Alaskan Klee Kai puppy

Alaskan Klee Kai: The Breed Guide

Owning a Siberian Husky or a Malamute is a dream come true for several apartment dwellers. But owing to the space constraints and the challenges that come with having a large dog species in a small house, most people decided against it. At the forefront is the additional room these dogs demand while growing up and even moving about. And then there’s the hair to worry about. Both these above mentioned dogs will shed more than one would like to believe.

That’s where the Alaskan Klee Kai differs. This pocket sized dynamo resembles a Husky but weighs less than 20 lbs. Almost as big as a cat making it perfect for anyone with a small sized house.

Is it the dream dog that you always wanted? Is it suited for apartment living? How much does it shed? What is the temperament of the species?

Because it is not as common as some of the other breeds, a lot less is known about the Alaskan Klee Kai than people know about, say, a Labrador. The fact is that despite seeming like the perfect indoor dog, the Alaskan Klee Kai is not the perfect dog for everyone. It does come with a set of its own demands. Here’s all that you wanted to know about the miniature husky.

Size, appearance and shedding

The Klee Kai is a looker. Don’t be surprised at all if you get approached by everyone who first sees it. It looks like a little bundle of fur that deserves to be cuddled. It is available in a variety of sizes including white, black and white, red and white and wolf gray and white. Irrespective of the color, it has a double coat and will shed twice a year like its larger brethren. During this time, the undercoat of the dog falls off in large clumps of hair.

There are three different sizes of the Alaskan Klee Kai. These are:

  • Standard size – over 15 inches up to and including 17 inches
  • Miniature size – over 13 inches up to and including 15 inches
  • Toy size – Up to 13 inches

Depending on the size of the dog, they may weigh between 10 and 20 pounds.

Alaskan Klee Kai with a toy

The Temperament of the Klee Kai

Unlike the Husky, the Klee Kai does not have an outgoing and friendly personality that instantly takes a liking to anyone petting it. In fact, it is quite the opposite.

The Klee Kai is a reserved and shy dog that will not mingle or gel with anyone that it is not familiar with. If they are not of your immediate family that the Klee Kai has seen, they are a stranger to the dog.  This may include your neighbor, your friend who comes home on weekends, your uncle, your relatives or even your kids’ friends.

Anyone who will want to pet the dog will need to be aware of how to do it, because the Klee Kai will probably be scared of them. But it is nothing that cannot be handled with some socializing.

Basically, if you are getting a Klee Kai home, be prepared to spend a lot of time in socializing the dog with the vet, the groomer, the dog walker, the neighbor and anyone else that it will be interacting with.

Other than that, the Klee Kai is a very intelligent dog. They love activity, playing games and are a bit of escape artists. But they are not hyperactive. Unlike a Husky, which makes a terrible watch dog, a Klee Kai is highly receptive to training and makes an excellent watchdog.

They love attention and being beside their owners. You will often find the Klee Kai talking back to you in short howls. They rarely bark.

Living with the Alaskan Klee Kai

Exercise: The Klee Kai may seem like an apartment dog but they demand a fair amount of interaction with their owners. They do not need a large yard or a lawn. Even simple games of fetch will keep them happy and prevent boredom.

Personality: They have a boisterous personality and have a natural hunting instinct that often comes to the fore when they come face to face with cats or even other prey that are larger than them. If they feel that the owner is under threat, the Klee Kai will stand up against even the largest dog breed. Once introduced and socialized, they are wonderful pets and perfect companions for your children.

Outdoor: They also love to dig and you may find them on the other side of the fence more often than not, if you let them alone in the backyard. It is said that a Klee Kai left alone with a vegetable garden can be a disaster. So, keep this in mind if you love gardening and are getting an AKK home.

Grooming: The Klee Kai loves to keep itself clean much like your cat. Having said that, they do shed hair. So, if you cannot stand dog hair, then the Klee Kai is not the breed for you. Despite looking like their larger cousins, they are surprisingly low on maintenance and a weekly combing and grooming session will keep them in good shape. They do not have a typical odor unlike other dogs and they don’t drool either.

Health and common conditions:  Klee Kais are said to outlive most other dog breeds. Despite being a recent breed that was introduced as recently as 1970, there have been instances of the dogs living to 20 years. But the average lifespan is approximately 11-13 years. Like most selectively bred dogs, the Klee Kai does not have any genetic issues. However, the breed is known to be prone to cardiac problems, liver disease, thyroid disease, pyometra and juvenile cataracts.

Conclusion

The Alaskan Klee Kai is a rare breed, but undoubtedly fast gaining in popularity among dog lovers. It is most preferred because of its adorable personality and fastidiousness. Be aware of what you are getting into before buying one and you should have a great time with a Klee Kai.

Top photo source – Bigstock.com