How to Train an Alaskan Klee Kai

Want to learn how to train your Alaskan Klee Kai to be one of the best-trained dogs? Click here to find out how

The Alaskan Klee Kai is a small-sized companion dog that is alert, energetic, and curious, yet reserved with unfamiliar people and situations. They come in three different sizes.

The Alaskan Klee Kai has a symmetrical contrasting facial mask and body markings. This small northern-type companion breed is alert, energetic and curious. Naturally reserved with strangers, AKK require early socialization and training.

History

The Alaskan Klee Kai have ancient roots descending from the numerous native dogs which have populated Alaska for thousands of years. Many of these dogs became not only loving family pets, but in the harsh environment of Alaska, were crucial for survival for the tribal groups and nomadic people. They excelled at pulling sleds, hiking, hunting, tracking, and were early warning alerts for dangers such as wild animals or enemies approaching. One of the largest groups of native dogs that make up the base of what became known as the Alaskan Husky type of dog are the Alaskan Interior Village dogs. Husky lines from Siberia, which were imported to Alaska in the early 1900s, were added to much of this hearty dog population as dog sled racing started to grow. They developed an intelligent, vigorous, and hardworking dog, with a happy nature.

The Alaskan Klee Kai breed we see today was developed in Alaska from these well-bred husky dogs by Linda Spurlin and her family starting in the early 1970s. Using a strict breeding program to select the somewhat smaller dogs with the type/look she envisioned that also met her high standards for health, structure and temperament, she carefully developed a companion-sized version of the Alaska Husky with a very distinctive contrasting symmetrical facial mask and markings. Much like their ancestors, the Alaskan Klee Kai is adaptable to multiple lifestyles, traveling, hiking, sports, entertainment, therapy and service, and most importantly, a loving companion dog for all ages.

Quick Facts

Temperament: Loyal / Intelligent / Vigilant

Height: 13-17.5 inches

Weight: 6-12 pounds (toy) 10-18 pounds (miniature) 16-25 pounds (standard)

Life expectancy: 13-16 years

Foundation Stock Service

Health

The Alaskan Klee Kai (AKK) is a generally healthy breed. Responsible breeders screen breeding stock for health conditions including patellar luxation, autoimmune thyroiditis, heart murmur, eye disorders, and Factor VII deficiency. Prospective AKK owners are encouraged to purchase from responsible/reputable breeders who are doing these evaluations and confirm the health screening of the sire and dam. Responsible breeders use the many tools available, along with the knowledge of their dog’s pedigrees, to selectively choose breeding dogs in order to reduce the likelihood of temperament, structure and health concerns.  Weights are approximate, in proportion to the overall dog, and will vary according to bone structure.

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Recommended Health Tests From the National Breed Club:
  • Patella Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Thyroid Evaluation
  • Cardiac Evaluation
  • Factor VII Deficiency DNA test

Grooming

The Alaskan Klee Kai (AKK) is a double-coated breed, with a short dense undercoat and a longer outer coat of guard hairs. This coat not only helps insulate them from the cold and heat, but it also helps protect the skin from the sun. While the undercoat is shed (or blown) twice a year, some owners quip that it lasts for six months at a time. Weekly brushings and/or combing help keep the coat and skin in good condition and help reduce the hair around the house.  AKK often need only a few baths a year as their coats tend to naturally repel dirt, and they do not have the dog odor that many breeds have. Blowing the dog with a strong cool blow-dryer is also a good way to remove loose hair and dirt. Avoid using any tools with blades. The nails should be trimmed regularly to prevent any foot problems. Alaskan Klee Kai competing in conformation require a bit more selective grooming or bathing for the best presentation. The breed standard is specific: The Alaskan Klee Kai is shown in its natural state and the only trimming permissible is around the foot area to present a clean/neat appearance. Any trimming of the whiskers, or the fur on any other part of the dog, is to be severely penalized.

Exercise

The Alaskan Klee Kai (AKK) is an active dog with a medium-high energy level. Regular exercise and doing activities together, both physically and mentally, strengthens the bond between dog and owner and helps to avoid potentially destructive behavior. AKK enjoys doing performance sports or exploring life with their people in many activities such as camping, hiking, climbing, swimming, boating, kayaking, and even on paddle boards! For those who live in a more urban setting, or have a more sedate lifestyle, daily walks or a game of fetch can also provide great exercise. Alaskan Klee Kai is the foremost loving companion dog who form strong bonds with their family and are as happy playfully interacting with their owners exploring the outdoors as they are relaxing lovingly on the laps of their youthful or elderly owners. Like many dog breeds, Alaskan Klee Kai is curious, clever, fast and sneaky, and may have a high prey drive, so it is important to keep the dog on a leash or in a securely fenced yard (or secured area) at all times when outside of the home. AKK is not suitable for people who cannot spend time with their dogs.

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Training

The Alaskan Klee Kai are a perceptive breed that enjoys being physically and mentally challenged. They love learning new things, and have an energetic eagerness to participate in a broad array of activities which make them well suited for multiple performance sports such as Agility, Racing, Obedience, Rally, Scent Work, Weight Pull, Dock Diving, and Carting. They are also used in therapy work, service work, diabetic and gluten detection, as well as emotional support dogs. AKK have a sensitive, reserved and cautious nature. A gentle hand, positive reinforcement, proper early socialization and training throughout their lives is very beneficial.

Nutrition

The Alaskan Klee Kai should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian¿s supervision and approval. The diet should be appropriate to the dogs age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to excessive weight gain, so watch your dog¿s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your dog¿s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

Want to learn how to train your Alaskan Klee Kai to be one of the best-trained dogs? Click here to find out how