Breed Info

Are Alaskan Klee Kai High Maintenance?

Alaskan Klee Kai Pets

Last Updated on January 18, 2024 by Kieran Beckles

If you’re thinking about getting an Alaskan Klee Kai and you’ve seen some videos of mini huskies on social media, you may think Alaskan Klee Kai are a high maintenance dog breed.

We often joke that Copper and Skye are a high maintenance breed, especially when showcasing Copper’s sassy personality on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube – but when we put the camera away, our Alaskan Klee Kai tend to be calm and quiet dogs for the most part.

Having first brought Skye home over six years ago with Copper joining her six months later, we’ve become accustomed to spending our day-to-day lives with Alaskan Klee Kai.

We’ve shared lots of adventures in California, London, the Cotswolds, moved continents twice before our daughter joined our little family unit in 2021.

In this article, we’re going to explain why we don’t consider Alaskan Klee Kai to be high maintenance, with some important caveats to consider if you do plan to get Alaskan Klee Kai puppies.

Do We Consider Alaskan Klee Kai High Maintenance?

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

We don’t consider Alaskan Klee Kai to be high maintenance based upon our experience with Copper and Skye, although they do have their moments.

For the most part, our Alaskan Klee Kai are adaptable and relatively easy going in our day-to-day lives.


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

With their ancestors including the Alaskan Husky and the Siberian Husky, Alaskan Klee Kai will require regular exercise.

But if you’re planning on getting a pet, you probably expect them to be an active dog that requires daily walks or even long walks.

In the case of our Alaskan Klee Kai, they’re happy with a quick 20 minute walk in the neighborhood if I’m having a particularly busy day.

Alternatively, they’ll be more than happy to go for an extended walk or a moderately challenging hike that might take an hour or two.

Don’t get me wrong, Alaskan Klee Kai can be high energy but we find our Alaskan Klee Kai are more than happy roughhousing on the sofa or following us around seeing as these small dogs can be velcro dogs.

I would say our Alaskan Klee Kai are couch potatoes 85% of the day apart from our daily walks, acting as watch dogs (not guard dogs) if they see someone come to the door and other miscellaenous physical activity like scent work.


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

We’ve never struggled with our Alaskan Klee Kai chewing clothes or furniture, so they’re definitely low maintenance when it comes to destroying personal items.

In our experience, we found giving our Alaskan Klee Kai bully sticks or chews from a young age really encouraged them to focus on their treats.

Alaskan Klee Kai are intelligent dogs who will require a certain amount of mental stimulation to satisfy some of their instinctive behaviours.

Our male Alaskan Klee Kai, Copper, loves to use his nose – he adores scent work. So we provide mental stimulation by hiding treats around our home and letting our Alaskan Klee Kai find them. It helps them!


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

As a small dog breed, Alaskan Klee Kai can make great contenders for dog owners looking for dog breeds that can excel in an apartment, condo or city dwelling.

Whether you’re first-time dog owners or experienced Klee Kai owners, you don’t need to worry about the size of your home with the Alaskan Klee Kai breed.

Providing you give your Alaskan Klee Kai sufficient exercise and mental stimulation, whether you’re going for a walk, doing some dog training with your smart dogs or they’re just playing with family members, your Klee Kai will thrive.

We’ve lived in a variety of different homes with Copper and Skye – and our Alaskan Klee Kai haven’t changed their behaviour or personalities. We’ve found our Alaskan Klee Kai have always adapted to our circumstances.

We’ve spent time with our Alaskan Klee Kai in a one-bed apartment in the Bay Area, two-bed apartment in central London, a cottage in the Cotswolds, a three-bed home in Bath and now we’re currently in a single-level home in California.

Alaskan Klee Kai Care

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

Alaskan Klee Kai do require some care but I wouldn’t say more than any other dog breed.

Alaskan Klee Kai, having come from the Alaskan Husky breed as well as Siberian Huskies, shed a lot. We’re talking constant dog hair.

Alaskan Klee Kai have a double coat made up of a dense undercoat and coarse outer coat.

However, it’s relatively easy to stay on top of the shedding with this double-coated breed. We spend 10 minutes each night grooming our Alaskan Klee Kai, making sure to brush out loose fur.

We’ve never paid for professional grooming but you may want to invest in this service if you want help with grooming your Alaskan Klee Kai.

Either way, regular brushing (best practice daily brushing) will help, especially during shedding seasons.

Alaskan Klee Kai don’t require frequent baths unlike other dogs. Our Alaskan Klee Kai breeder recommended we only bathe Copper and Skye once or twice a year.

They don’t have a doggie odor like some other breeds – our Alaskan Klee Kai are fastidious like cats.

Health Issues

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

We’ve not had many health concerns with our beloved pets – thankfully. There are some health conditions to be aware of such as factor vii deficiency, patellar luxation and heart murmur.

Copper and Skye have lived a pretty healthy life apart from a few issues with dog food and digestive issues. Skye is a picky eater and we’ve had some problems in this area.

Alaskan Klee Kai typically have a life expectancy of 15 years or more.

Ways Alaskan Klee Kai May Be Considered High Maintenance

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

Alaskan Klee Kai are a small dog with a high prey drive just like Siberian Huskies and other pets.

We give Copper and Skye consistent exercise but we keep them on a leash at all times. Skye has good recall but Copper’s is haphazard so we’re making training on recall a consistent priority, using a gentle hand.

In our experience, the Alaskan Klee Kai breed can struggle with separation anxiety. It’s something that does appear to affect a significant number of the breed. The degree could vary widely.

We’ve worked a lot on separation anxiety with our dogs and we’ve made some decent progress.

Skye is a picky eater and can be fussy with her meals. It’s taken time to find high quality dog food that she’ll eat but we’re currently feeding a combination of this raw dog food and air dried dog food.

Anything Else To Consider?

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

Alaskan Klee Kai are a breed created by an American lady called Linda Spurlin in the early 1980s.

Linda Spurlin used the Alaskan Husky, Siberian Husky, Schipperke and American Eskimo Dog to create her Alaskan Klee Kai. The name came from the Inuit word for “little dog”.

As a rare breed, the Alaskan Klee Kai is still relatively uncommon despite having gained popularity in the past decade or so.

It’s important to note Alaskan Klee Kai are recognised by the United Kennel Club alongside other organizations, including the Alaskan Klee Kai Association Of America.

You can head to the AKKAOA’s website to learn more about where to find a reputable Alaskan Klee Kai breeders. They’ve got a list of other 50 reputable breeders.

Also, the plural of Alaskan Klee Kai is Alaskan Klee Kai rather than Alaskan Klee Kais. It’s a small thing but if you use Alaskan Klee Kais online, you’ll likely be corrected!

Wrapping Up

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

We’ve reached the end of our feature taking a look at whether Alaskan Klee Kai are high maintenance or not.

I don’t consider Alaskan Klee Kai to be a high maintenance breed.

Copper and Skye are highly adaptable, relatively easy going and enjoyable to spend our lives with.

Don’t be fooled by their social media personalities, my Alaskan Klee Kai are pretty low maintenance and don’t spend the day barking!

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