Breed Info

Are Alaskan Klee Kai Good For First-Time Owners?

Alaskan Klee Kai

Last Updated on January 18, 2024 by Kieran Beckles

Are you a first-time dog owner and you’re wondering whether the Alaskan Klee Kai is a good option for inexperienced pet parents?

The Alaskan Klee Kai breed was created by an American lady called Linda Spurlin in the 1980s, before the rare reed was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1997.

Spurlin used Alaskan Huskies, Siberian Huskies, Schipperke and the American Eskimo Dog to create her initial Alaskan Klee Kai, which explains the temperament of the rare breed.

While Alaskan Klee Kai are a purebred dog, these small dogs remain relatively uncommon with roughly 15,000 Alaskan Klee Kai across the world. The majority can be found in the USA.

Copper the Alaskan Klee Kai (Photo: Life With Klee Kai)

In this article, we’re going to take a look at whether Alaskan Klee Kai make good pets for first-time dog owners based upon our experience with Copper and Skye.

We’ll break this Alaskan Klee Kai feature into two sections – why they’re a good choice for first-time pet parents but some things to consider before your get an Alaskan Klee Kai puppy.

Dog lovers who’d like to learn more about the dog breed in general, you can check out more Klee Kai content on our website or head to the Alaskan Klee Kai Association Of America.

Reasons Why Alaskan Klee Kai Are Good First-Time Dogs

Alaskan Klee Kai Pets
Copper lying down (Photo: Life With Klee Kai)

If you’re a first-time dog owner looking at Alaskan Klee Kai puppies and you’re ready to contact an Alaskan Klee Kai breeder, but you’ve got a niggling doubt about whether the dog breed is a good choice seeing as you’ve got little experience sharing life with pets, let me ease your concerns.

Size Factor

Alaskan Klee Kai
Skye in central London (Photo: Life With Klee Kai)

Alaskan Klee Kai are small dogs which make them much easier to control and to walk when compared to their ancestors such as Alaskan and Siberian Huskies who are powerful dogs.

So the Alaskan Klee Kai dog is unlikely to overpower you due to sheer force or sheer will unlike an Alaskan Husky or a Siberian Husky who could take you for a walk rather than the other way around.

If you head to a dog park and you need to pick up your Alaskan Klee Kai due to an unfriendly dog, you’re able to do it. That wouldn’t be the case with Alaskan Huskies or a Siberian Husky.

Exercise Needs

Alaskan Klee Kai
Copper at Leadenhall Market in London (Photo: Life With Klee Kai)

Alaskan Klee Kai are high energy dogs like most Spitz dog breeds but you can give the dog breed sufficient mental and physical stimulation in a variety of different ways.

We take our Alaskan Klee Kai dogs for daily walks at least 20 to 30 minutes long but sometimes we’ll go for a longer walk or a moderate hike if we’ve got the time.

We avoid the dog park after some bad experiences with our Klee Kai being attacked by other dogs.

But Copper and Skye are content with a short walk provided we play with them at home. This could be a tug of war or a game of fetch with our Alaskan Klee Kai.

Although they’re a little dog, Alaskan Klee Kai can excel at sports or agility training if you’re so inclined.

We provide our Alaskan Klee Kai dogs with mental stimulation by playing scent work games. We find they love searching for treats hidden around our home.

Mental stimulation tires out our Alaskan Klee Kai dogs just as much as physical exercise.

I’d say Copper and Skye are couch potatoes most of the time – happy to curl up on the sofa or snooze under a blanket or throw. So they’re an active dog but

Easy To Train

Alaskan Klee Kai
Skye at Hays Galleria (Photo: Life With Klee Kai)

Alaskan Klee Kai are smart dogs that are quick to learn basic commands and pick up obedience training.

Copper is a food motivated miniature husky so our male Alaskan Klee Kai was easy to train. He’d do anything for a treat. Skye is an example of a stubborn Alaskan Klee Kai dog.

Provided you’re willing to commit to regular training with your small dog, even five minutes a day, when they’re puppies, you’ll have a well-trained adult dog further down the line.

Adaptable

Alaskan Klee Kai
Copper speaks (Photo: Life With Klee Kai)

This is a word that we believe encompasses most Klee Kai. They’re adaptable!

If you’re a young person living in a city and you’re worried about whether Alaskan Klee Kai make a good apartment dog, they do.

But as life progresses, they need to become much-loved family pets in a home with children, they’re able to go with the flow.

This is our experience with Copper and Skye.

We got our Alaskan klee Kai dogs in our mid 20s and they’ve adapted to the different stages of our lives. Now they’re sharing life with a toddler!

Loyal Companions

Alaskan Klee Kai
Klee Kai Skye (Photo: Life With Klee Kai)

If you’re looking for a companion sized version of Husky breeds, the Alaskan Klee Kai is your answer. You won’t find them pulling sleds as working dogs.

Alaskan Klee Kai are a loyal breed who become attached to their human companions. They can form strong bonds with family members.

If you’ve watched our videos on social media, you’ll know Copper and Skye have an affectionate nature. They’ve even become well adjusted dogs to life with a toddler.

Your small dog will follow you around the home, happily join you on a trip into town, can be easily carried in a pet carrier and get excited to meet new people.

To ensure you do have a social Alaskan Klee Kai, it’s a good idea to socialize them as much as possible at a young age.

They can have a cautious nature but our Alaskan Klee Kai breeder advised us to take Copper and Skye everywhere. It helped to bring them out of their shell.

Healthy Breed

Alaskan Klee Kai
Copper and Tower Bridge (Photo: Life With Klee Kai)

If you’re ready to make this mini husky your first-ever dog, you’ll probably be wondering about whether Alaskan Klee Kai are a healthy breed.

Fortunately, we haven’t had to go to the vet a lot with Copper and Skye. Aside from regular health tests at their yearly check up, they’ve avoided any major issues.

Of course, every dog is different so I can’t say with certainty your Alaskan Klee Kai won’t experience health problems but we’ve not experienced any issues.

Having said that, I do recommend getting pet insurance for your rare breed.

With a relatively limited Alaskan Klee Kai history, it’s still unclear what underlying issues may affect the Alaskan Klee Kai dog breed.

Reasons Why Alaskan Klee Kai Aren’t Good For First-Time Owners

Alaskan Klee Kai
Skye the Alaskan Klee Kai (Photo: Life With Klee Kai)

Let’s move onto some reasons why Alaskan Klee Kai might not be good option unlike other dogs for inexperienced dog owners.

High Prey Drive

Like other husky breeds, the Alaskan Klee Kai can have a high prey drive. It places a great importance on recall training.

Copper and Skye have varying degrees of prey drive – Copper has a really high prey drive and we don’t trust him off leash.

If you’ve seen some of our social media videos, you’ll see Copper has good recall when he’s on our property without distractions.

But we’ve run into coyotes, foxes, rabbits, birds and much more during walks and Copper’s recall disintegrates.

For that reason, we don’t take any risks and keep Copper on leash at all times.

If you’ve got an ideallyic vision of walking your Klee Kai off leash, it’s something to consider. Of course, some Alaskan Klee Kai dogs will have great recall but it’s an area that usually requires some work.

They can make excellent watchdogs but they can also bark at birds or squirrels, which isn’t necessarily what you’re looking for.

While being excellent watchdogs, you may want to consider whether barking will be a problem where you live.

Separation Anxiety

Alaskan Klee Kai
Copper the Alaskan Klee Kai (Photo: Life With Klee Kai)

While not every Alaskan Klee Kai will have separation anxiety, it’s a chronic canine condition that does appear to affect a significant number of the same breed.

Skye showed signs of separation anxiety as an Alaskan Klee Kai puppy. We thought getting a second dog would provide her with company, but Copper’s separation anxiety was even worse!

We’ve worked on separation anxiety over the years and we’ve got to the point where they don’t seem to suffer from it as much as they used to.

There are lots of days where Copper and Skye don’t show any signs of separation anxiety when left alone. However, it’s taken us six years to get to this point!

Shedding

Alaskan Klee Kai
Copper and Skye (Photo: Life With Klee Kai)

While Alaskan Klee Kai don’t have dog odor, the purebred dog do shed a lot!

They’ve got a double coat – a dense undercoat and a coarse outercoat. You can expect to find dog hair on your clothes, on the floor and pretty much everywhere.

If you’re a first-time dog owner, this may come as a shock. You’ll need to commit to regular grooming to remove loose hair from their double coat.

However, they only require a couple of baths a year because you don’t want to damage your dog’s skin.

Alaskan Klee Kai Scams

Alaskan Klee Kai
Copper stands on stairs in London (Photo: Life With Klee Kai)

Unfortunately there’s a lot of Alaskan Klee Kai scams online. It’s a bad idea to buy a Klee Kai puppy from a general puppy website online where you’ll find many supposed dog breeds.

You should head to the Alaskan Klee Kai Association Of America to find responsible breeders. They’ve got a section where you can find over 50 reputable breeders.

They’ve got a good breeding stock and abide by the code of ethics set out by the AKKAOA.

It’s always a good idea to go to your breeder to see their puppies interact with the mother and ask your breeder any questions you may have.

You could also contact dedicated Alaskan Klee Kai rescue organizations.

Anything Else To Consider?

Skye (Photo: lifewithkleekai.com)
Skye (Photo: lifewithkleekai.com)

While the Alaskan Klee Kai has secured status with the United Kennel Club and the American Rare Breed Association, they’re not recognised by all the kennel clubs. For example, the American Kennel Club hasn’t granted this small dog status.

Wrapping Up

My Alaskan Klee Kai Copper and Skye (Photo: lifewithkleekai.com)

If you’re a first-time dog owner looking at different dog breeds and you’re considering the Alaskan Klee Kai, they could be a good option for you.

However, there are a few considerations to keep in mind with the Alaskan Klee Kai dog breed.

Like other dogs, Klee Kai can have their pros and cons that need to be considered to ensure you’re making an informed decision before bringing home the dog breed.

While our Alaskan Klee Kai weren’t our first dogs, they were our first dogs as a couple.

Just like any dog breed, we found that Alaskan Klee Kai make great pets provided you’re willing to put a little bit of work and time into creating good habits.

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