What is the Alaskan Klee Kai?

  • By: Mick Whitefield
  • Time to read: 5 min.

The Alaskan Klee Kai or Mini Husky as it is referred to is a fun filled character of a dog, great for families with children and very attentive making it a great companion dog. A rare breed, as yet, but its good looks and its smiling nature means its popularity is growing. It is a relatively new breed of dog from specially selected lines of Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies together with Schipperkes and the American Eskimo Dog to help miniaturize the breed.

Alaskan Klee Kai Black And White
Black and White Alaskan Klee Kai

Quick Facts about the Alaskan Klee Kai

Alaskan Klee Kai’s Lifespan

In general about 10 to 13 years, but this is a relatively new breed and some have already made the 15 year mark.

Height of the Alaskan at The Withers

Males are 13 to 17 inches or 33 to 43cm
Females are 13 to 15 inches or 33 to 38cm
Heights vary as there are Standard Miniature and Toy Breeds

Weight of the Alaskan Klee Kai

Males average 12 to 20lbs or 5 to 9 Kilos
Females average 10 to 18lbs or 4.5 to 8 Kilos

Recognised as a Pedigree Breed

Yes, with the UKC as a Northern Breed – Rare

Is the Alaskan Klee Kai Hypoallergenic?


What Does the Alaskan Klee Kai Look Like?

The easiest description would be to say that they look like a miniature husky.

A square head with forward facing upright ears, keen alert eyes over a strong nose with a soft jawline all sat on a strong medium length neck into slim but strong shoulders.

A straight back with a deep chest leading to a thin waist on athletic rear legs with a high curving upright tail.

As a cross breed from Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies, Schipperkes and the American Eskimo Dog this makes a sporty handsome spritely dog.

Klee Kai Grey
Klee Kai Grey and White

Like its larger cousins, the Klee Kai has a double coat and sheds or “blows its coat” twice a year which comes in a variety of colors including black and white, grey and white, red and white and all white. All white (if not an albino), is the only full solid colour allowed under the UKC Rules.

Klee Kai Black And White
Klee Kai Black and White

The Klee Kai has symmetrical markings and often looks like it is wearing a mask. Pointed erect forward-facing ears with a medium snout on a strong jawline, with a mouth that often appears to smile leading back to wide cheeks.

Alaskan Klee Kai Red And White With Blue Eyes
A Beautiful Red and White Klee Kai with stunning Blue Eyes

The eyes are often black, but many have a beautiful Blue Iris or a Yellowy Green which can make them look very intense when they sit in front, looking at you.

In the typical Spitz style, the characteristic tail curls upward and forward toward the head.

History of the Alaskan Klee Kai

The Alaskan Klee Kai is a Mini-Husky originally bred in Alaska during the 1970s. Linda Spurlin and her family wanted an Alaskan Husky that was small enough to be a companion dog.

During the 1970s and 80s, the Spurlins carefully chose and bred dogs that held to the high standards for appearance, physical and mental soundness, thus creating this rare breed. They made the Alaskan Klee Kai available to the public in 1988.

To develop the Klee Kai, Spurlin bred Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies together, along with Schipperkes and the American Eskimo Dog to help miniaturize the breed.

Originally Linda Spurlin called the breed the Klee Kai, which is an Inuit term meaning “small dog,” it was then renamed the Alaskan Klee Kai in 1995 prior to being officially recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1997.

Due to it being a new breed it is classified as rare in breed and its UKC type is Northern Breed and pertains in its description as a Spitz type dog.

Characteristics of the Alaskan Klee Kai

First we will dispel the myth of being a Mini Husky. Looks and intelligence are the only two common traits that they share with the Husky. These dogs love an active lifestyle, but they are NOT hyper.

Thus, they are excellent dogs for training, they make really good agility dogs, great at learning tricks and love to be given attention, which is why I believe they are very good family or kid dogs.

Alaskan Klee Kai Puppies
Klee Kai Puppies love outdoors

They also make an ideal first-time owner dog as they are robust, clever and it is difficult to go wrong with these dogs.

They are not a dog to be shut in all day on their own though, so if you are on your own you may need to take the dog to work, which if working outside would be an excellent choice.

Keeping the Alaskan Klee Kai at Home

Klee kai are ideal for those who want a small but active dog that doesn’t require the need for a large yard. It is still a very active dog though that needs walking or playing games of fetch with.

These dogs do not do well being left alone for long periods.

Klee kai tolerate other dogs well but owners should be aware that they have a hunting prey drive and as such will chase other small animals so they will need to be integrated carefully with other pets at home.

Klee kai are too small for guard dogs but they do make excellent watchdogs. They accept family members and strangers, if introduced by the owner.

Alaskan Klee Kai White
White with its tail unusually in a down position

They are hardy dogs with good winter coats but should not really be left outdoors. They need minimal regular brushing or combing about once a week. Like cats, they are fastidious and tend to keep themselves clean.

They bark but are not excessive barkers.

Conclusion to owning an Alaskan Klee Kai

This fun little character has to be a great family pet, not too big so it doesn’t bowl over the little ones yet energetic enough to play with the teenagers, patient and attentive enough to sit while you put ribbons in their hair.

Alaskan Klee Kai Pup
Great little pups for all ages

And if you don’t need a great all-round family dog but simply want a good faithful companion perhaps to travel or go to work with then these guys are well worth taking a serious look at.

A fantastic all rounder that would even suit an elderly person with energy to use.

This information comes from our A to Z of Lap Dog Breeds

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