Alaskan Klee Kai Pros And Cons

By helloBARK!
Updated on 25 June 2021
Fact Checked

Alaskan Klee Kai are a breed that were created in the 1970s.

These Klee Kai look like mini huskies but they’re a breed recognised by the United Kennel Club since 1997.

Created by American lady called Linda Spurlin, Alaskan Klee Kai have been breeding true for over 15 generations.

Spurlin created her initial Alaskan Klee Kai by combining Alaskan Husky, Siberian Husky, Schipperke and American Eskimo Dog.

However, you can only get a purebred Alaskan Klee Kai by breeding two UKC-registered Klee Kai.

As an owner of two Alaskan Klee Kai called Copper and Skye, I’m going to provide my Klee Kai pros and cons based upon my experience with the breed.

We’ll also hear from some other Alaskan Klee Kai owners to ensure we provide a balanced overview of this companion-sized breed.

These include Life With Klee Kai (@lifewithkleekai), Baylee (@myloveonpaws), Kouki (@kouki.thekleekai), Koda (@meetkodapup) and Kira (@kirathealaskankleekai).


Mini Huskies

Alaskan Klee Kai Copper (Photo: @lifewithkleekai / Instagram)

Alaskan Klee Kai Copper (Photo: @lifewithkleekai / Instagram)

Alaskan Klee Kai are often confused for Alaskan or Siberian Husky puppies. However, they are a unique breed separate to their larger relatives. Ranging between 10 inches and 17 inches tall, this breed is like a pint-sized Husky. Alaskan Klee Kai come in much the same colours of Alaskan and Siberian Huskies: black and white, red and white or gray and white. This breed, which originated in Alaska, with striking eyes, too. Whether they have blue, brown or bi eyes, this breed is breathtaking. They’re small size often results in the description “mini huskies” given their physical appearance. For Husky lovers who don’t have the means to take care of a big dog, the Alaskan Klee Kai could be a compromise for you.

Great Companions

Kira the Alaskan Klee Kai (Photo: @kirathealaskankleekai / Instagram)

Kira the Alaskan Klee Kai (Photo: @kirathealaskankleekai / Instagram)

These little dogs are extremely loyal to their owners. Once bonded with their handler, they will continuously stay by their side around the house or seek them out when momentarily separated. Alaskan Klee Kai Association of America’s website explains further this companionship trait: “They became part of the pack unit. They prefer to be with their caregiver, wherever that may be”. Given their heritage lies with sled dogs, Alaskan Klee Kai are pack-driven pets and love to be part of a human family. As a result, they will show their pack members a lot of affection. Be prepared for plenty of cuddles on the couch or in bed. While Klee Kai make great companions, they are are skittish and wary of strangers. It’s a good idea to socialise your Alaskan Klee Kai as much as possible from a young age.

Kira’s owner shed light on just how bonded her Alaskan Klee Kai is to all the members of her family.

True to the breed, she is extremely affectionate with her family. She seems to know the value we place on it. Every time she notices an embrace in the family, she insists on being picked up so she can kiss us. Sometimes we stage a hug, just to see her do it.

Perfect For An Apartment

Alaskan Klee Kai tend to get attention wherever they go, so be prepared (Photo: lifewithkleekai/Instagram)

Alaskan Klee Kai tend to get attention wherever they go, so be prepared (Photo: lifewithkleekai/Instagram)

While Alaskan and Siberian Huskies take up a lot of space and may not be suitable for smaller homes, Alaskan Klee Kai provide a viable option for those who live in apartments or modest houses given their size. This mesmerising breed require regular walks or daily visits to the dog park to ensure your Klee Kai remains healthy. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to exercise your Alaskan Klee Kai at least 30 to 60 minutes a day. These dogs do well as pairs, chasing each other around the house and keeping each other busy. I’ve lived in apartments in London and San Francisco with my two Klee Kai and they’ve excelled in an urban dwelling. Their petite size makes them idea for apartment life, allowing me to keep them entertained inside the home with games and training.

Copper and Skye’s mom explained a little more about the breed’s suitability to apartment living.

The first thing that attracted me to the breed in my Adult age was their size and the fact that they looked like huskies in miniature. Although I love big dogs, I knew that I needed something smaller since I was living in an apartment at the time. I also had many cats as a child and liked that Klee Kai have a lot of cat like qualities.

Love To Talk

If you like to talk, then this is the breed for you! Alaskan Klee Kai are very vocal dogs and won’t be afraid to tell you off if they’re unhappy. While the breed aren’t excessive barkers, they do like to converse with their owners, whether it be demanding a treat, voicing dissent at a command or showing affection. There are a number of different sounds that they will make – a sharp bark or a howl. Each Alaskan Klee Kai will have its own distinct little voice.


Kouki the Alaskan Klee Kai (Photo: @kouki.thekleekai / Instagram)

Kouki the Alaskan Klee Kai (Photo: @kouki.thekleekai / Instagram)

These dogs are highly intelligent so require training from a young age to ensure they don’t control the household. However, their intelligence is a positive as the breed tend to be quick learners. The fact that Alaskan Klee Kai are eager to please should make the task even easier. They also do well when it comes to agility and obedience training.

Copper and Skye’s mom explained the training process with her Alaskan Klee Kai.

Klee Kai are SMART. Skye was fully potty trained within less than two weeks of bringing her home – Copper took a little longer but all in all, we have our breeder to thank for that. She has raised so many AKKs and really knows the breed inside out and was able to give us some great tips. Apart from being smart, Alaskan Klee Kai can also be incredibly stubborn. Skye is stubborn, and she is also NOT food motivated. That combination is lethal when it comes to training because there are a lot of days where you feel like you aren’t making any progress. But one thing we’ve learned with her is that consistency is key, and eventually you will get there. Copper, on the other hand, is food motivated, so it makes training a little easier but all in all, I’d say this breed requires a lot of time and consistency when it comes to training. I wouldn’t recommend them to a first time dog owner.

Kouki’s stubborn streak made the training process challenging.

AKK are very very smart. They’re easy to train when it comes to tricks, but they do everything on their own terms. This makes obedience training difficult. It took us a very long time to get him trained to how he is now, and we still struggle with a few things.


Celebrity Status

Instagram famous Alaskan Klee Kai Baylee loves to hike around Germany (Photo: Myloveonpaws / Instagram)

Instagram famous Alaskan Klee Kai Baylee loves to hike around Germany (Photo: Myloveonpaws / Instagram)

These dogs quickly achieve celebrity status – and no, we’re not talking about Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas’s Alaskan Klee Kai. The breed is so unique in size, so breathtaking in beauty and undeniably charming in personality that they attract a lot of attention. Whether it be a trip to your local grocery store, play time at the dog park or even a visit to the dreaded vet, be prepared to answer lots of questions about breed. If you crave a quiet, unassuming life then the Alaskan Klee Kai probably isn’t the breed for you.

Baylee the Alaskan Klee Kai gets attention wherever she goes.

We always get a lot of attention and that’s not including the people who actually talk to me and ask all these questions about Baylee. You always notice some people staring at you and whispering.

Kira is showstopper in her county in California.

Unlike L.A. or Orange County, AKK are very rare in our area of Ventura County. As a result, Kira gets tons of attention, which she loves. My kids tease that I do too. We are approached so often, I think all of us have our own short script about the breed. When errands need to be done quickly with Kira, we’ve found it best to move quickly while avoiding all eye contact.


Skye and Copper the Alaskan Klee Kai (Photo: @albalonepetstudio @lifewithkleekai)

Skye and Copper the Alaskan Klee Kai (Photo: @albalonepetstudio @lifewithkleekai)

Alaskan Klee Kai are reasonably expensive dogs. While you can find Klee Kai pups available on generic websites for less than the market value, we recommend searching out a respected breeder that has signed up to AKKAOA’s code of ethics. You can find 50 breeders who have done just that on AKKAOA’s website. Usually, a breeder will require you to answer a questionnaire before placing you on a waitlist. These dogs usually cost between $1500 and $3000, although the average price does vary among different breeders. Furthermore, the coat colour or the eye colour could also push the price up. However, prospective Klee Kai owners should be wary of potential scams. A Klee Kai advertised for less than $1,200 is almost certainly a scam.

Nordic Mini Husky breeder Brenda Tobin offered some advice on this area.

A lot of people are getting scammed. They find out how much an Alaskan Klee Kai cost and they’ll go find one for $1200 or less. The chances are the dog isn’t purebred so you don’t know what the puppy will look like when full grown. You want to get a purebred papered puppy because then you know what your puppy will look like when fully grown, it is in the breed standards. Even if it’s a Klee Kai, if the people who bought the dog never got the papers, they don’t know how closely related they are [to other Klee Kai they may already have]. When you get them from those people, I feel they’re more about the money then caring for the health and well being of the dog and the breed. You also usually end up getting a dog that has a lot of health problems – too. It makes me really sad.

Separation Anxiety

Alaskan Klee Kai Baylee (Photo: Myloveonpaws / Instagram)

Alaskan Klee Kai Baylee (Photo: Myloveonpaws / Instagram)

Given these dogs love companionship, they can suffer badly with separation anxiety. A large portion of Alaskan Klee Kai owners will attest to their pup having suffered with varying degrees of separation anxiety at some point. This occurs when Klee Kai are separated from their owners. Some suffer longer than others: it could be five minutes or an hour. An alternative step could well be a dog trainer, perhaps someone with experience with this particular issue. The symptoms of separation anxiety include excessive barking or howling, chewing and shredding clothing items or blankets and urinating or defecating. There are a number of different methods that could be used to ease your Klee Kai’s separation anxiety, including a dog camera.

Kira the Alaskan Klee Kai suffers from some separation anxiety.

From day one, Kira showed anxiety over a variety of things despite coming from a wonderful breeder who works hard with her pups. At first, we couldn’t leave the room let alone the house without major stress. Now, she happily spends time alone in other rooms of the house (easier to get into stuff without mom watching), but she still becomes very upset when I leave the house. Given her anxious nature, our concerns for her safety, lots of available family members to watch her, and a home under renovation, Kira is rarely left alone. And since she’s so well-behaved and welcome almost everywhere, it’s been too easy to take her with us. But I know it needs to change for her sake, and ours, so we’re working on it.

Baylee is another example of a Klee Kai who suffers with this chronic canine condition.

When I got her I immediately started to train to leave her alone and it worked really well. But as I’m still living with my parents, there’s someone at home most of the time so she doesn’t really have any routine of being alone at home. Somehow it’s kind of okay for her to be alone at home when my parents are the ones who leave her alone. But when I’m the last one who’s leaving the house, she’s whining and howling all of the time.


Alaskan Klee Kai are related to Alaskan Huskies (Photo: lifewithkleekai/instagram)

Alaskan Klee Kai are related to Alaskan Huskies (Photo: lifewithkleekai/instagram)

If you don’t like vacuuming, you might struggle when it comes to owning an Alaskan Klee Kai. This breed does shed a lot and the clean up operation can become a daily routine. Klee Kai have an inner and outer coat. The inner coat will blow out twice a year, which can be a particularly challenging time. However, these Mini Huskies will shed throughout the year, often creating a whole new Klee Kai with just their shedded hair after a week of neglecting your vacuum duties. Regular grooming is recommended to keep this issue under control.

Koda the Alaskan Klee Kai needs to brushed a few times every week.

They’re low maintenance when it comes to grooming. Just be sure to brush them regularly to reduce shedding around the house.

Kira’s mom suggested a good vacuum for anyone thinking about getting an Alaskan Klee Kai.

I’d say get a Roomba if they weren’t so expensive. AKK shed a lot and in our experience, the fur doesn’t just blow a few times a year.

Escape Artists

Alaskan Klee Kai love the companionship of humans and can become very attached to their owners   (Photo: Myloveonpaws / Instagram)

Alaskan Klee Kai love the companionship of humans and can become very attached to their owners (Photo: Myloveonpaws / Instagram)

As we mentioned above, these dogs are highly intelligent. The downside is these smart pooches can sometimes be expert escape artists. If there is a way to escape the house or the yard, there is a pretty good chance they’ll find it. As a result, it’s recommended that you have secure fencing to ensure your precious Alaskan Klee Kai doesn’t go missing. They are quite adept at scaling small fences too, while they like to dig so these dogs could find a route underneath a fence. Precautions are required. Some Alaskan Klee Kai owners will tell you these small-to-medium sized dogs don’t do well off leash either. Alaskan Klee Kai are prey driven and will chase small animals, such as squirrels and birds. However, other AKK owners have successfully managed to train their dogs in recall. Keeping your Alaskan Klee Kai leash is the safest option when it comes to this breed.

Baylee’s mom told us one scary story where her Klee Kai escaped.

Her recall is only good when she’s on a long leash. But as soon as she’s totally off leash, it’s pretty bad. The worst is when she escapes on her own, so when she runs out of the door or jumps out of the car without permission. In these moments, she’s like a wild animal, she doesn’t listen to any commands, she runs away as soon as you get near her, it’s nearly impossible to catch her.

The scariest experience so far was when she jumped out of my car when we were visiting a friend. She lives in a quiet street, but the next busy street is pretty close. We were three people trying to catch her for nearly an hour. She didn’t run very far, and we saw her every few minutes, but with the busy street so close, I was so afraid that she might get hit by a car. After one of the longest hours ever, we managed to lure her into my friend’s fenced garden, where she immediately was her normal self and was happy to see me again.

In Conclusion

Alaskan Klee Kai at the park (Photo: lifewithkleekai / Instagram)

Alaskan Klee Kai at the park (Photo: lifewithkleekai / Instagram)

The positives far outweigh the negatives when it comes to Alaskan Klee Kai.

If want to learn more about buying an Alaskan Klee Kai, you can check out everything you need to know about the breed here.

If you’re willing to put in the hard work when it comes to puppy manners, socialisation and dog training, you’ll have a brilliant dog to keep you company. They’re very affectionate, love human interaction and can even talk to you. While you should be prepared to get a lot of attention from bystanders when out and about, seeing a stranger’s face light up at the sight of your loveable pooch should be a source of joy. They really do put smiles on faces.

No matter how loyal you believe your Alaskan Klee Kai is, you may prefer to err on the side of caution and keep your dog on a leash as it only takes one time for an unfortunate accident to happen.

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