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Your Guide to the Alaskan Klee Kai
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Your Guide to the Alaskan Klee Kai

Critter Culture Staff
Updated Apr 22, 2022

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The Alaskan Klee Kai is a small pup with a huge personality, an adorable pooch that's new to the scene. The name means "little dog" in Inuit, and the breed is a miniature husky variation.

Without having a lengthy history like most other canines, Klee Kais are unfamiliar to many people. This is why it's best to learn about them before making a lifelong ownership commitment. Is this the dog for you?

1

The history of the Alaskan Klee Kai

Alaskan Klee Kai puppy sitting on grass looking up goldenKB / Getty Images

The Alaskan Klee Kai (AKK) is a relatively new dog breed. Only present for around 50 years, they're still working their way to being recognized by the American Kennel Club. Yet they definitely have a fan following among experienced small-breed owners, and this popularity continues to rise.

Only available to the public for a few decades, the AKK was introduced to create a diminutive husky. Instead of simply miniaturizing the dog, small spitz breeds were mixed with huskies to avoid creating genetic mutations. After a few generations, the AKK started to show some uniformity. Sales and breeding began to boom. Today a puppy can cost $3000 or more.

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2

AKK size variations

Alaskan Klee Kai dog and puppy kali9 / Getty Images

Because of their novelty, Klee Kais don't yet have an average size. Instead, there are three categories of physical ranges since litters can dramatically vary. The toy Alaskan Klee Kai is the smallest pup weighing around five pounds and measuring under a foot tall. Miniature AKKs are the next size up, maxing out at 15 pounds and under 15 inches in height. As the largest type, standard Alaskan Klee Kais weigh under 25 pounds and seldom reach a height of 18 inches.

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3

Typical breed appearance

Alaskan Klee Kai with Heterochromia iridum. I_AM_JASON / Getty Images

Due to their size discrepancy, AKKs don't have a precise look. Overall, they tend to have appearances that are more like Siberian huskies versus Alaskan huskies. Alaskan Klee Kais will feature blue, brown, or yellow eyes but sometimes carry the trait of having two different colored eyes.

Coming in several colors, AKKs have a dark mask and a wide ridge on the muzzle; all-white AKKs exist, but they're exceptionally rare. These dogs sport a large amount of fur and tend to shed year-round. They have double coats that can be either short or long.

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4

How to groom a Klee Kai

Alaskan Klee Kai dog with blue eyes

Despite the AKK's shedding, they're quite an easy dog to maintain. With a tendency to be self-reliant, these pups like to clean themselves often. Bathing your Klee Kai shouldn't be done with much frequency. All it needs is a weekly regular brushing, which should be increased in the spring and autumn during the blowout shedding seasons.

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5

Health and wellness

Alaskan Klee Kai bon9 / Getty Images

The AKK is a pretty healthy dog, thanks to the care given to avoid furthering genetic flaws. Just like all canines, though, there are certain ailments that the breed is more inclined to have.

Knee and thyroid problems seem to creep up in some AKKs. Cardiac and liver issues may also arise. A bleeding disorder called factor VII deficiency used to be common but is rare today because of vigilant breeding techniques.

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6

AKK nutrition requirements

boy giving treat to Alaskan Klee Kai puppy kali9 / Getty Images

Meal servings vary depending on the Klee Kai's size. Any raw, homemade, or high-quality commercial dog food is suitable. You will have to watch your AKK's weight, though. Some tend to carry on the husky metabolism, which is geared to storing fat. Adjust eating schedules, and food amounts to maintain a healthy weight.

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7

Energy level and exercise requirements

Alaskan Klee Kai running mauinow1 / Getty Images

Alaskan Klee Kais are high-energy dogs. Their instinct is to run in packs. They need a lot of playtime and exercise to tire them out. A fenced-in yard is a plus but not necessary. Owners should be prepared to go on daily leashed walks and the occasional adventure.

Mental stimulation goes hand-in-hand with the AKK's energy level. Playtime should be enriching and more complex than simply tossing a stick to fetch. Learning new tricks will keep them engaged and out of trouble.

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8

Training an Alaskan Klee Kai

girl training Alaskan Klee Kai puppy kali9 / Getty Images

The AKK breed is one that can definitely benefit from some training. These dogs know how to listen but sometimes choose to ignore their owners. Short training sessions with positive reinforcement work best. Obedience school is also a viable option. And because of the Klee Kai's size and mental stamina, they're great candidates for trick training or agility contests.

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9

Who should own an AKK

Alaskan Klee Kai in Snow and leaves

Due to its size, the Klee Kai is a wonderful dog for those living in an apartment. But the owner should be active and looking for a playful pup. Otherwise, boredom will set in, and the AKK can do a lot of damage.

A family with older children is ideal for this dog. Living with other canines is fine, though consider the AKK's stature: it wants to play but doesn't understand the size difference. Regarding other animals, the pooch should be introduced to them as a puppy. Otherwise, there's a natural instinct to hunt and attack.

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10

Breed temperament

Alaskan Klee Kai

Compared to other breeds that have been around for centuries, the AKK hasn't had enough time to form a uniform or typical disposition. Yet there are key characteristics that are starting to become normal traits. This is a loyal dog that loves its family. However, they'll likely be a bit nervous and afraid of strangers. Breeders are working to establish more confidence in the pups, but this takes time. Otherwise, AKKs are intelligent and independent. They don't bark much but are inclined to make noises when they're unhappy, excited, frightened, bored, or feeling playful.

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