including cats, at a young age, they will have an urge to hunt them. They can be a great family dog if they are raised with young children that are taught how to treat and respect
animals. Make sure your children know that it is never okay to mistreat any dog by poking, pinching, or bullying them. It may be best to bring this breed into your home when you have older children that can understand these “rules” rather than having a Klee Kai when you are just starting your family. The breed’s intelligence helps them to excel in obedience class which is absolutely necessary. Due to their high activity level, Klee Kai also do wonderfully in agility classes.

Health – Compared to other breeds, Klee Kai are relatively free of genetic defects. However, some health concerns can include: Juvenile Cataracts, Liver Disease, Luxating Patella, Cardiac Issues and Thyroid Disease. On the plus side, they are known for not having any doggy odor or bad breath!

Exercise – This breed is not ideal for anyone who doesn’t enjoy daily exercise with their
pooch. They require long walks daily. While they are a good size dog for apartment living, they would ideally have a large, fenced in area where they and their owner can get out and play!

If you are interested in seeing an adorable Klee Kai in action, check out this video of Kiwi performing some magic tricks for her audience!

Juliet Carty Greene is the proud pet Mommy of Yoda, Wendy, and Willow. She has been happily married for over a year and lives in Salem, MA. Besides writing and expanding her knowledge on dogs, she’s an avid winter-time knitter and all-around animal lover.

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