Last Updated on August 8, 2023 by Kieran Beckles
Alaskan Klee Kai and Mini Huskies can be easily confused – but they’re not the same dog.
They’re two companion dogs with very different origins that can often be confused for miniature Siberian Huskies.
We often describe Copper and Skye as Mini Huskies but that’s for sake of ease rather than their actual breed.
As you’ll probably know, Copper and Skye are Alaskan Klee Kai and we’ve shared our lives with them since 2017.
Alaskan Klee Kai are a recognized breed by the United Kennel Club, with these small dogs becoming increasingly popular.
If you’re wondering whether either breed is considered purebred dogs, we’ll find out in this article.
We’ll also touch upon where to find reputable breeders of these companion dogs, look at some of the similarities and differences of these two types of dogs.
Alaskan Klee Kai: Origin
Alaskan Klee Kai are a dog breed that has been recognised by the United Kennel Club since 1997 (other organisations that recognise the Klee Kai breed include the Federation of International Canines, the American Rare Breed Association, Canine Rarity Shows and the Alaskan Klee Kai Association of America).
At the time of writing, the Alaskan Klee Kai breed isn’t recognised by the American Kennel Club.
The Alaskan Klee Kai breed was created by an American called Linda Spurlin. She wanted to create a companion-sized pet that looked like a small Husky after meeting and adopting a 17-lb Husky dog called Curious.
She started her Klee Kai breeding programme with Alaskan Husky and Siberian Husky plus some Schipperke and American Eskimo Dog. By the late 1980s and early 1990s, her AKK were already proving increasingly popular in the United States and their notoriety would steadily grow throughout the 2000s.
It’s important to note you can only get ones of these dogs by breeding purebred Alaskan Klee Kai.
Mini Husky: Origin
The Mini Husky, on the other, is a mix breed that isn’t recognised by the AKC or the UKC. The Mini Husky is a smaller version of the Siberian Husky. The first purposefully bred Mini Huskies were thought to have been by a women called Bree Normandin. Desiring a smaller version of Siberian Huskies, Normandin is reported to have bred the smallest members of her Siberian Husky pack to create the first Miniature Huskies.
Alaskan Klee Kai vs Miniature Husky: Size
Alaskan Klee Kai can come in three different sizes: standard, miniature and toy. The UKC explain in the Klee Kai’s breed standard that they’re a small to medium-sized dog. The organisation add that “height is measured from the withers to the ground” and “weight should be proportionate to height and bone structure, appearing neither too heavy nor too thin.”
The Toy Alaskan Klee Kai should grow to a height of up to 13 inches, the Miniature Alaskan Klee Kai will range from 13 to 15 inches and the Standard Alaskan Klee Kai have a typical range of 15 to 17 inches. Copper and Skye are toy-sized Alaskan Klee Kai with a weight of around 5-6kg (11-13lbs).
While Klee Kai don’t come close to the size of Alaskan Huskies or Siberian Huskies, they make up for their lack of size with their big personalities. So they appear to be like a companion sized Siberian Husky with larger than life personalities.
Miniature Husky, meanwhile, will grow up to 17 inches tall and weigh around 35 pounds. However, as these mixed dogs aren’t recognised by a major breed organisation, we were unable to find a breed standard, including a height and weight guide.
Alaskan Klee Kai vs Miniature Husky: Appearance
Alaskan Klee Kai can have a variety of different coat colours and eye colours. The recognised Alaskan Klee Kai coat colours are black and white, grey and white and red and white. While other coat colours are deemed a fault under the United Kennel Club’s breed standard, you can find beautiful Alaskan Klee Kai that have a mostly-black coat or all-white coat. Alaskan Klee Kai can have brown, blue or hazel eyes, while some Klee Kai will have two different coloured eyes or parti-eye. It’s easy to see why some dog lovers confuse Klee Kai for Alaskan Huskies or Siberian Huskies if they spot an AKK on the street, although the paws are a giveaway. Klee Kai have much smaller paws than Alaskan Husky puppies or Siberian Husky puppies.
Seeing as the Miniature Husky is just a smaller version of the Siberian Husky, they can have a vast range of coat colours and combinations. However, you’ll find the most common Miniature Husky coat colours are black and white, grey and white, brown and white, red and white, black and white. Just like the AKK, Mini Huskies can have blue eyes, brown eyes, hazel eyes, as well as green eyes. Some Mini Huskies will be bi-eyed or parti-eyed.
Alaskan Klee Kai vs Miniature Husky: Temperament
The Alaskan Klee Kai was bred to be a companion dog so Klee Kai can become quickly attached to their owners. In some cases, your AKK may become particularly bonded to a member of the home and crown them their favourite (Mom is Skye’s, Dad is Copper’s). They can be velcro dogs in the case of Copper, but they’ve got an independent streak that Skye all too often displays when she decides to chill in rooms by herself. Alaskan Klee Kai can be skittish or wary when meeting new people for the first time so it’s a good idea to socialise your dog as much as possible from a young age. This is something we wish we did more when we first got Skye and Copper. Alaskan Klee Kai are smart dogs who will respond well to regular training. They’re an energetic breed who like to go for walks, jogs, be outdoors playing, participating in mentally stimulating activities and more!
Miniature Huskies will likely be more outgoing than a Klee Kai. While it’s important to remember that every dog is different so no two Miniature Huskies or Alaskan Klee Kai will be the same. But having said that, Miniature Huskies do seem a bit more social. Mini Huskies will likely to be intelligent but will need daily exercise and mental stimulation to prevent unwanted behaviours such as chewing or digging. They’ll likely have a mischievous streak, including a hidden skill as an escape artist so make sure to secure your garden or yard.
Alaskan Klee Kai vs Miniature Husky: Shedding
Neither the Alaskan Klee Kai nor the Mini Husky are hypoallergenic. So if you’re looking for a dog with hypoallergenic qualities, keep looking! Alaskan Klee Kai have a double coat – dense undercoat and coarse outer coat. They shed all year round but especially at the changing of the season when you’ll want a good vacuum to deal with all the added hair you find around your home and on your clothes.
It’s a similar story with Miniature Huskies who have a double coat – too. They’ll shed throughout the year so a weekly brush is a good idea and prepare to get the vacuum out to make those hairballs disappear.
Alaskan Klee Kai vs Miniature Husky: Exercise
Seeing as the Alaskan Klee Kai’s ancestor were a mix of Alaskan Husky and Siberian Husky, it’s no surprise that these companion-sized dogs have lots of energy. They’re a versatile dog that will enjoy long daily walks. Copper and Skye love to go for runs with Kieran and they’ll often rack up 5k, 10k and even as much as 15k when they’re all feeling energetic enough. As a suggestion, your AKK will likely require at least 60 minutes of exercise a day. While we go for two daily walks, we find mental stimulation games can be a great way to tire them out.
Mini Huskies have similar exercise needs unless you want a bored or destructive dog on your hands. They’re a smart breed who will benefit from at least 60 minutes of exercise a day. While you can take them for walk, Mini Huskies can make a great jogging partner around the park or on your local trail.
Alaskan Klee Kai vs Miniature Husky: Price
Alaskan Klee Kai can vary in price depending on coat colour and eye colour. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay around $1500 to $3000 for an Alaskan Klee Kai puppy. If you see a Klee Kai pup available to buy for less than $1,000, it could be a scam. You can find a list of AKKAOA-approved Alaskan Klee Kai breeders here. They’ve signed up to the organisation’s code of ethics. It’s a good idea to visit your breeder, ask to see your puppy’s parents and proof of health checks before paying for your Alaskan Klee Kai dog.
Miniature Huskies can cost from $500 to $3000 but the average Mini Husky should set you back around $1500.
Alaskan Klee Kai vs Miniature Husky: Separation Anxiety
We’ve experienced separation anxiety with our Alaskan Klee Kai and it does seem to be a canine condition that affects quite a few members of the breed. If you’re thinking about getting an Alaskan Klee Kai, it could be a good idea to speak to your breeder or a professional to learn ways to tackle the issue if it arises. Mini Huskies appear to be susceptible to separation anxiety, too, just like their bigger cousins the Siberian Husky.
Alaskan Klee Kai vs Miniature Husky: Conclusion
We’ve come to the end of our Alaskan Klee Kai vs Miniature Husky comparison. As you’ll know, they’ve got quite a few things in common, which is hardly a surprise seeing as Klee Kai were created using some Siberian Husky. However, the Klee Kai breed is recognised by the UKC whereas the Miniature Husky isn’t. They’ve got a similar temperament but Klee Kai tend to be slightly more cautious and reserved than the Mini Husky. They’ve got similar exercise needs and shedding patterns.
Kieran runs Life With Klee Kai on social media and other online platforms alongside his wife Yasmin. With over 10 years of experience as a journalist and a passionate dog owner, Kieran loves to combine his passion for pets and writing to share useful insights and product reviews to help other dog owners.