ALL DOG BREED PROFILES

Alaskan Klee Kai: Your Fun-Sized Siberian Husky

Alaskan Klee Kai walking on wooden path
Wyatt Robinson
Written by Wyatt Robinson

Siberian Huskies enjoy immense popularity among the dog-loving community because of their handsome, wolf-like looks. However, due to their size and energy, Siberian Huskies aren’t easy to care for. Siberian Huskies aren’t for everyone, but the Alaskan Klee Kai certainly is!

The Alaskan Klee Kai (AKK) is a relatively new and rare breed of dog, coming into existence in the 1970s. As expected of most small dogs, they are playful, energetic, and extremely loving towards their humans. As we have mentioned, AKKs are commonly described as miniature Huskies, but AKKs are decidedly more obedient than their larger cousin.

In this article, we will cover the characteristics, personality, history, size, and other things you need to know about the AKK. We have even added extra details like other pets compatibility to help you make the right choice regarding whether to adopt an AKK or not.

Breed Characteristics

Alaskan Klee Kai in swimming pool

  • Adaptability: Above Average; can live in small houses; not meant for hot climates.

  • Trainability: Good; can be trained easily.

  • Health and Grooming: Average; healthy but needs to be groomed regularly.

  • All-Around Friendliness: Good; but not the best breed for families with younger children.

  • Exercise Needs: High Maintenance; needs daily walks and exercise.

Dog Breed Group 
HeightToy Variety: Up to 13 inches
Miniature Variety:Over 13 inches, and up to 15 inches
Standard Variety: Over 15 inches
Weight5 to 22 lbs
Lifespan12 to 16 years, though some have been recorded to live up to 20 years

As the name suggests, the AKK is native to Alaska, United States. Since it’s a relatively new breed, it’s not commonly available around the world, making it known as a rare breed.

Most people will take one glance at the AKK and guess that this breed is a descendant of the Siberian Husky. However, they are actually not very similar in character.

The AKK comes in three varieties: Toy, Miniature, and Standard. This gives dog lovers plenty of choices, and satisfies the needs of those looking for a specific size. Though the AKK is not very big—even the Standard variety—this dog is just as energetic as bigger dogs and loves running and playing.

Because of these dogs’ high intelligence, they are easily trained but can turn out to be escape artists, so you might have to latch the doors and shut the windows tightly before you decide to leave your AKK alone and unsupervised.

These dogs love attention from their humans and are likely to act out if neglected or left alone for long periods of time. Although playful and loving around their humans, they can be wary and reserved around strangers and might not be their usual cheerful selves. Because these dogs can be wary of new people, they can make excellent watchdogs.

If you have always wanted a Husky because of this dog’s beautiful appearance but have never been able to get one due to lack of space, or because big dogs require so much time and care, then the AKK should make the perfect companion for you!

Main Highlights

Alaskan Klee Kai in snow

  • The AKK is one of the most intelligent dogs in the world.

  • These dogs are people pleasers, which means that they will do whatever it takes to keep you happy.

  • Although loving towards their family, the AKK can be shy and reserved around strangers or people they are not very familiar with.

  • They can make excellent watchdogs.

  • They do not like being left alone for long periods of time and will need a lot of love and attention.

  • They are easily trained because of their eagerness to please their humans—a trait not found in their cousin, the Siberian Huskies.

Breed History

Alaskan Klee Kai nose

The AKK came into existence in the 1970s when an Alaskan woman, Linda Spurlin, crossed paths with a Siberian Husky in Oklahoma who was unusually small in size. Fascinated by this miniature Husky, she decided to go back and try to recreate it into a separate breed.

It took Spurlin about 15 years to breed these smaller dogs and to be able to sell them to others who were just as fascinated by their size and character. Although she does not breed them anymore, other AKK owners have taken it upon themselves to carry on her work since the breed is still rare and uncommon.

Spurlin initially called this new breed Klee Kai, which literally translates to ‘little dog’ in Inuit. She later changed the name to Alaskan Klee Kai.

Size

Alaskan Klee Kai and Husky size comparison

The AKK comes in three fun sizes: Toy, Miniature, and Standard. These dogs have a maximum height of 17 inches, which makes it easy for you to travel with them or to handle them.

See Also: Backpacking with Dogs: Essential Tips and Tricks

Similar to the Husky, they have a triangular head, ears that are erect and point upward, and a fluffy tail that curls upward towards their back.

These dogs can weigh anything between 5 and 22 lbs. They are lean dogs who do not have the tendency to become obese. Their body weight is balanced and proportionate to their size.

Personality and Character

Alaskan Klee Kai puppies playing in grass

The AKK is a small, happy dog who loves to play and is highly intelligent. Since they love running and chasing, they keep things cheerful around the house and for their owners. They are also very loyal, so they make excellent watchdogs.

Although commonly affectionate, some AKKs might at times prefer to be on their own instead of wanting to cuddle or be petted all the time. They tend to be reserved around new people until they become familiar with them, but will have a lot of love to give once they get to know you! They will surely prove to be great additions to the family.

Health and Potential Problems

Alaskan Klee Kai chewing on yellow ball

The AKK hasn’t been known to suffer from any major health problems so far. However, they may be prone to some relatively common conditions such as:

  • Luxating patella.

  • Thyroid disease.

  • Cataracts.

  • Teeth problems like keeping their baby teeth, which will have to be removed by a vet.

To ensure that your AKK remains healthy and lives a long, happy life, you should schedule routine appointments with your local vet so that issues can be diagnosed and treated early.

Care Features

man holding Alaskan Klee Kai

Like Huskies, AKKs have a thick double coat, which is medium in length. This obviously means that they shed, and therefore need to be groomed every now and then to avoid fur sticking to things around the house. This is why you will need an effective brush with long bristles for proper grooming.

See Also: Best Dog Brush

Since AKKs are mostly playful and love running, they might need routine baths. This is especially true for dogs who visit the park or play around with other pets in the backyard, as they tend to get dirty or dusty. However, not all AKKs need to be frequently bathed, and bathing routines will depend on how clean or dirty the environment is.

Other than that, you will need a nail clipper so that you can trim their nails every other week. You should also consider getting a doggy toothbrush to maintain their dental hygiene and avoid plaque buildup. Also, remember to keep their ears clean to avoid infections.

Last but not least, we recommend that all pet owners keep a first aid box or kit ready at home for emergencies such as wounds or bad scratches. This box or kit will include bandaging material like gauze, painkiller ointment, and some type of disinfectant.

You can also keep a flea or tick spray or collar if your dog likes spending time outside and has the tendency to suffer from flea or tick infestations in warm, humid climates.

Feeding Schedule

Alaskan Klee Kai sitting in grass

Most dog owners prefer to feed their dogs twice a day, with a considerable gap in between feeding times—once in the morning and once in the evening. This works for most people because they can feed and walk their dogs before leaving for work or school, and then feed and walk them again before dinner and bedtime.

However, you can set your own feeding schedule, according to what is most suitable for your lifestyle. If you spend a considerable amount of time outside the house, just make sure that there is clean drinking water available for your dog at all times.

Coat, Color, and Grooming

red and white Alaskan Klee Kai

AKKs have double coats since they are meant to live and breed in cooler climates and places which commonly see snow. The coat is medium in length but gives off a very furry or fuzzy look. There is a considerably dense mane around the neck. The tail is also thickly furred.

The AKK’s undercoat is meant to protect them from the extreme cold, so it is only natural for the dog to shed this during warmer months. The undercoat is made up of soft, dense fur which is similar in length to the outer coat—the only major difference being that the outer coat is straight and not as soft.

Since it’s a relatively new breed, new buyers should ensure that the coat isn’t very long, as that is not acceptable in AKKs.

The color of the coat is similar to that of Huskies. There are four color varieties: white, gray and white, black and white, and red and white.

Although AKKs have a lot of hair, they do not shed all the time, and only need to be brushed more frequently when the shedding becomes excessive. During the shedding season, which comes around twice a year, you might want to brush them regularly until the undercoat has been shed properly.

Children and Other Pets Compatibility

lonely Alaskan Klee Kai puppy howling

Although AKKs are super friendly with their humans and literally crave attention, they might be wary of small children. If they have never been around children before, or have not been raised with them, then you might need to supervise their interaction in case the dog gets agitated with forced playfulness or too much petting.

See Also: Best Dog Breeds for Kids

We all know that little children need to be taught to be gentle with animals; as long as you make sure that the kids aren’t pulling on your AKK’s tail or ears, and are giving the dogs their space, then things should be just fine!

Ask anyone who knows just a little bit about AKKs, and they’ll tell you that they love to play! So, naturally, they will love playing with other dogs that they are familiar with, or even with cats.

Just be careful with allowing them to be around small animals like rabbits, gerbils, birds, guinea pigs, etc. These dogs have an inbuilt instinct to hunt animals that are smaller than they are. However, if introduced properly and acquainted over time, or if raised with your smaller pets since puppyhood, your AKK should be fine around them.

Wrap Up

Alaskan Klee Kai puppy with pencils

And that’s the end of our article! We hope that you now know everything you need to know about this playful little dog. Their intelligence makes them great companions for people who prefer smart pets with a lot of personality.

These dogs are loyal to a fault! They will keep you busy when you’re looking for some happy playtime with them. They are likely to curl up near you or settle down when you decide it’s time to relax.

Since these small dogs are full of energy, they’re also the perfect companions to take with you when you’re stepping out or visiting someplace which is dog-friendly. They will definitely prefer keeping you company wherever you go instead of lazing at home.

On a side note, we would like to point out again that these dogs are better suited to cooler climates due to their double coat. You might want to reconsider adopting an Alaskan Klee Kai if you live somewhere where the temperatures get really high in the summer.

We also recommend keeping them out of the heat on particularly hot days, and giving them ice baths when required.

If you have any questions to ask, please feel free to leave us a comment below. You can also add a comment if you feel like we have missed out on anything important, or if you have been an owner of an AKK and wish to share your experience with the community.

Have you decided to adopt an Alaskan Klee Kai? Then you need a good name for him/her! Our article on little dog names should prove to be useful.

About the author
Wyatt Robinson
Wyatt Robinson

Wyatt Robinson had a great 25-years career as a veterinarian in United Kingdom. He used to be a member of British Veterinary Association and worked in 3 pet hospitals in London and Manchester. He is shining when he sees his pets healthy and full of energy and it is his duty to help other dog owners to keep their best friends full of life.

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