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Alaskan Klee Kai: Alaskan Husky in a Small Package

Alaskan Klee Kai

If you're looking for a companion dog that's the size of a lapdog but has the personality, strikingly beautiful appearance, and energy of an Alaskan Husky, you're in luck. The Alaskan Klee Kai is an Alaskan Husky – just smaller. With three sizes to choose from (Standard, Miniature, and Toy) the Alaskan Klee Kai makes a perfect apartment dog with the vitality, loyal temperament, and intelligence of the Alaskan Husky. Because of its small size, it's not a true working dog like its larger "cousin," but it has the dazzling presence and breathtakingly "wild" beauty of the Alaskan Husky, with just a few minor differences.

History
Beginning in the early 1970s, Linda S. Spurlin began to create a breed in Wasilla, Alaska. She sought to produce a dog that had the stunning looks, athleticism, allure, intelligence and spirit of the Alaskan Husky, but in a smaller size. She aspired to do this without risking dwarfism, and therefore used Alaskan and Siberian Huskies along with the American Eskimo dog and the Schipperke to produce the final result. These dogs had the magnificent appearance and standard markings of the Alaskan Husky without the size. Bred in private until she introduced them to the world in 1988, they were originally simply called the Klee Kai. However, "Alaskan Klee Kai" was established as a separate name for political reasons in 1995, and became its only name in 2002. Officially recognized by the American Rare Breed Association in 1995, it was recognized by the United Kennel Club on January 1, 1997.

Appearance
The Alaskan Klee Kai comes in three sizes: The toy-sized Alaskan Klee Kai stands up to 13 inches at the shoulder and weighs up to 9 pounds in adulthood; the miniature-sized Alaskan Klee Kai stands up to 15 inches high at the shoulder and weighs between 10 and 15 pounds; and the standard-sized Alaskan Klee Kai stands up to 17 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 16 and 23 pounds in adulthood.

Coat colors are also established as three different varieties: Alaskan Klee Kais can be black and white, red and white, or gray and white. The red and white variety can have "red" fur ranging from a dark auburn color to cinnamon. There are also solid white Alaskan Klee Kais, but the breed standard disqualifies this color for show. The United Kennel Club has recognized solid white as a valid color in Alaskan Klee Kais which can be registered with the AKC, but not shown in competition.

The Alaskan Klee Kai also has a facemask with distinctive markings just as the Alaskan Husky does. For show dogs, the facemask must be clearly visible and distinct. All bodily markings must be symmetrical, with a contrasting lighter color on the underside, legs, feet, chest and throat. Light spots over the eyes, a dark strip down the center of the nose, a light "blaze" in the middle of the skull, dark colorations under the eyes and at the tip of the tail are also desired markings but not absolutely necessary for show.

In addition, there are two coat types for the Alaskan Klee Kai: Standard and full. The coat is worn long enough for a "well-furred appearance," but not so long as to obscure the dog's outline. Feathering may occur for dogs with longer coats. Alaskan Klee Kais that are shown are kept "natural," with no overt grooming or shaping of the fur to produce a desired result.

Temperament
Very intelligent and loving, the Alaskan Klee Kai is very much like the Alaskan Husky, with a strong instinct to pursue its prey, making it unsuitable for households with smaller animals, including some cats. Characterized by high energy and a tendency to bark sometimes, your puppy needs socialization from the time you bring him or her home to make sure he or she will fit in well with your family. Once socialized, though, this devoted, attentive, lively little dog is very curious, vivacious and alert. Your pet will make an excellent watchdog, although because of his or her small size should not be expected to function as a typical “guard dog.”

It's worth noting that although the Alaskan Klee Kai is very attentive and devoted, it's not always possible to get an Alaskan Klee Kai to obey you simply because this breed is so intelligent and independent. Right from the very start, you must firmly establish yourself as leader of the pack – and don't let the small size of your new family member fool you. You could be in for some very unpleasant times indeed if you don't establish yourself as the leader. Just as with the Alaskan Husky, your little pet needs a firm, strong hand – but not harsh – with clearly established boundaries at all times. This breed likes to run and should not be trusted off leash without a very sturdy fence. And because the Alaskan Klee Kai also likes to dig, that fence should be rigidly established to discourage any kind of escape.

One of the considerations with the Alaskan Klee Kai is that because it is a smaller breed, it can also develop something called "small dog syndrome." This is a behavioral malady peculiar to small dogs which is the result of well-intentioned but misguided owners who “baby” their pets because they are so adorable and "cute." This practice produces “spoiled-rotten brats” who can indeed become holy terrors: Snappish, even dangerous to small children whose bite is most definitely as bad – or worse – than their bark. Make sure you don't let your little pet become the spoiled baby of the family. Instead, establish firm boundaries and treat the Alaskan Klee Kai much as you would treat the larger Alaskan Husky – with firmly established boundaries and gentle but consistent discipline, plenty of love, devotion and attention, with time spent mostly around you.

Properly socialized, the Alaskan Klee Kai will be very eager to please and extremely devoted to you. Just remember that your pet actually yearns for boundaries and discipline, from a firm, gentle leader. Provide these things, and you'll have a loving "angel" by your side, for life.

Health
The Alaskan Klee Kai is remarkably healthy and long-lived, with a lifespan of approximately 14 years. They can be prone to sensitive stomachs, but genetic issues have not developed to any great degree, perhaps because the breed itself is relatively new.

Grooming
The Alaskan Klee Kai "blows" its coat, meaning that it sheds very heavily – almost like it's molting. Groom very frequently during this time, once or even twice a day. If you can let your dog outside where it's safe, he or she will help you with the blowing process by rubbing against fences, trees, etc., to assist in hair loss. Other than that, the Alaskan Klee Kai is very clean and has been noted for its catlike grooming tendencies. The breed is extremely fastidious and should rarely need bathing. Trimming nails and brushing the fur on a daily basis even when your pet is not "blowing" his or her coat will help you bond with your smart, sensitive and appreciative little family member.

References
Alaskan Klee Kai.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaskan_Klee_Kai
Retrieved July 30, 2013.

Alaskan Klee Kai.
https://www.puppydogweb.com/alaskankleekai.htm
Retrieved July 30, 2013.

Alaskan Klee Kai Dogs.
http://www.dogster.com/dog-breeds/Alaskan_Klee_Kai
Retrieved July 30, 2013.

Alaskan Klee Kai (Miniature Alaskan Husky) (Mini Husky) (AKK).
http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/alaskankleekai.htm.
Retrieved July 30, 2013.

Group Classification: Nordic

Recognized By: CKC, UKC, NKC, APRI, ACR

Country of Origin: US

Date of Origin: 1970s

Hair Length: Long, Medium

Shedding: Moderate Shed

Body Size: Toy, Small, Medium

Weight Male: Standard 23 pounds Miniature 15 pounds Toy under 10 pounds

Height Male: Standard 15-17.5 inches Miniature 13-15 inches Toy under 13 inches

Weight Female: Standard 23 pounds Miniature 15 pounds Toy under 10 pounds

Height Female: Standard 15-17.5 inches Miniature 13-15 inches Toy under 13 inches

Litter Size: 1-3 puppies

Life Expectancy: 14+ years.

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Colors
There are a variety of coat colors with shades of gray and white, black and white and even the very rare red and white.

Living Area
Suitable for apartments, motor home travel, trailer homes, acreages and other living situations where they have room to play, worship the sun and get into the shade. It is best to make sure their playtime is supervised.