The Fascinating Alaskan Klee Kai: Discovering the Breed

If you’re looking for a dog that’s cute, intelligent, playful, and loyal all in one, then look no further than the Alaskan Klee Kai. This relatively new breed has been gaining popularity in recent years and for a good reason.

In this article, we’ll explore the history, physical characteristics, temperament, and health considerations of the fascinating Alaskan Klee Kai.

A Brief History of the Alaskan Klee Kai

Origins of the Breed

The Alaskan Klee Kai breed is a relatively new breed that was developed in Alaska during the 1970s and 1980s by Linda Spurlin. Spurlin was an Alaskan native who had a passion for breeding and was inspired by the beauty and independence of the Alaskan Husky.

She wanted to create a smaller breed that could resemble the Husky but would be suitable for smaller living spaces.

To achieve this, Spurlin bred a Siberian and an Alaskan Husky with an American Eskimo dog and a Schipperke. The result was a beautiful and Husky-like dog but in a smaller package. This is the short story of how the Alaskan Klee Kai was born.

The Role of Linda Spurlin

Linda Spurlin played a crucial role in the creation and development of the Alaskan Klee Kai breed. She was a determined breeder who wanted to create a miniature version of the Alaskan Husky. Over the years, she worked tirelessly to refine the breed and ensure that it met her standards.

Spurlin was not satisfied with just creating a new breed, she also wanted to ensure that the Alaskan Klee Kai was healthy and had a good temperament. She carefully selected the dogs that she used for breeding, and she made sure that they were free from any genetic disorders that could be passed on to their offspring.

Spurlin’s efforts paid off, and today the Alaskan Klee Kai is recognized by several breed organizations. Her legacy lives on through the breed that she created, and her dedication to breeding has inspired many other breeders to follow in her footsteps.

Recognition and Popularity Growth

The Alaskan Klee Kai was officially recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1997. Since then, it has gained popularity with dog lovers around the world. It is not recognized by the American Kennel Club, but in 2021 it was accepted by its Foundation Stock Service (FSS).

Despite its growing popularity, the Alaskan Klee Kai remains a relatively rare and unique breed. This is due in part to the fact that the breed is still relatively new, and there are not many breeders who specialize in breeding Alaskan Klee Kai dogs.

If you are considering adding an Alaskan Klee Kai to your family, it is important to do your research and find a reputable breeder.

Physical Characteristics and Appearance

The Alaskan Klee Kai dogs are fascinating. They are known for their small to medium size, striking coat colors and patterns, and fox-like facial features.

Size and Weight

As mentioned earlier, the Alaskan Klee Kai is a small to medium-sized dog. There are three recognized sizes – toy, miniature, and standard. Here are their sizes:

  • Toy: 13 inches (height) and less than 10 pounds (body weight)
  • Miniature: 13 to 15 inches (height) and 10 to 15 pounds (body weight)
  • Standard: 15 to 17 inches (height) and 15 to 20 pounds (body weight)

Despite the size variety, all Alaskan Klee Kai dogs are perfect for apartment living, as they do not require a lot of space to thrive.

Coat Colors and Patterns

The Alaskan Klee Kai’s coat comes in a variety of colors and patterns, making them a visually stunning breed. Among the recognized colors are black and white, gray and white, red and white, and solid white.

The breed’s coat patterns are equally impressive and include masks, piebald, and blaze. The Alaskan Klee Kai’s coat is thick and luxurious, making them perfect for colder climates.

Facial Features and Expression

The Alaskan Klee Kai’s facial features are one of their most distinctive characteristics. They have a fox-like appearance, characterized by their pricked ears, sharp features, and clear gaze. Their almond-shaped eyes give them a keen, curious expression that is both adorable and captivating.

Their faces are incredibly expressive, and they are known for their ability to communicate with their eyes. This breed’s unique facial features make them stand out in a crowd and are sure to turn heads wherever they go.

Temperament and Personality Traits

The Alaskan Klee Kai is a small to medium-sized dog breed that is known for its intelligence, loyalty, and energy. They make great family pets and are highly adaptable to different living situations. In this section, we will explore some of the key personality traits of the Alaskan Klee Kai.

Intelligence and Trainability

As mentioned earlier, one of the most notable traits of the Alaskan Klee Kai is its intelligence. This breed is highly trainable and can learn a variety of tasks and commands.

They are quick learners and respond well to positive reinforcement training methods. This makes them an excellent choice for owners who are looking for a dog that is easy to train and eager to please.

Training is an important aspect of owning an Alaskan Klee Kai. These dogs are known for their high energy levels and can become bored and destructive if they are not given enough mental stimulation.

Training sessions can help to keep their minds engaged and provide them with the mental exercise they need to stay happy and healthy.

Socialization and Bonding

The Alaskan Klee Kai is a loyal and devoted dog that forms strong bonds with its family. They are affectionate and loving towards their owners and enjoy spending time with them.

However, this breed can be reserved around strangers and may require socialization to develop their confidence and trust in unfamiliar situations and people.

Socialization is an important aspect of owning an Alaskan Klee Kai. It involves exposing your dog to different people, places, and situations in a positive and controlled manner. This helps them to develop the social skills they need to interact with others and feel comfortable in new environments.

Energy Levels and Exercise Needs

The Alaskan Klee Kai is an energetic and playful breed. They require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. Daily walks, interactive toys, and training sessions can all help to keep this breed mentally and physically engaged.

It’s important to note that the exercise needs of an Alaskan Klee Kai will vary depending on their age, size, and activity level. Puppies and younger dogs will require more exercise than older dogs.

Health and Lifespan

Common Health Issues

As with all breeds, the Alaskan Klee Kai is susceptible to certain health problems. Some common conditions that affect this breed include:

  • Patellar Luxation: An orthopedic problem in which the kneecap pops out, causing a great deal of pain and mobility problems
  • Autoimmune Thyroiditis: A condition in which the dog’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland impairing its function 
  • Eye Problems: The breed is prone to various eye issues, which can cause vision loss if left unmanaged
  • Factor VII Deficiency: Lack of a protein that promotes blood clotting, resulting in an increased bleeding tendency

Preventative Care and Regular Checkups

Preventive care is crucial to keeping your Alaskan Klee Kai healthy and happy. Regular vet check-ups, proper nutrition, and preventative measures such as vaccinations and parasite prevention treatments can help to keep your dog in optimal health.

Expected Lifespan

The Alaskan Klee Kai has an average lifespan of 13 to 16 years. With proper care and attention, this breed can live a long, healthy, and happy life.


If you are looking for a dog that is both visually stunning and full of personality, the Alaskan Klee Kai is the perfect breed for you. Their small to medium size, striking coat colors and patterns, and fox-like facial features make them a breed that is sure to capture your heart.

Overall, the Alaskan Klee Kai is a fascinating and unique breed that has captured the hearts of many dog lovers around the world. Its history is a testament to the dedication and passion of Linda Spurlin, and its future looks bright as more people discover the joys of owning this remarkable breed.

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