Breed Info

6 Best Things About Owning Alaskan Klee Kai

Last Updated on June 12, 2024 by Kieran Beckles

Are you contemplating getting an Alaskan Klee Kai but you want to know what life is like with a Klee Kai before you take the plunge and bring a mini husky home?

Alaskan Klee Kai are a relatively rare dog breed that was created by American lady Linda Spurlin in the 1980s before the dog breed was recognised by the United Kennel Club in 1997 (the Klee Kai still doesn’t have status with the American Kennel Club).

The Alaskan Klee Kai breed was created using Alaskan Huskies, Siberian Huskies, American Eskimo Dogs and Schipperkes, resulting in an active dog that shares some traits with other husky breeds but in a much smaller package.

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

As someone whose shared their life with two Alaskan Klee Kai dogs for the past seven years, I’m going to share the five best things about owning an Alaskan Klee Kai if you’re considering a Klee Kai as family pets or companion pets.

Before I get started, I want to point out that my list of the best things about owning an Alaskan Klee Kai is based upon my experience with Copper and Skye – other Alaskan Klee Kai owners may have different experiences with Alaskan Klee Kai!

Small Dog, Big Personality

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

If you’re a lover of husky breeds, whether it’s an Alaskan Husky or a Siberian Husky, you may want to to share your life with a dog breed that’s akin to an Alaskan Husky or Siberian Husky but in a smaller package.

Seeing as the Alaskan Husky and Siberian Husky played a big part in the foundation of the Alaskan Klee Kai, you won’t be surprised to learn that Alaskan Klee Kai encompass a lot of personality traits of these other Husky breeds but in a much smaller package.

If you live in a capital or city, and you might not have the space to bring home an Alaskan Huskies or Siberian Huskies. The Alaskan Klee Kai may be small in stature but they’ve got big personalties with a tendency to vocalize their emotions.

We’ve found Alaskan Klee Kai to be a superb contender for an apartment dog – we’ve lived in apartments in London and in California. Although they’ve got abundant energy, Copper and Skye were quick to adapt to apartment life provided we gave them mental stimulation and physical exercise regularly.

Active Dog, But Adaptable

Copper sat on the sofa (Photo: Life With Klee Kai)

Kieran and I often remark how the Alaskan Klee Kai breed is extremely versatile. Kieran is active and when we lived in the Cotwolds, he enjoyed taking Copper and Skye on countryside runs. Our Alaskan Klee Kai would regularly complete 5k, 10k and on some occasions, 15k runs. Just like an Alaskan Husky or Siberian Husky, Alaskan Klee Kai have great (little engines) and tend to be high energy dogs.

While the Alaskan Klee Kai is a little dog, they’ve got just as much energy as high energy breeds. While we don’t live in the picture-perfect British countryside any more, Kieran still takes our Alaskan Klee Kai hikes in California which has been nostalgic because it’s something he used to do when they were Alaskan Klee Kai puppies in the Bay Area.

Though I like to be active, I’ve had health issues with my pelvis and can’t take our Alaskan Klee Kai on long walks. For prospective Alaskan Klee Kai owners who are worried that these small dogs need a lot of exercise, we’ve found them to be highly adaptable. You don’t have to go on challenging hikes to tire them out. You can bring them to dog parks, participate in dog sports, go on short daily walks, teach new skills to these highly trainable dogs or play scent work games!

Our Alaskan Klee Kai are also big couch potatoes and love nothing more than to cuddle on the sofa. We’ve found that Copper and Skye can adapt to our daily schedule, and Skye is sensitive to my health. On days when I’m under the weather, she’s happy to curl up on the sofa and keep me company. Alaskan Klee Kai are adaptable and our Klee Kai continue to surprise us with their versatility.

Fastidious, No Doggie Odor

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

If you’re ready to get Alaskan Klee Kai dogs, you should be prepared for lots of hair, continuous shedding and regular grooming. It’s just part of life with an Alaskan Klee Kai that’s frankly unavoidable. We recommend investing in a good brush that can remove loose hair on your Alaskan Klee Kai. A good vacuum helps when living with a dog with double coats.

While shedding and grooming my be a potential con with Alaskan Klee Kai, you’ll be pleased to read that they don’t tend to have a dog odor unlike other dog breeds. We’ve never notice that doggie smell that you may experience with other breeds, which is a big win!

In this sense, Alaskan Klee Kai remind us of cats. Our Alaskan Klee Kai love to groom themselves, licking their coat and their paws (not an excessive amount but a couple of times a day). Copper and Skye hate getting dirty or wet. If our Alaskan Klee Kai get muddy or wet, we find our Klee Kai will spend the rest of the day trying to clean themselves. They don’t like walks in the rain!

Even if our Alaskan Klee Kai get a dingleberry, they freak out until we’ve removed it. This sometimes happens to Copper with his hair butt and he starts to scream until the dingleberry is removed! Alaskan Klee Kai fastidious and cleanliness is one of the aspects of owning a Klee Kai we love – but their hair more than keeps us busy cleaning!

Companion Pet

Copper and Skye play fighting (Photo: Life With Klee Kai)

Like many breeds who are relatively small in stature, Alaskan Klee Kai (it’s not Alaskan Klee Kais btw), love to cuddle myself, Kieran or Isla. They’re a very affectionate breed, even if our Alaskan Klee Kai show this particular trait in different ways.

For example, our female Alaskan Klee Kai Skye likes to curl between our legs under a blanket, or lie on top of us, or sleep by our side. She’s all about napping, feeling cosy and body contact. It’s been this way since she was an Alaskan Klee Kai puppy.

Copper, on the other hand, is less about cuddling and more about interactions. Although they’re the same breed and have the same mother, our male Alaskan Klee Kai likes to get neck scratches, have his belly tickled or talk to us.

If you read the bred standard on the United Kennel Club or check out the Alaskan Klee Kai Association Of America (which we recommend you do!), you’ll see there’s an emphasis on these smart dogs being companions. In fact, the AKKOAO explain alaskan Klee Kai will typically become bonded to one member of the family and become their velcro dog. Skye is my velcro Alaskan Klee Kai dog, Copper is Kieran’s Alaskan Klee Kai shadow.

Playful Dogs

Alaskan Klee Kai (Photo: lifewithkleekai)

It ties into my previous point but we love just how engaging and playful our Alaskan Klee Kai are. Again, we’ve found that our Alaskan Klee Kai dogs have very different personalities.

Skye is more interested in playing with chew toys and playing tug of war, whether it’s trying to pull her favourite toy out of our hands, chewing a plush toy or interacting with new people who visit our home. While some Alaskan Klee Kai can be wary of unfamiliar people, our female Alaskan Klee Kai loves to interact with family members, friends and strangers alike.

Copper, on the other hand, isn’t as interested when it comes to interacting with new people but loves a good game of fetch. Our male Alaskan Klee Kai is ball obsessed and balls bring out his playful side, although he loves to retriever any toy.

If you’re familiar with our channel, you’ll know that Copper is our more vocal Alaskan Klee Kai dog. We love having conversations with him, Skye isn’t a vocal Alaskan Klee Kai but does get excited when we come home or she sees her favorite extended family members.

Generally Healthy Dogs

Copper makes himself heard (Photo: Life With Klee Kai)

Compared to some other dogs who may have a lot of health issues, we’ve not experienced too many health problems with our Alaskan Klee Kai dogs.

If you’ve followed us for a while, you’ll know that Skye is a picky eater like some Alaskan Klee Kai tend to be and she’s experienced some digestive issues mainly the result of her not eating proper portions. Since switching to We Feed Raw and Sundays, Skye is very food motivated like her Alaskan Klee Kai brother.

Otherwise, we haven’t had many issues with our Alaskan Klee Kai and I’d say they’re a relatively healthy dog breed in our experience. Any other visits to the vet have usually been the result of an accident rather than a health problem.

Wrapping Up

Copper and Skye on vacation in a hotel (Photo: Life With Klee Kai)

So there we have it, that’s our six reasons why we love Alaskan Klee Kai dogs!

If you want to learn more about Alaskan Klee Kai, you can check out our features on this relatively new breed, including topics such as whether Alaskan Klee Kai are good for first time owners, Alaskan Klee Kai make good watchdogs, Alaskan Klee Kai temperament and more.

For newcomers to the Alaskan Klee Kai breed, you can learn about the breed standard through the United Kennel Club, read more about health conditions on the AKKAOA and discover more about the breed on the American Rare Breed Association.

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