It’s hard to take photos when you don’t have thumbs. Fortunately for Kouki, he’s got his mom to document his adventures in Vancouver.
This two-year-old Alaskan Klee Kai is closing in on 13,000 followers on Instagram – and it’s easy to see why with a glance through his profile.
If you’ve got a soft spot for huskies (or “pocket huskies), love hiking and enjoy photography, this is the perfect account for you.
Whether it’s posing at the summit of a mountain, darting between trees in thick woodland, skulking amongst a bed of tulips or playing in the snow, Kouki looks majestic.
If you haven’t visited British Columba, Kouki’s array of breathtaking photos will leave you mesmerized by the beauty of the mountain ranges in Canada’s western most province.
We spoke to Kouki’s mom Salina to learn more about Kouki (@kouki.thekleekai) and the Alaskan Klee Kai breed.
1) How did you first hear about the Alaskan Klee Kai breed?
It all started when a friend showed me a photo of this adorable “mini husky puppy” 4 years ago! It was love at first sight and I started obsessively researching this incredible breed
2) Why did you decide to get an Alaskan Klee Kai?
You mean other than his adorable little face? Well, as I continued looking into the breed, I realized how perfect they were for me. From their bratty feline-like personality to their perfect size for our small place.
3) How old is Kouki? Can you give an insight into his personality?
Kouki is now 2.5 years old! He’s a highly smart and energetic pup that’s basically a little princess. He will whine and talk back when he doesn’t want to do something, throw his bowl at your feet if it’s empty, and rip off your blanket if you sleep in.
4) What’s the best thing about owning an Alaskan Klee Kai?
It’s so hard to pick just one thing! I love how they are small enough to bring everywhere but they are also able to keep up on multi-day hikes. I love their sassy personalities. I love how their cute little tails bounce when they trot.
5) What’s the worst thing about owning an Alaskan Klee Kai?
The Alaskan Klee Kai isn’t a dog for everyone. I would say the worst thing is how they are prone to separation anxiety as well as fear and reactivity.
6) Kouki seems very obedient judging by your photos. Are Klee Kai easy to train?
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.
7) You go on a lot of hikes, taking some beautiful photos. Do Klee Kai require a lot of exercise?
Kouki is highly energetic, but I wouldn’t say he requires a lot of exercise. He can hike forever but he is equally as happy to spend a few days snuggling on the couch with me. When he was a puppy, if he didn’t get enough exercise, he would get very destructive. Now, he can entertain himself and is a happy camper if he’s not alone.
8) What’s your favourite memory/photo of Kouki?
To understand my favourite moment, I must give you a little backstory! Kouki was never reliable off-leash previously. We worked on it every day tirelessly for a whole year to no avail. Even at a dog park, he would rarely come back and once he was let off, he was gone. We finally reached out to a local trainer who helped get us there. There was this moment a year ago when we finally got him off-leash trained and instead of running off, he chose to walk in a heel between my partner and me. This was one of the happiest moments of my life!
9) What camera do you use to take photos of Kouki? Do you have a background in photography?
I don’t have a background in photography, but I would say I’m a hobby photographer. I got my hands on my first camera (Canon 300D) in January 2018. This was a hand-me-down from my mom (who is an incredible photographer) to get me started. Once I figured out how to use that camera, I quickly invested in a second-hand Canon 7D mark ii as I realized I needed a camera fast enough to keep up with my race car of a dog.
10) Have you ever considered a second Alaskan Klee Kai?
I think about this every day. Kouki would benefit so much from having a friend around. Unfortunately, my life as it is currently does not allow for having a second pup.
10) What advice would you give to someone considering a Klee Kai as a pet?
Do. Your. Research! As this is such a relatively new breed, there’s an abundance of misinformation online. AKKOA is a great starting place. Talk to other AKK owners and find a reputable breeder. Look up all the “bad” characteristics of the breed and make sure you can handle them if your pup happens to check all the boxes (like Kouki).
11) Why did you decide to create an Instagram page for Kouki?
I was waiting for a Klee Kai puppy for about a year prior to picking Kouki up. During this time, I followed a lot of AKK Instagram pages and chatted with a few other owners on Insta. So really, it was a no-brainer for me to create one for him the moment he got home.
12) How long do you spend on Kouki’s page on a daily basis?
I spend about 15 minutes every morning on his page and then 5 minutes here and there throughout the day.
13) Do you have any hacks for getting your dog to pose for photos?
Know what drives your pup and use that! I used to always reward with treats but then quickly realized he only did tricks when I had treats. So, since Kouki’s all-time favourite thing (more than fish snacks) is running free, I reward him with a release command instead. This is something we train every day during our walks so it’s easier to ask for during an exciting hike.
14) What other Alaskan Klee Kai accounts would you recommend our readers follow?
There are so many! @myloveonpaws has amazing photography, @thurisia_akk has a gorgeous pack and photos to match, @lifewithkleekai has A+ content with hilarious videos, @littlealpha.bigcity has amazing trick videos daily (and makes me feel bad for not training Kouki more)
Quick-fire round: Alaskan Klee Kai pros and cons
• The sassiest personality
• Unconditional love
• Always ready for anything, whether it be 30km hikes or staying in bed all day
• They talk. A lot. Is this a pro or a con? It’s hilarious and I love it.
• Prone to separation anxiety
• Stranger reactivity/fear
• Smart. Too smart
• Klee Kai scream1)