Common Name: Alaskan Klee Kai
Origin or Range: Alaska, United States
Relative Size: Smaller Than Average
Average Lifespan: 12-16 years
In the field of the Alaskan dog breeds, one of the newest and, at the same time, one of the rarest (about 550 specimens as of 2003), is the Klee Kai. With similar looks, the Klee Kai is a miniature representation of the Alaskan Husky.
The name is derived from a phrase in the Eskimo language which means, in a loose translation, a small dog. The Klee Kai dogs are tenacious and creative dogs, sometimes doing various sorts of mischief. Agile hunter, they are also mastering the abilities of escaping and hiding. They are confident and beautiful looking dogs and also energetic, but they don’t reach hyper stages of activity.
Very intelligent dogs, they can easily undergo training sessions, especially when it comes to obedience and usually are very happy when they can please people. Excellent diggers, they should be kept in yards with properly built, deeper fixed fences. They don’t exaggerate with barking and they have a voice as the one of a big dog, but they do tend to ‘chat’ with the owners, same as the Huskies. They are often reluctant to strangers and will alarm their owners of their approach.
With regards to the size, there are three different versions for the Klee Kai: the Standard, the Toy and the Miniature. The Standard Klee Kai dogs can get up to 43 centimeters in height, while the Miniature dogs aren’t usually higher than 38 centimeters and the Toy reaching 33 centimeters at most. The weight also differs depending on the height. Their coats come in two layers, an outer and an under coat, and they are both thick, but soft. The undercoat is usually lost during shedding periods.
The standards for the Klee Kai dogs allow any color of the coat, but they need to have a clearly delimited facial mask, which should be also very visible. The Klee Kai has a broad and deep chest, but not excessively broad, which does reach the elbow area. They carry their tails either falling towards the center of the body, or to sides. These dogs are easy to maintain, they don’t have the usual dog smell or breath and, therefore, don’t require frequent bathing.
It is considered that the Alaskan Klee Kai dogs were the result smaller size Alaskan Huskies which were mated. In the early 70’s it was Linda Spurlin who actively participated at the development of the Klee Kai breed.