Last Updated on July 8, 2023 by Kieran
Are you thinking about getting an Alaskan Klee Kai but you’re wondering whether they’ll be a good fit for you and your family?
If you’ve got a home with children, you’ll rightly be thinking carefully about whether the Alaskan Klee Kai breed would complement your family lifestyle.
Alaskan Klee Kai, just like any breed or mix, can have their advantages and disadvantages. So it’s important to give careful consideration to the potential pros and cons.
While Alaskan Klee Kai can make great family pets, they do have some quirks to their personality that you may want to consider before you bring home a mini husky.
In this article, I’m going to answer the question of whether Alaskan Klee Kai are good family dogs, calling upon my experience with Copper and Skye.
This piece will largely be written from my perspective but it’s important to remember that every family dog is different so other Klee Kai owners may have a different experience.
With the introduction out of the way, let’s get started by taking a brief look at the history and origins of the Alaskan Klee Kai breed before discussing their suitability as family pets.
Alaskan Klee Kai Brief History
The Alaskan Klee Kai are quite a new breed that started in the late 1970s and early 1980s when an American lady called Linda Spurlin decided to create a companion-sized Husky-like dog.
Spurlin was inspired to take on the daunting task of creating a new breed after she adopted an undersized Husky dog called Curious. Surprised by the popularity of her dog, Spurlin decided to set about creating a dog that would be the size of a companion pet but embody the traits of the Alaskan Husky.
Spurin describes the Alaskan Husky as the foundational breed in the Klee Kai but she used Siberian Husky, Schipperke and American Eskimo Dog to refine her new breed. Although she had no intention of releasing her Klee Kai to the public when she first started, Spurlin was ultimately persuaded to make them available to the world.
Alaskan Klee Kai were recognised as a breed by the United Kennel Club in 1997, but at the time of writing, they haven’t achieved status with the American Kennel Club. They’re also recognised by the Federation of International Canines, the American Rare Breed Association, Canine Rarity Shows and of course the Alaskan Klee Kai Association of America.
Are Alaskan Klee Kai Good Family Dogs?
Alaskan Klee Kai make good family dogs thanks to their affectionate, goofy, energetic, intelligent and loyal personalities.
Like any breed or mix, every Klee Kai will have a slightly different personality despite retaining the same general traits. But my experience with Copper and Skye in a family setting is unique to me. So it’s worth keeping that in mind as you read on.
When answering the questions of whether Alaskan Klee Kai are good family dogs, I kept a few things in mind that are worth sharing:
Alaskan Klee Kai were bred to be companion dogs so they like to be in the company of humans, especially the person that they’re most bonded to.
In our experience, Klee Kai do have favourites. For instance, Skye loves nothing more to cuddle and sleep next to Yasmin (Mom), but Copper is my permanent shadow. While I’m usually the person to feed and to walk them both, Yasmin remains Skye’s favourite.
So if you’re thinking about brining a Klee Kai into a family home, you should probably prepare for your dog to become more attached to one person in particular. It’s usually Mom or Dad! This doesn’t mean that they won’t be affectionate and loving with other family members but it’s something to keep in mind.
But it does speak to the fact that they’re undoubtedly a loyal dog breed so once your Alaskan Klee Kai becomes bonded with you, you’ll have a friend for life!
They’re a very loving dog breed that will enjoy adventures, cuddles and playtime with you. As I mentioned at the start of the article, Spurlin created the Klee Kai breed with the intention of developing a dog breed that would thrive around their owners.
Alaskan Klee Kai tend to be quite skittish – they’re easily spooked. This is something to consider if you’ve got a home with young children. I’ve found that Copper and Skye don’t like unpredictable movements of toddlers. Copper, in particular, is wary of my daughter because of flailing arms, stomping feet and general noisiness. While we haven’t had any serious escalations, we do pop Copper in his crate if my daughter is in a particularly rambunctious mood.
Skye is much more patient with my daughter – proving that every dog is different. She’s much more willing to cuddle and sit next to our toddler despite her over enthusiasm. Skye is generally less anxious than Copper so it’s no surprise that she’s much calmer and relaxed around my daughter.
Like some Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Klee Kai can be aloof, cautious or wary around people they don’t know. This is important to note if you’re someone who has a lot of visitors to your home or you plan to socialize a lot. Of course, you can work on any nervousness around strangers by doing lots of socialization training from a young age. With Copper and Skye, we brought them everywhere with us whether it was parks, bars, restaurants, public transport and more.
In our experience, Skye is very open to meeting new people. In fact, she loves the chance to say hello to visitors to our home or get the opportunity to greet friendly strangers on our daily walks. I’d describe Skye as being the opposite of aloof or wary.
But Copper, in spite of his online persona, is more anxious around new people. If we have a visitor to the home that he hasn’t met before, he’ll usually hang back and suss them out. He might lie down in his bed and watch proceedings as Skye laps up the attention. If someone approaches him on his walk, he’ll tend to look at myself or Yasmin for reassurance.
If you’re planning to get an Alaskan Klee Kai, you should make sure to Klee Kai proof your home and yard. Just like Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Klee Kai are expert escape artists. We’ve had a few issues with Copper and Skye escaping through a narrow gap in a fence or between metal bars in a gate. So this is something to keep in mind if you’re planning to get an Alaskan Klee Kai.
While I’m sure the primary purpose of getting a Klee Kai will be to have a furry friend, they do serve as quite excellent watchdogs. They’re alert to noises outside the home so if someone approaches your door unexpectedly, your Klee Kai will raise the alarm. In this sense, they can make excellent family pets as guardians of the family. Their small size means that they won’t intimidate unwanted guests but their bark should help to get your attention. Copper and Skye are very alert to noises outside or like to peer out the window at the action in the street.
Alaskan Klee Kai Owners Give Their Advice
mdhol on Reddit: This is an excellent breed for anyone that loves huskies but couldn’t responsibly take care of one. What I mean is that huskies pretty much require a yard, a large fence, plenty of people to socialize with, and a lot of activity. The AKK however will be fine in an apartment granted they get the necessary attention and exercise.
mikatheminihusky: AKKs are generally very sweet to their owners but they tend to be stand offish to strangers. Some of them will not allow any one else to pet them and others are much more social and sweet around others. This really depends on constant socialization on your part as the owner. But as I said before, their default nature is to be wary of strangers. Also, in most AKKs they have a bad separation anxiety. Despite these characteristics, with a good responsible owner, this breed is absolutely amazing and they make great companions!
Wrapping Up – My Final Thoughts
So we’ve reached the end of my article on whether Alaskan Klee Kai make good family pets.
The answer is yes, they do make good family pets but there are some things to consider.
You’ll want to start training your Klee Kai from a young age to establish basic obedience, while it’s a good idea to socialize them as much as possible.
I would say Skye is a much more family-friendly Klee Kai than Copper – but our male Klee Kai still does well in a family setting but tends to be a little more anxious.
No two Klee Kai will be exactly the same so that’s worth remembering.