Alaskan Klee Kai

The Alaskan Klee Kai Dog: Breed Information and Personality Traits

Katelyn Son
By Katelyn Son
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Always dreamed of owning a Siberian Husky, but a little intimidated by their size and energy? The Alaskan Klee Kai (AKK) is a miniature version of the Husky, but different than a mini-Husky.

Klee Kais look like tiny wolves wearing superhero masks. The Alaskan Klee Kai was bred to be a companion animal, unlike Huskies. Huskies are working dogs who need to have a job to do and who require vigorous exercise.

AKK’s can be great apartment dogs and are easy to travel with. These small dogs are unique and intelligent, which allows them to excel at obedience training and can make them great agility dogs. Klee Kais look like tiny wolves and even though they aren’t an American Kennel Club recognized breed, they are becoming increasingly popular!

A Brief History of the Alaskan Klee Kai aka AKK Dog!

The Klee Kai breed was created by Linda Spurlin and her family in the 1970s until 1988 in Alaska. They loved the Husky breed but wanted to have a smaller companion-sized version. Huskies can be a lot to handle, they are strong-willed dogs that were bred to work in the snow of Siberia.

Huskies are easy to love, they are beautiful dogs with thick coats and a wild appearance, but are not always happy in an apartment or suburban environment. They can have behavioral issues due to a lack of exercise and insufficient space to roam. Klee Kais are the perfect solution, a Husky that is happy to live in an apartment and can easily fit in your lap.

The Alaskan Klee Kai is not an AKC recognized breed. The breed is too new and is a combination of many other breeds. Spurlin and her family bred Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies with similar but small dog breeds like the Schipperke to create smaller puppies.

Spurlin could have bred Husky runts or puppies suffering from dwarfism, but was very concerned about creating a new breed that was healthy. Many “miniature” or “toy” breeds are created using this method.

Breeders can inbreed or breed unhealthy dogs to create a puppy that looks cute but has a lot of hereditary problems. The Klee Kai doesn’t have these issues because of how Spurlin approached the breeding process.

The Appearance of Klee Kais

AKKs look like Huskies but are simply smaller. They can be any color or color variety other than all white. Common colors are grey, white, and red.

They have a double coat that sheds heavily twice a year. Klee Kais should have a trademark “mask” on their face, resembling a superhero in disguise. They can have dark eyes, blue eyes, and often are heterochromatic (meaning they have one blue and one brown eye).

Average Size and Weight of this Mini Husky Breed!

Klee Kais can vary in size, ranging from 13 to 17 inches tall. According to the AKC, there are three sizes: toy, miniature, and standard.

The toy size is the smallest and includes AKKs that are under 13 inches tall. Klees that are between 13 to 15 inches tall are considered to be miniature.

If they are between 15 to 17 inches tall they are standard size. Klee Kais typically weigh between 10 to 25 pounds, depending on their size.

Size Comparison: Alaskan Klee Kai Full Grown vs Husky

Even when fully grown, Alaskan Klee Kais are significantly smaller than Huskies. Klee Kais are generally seven inches shorter than Huskies.

Huskies are between 20 to 24 inches tall and weigh a lot more. Huskies weigh 35 to 65 pounds. Klee Kais are a better choice for an apartment dog or for traveling, based on their smaller height and weight.

Coats and Colors Explained!

Klee Kais have a base color of either white or black and then have red or grey marketings. Their black fur can be either pure black or a salt and pepper mix of black and white.

The red colorings can be either a deep red or a light cinnamon color. Pure white Klee Kais may be available but are not recognized by the AKC and other kennel clubs.

Temperament and Personality: What to Expect!

Alaskan Klee Kai’s are free-spirited, independent dogs that have some characteristics of Huskies, like their tendency to be very vocal. They are not big barkers but enjoy howling and yelling when feeling emotional.

AKKs are energetic dogs that do need exercise. They need to be socialized at a young age to get used to strangers, animals, and children. Klees are naturally skittish. They enjoy exploring and chasing squirrels and lizards. They also enjoy being with their human family and like having other furry siblings.

How Long do These Doggos Live?

Klee Kais live for 14-16 years.

6 Potential Health Issues to Be Aware Of and How to Prevent Them!

Klee Kais were designed to be healthy dogs. Spurlin chose to breed smaller dogs with healthy Huskies, instead of runt or dwarf Huskies, to make sure the new dog breed was very healthy.

There can still be hereditary issues, especially from irresponsible breeding practices, often to produce specific coat colors or small sizes.

  1. Luxating Patella – This is a fairly common disorder in both small and large dogs where the kneecap dislocates from its normal position during exercise or even just walking.
  2. Thyroid Disease – Responsible Klee Kai breeders try to avoid this disease by screening potential breeding dogs for it, but even then it still occurs accidentally. Thyroid disease is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system starts attacking the thyroid glands, which are important for the metabolism.
  3. Heart conditions
  4. Liver Shunts – In this condition, the blood is not filtered through the liver as it should and toxins enter the heart.  It can be corrected through surgery, but dogs with minor issues can be treated through proper diet.
  5. Factor IVV Deficiency- This is a blood disorder, where the blood does not clot properly and dogs bleed more than they should. Some dogs are “carriers” for the disease but do not show symptoms and then it is passed on.
  6. Juvenile Cataracts 

Alaskan Klee Kai for Sale!

You can find Klee Kai breeders in your area online or through local Klee Kai clubs. Klee Kais are sometimes called Mini Huskies when they’re actually not!

Some breeders produce small Huskies by breeding the smallest Husky puppies in a litter or even breeding some that suffer from dwarfism.

Klee Kais were originally a mix of different Husky-like dogs that were smaller but still kept the traditional wolf-look.

How Much Do Alaskan Klee Kai Puppies Cost?

This is a rare breed, so an Alaskan Klee Kai puppy can cost between $1800 to $3000 dollars.

Be Sure to Get Your Puppy from a Reputable Breeder!

A reputable breeder should practice responsible breeding practices and provide humane conditions for their dogs.

Puppies from reputable breeders are healthier than those from puppy mills or backyard breeders who have poor breeding practices like overbreeding or inbreeding. Some breeders use these practices to produce smaller and more desirable coats and colors that are less common.

Adopt, Don’t Shop! Ask an Animal Shelter About AKK Rescues!

You can find Klee Kais of different ages and sizes through your local AKK rescue. There are breed rescues all around the world that rescue Klee Kai and Klee Kai mixes.