Alaskan Klee Kai Facts & Dog Breed Information

A miniature breed with the looks of a wolf, the Alaskan Klee Kai—whose name translates as ‘small dog’—came from Alaska and has been a companion right from time.

They know their way around humans and remain a fixture in many households.

If you’re fond of small dogs as opposed to bigger ones, consider the Klee Kai as a pet. They were made for that.

Like every other dog breed, the Klee Kai is a package waiting to be unwrapped by the owner.

You may find some traits desirable, others would be difficult to deal with. It is best to know all the pros and cons of the Klee Kai.

Let’s get into the details about the Alaskan Klee Kai facts, dog breed information, characteristics, history, temperament, health status, training, grooming needs, and more.

Key Alaskan Klee Kai Dog Breed Information & Facts

Alaskan Klee Kai Facts and Dog Breed Information
Dog Breed GroupCompanion Dogs
Height13 to 17 inches
Weight10 to 15 pounds
Color(s)Black, gray, white, red
Life Expectancy12–16 years
TemperamentIntelligent, energetic, loving
OriginUnited States
Bred ForCompanionship
Nickname(s) /Other Name(s)Klee Kai
Recognized by the AKC, UKC, ANKCYes

Alaskan Klee Kai Characteristics

General Health4/5
Grooming Needs2/5
Exercise Needs4/5
Energy Level4/5
Tendency to Bark3/5
Tendency to Drool2/5
Tendency to Snore1/5
Tendency to Dig3/5

Interesting facts about Alaskan Klee Kai dog breed

Alaskan Klee Kai's face

Fact #1: Though related, the Alaskan Klee Kai is not a mini Husky

Because of the resemblance, the Klee Kai has with the Huskies it is common for people to think they are smaller Huskies or a Husky mix.

In truth, they are related to the Huskies. Think of them as distant cousins. The Siberian Husky and Alaskan Husky were both a part of the Klee Kai’s breeding.

Having said that, they are a separate breed bred for companionship, as opposed to work. 

Fact #2: They have four different colors and beautiful eyes

What makes the Klee Kai unique is the different coat colors and unique eyes. All together, these features make Klee stand out amongst miniature dogs. 

The four colors are a mixture of black, grey, red, and white. As for Klee Kai’s eyes, they are usually blue, brown, or green colors. 

Fact #3: They have a shy personality

Socialization training is compulsory with Miss Klee as she tends to be shy, especially around strangers.

Unlike her Husky family who’d play with strangers, Klee would rather stay with you. 

To reduce this tendency, get them introduced to people and new places while they are puppies. 

Fact #4: They get a lot of attention

The unique features and wolfish appearance of Klee Kai draw the attention of people anytime.

Expect to answer a lot of questions while you’re out with a Klee Kai. If you’re one who doesn’t like attention, then start getting used to it. 

Also, this is why socialization is necessary for the Klee Kai. By training them to be more social around people, they’d learn to manage attention. 

Fact #5: They suffer from seperation anxiety

Like we’ve mentioned, the Klee Kai was made to be a companion. Thus, this breed gets attached to its owners with ease.

Expect to have a close friend when you get a Klee Kai. Of course, this has its advantages. However, it becomes challenging if you’re out and the Klee Kai is left alone for long.

They get separation anxiety and would express it in many ways, including barking and defecating.

You can reduce this with tactics like aromatherapy, leaving a radio or television on, and exercising your dog. 

Klee Kai History & Origin

The Alaskan Klee Kai originated from Alaska, United States. They were made to be companions and have never been workers.

The Alaskan Klee Kai combines the genes of the Siberian Husky, the Alaskan Husky, the Schipperke, and the Alaskan Eskimo Dog

The Alaskan Klee Kai is loved for its stature, color, and eyes. Their close resemblance to Huskies and wolves makes them more exotic.

With their size and devotion, they warm the heart of their owners. However, the Klee Kais are rare as not many breeders breed them. 

The breeder Linda S. Spurlin and her family were the developers of this breed in the 1970s.

This makes the Klee Kai young, compared to many other breeds. After selecting dogs using high criteria, they went to work.

In 1988, the Alaskan Klee Kai became public. The original name Linda gave the breed was ‘Klee Kai’, an Athabaskan word, which means ‘little dog’. In 1995, the name became the Alaskan Klee Kai.

The idea of making a companion dog that looks like the Husky came to Linda Spurlin while on a family vacation in Oklahoma.

There, Linda and her family met and got interested in a dog named ‘Curious’, a Husky mix who looked like a smaller version of the Alaskan Husky.

As a breeder, Linda decided to breed a dog that would look like Curious. The result was the Alaskan Klee Kai.

When Linda retired, other breeders kept on with her work. Today, albeit rare, the Alaskan Klee Kai is loved by many.

Alaskan Klee Kai Temperament & Intelligence

Alaskan Klee Kai is an intelligent, loving breed with energy to match. They make good watchdogs because of their instinctive aversion to strangers.

But, if you’re looking for a party dog who feels comfortable with a crowd, the Alaskan Klee Kai is not your dog.

The problem with their shyness is that people love them and would want to get closer. Early socialization is necessary.

Their shyness ends with strangers, though. Amongst family members, they don’t hold back on their love. Their devotion and eagerness to please nature make them easy to train.

Their intelligence enables them to pick up on commands, and you don’t have to make training sessions repetitive for them to understand. 

Just as they draw attention, they love it too—from family, of course. Klee Kai is prone to separation anxiety when their owners are not selling, a situation that should be curtailed.

As you might have already guessed, they are sensitive and would express displeasure in ways you’d understand. 

Though Klee Kai is energetic, they are not hyper. When they’ve exercised, they stay indoors and do not bother anyone.

Be careful when your pet is outdoors because the Klee Kai has the size and intelligence to play Houdini on you.

Is an Alaskan Klee Kai a good family dog?

An Alaskan Klee Kai is loving, devoted, and bonds with family members. They play their roles as companions with excellence. Loneliness is not a thing when the Klee Kai is around.

They’d snuggle with you, obey instructions and show affection. They also adapt to different environments, which is a plus. However, like other dogs, the Klee Kai is not for everybody.

They have some undesirable traits including shyness and separation anxiety. If you’re a busy person or someone who wants a friendly dog, you may not enjoy having the Klee Kai. For those who can manage their downsides, Klee Kais are good family dogs. 

Alaskan Klee Kai Husky Puppies

Are Alaskan Klee Kais good with kids?

The Alaskan Klee Kai is devoted to every member of the family. Kids are not exceptions. They flow with children and won’t hesitate to play around. They are not known to be aggressive towards kids. 

However, it is best for them to be with older kids because of their size.  Small children need a patient dog who can tolerate rough play. The Klee Kai is too small for that. If your kid doesn’t know how to handle a Klee Kai, one of them may get injured in their interactions.

This is also why your child should learn to treat a dog right while the latter is a puppy. There are things you shouldn’t tolerate, even if your dog is the patient kind. 

Are Alaskan Klee Kais good with other dogs and pets?

The Alaskan Klee Kai can put up with other dogs and often won’t fuss, especially if she was raised alongside those dogs and boundaries are respected. She prefers being the only dog, however, due to her love for attention.

Klee Kai dogs can also cope with cats if they were raised together. But, they may not be able to stay in the same house with rodents and other small pets. Their hunting instinct might kick in at any time. 

Male vs. Female Alaskan Klee Kai

If you haven’t gotten a Klee Kai and you plan to, the issue of gender may pop up anytime. Perhaps your significant other wants a gender different from your preference.

Or you are undecided which of them you should go for. Don’t fret, you’re not alone. 

Choosing the right pet gender can be a dilemma, sometimes. If you want opinions, you will get a lot of them from friends and experts.

While some would cite the reasons you should go for a male, others will be emphatic over the female. If this is you, some understanding of the differences would probably help.

Meanwhile, if you want to get your dog neutered or spayed, these differences may not matter.

In case you don’t know, spaying and neutering is the surgical removal of a dog’s organs. It has its benefits and challenges, so consult a vet before taking this path.

Also, take note of your lifestyle, environment, and personality before deciding on a particular gender.

While the differences between the male and female Klee Kai aren’t overt, they can change how your individual dog will act. 

Male vs Female Alaskan Klee Kai

To begin with, let’s look at their physical size. While the male Klee Kai goes up to 20 pounds, the female generally stops at 18.

The male is also taller by 4 inches or so. The distinction isn’t much, however, as they are both small and take the same amount of space. 

Personality-wise, female Klee Kai tends to be more independent, dominant, and stubborn than the males. 

Caring for an Alaskan Klee Kai Dog Breed

Alaskan Klee Kai doesn’t need a big yard and can cope indoors. Housetraining is possible, and they are not hyper so you don’t have to worry about your items being broken.

However, they do need to be exercised or they’d get bored and whiny. You also need to feed and groom them. 

They don’t like solitude and have a strong emotional need for human companionship.

If left alone, they get anxious and exhibit habits like excessive barking and whining. You need to work your schedule to have time for them. 

Alaskan Klee Kais are intelligent canines who pick up easily on training. However, while they are eager to please, they also have a willful mind and may show some stubbornness.

As an owner, you need to be firm and consistent in training. It is best for them to be with an experienced owner than a first-timer. Their aloofness with strangers may equally prove problematic to a new owner. 

Alaskan Klee Kai Food and Diet

For your Alaskan Klee Kai to stay healthy, they need food. The energy and nutrient food bring is good for their small size.

The Klee Kai was made to be a healthy dog. The first way to maintain that is by giving them quality, rich meals. 

All dogs have nutritional needs, the same as the Klee Kai. Before you put any meal into a bowl for your Klee Kai, learn about the breed’s needs.

Some nutrients are recommended, some they can manage, others should be avoided. Know all these to avoid poisoning your dog. 

Also, observe your individual Klee Kai’s feeding habit as a puppy. While all breeds have general feeding guidelines, individual dogs have theirs that may differ from the norms. Do your homework by getting expert counsel from a veterinarian on what you should or shouldn’t feed your Klee Kai. 

To feed puppies, ensure you keep them on a puppy food diet. Human food is not advisable and the adult meal is damaging.

The puppy food is what would enable them to develop. When the Klee Kai puppy is a few weeks old, three times a day will suffice. Keep reducing as they grow. 

The adult Klee Kai can go with a cup of food fed twice a day. Give them meals with nutrients like protein, water, vitamins, and healthy fat. 

Meanwhile, avoid feeding them things like chocolates, alcohol, garlic, and onions.

Some Alaskan Klee Kais are not big eaters, but this breed can become obese. Do not allow them to rush down their food (a good slow feeder bowl would help) and don’t overfeed them.

Alaskan Klee Kai Exercise

The Alaskan Klee Kai is not as energetic as the Alaskan and Siberian Huskies, but she needs a moderate amount of exercise.

Moderate means a minimum of 45 minutes of activities. You may decide to share it at different moments in a day to avoid getting burned out. 

When they get enough exercise, Alaskan Klee Kai can remain indoors and inactive. However, without proper exercise, they tend to misbehave and express their dissatisfaction with whines. 

Exercise should start with your Klee Kai is a puppy. Puppies shouldn’t be exercised like an adult, though.

At 3 months, a 5 minutes walk will suffice. They shouldn’t be allowed to run because of their delicate muscles. As they grow, slowly increase the minutes. 

When outdoors, always keep them on a leash to prevent them from running after another animal.

You don’t have to wait till they are adults to start this. Klee Kai puppies have a high prey drive too. 

Other exercises you can use to keep your puppy busy are:

  • Fetch
  • Hide-and-seek
  • Toy plays

As an adult dog, 45 minutes of activity is what the average Alaskan Klee Kai needs. Some exercises we recommend are:

  • Frisbee Toss 
  • Hiking
  • Competition
  • Jogging

Senior Klee Kai needs exercise to maintain their shape and stay healthy. 

Alaskan Klee Kai Training and Socialization

Alaskan Klee Kais are easier to train when compared to the Huskies, but it isn’t easy.

Their intelligence, mischievous streak, and aloofness may be daunting for newbies. We suggest you have some experience with dogs before getting a Klee Kai. 

Though they are devoted and eager to please, Klee Kai is stubborn and may want to push boundaries.

Many dogs are this way, though, so it shouldn’t be new if you’ve handled stubborn breeds. With some strict rules, patience, and training skills, you will get a well-mannered pet. 

The benefits of training a Klee Kai cannot be overemphasized. Not only does it build confidence, training curbs possible bad habits a dog can develop if left unchecked.

With training, you get a Klee Kai whose company you’d enjoy. 

Training should start while your Klee Kai is a puppy. At this point, define the status so they’d know you’re in charge and they should obey you.

It is a problem if a dog feels he can take control of the house. The Klee Kai, as a stubborn small breed, can portray terrible habits if you’re not a good leader. 

The best way to let them know you’re the leader is by showing them. Klee Kai are intelligent and learn easily. Take steps like:

  • Keeping your Klee Kai behind while walking outdoors.
  • Feeding them last.
  • Setting rules and boundaries

Have routines that your Klee Kai can learn and follow. For instance, if you feed by 3 pm, Klee Kai will anticipate their meal at that time.

Routines keep dogs in check and you in control. Also, teach them some basic commands. 

Klee Kai needs socialization more than many other breeds because of their wariness.

It can be a lifelong process and should start from puppyhood. Get them accustomed to new dogs, other pets, strangers, and unfamiliar places. 

Alaskan Klee Kai Grooming Needs

Alaskan Klee Kais are self groomers, which makes the job easy for you. They don’t develop body odor, so bathing is a once-in-a-while activity.

You don’t need to hire the services of a groomer to keep their fur trimmed. 

The only grooming challenge you’d have is when they shed more than usual.

At those moments, brush them regularly and get a vacuum cleaner to rid your house of dead hair. Fortunately, this doesn’t happen all year. 

You need to keep their teeth clean as well. With an approved toothpaste and toothbrush, give them a nice brush. This prevents tooth decay and bad breath. 

Their nails should also be trimmed before they get too long. Long nails will make your Klee Kai uncomfortable. Be careful while you trim the nails to avoid injuring your pet.

Klee Kai is sensitive and may not be willing to let you come close to them if an accident happens. 

Take care of their ears with a cotton ball and a vet-approved ear cleaner. It should be done with caution, and don’t use any other object to do the cleaning. 

While grooming, be observant. Because you’re up close, you have better chances of detecting signs of infection, injury, or illness. 

The signs include:

  • Sores
  • Whining or withdrawing from your touch
  • Unpleasant odor
  • Red eyes

Once you detect anything abnormal, take your pet to the veterinarian for a diagnosis. 

Alaskan Klee Kai Health Conditions

Linda Spurlin’s breeding standards made the Alaskan Klee Kai a healthy breed. As more breeders do their work, the Klee Kai gets healthier.

However, like other dogs, Alaskan Klee Kai can fall ill. Keep in mind these illnesses and get your Klee Kai treated if you detect any symptoms.

Some health conditions that may affect the Alaskan Klee Kai include:


Cataract in dogs occurs when the lens gets cloudy. A white ‘disk’ appears over the lens and obstructs light necessary for vision.

Left untreated, it leads to complete blindness. Cataracts can either be hereditary or a consequence of another illness. The best way to treat it is through surgical means. There is currently no preventive measure. 

Patellar Luxation

Patellar Luxation is a form of dislocation where the kneecap shifts from the normal position.

Symptoms include limping, abnormal movements, or your dog holding the affected leg up. Patellar Luxation is common amongst small dogs.

With physiotherapy and exercise, patellar can be treated. In serious cases, only surgery works. 

Thyroid disease

Also called hypothyroidism, this occurs when the thyroid rate in your dog’s body increases. It spikes a dog’s metabolic rate to a dangerous level. While rare in dogs, it is a serious condition. 

There is no cure for this disease. However, it can be managed by your veterinarian. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is an Alaskan Klee Kai right for you?

Alaskan Klee Kai is a devoted, loving, and affectionate dog who gets attached to her owner and makes a good companion. She also makes a good watchdog because of her wariness with strangers.

This wariness may be undesirable for some dog owners though, so if you want a friendly dog, the Klee Kai is not right for you. 

What is Alaskan Klee Kai known for?

The Klee Kai is a relatively new breed bred to resemble the Husky. They are good for people who want a Husky but can’t accommodate the size and energy. Klee Kai was bred as companions, which is what they are known for.

How big do Alaskan Klee Kai get?

Klee Kai comes in three sizes, but all are small and lap size. In general, they weigh 10 to 15 pounds and grow up to 17 inches.

Does Alaskan Klee Kai like to cuddle?

Alaskan Klee Kais are sweet companions who love being close to their masters. While some may act independently, they can cuddle up with you on the couch while you watch television or read a book.

Is it hard to train and care for Alaskan Klee Kai?

The Alaskan Klee Kai is not recommended for new owners because they are stubborn and aloof. However, taking care of them isn’t hard because they have a low grooming need, eat well, and stay healthy.

How long do Alaskan Klee Kai Live for?

The Alaskan Klee Kai was bred from the best. Thus, they remain healthy and strong for a long time. They have a life span of 12 to 16 years.

How much is an Alaskan Klee Kai puppy?

Because they are rare, Klee Kai doesn’t come cheap. They are affordable, though, if you have the resources. An Alaskan Klee Kai puppy costs from $1,500 to $3,000. 

Do Alaskan Klee Kai shed?

Alaskan Klee Kais are moderate shedders and self groom. However, they have shedding seasons when they let out a lot of hair. They require extra brushing. 

Final Thoughts

Linda Spurlin had the goal of developing a small companion breed with the looks of a Husky. Her breeding was successful, and it remains so today.

With their cuteness and lovely traits, the Klee Kai make their owners wish for more.

Of course, they have their own challenges. Not everyone can handle a Klee Kai, nor should they force themselves to. The important thing is to find a pet you can handle—one you can take care of.

Hopefully, this article on the Alaskan Klee Kai facts and dog breed information has not only helped you to determine if this furry is right for you, but has also provided you with tips to strengthen the bond between you and your canine friend.

Related: Complete Alphabetical List of Dog Breeds

Helpful and Useful Resource

  • Official Breed Profile: American Eskimo Dog breed information on AKCUKCCKC

Authored By

Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is a canine behavioral and nutritional specialist, professional dog trainer, and the CEO of Puplore. A former military working dog handler, Ben founded Puplore to provide owners with breed-specific information and to act as a go-to guide to health, nutrition, care, and to help them find the confidence they need to step up to the plate and become the best pup parents they can possibly be. A firm believer in treating all animals with kindness and compassion, and that positive discipline is paramount in achieving a harmonious canine-human relationship, Ben’s former and present careers have enabled him to become a leading light in his chosen profession and business.

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