A Guide to Alaskan Klee Kais

August 16, 2018

Do you own an Alaskan Klee Kai? Or are you simply looking to learn more about these doggos to see if they’re the right breed of dog for you? We’ve compiled everything you need to know about the Alaskan Klee Kai into one complete guide. This is a resource for facts, characteristics, traits, nutrition, health tips, and more about the breed. After reading this guide, you may discover that the Alaskan Klee Kai will be the perfect addition to your family! Or you may just learn more about your favorite breed.

Your guide to Alaskan Klee Kais

The breed Alaskan Klee Kai was developed as a miniature version of the Alaskan Husky, according to the American Kennel Club; in fact, Klee Kai literally translates to “little dog” in Eskimo! Pet MD stated that the breed was developed in the 1970s and is still considered a rare breed. The breed Alaskan Klee Kai is not yet officially recognized by the AKC, but is recognized by the United Kennel Club. Klee Kais can enroll in AKC Canine Partners programs and compete in AKC Companion events.

Fun facts

Here are some fun facts about the Alaskan Klee Kai according to the AKC and Pet MD:

  • The breed was developed by a woman named Linda Spurlin in Alaska
  • Linda Spurlin first saw what looked like a miniature husky in Oklahoma and was immediately drawn to the breed
  • She originally named the breed “Klee Kai” but in 1995 the name was changed to Alaskan Klee Kai
  • The breed doesn’t really bark, but does produce what’s lovingly known as a “woo-woo” when they are happy and scream when they are not
  • These pups have a double coat, a dense undercoat covered by longer hairs on top. This keeps the dog protected from both hot and cold temperatures. There are many coat color varieties, all of which are considered breed standard except for solid white

Physical characteristics and temperament

Alaskan Klee Kai

The Alaskan Klee Kai is known for their “facemask,” a distinct pigmented marking on their face, according to the AKC. Siberian Huskies also have this face marking. There is a range of sizes found in the breed including toy, miniature, and standard. These various sizes can result in a dog weighing from 5 to 22 pounds with a height of 13 to 17 inches.

Klee Kais are highly entertaining dogs to live with. Be cautious when letting them off leash in an unfenced area because they are prone to running off. If you’re worried about keeping track of your furry friend, check out some wearable tech for dogs.

In general, they’re an affectionate breed and loving family pet. According to Pet MD, they are often nervous around small kids and strangers, so it’s important to socialize your Alaskan Klee Kai from an early age. They are loyal and great watch dogs.

Bringing your Alaskan Klee Kai home

Alaskan Klee Kai puppies

Taking home new Alaskan Klee Kai puppies can be an exciting but daunting experience. It’s typical to bring a puppy home from a breeder when he or she is 8-10 weeks old. At this time the puppy is still a baby that is entering a new environment away from its mother and littermates. Therefore, it will often take some time for your new Alaskan Klee Kai puppies to adjust.

It’s important to puppy proof your house before bringing your new pup home. Like many puppies, Alaskan Klee Kai puppies are curious and will wander anywhere their little paws take them. So make sure all of your common household items including plants, wires, appliances, curtains, etc. are out of their reach. Puppy proofing your house will keep your pupper safe and your home in one piece.

Don’t be alarmed if your Alaskan Klee Kai is crying in his or her crate at night. This is a common issue for all puppies, and the good news is that your new furry friend will grow out of it. To soothe your pup’s crying, Alaskan Klee Kai 101 suggested you try these tricks:

  1. Place a well-worn t-shirt of yours in the crate with your puppy. Your scent will help calm them.
  2. Cover the crate with a towel or blanket to make it dark.
  3. Place a ticking clock near the crate to simulate the sound of their mother’s heartbeat.
  4. Put the crate in a location where they can see your bedroom so your puppy knows you’re nearby.

This is an anxious breed around strangers, so early socialization is crucial. You should wait until your puppy is fully vaccinated before allowing them to venture outside (~16 weeks). However, Alaskan Klee Kai 101 emphasized that after this time you should make a point to socialize your pup around many types dogs and humans.


Feeding your dog an appropriate amount of a well-balanced diet is vital to its overall health and well-being,” according to the VCA.

Every dog is different and there is not a precise diet that is correct for every member of a breed. Further, you don’t need to invest in a specialized dog food to feed your dog a healthy diet. Many commercial pet foods are highly nutritious; just be sure to read the labels and base your dog’s diet on their caloric needs.

“In addition to considering your dog’s breed, you should also consider your dog’s lifestyle. Working pets (hunting dogs, field trial dogs, herding dogs) require different ratios of proteins and fats in their diets than “lap dogs” or sedentary house pets,” reported the VCA.

This is important when determining the proper nutrition for your pup. The level of activity your Alaskan Klee Kai participates in will vary depending on your lifestyle.

Note that your dog’s diet will change throughout their lifetime. What you feed your puppy should be different than what you feed your senior dog. The VCA stated, “Feeding your dog according to its stage of life (puppy, adolescent, pregnancy, adult, senior) is now recommended by respected nutritionists to maintain your pet’s overall health and well-being and improve both the quality and the quantity of your dog’s life.”

In any case, the best step when determining your dog’s diet is to talk to your veterinarian. Your vet will work with you to find a diet that is best suited for your Alaskan Klee Kai.


Alaskan Klee Kai puppies

This breed is very smart and fast to pick up agility training. Check out this AKC article about a Klee Kai who competes in agility contests!

According to DogTime, agility training is a great way to burn off a lot of the energy that your Alaskan Klee Kai has. Therefore, you may consider building a homemade agility course in your backyard. You could also go for a run or hike with your dog to stay active. After exercising, your Alaskan Klee Kai will be happy to spend the rest of the day cuddling on the couch. DogTime warned, “neglect their exercise needs, and they may become bored, anxious, and destructive.”


The Alaskan Klee Kai is a particularly clean breed. They keep themselves very well groomed and only shed a little. They will “blow their coat” about twice a year, according to Alaskan Klee Kai 101; this is when they lose all of their undercoat fur which will come out in clumps. The best way to groom these puppers is with regular brushing every one to two days.

Health & aging

Alaskan Klee Kai

The Alaskan Klee Kai has a life expectancy of 10-13 years, according to Pet MD. “While it’s true that the Alaskan Klee Kai aren’t typically associated with a long list of health conditions per se, it’s important to remember that some issues simply may not have yet been discovered due to the relative young age of the breed,” stated Alaskan Klee Kai 101. As the breed grows, and there is a larger sample size, there will be more information about prevalent health conditions.

An Embark Dog DNA Test looks at the following health conditions in Alaskan Klee Kais:

We hope this guide has been an informative resource for learning about your current or potential Alaskan Klee Kai! Enjoy your pup and always check on our blog for new doggie facts and ideas! Paws up!

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Originally from St. Louis, Morgan is a rising senior at Tufts University. She is majoring in Biology and Psychology and spending her summer as the Marketing Intern at Embark Vet.