Kira the Alaskan Klee Kai interview
Kira the Alaskan Klee Kai (Photo: @kirathealaskankleekai / Instagram)
Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
Updated on May 31, 2019
Exclusive This article features content exclusive to the helloBARK! website.

Sophie Turner is perhaps the best known Alaskan Klee Kai owner in the world.

The Game of Thrones actress has two Alaskan Klee Kai called Porky Basquiat and Waldo Picasso with her husband Joe Jonas.

Shining a light on this relatively new breed, Turner has surely inspired quite a few dog lovers to check out Alaskan Klee Kai.

And that was the case with Kira the Alaskan Klee Kai (@kirathealaskankleekai).

This red and white Alaskan Klee Kai looks a little different to the Queen of the North’s black and white AKK.

However, Kira is a much loved member of House Bodnar based in the southern California. Let’s find out a little more about this elegant lady.

1) How did you first hear about the Alaskan Klee Kai breed?

House Bodnar (Photo: @kirathealaskankleekai / Instagram)
House Bodnar (Photo: @kirathealaskankleekai / Instagram)

Our oldest daughter heard about the Klee Kai from a friend, and also by following Sophie Turner on Instagram. (We are big fans of Game of Thrones!) Sophie’s posts about her pups, Porky and Waldo, caught her eye. Before she mentioned the AKK to us, we had no idea the breed even existed.

2) Why did you decide to get an Alaskan Klee Kai?

Previously to Kira, we had a West Highland Terrier named Charlie. We adore the breed, but we decided to look more closely at the AKK, having just discovered them. We looked at Instagram, Facebook and sites like AKKAOA for pictures and information. The loyalty, smaller size, gorgeous appearance, and long-life expectancy were attributes we wanted. And we loved that Klee Kai speak, something Charlie did. It shows so much personality.

3) How old is Kira? Can you give an insight into her personality?

Kira will be two-years old in November. 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. She’s also extremely social, doing her best to gain eye contact with people and even standing in their path. And why wouldn’t she? Almost every time, she gets lots of petting and sweet talk. She’s positively bummed if I take her on a walk midday and there are no people. I have a video of her straining her neck to find someone and plopping herself on the grass out of utter disappointment.

4) What challenges do you face as an Alaskan Klee Kai owner?

Being new to the breed and also with the toy-size, we did have our moments where we felt like first time dog owners. For one, Kira ate very little and still does, despite her being in perfect health. We try not worry about it too much anymore, but when she was only 2.5 lbs, it drove us crazy. Also, we found it very frustrating how resistant she was to being picked up and handled at times, similar to a cat. We wanted her to get used to the harness long before walks were possible, but she HATED it and never made it easy on us. She also disliked being picked up, but it needed to happen in a two-storied house. We were prepared for timidness with outsiders, but not with us. We found a solution: instead of quickly swooping down on her with zero warning, and with arms extended over her head, we started giving the command “UP” while crouching down so that Kira could climb onto us. She still prefers it this way.

5) Does Kira get a lot of attention when you’re out and about?

Yes! 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.

6) In your experience, do Alaskan Klee Kai suffer from separation anxiety?

Yes, Kira definitely does. 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.

7) Would you recommend an Alaskan Klee Kai as a family pet?

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

Absolutely! AKK are very loving and their playful nature makes them excellent with families. Their energy matches most kids! Their smaller size makes accidental harm to young children less likely. We’ve seen Kira behave very gently with young children despite having none in our family. If their high energy level scares someone choosing a family pet, I would say that I’ve noticed the AKK to be extremely adaptable to their owner’s lifestyle. Some get tons of attention and exercise all day, everyday. Others get less during the weekdays, and then lots on the weekends. All seem happy.

8) Is Kira obedient? Are Alaskan Klee Kai easy to train?

She’s doing pretty well but she’s a puppy, so we still have our times when she is a naughty girl. She amazes us with her strategizing and lighting-quick moves to get what she wants. At least she has the courtesy to hide her stash in the same usual places. “LEAVE IT” is something she hears a lot, as is “COME,” especially when in our large backyard. With a high-prey drive and lots of bunnies and lizards to catch, “COME” is something we are still working on. Especially since “COME FOR ICE CREAM” is very effective but not very healthy.

9) How does Kira deal with the hot California summers? Can Alaskan Klee Kai live in hot places?

There are a lot of AKKs in southern California, so I would say yes. On extremely hot days, I make sure to walk her in the early morning or evenings with lots of water breaks, just as I would with any other dog. I wish she would enjoy swimming with us to cool off, but she’s not really a fan yet. Many AKK love it.

10) What advice would you give to someone considering a Klee Kai as a pet?

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. Also, knowing that the AKK can be prone to shyness, make sure to put in the time to socialize a lot. And lastly, if you’re extremely introverted but still plan to get an AKK, be prepared for lots of unwanted attention. Maybe, a less attractive dog?

11) Why did you decide to create an Instagram page for Kira?

My kids set it up but decided that I should be the one to work on it. Choosing to use Kira’s voice with captions that clearly aren’t cool enough for them, sealed the deal. I guess Kira sounds a little like a middle-aged woman? Kira’s posts were mainly intended to journal her life for us. It amazes us how many followers she has. Way more than my kids have! Haha.

12) How long do you spend on Kira’s page on a daily basis?

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

Probably more than I should. I cringe a little when I check on my activity data knowing I have other tasks to get to. It takes time to like and comment on so many accounts, which I try to do. So many of Kira’s followers have been very loyal, so I like to check on them even if they don’t come across the feed. It’s been a lot of fun, a little addictive to be honest. And way more productive than Candy Crush or Cookie Jam, that so many of my girlfriends play.

13) What other Alaskan Klee Kai accounts would you recommend our readers view?

This is tough, I like so many. But here are a few that have great pictures and clever posts:

@ispywithmylittleskye —two handsome buds living in London
@kouki.thekleekai — amazing photography of a beautiful boy in Vancouver
@mercerthekleekai — a DC boy with the sweetest smile
@peppies_akk —a darling boy and girl from Ontario
@belle.akk — always gorgeous among the flowers in Oregon
@meetkodapup — a lucky AKK living in Hawaii
@twotinyhousepups — beautiful scenery for Harley of Australia
@arrowakk — Kira’s half-sister in L.A. who hikes all the time

Alaskan Klee Kai pros and cons

Pros

Beauty – AKK are beautiful and so UNIQUE! Since socializing is so important for every breed, why not get out and show off an incredible breed? Kira is such a fun conversation starter for us.
Affectionate – Sooooo LOVING. While they have tons of energy, AKK are extremely cuddly.
Quiet – While still a watchdog, Kira is super quiet. I don’t miss the constant barking some other breeds do.

Cons

They shed a lot – This could serve as 1-3 because of the amount of fur I ingest daily. But I love her so much, I almost don’t care.
Separation anxiety It’s clear that this is an issue for lots of AKK. And this one can be tough, especially if you are not as confident with training a dog. Lots of owners say having two AKK helps.
Too smart – It’s difficult to think of a third but let’s go with too smart for own good sometimes. Kira can be very determined to get to things she shouldn’t have. While she has tons of toys, she always wants to explore/chew something new. She’s gotten very good at opening drawers and doors. You have to keep an eye on an AKK or baby-proof your space to perfection.