Alaskan Klee Kai

8-23 lbs
Klee Kai, Miniature Alaskan Husky, Mini Husky, AKK

The Alaskan Klee Kai is an adorable dog that, even fully grown, resembles a miniature Husky. With a name taken from the Eskimo words for ‘little dog’, the Alaskan Klee Kai is a breed with a fascinating history.

In this handy primer to everything Alaskan Klee Kai-related, you’ll learn all you need to know about the breed, including the following educational nuggets:

  • Alaskan Klee Kais were developed by a woman called Linda Spurlin
  • Their main health complaints are patellar luxation, juvenile cataracts, liver disease, and factor VII deficiency
  • There are probably fewer than 1,000 true Alaskan Klee Kais in the world
  • The Alaskan Klee Kai temperament can be aloof, though it’s highly intelligent

Alaskan Klee Kai breed overview

The Alaskan Klee Kai is one of many various dogs that look like Huskies. Generally on the small side, this is a beautiful and intelligent dog that knows its own mind. 

Best suited to pet parents who love to do all sorts of outdoor sports and activities, the Alaskan Klee Kai will be an energetic and vigilant dog, keen to look after its family.

Although the Klee Kai is friendly and outgoing, it can be a little uncertain around strangers and other dogs. Don’t worry — it’s nothing that plenty of socialization can’t fix.

Are you the pet parent of an Alaskan Klee Kai? Make sure your pup is covered for any health scares by comparing top-rated pet insurance plans in seconds

purpose Purpose
history Date of Origin
ancestry Ancestry
Alaskan Husky, Siberian Husky

Alaskan Klee Kai Health

Average Size
Male Alaskan Klee Kai size stats
Height: 10-17 inches Weight: 8-23 lbs
Female Alaskan Klee Kai size stats
Height: 10-17 inches Weight: 8-23 lbs

Alaskan Klee Kai Breed History

Once in a while it’s nice to know exactly when, where and how a breed of dog came into the world. When it comes to the origin story of the Alaskan Klee Kai dog we can be specific. Given the name it won’t shock you to hear that this breed hails from the Last Frontier state. But the story isn’t quite as simple as that. 

In the 1970s Linda Spurlin, who lived in Alaska, took a visit to her family in Oklahoma. There she fell in love with a puppy called Curious. As far as we know, that little Curious was the first Alaskan Klee Kai ever made. How was she made? It turned out that puppy was the result of an Alaskan Husky, the notorious sled dog, breeding with a more petite dog in Oklahoma whose identity was unknown. 

Spurlin and her brother-in-law, who lived in Oklahoma and owned the Alaskan Husky parent, set about attempting to essentially make Curious again. But, because no one knew whom the Husky mated with, this was tricky.

Apparently, the siblings were able to ascertain exactly where Curious came from and officially the recognized Alaskan Klee Kai is a mix of Alaskan Husky, American Eskimo Dog, Schipperke, and Siberian Husky.

Spurlin sold the first of her little Klee Kais in 1987 to a woman called Eileen Gregory, who went on to take on the breeding baton from Spurlin. The United Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1997. The standards for the Klee Kai have been famously exacting, thanks especially to Spurlin, and there aren’t many more than 700 worldwide.

Alaskan Klee Kai Breed Appearance

A full grown Alaskan Klee Kai stands between 12 and 17 inches off the ground, although the Alaskan Klee Kai size can vary: there can be standard Klee Kais, miniature Klee Kais, and toy Klee Kais. 

It has a well proportioned body and a dense coat with a softer undercoat and weather-resistant topcoat). This coat can come in all white, red and white, gray and white, or black and white (with subcategories in each). 

It has a wedge-shaped head, an ever-so-slightly curly tail, and triangle ears. The eye color of an Alaskan Klee Kai can be brown, blue or amber, and its nose is wide and black.

Similar breeds to the Alaskan Klee Kai

If you’re interested in the Alaskan Klee Kai — and you probably are if you’re reading this page — you might be interested to know that the following breeds are all quite similar in various ways:

Now you’re all clued up on the particulars of the Alaskan Klee Kai, we recommend that you educate yourself on how much it will cost to look after one over the years that it will be in your care. On average, although it is a broad spectrum, the Alaskan Klee Kai is likely to cost you approximately $500 to $1,000 a year in vet bills. A pet insurance plan may cover some of those costs. 

Here, you can compare the best insurance providers to find the right quote for you and your furry friend. And, while you’re there, why not consider a wellness plan, which will cover the cost of your pup’s routine vet treatment and checks?

Alaskan Klee Kai Breed Maintenance

There’s a great deal of hair on this small Husky-looking dog and a good amount of it is going to come off. Experts recommend combing the loose hairs with a comb, slicker brush and pin brush, and don’t be alarmed that the fur comes out particularly heavily during the summer, when the thicker coat is unnecessary for the dog. 

During these heavy-shedding periods you’ll need to use your brush more often, and you may also want to bathe it more often to help those loose hairs on their journey out. (Otherwise, like most dogs, a Klee Kai will only need a bath when it’s got particularly filthy.)

And you may find that, like most dogs, this breed’s natural exercise and activity keeps the nails nice and trim. But be on the lookout for them getting a little long and make sure you look at them every few weeks in case anything worrying is going on. Brush this furry fella’s teeth a few times a week and, if you can, ask a professional to clean them annually as a special treat.

Alaskan Klee Kai health risks

All being well, you should have around 15 years with your beautiful dog, but along the way there’s bound to be the odd health complication. We hope you never have anything serious to worry about, but with Alaskan Klee Kais, the following conditions are a little more likely to occur than others — so keep an eye out for:

Patellar luxation

If you notice that your Alaskan Klee Kai is limping, or perhaps refusing to exercise or experiencing swelling in the leg, they may have patellar luxation. This is a commonplace disorder that sees the dog’s kneecap dislocated from the knee joint. Normally hereditary, the condition can also be caused by trauma sustained to the knee instead.

You may not know right away if your young pup has patellar luxation because before around six weeks old the little one could just be interpreted as being a bit clumsy. At approximately this age, however, a vet will be able to diagnose it. 

Once a diagnosis has been confirmed (and graded from between 1-4 according to severity), your vet may prescribe medication like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs but it’s more likely that they will recommend surgery (if they don’t want to try solutions like leg braces or bandages). The surgeon may want to insert pins into the tibia, shape the bone to add depth to the femur’s groove, or make fascial release incisions on the side of the affected knee. 

Juvenile cataracts

Cataracts are an extremely common occurrence in dogs. If your dog has cataracts it’s possible they may exhibit one of the following symptoms: their eye may be cloudy in appearance; its eye may reflect light abnormally; and there may be some abnormal coloration of the eye, often of the light blue or gray variety. 

This is a condition defined by the clouding of the lens in the eye. As a result of this clouding, the retina struggles to receive light and create an image. With cataracts will come some vision loss, which will be identifiable if you notice your Klee Kai bumping into things, being extra-clumsy, or walking around more cautiously than normal. If left unattended to, cataracts can lead to problems like glaucoma and even blindness. 

In order to treat cataracts, a vet will want to perform surgery, which in the case of this condition has a fantastic 90+% success rate. 

Liver disease

There are multiple symptoms that might indicate that your dog has a serious problem with their liver. Among them are vomiting, bloody diarrhea, jaundice and disorientation. Various things can cause the problem in the first place, including fungal infections, various types of poisoning, liver cysts, and cancer.

When a vet does treat it, they may want to clean out your dog’s system by giving it an enema or using a needle to siphon off fluid in the abdomen. Other methods include transfusion to facilitate blood clotting or antibiotics to prevent infection. It may even be necessary to perform surgery on the pup but this is a worst-case scenario.

Be aware in advance that this is an expensive condition to treat, so make sure you compare the best pet insurance companies out there and get a quote for you and your furry friend so that you don’t have a nasty surprise. 

Factor VII deficiency

This is a condition that affects the Alaskan Klee Kai as well as breeds like the Beagle and Miniature Schnauzer. It happens when a dog doesn’t have sufficient Factor VII, which is a clotting protein. It may be brought about by bruising or excessive bleeding.

Hemostasis is a dog’s ability to stop its body from bleeding and it is obviously serious if a dog cannot perform hemostasis properly. A vet will need to know if the bleeding has been caused by a shortage of Factor VII or as the direct result of surgery.

This is a problem that, unfortunately, can’t be cured, only managed. A gene therapy approach has proved effective, with delivery of a canine FVII zymogen transgene.

Are you the pet parent of an Alaskan Klee Kai? Make sure your pup is covered for any health scares by comparing top-rated pet insurance plans in seconds

Feeding a Alaskan Klee Kai — what’s the best diet?

Your Alaskan Klee Kai will love you if you give it lots of high-quality, nutrient-rich food full of animal proteins to keep it healthy and full of energy. 

Do your research and avoid harmful ingredients and things like fillers. If you can afford it, favor dog food brands that are transparent about how they source their ingredients and what goes into each packet. Try, if possible, to avoid giving it scraps from your plates — food tailored to dogs will always be preferable. As Klee Kais have a slight propensity for obesity, be mindful of how much you feed your dog. About a cup of day should suffice.

And, if you want comprehensive information about the best dog foods out there, check out our friends at Dog Food Advisor — they have in-depth brand reviews that include ingredient analysis, so you know exactly what you’re feeding your pet.

Alaskan Klee Kai Temperament

The Alaskan Klee Kai’s temperament is a delight, being loving to its human family, but it can be a little on the aloof side. Being a supremely intelligent dog, it’s highly trainable and eager to please. It isn’t afraid to voice its disapproval, so it will be perfectly happy to bark and whine if it thinks you’re doing something wrong.

You may be pleased to hear that it’s absolutely possible to pair an Alaskan Klee Kai with a cat in the house but it is best — as it always tends to be with dogs — if the two animals have been raised together. This is because the Klee Kai might be a bit rough with the cat if it hasn’t lived most of its life alongside it.

While the dog makes for a good watchdog, unlike the Husky it’s too small to make for a particularly effective guard dog. 

Alaskan Klee Kai Activity Requirements

In terms of exercise this is a fairly high-maintenance dog who will expect more than a mile a day of physical activity. If you’re lucky enough to have plenty of space near you, do consider involving your Alaskan Klee Kai in one or more of a range of outdoor sports like kayaking, hiking and the paddle board.

When you take the dog out, bear in mind that it still has a relatively high prey drive and will need to be kept on a lead for fear of chasing tempting morsels like squirrels or cats. At home, for instance, you will need a backyard with a fence so that you can keep the dog off the lead without having to worry. 

All these things and more mean that the breed is more well suited to those living in rural surroundings but because of the dog’s size it’s perfectly comfortable with a slightly more cozy set-up as well. This isn’t a breed that does all that well if left alone for a while.

Alaskan Klee Kai Owner Experiences

1 Year
5 People
House & Yard
Laying in the sun
Learn a new trick
Go Camping
i love my dog she' the best thing thing that have ever been in my whole life
2 years, 5 months ago
1 Year
3 People
House & Yard
Learn a new trick
Play keep away
Playing in the snow
If I'm going for a hike, doing laundry, or just watching TV, Kiva my Klee Kai is right by my side. She is the best friend I will ever have and has a unique bond with each person in the household. Although some shoes might get eaten if I leave the house for too long, she makes up for it with eagerness to please when i return. Socializing early and often keeps her friendly to strangers, but going too long without makes her afraid of new people and requires close supervision. By far the best pet I have ever had, so much personality, very affectionate, and the perfect playmate for my kids.
4 years, 7 months ago
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