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Klee Kai

Klee Kai
  • Hair: Short and Soft
  • Personality: Bright
  • Size: Small
  • Temperament: Fiesty, Fun and Energetic
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The Alaskan Klee Kai should look like a miniature husky. Although their standard is based on that of the Siberian Husky, there are physical differences, such as a shorter muzzle, larger ears, and higher tail set, that make them easily distinguishable from the Siberian.

They come in three sizes based on their height:

  • Toy size Alaskan Klee Kai are up to and including 33 cm (13 inches).
  • Miniature Alaskan Klee Kai are over 33 cm high and up to 38 cm (15 inches) high.
  • Standard Alaskan Klee Kai are over 38 cm high and up to 43 cm (17 inches) high.
  • Serious Fault - Any Alaskan Klee Kai over 43 cm and up to 44,5 cm (17½ inches).
  • Eliminating Fault* - Any Alaskan Klee Kai over 44,5 cm.

(*An Eliminating Fault is a Fault serious enough that it eliminates the dog from obtaining any awards in a conformation event.)

Alaskan Klee Kai come in three recognized color varieties: black and white, gray and white, or red and white (which may appear as a cinnamon or a dark auburn). Solid white Alaskan Klee Kai also exist but this coat color variety is considered a disqualification by the breed standard. Solid white Alaskan Klee Kai are not recognized by the UKC and may not be registered.

There are also two coat types found in the Alaskan Klee Kai breed. These consist of the standard and full-coated varieties. Both are recognized by the UKC and equally acceptable by the breed standard. The only exception being that the coat length may not be so long as to obscure the outline of the dog, which is considered a breed fault.

Coat and Grooming


A rare red-colored Alaskan Klee Kai

The two shades of white Alaskan Klee Kai

The Alaskan Klee Kai, like the Siberian Husky, is relatively easy to care for. They are extremely clean. Most do not like wet feet and will spend hours daily grooming themselves. Alaskan Klee Kai, like many other northern breeds, do not have a typical "doggy odor" or "doggy breath." Most Klee Kai will seldom require a bath.

As in Siberians and unlike short haired dogs who shed all year long, the Klee Kai blows its coat twice a year. Of course, the size of the dogs limits the amount of fur blown. It is best to groom the dog on a regular basis during this time. Some of the longer haired dogs can become matted if not groomed. Most Klee Kai will assist the loss of hair by rubbing against things such as fences.

Other than this period of blowing coat, the Klee Kai is very self sufficient. The normal preventative measures should be taken, such as trimming of nails, normal grooming in the form of brushing. This process is especially important in the bonding process.

Temperament


Alaskan Klee Kai with Heterochromia.

The Alaskan Klee Kai is a highly intelligent, curious and active breed. Unlike Siberian Huskies, whom they closely resemble, Alaskan Klee Kai are typically standoffish and cautious around unfamiliar individuals, which causes them to excel as watchdogs. Because of their inherently reserved disposition in the presence of strangers, continual socialization throughout an Alaskan Klee Kai's life is highly encouraged. They are moderately active and have a strong prey drive. This means unless they are properly introduced and raised with smaller animals such as rabbits, hamsters, cats and birds, they will hunt and kill them. They can be a great family dog if raised with children who are careful with animals. Alaskan Klee Kai are not likely to tolerate being mistreated (poked at, pinched, bullied) by children and may respond by nipping them, unlike the Siberian Husky which are considered good with children. Even so, they make great pets. Because of their intelligence they do well in obedience classes and have a high drive to please their owners which helps them to excel in this area as well as many other types of activities. Another such activity is agility in which the AKK almost seems to have been bred to take part in. If you have an Alaskan Klee Kai that is highly active, this is a great way to help them use some of that up.

Health


Gray and White AKK

Relative to other breeds, the Alaskan Klee Kai has been remarkably free of genetic defects.

However, some health conditions linked to the breed include:

  • Juvenile Cataracts
  • Liver Disease
  • Extreme Shyness
  • Factor VII Deficiency
  • Pyometra
  • Luxating Patella
  • Cryptorchids
  • Cardiac Issues including PDA
  • Thyroid disease-including autoimmune thyroiditis

The breed may suffer from other health issues that have yet to be discovered because of the breeds relatively young age and small gene pool.

Responsible Alaskan Klee Kai breeders have their dogs health tested and registered with OFA for Cardiac, Patellas, and Thyroid. They are now accepted by CHIC also, if they have passed their OFA exams and eye exam by CERF.

History

The breed was developed in Wasilla, Alaska, during the mid-1970s by Linda S. Spurlin after she observed the result of an accidental mating of an Alaskan Husky and an unknown small dog. The breed was developed with Siberian and Alaskan Huskies using Schipperke andAmerican Eskimo Dog to bring down the size without dwarfism. She bred these dogs in private until she released them to the general public in 1988. Originally called the "Klee Kai", the breed split into "Alaskan Klee Kai" and "Klee Kai" for political reasons in 1995. The breed consolidated under the new name in 2002. The Alaskan Klee Kai was officially recognized by the American Rare Breed Association (ARBA) in 1995 and by the United Kennel Club (UKC) on January 1, 1997. The dog also recognized as consumer reports favorite in 2008.

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