An intelligent, active dog, the Alaskan Klee Kai needs a moderate amount of exercise and a large amount of interaction with owners.
Alaskan Klee Kai At a glance
Male: 12-20 lbs.
Female: 10-18 lbs.
Height at Withers:
Male: 17 in.
Female: 13 in.
Exercise Requirements: 20-40 minutes/day
Energy Level: Very energetic
Longevity Range: 15 – 20 yrs.
Tendency to Bark: Moderate
Tendency to Dig: Moderate Social/Attention Needs: High
Characteristics: Double coat
Colors: Variety of colors with white
Overall Grooming Needs: Moderate
UKC Classification: Northern Breeds
The Alaskan klee kai (pronounced KLEE-ki) means "small dog" in an Eskimo dialect.
The Alaskan klee kai resembles its foundation breed, the Alaskan Husky, in miniature.
The klee kai comes in three sizes: standard, over 15 inches up to and including 17 inches; miniature, over 13 inches up to and including 15 inches; and toy, up to 13 inches. They generally weigh between 10 and 20 pounds (four to nine kilograms), depending on size. The klee kai is assessed at eight months old and spayed or neutered if the dog has any disqualifying faults.
Like allhHuskies, the klee kai has a double coat. They come in a variety of colors including black and white, gray and white, wolf gray and white, red and white and all white. All white, if not an albino, is the only solid color allowed. The klee kai has a mask and symmetrical markings and the characteristic tail that curls over the back. Like its larger cousins, the klee kai sheds or "blows coat" twice a year.
The Alaskan klee kai is an intelligent, high-activity dog. However, they are not "hyper." Unlike other husky breeds, they are highly trainable and make good watchdogs. Also unlike their cousins, they are suspicious of strangers. They require their owner's attention and are most likely found at their owner's side. They "talk back" and howl, but are not excessive barkers. Occasionally, a klee kai will be people-shy. This temperament is considered undesirable and dogs with this temperament are neutered.
Klee kai need a moderate amount of exercise. Because of their intelligence, they can become escape artists. If unhappy, the klee kai can escape through fences. Klee kai have a sense of humor and may play tricks on the owner in obedience classes. They excel in the sport of dog agility.
Klee kai need a large amount of interaction with their owners. They tolerate other dogs well. They are hunters and should be raised together with cats, if the owner is planning on one. The owner should be careful around pet rodents, birds and reptiles, as their husky prey drive is strong. Because they are clever, no pocket pet will be safe from them.
Klee kai make excellent watchdogs, but their size precludes them from being guard dogs. They accept family members and strangers, if introduced by the owner. They are hardy dogs with winter coats, but should not be left outdoors. They need a minimal brushing and combing once a week. Like cats, they are fastidious and keep themselves clean.
Klee kai are ideal for owners who want a small, active dog that does not require a large yard and can be contented with walks and games of fetch. klee kai do not do well left alone for long periods. Anyone who cannot tolerate dog hair and shedding should consider another breed. Klee kai are long-lived, with claims of 15 to 20 years not unusual.
The Alaskan klee kai (pronounced KLEE-ki) means "small dog" in an Eskimo dialect. This breed is a recent one, developed in the early 1970s by Linda Spurlin in Wasilla, Alaska. She discovered an undersized Alaskan husky and fell in love with it, deciding it would be the ideal companion. Starting with this dog, Spurlin bred Alaskan huskies and Siberian huskies to create the klee kai, perhaps adding a schipperke and American Eskimo to obtain a smaller size.
In 1997, the United Kennel Club recognized the Alaskan klee kai. Even with this registration, the Alaskan klee kai is a rare breed with only 700 dogs.