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Do Alaskan Klee Kai Shed?

If you’re thinking about getting an Alaskan Klee Kai but you’re wondering whether these dogs shed a lot, the answer is yes!

It’s a resounding yes, too. Alaskan Klee Kai will shed throughout the year so there’s really no escaping the hair. We find with Copper and Skye are constant shedders and it’s something that we’ve just become accustomed to living with. There’s hair everywhere, all the time.

Alaskan Klee Kai have a double coat that is typically made up of a thick, dense undercoat and a coarse, versatile outer coat. While the Alaskan Klee Kai is considered a moderate-to-high shedder throughout the year, these mini huskies are season shedders too.

With Copper and Skye, we find that they’ll blow out their undercoat during the changing of the seasons. Typically we find that Copper and Skye will shed noticeably more as we leave spring and say hello to summer. It’s a similar story when we’re in autumn and the months are getting colder. There’s hair all over our home and our clothes.

Skye and Copper blow out their coats at different times – too. We find that they’re never quite exploding with loose hair at the same time, which brings an added layer of fun to proceedings.

Copper (Photo: lifewithkleekai.com)
Copper (Photo: lifewithkleekai.com)

When it comes to brushing our Klee Kai, we use the Tangle Teezer (more on this brush later!). We find that both Copper and Skye tend to shed starting from their hindquarters and lower back. It’s where most of the loose hair comes from so we pay special attention to their fluffy rears, legs, and lower back to collect as much hair as possible. Their necks are usually another area of their body where there’s plenty of loose hair to collect with our Tangle Teezer.

If we’re honest, we don’t brush Copper and Skye enough. It really should be a daily task to make the shedding much more manageable. But as life tends to get in the way, we aim for a couple of times a week. A typical grooming session will last 10 to 15 minutes. We brush Skye and Copper, remove the hair collected, go again. By the time we’ve finished brushing them, we’ll usually have 5 or 6 big balls of fur.

Some Alaskan Klee Kai owners take their mini huskies to the groomers to get brushed but this is something we haven’t tried. It’s worth noting that Alaskan Klee Kai should only be bathed once or twice a year, so if you do have a Klee Kai, you don’t want to wash them too often.

We’ve tried a lot of different grooming products since getting Copper and Skye five years ago. Some have worked well, some not so much. Initially we opted for a grooming glove that you can find on Amazon. This was probably Copper and Skye’s preferred way of being brushed but we felt it wasn’t the most effective. If you’ve got an anxious or nervous Alaskan Klee Kai, it could be a good way to introduce regular grooming sessions to built their confidence before transitioning to a brush.

Skye and Copper weren’t big fans of wire brushes that you’ll often see being used by groomers. Alaskan Klee Kai can be skittish by nature and they’d twist and wiggle because it seemed to be uncomfortable. You won’t be surprised to hear that we ditched the wire brush in favour of the Tangle Teezer.

Pet Teezer (Photo: lifewithkleekai.com)
Pet Teezer (Photo: lifewithkleekai.com)

We heard about the Tangle Teezer and decided to give it a go. Of all the different grooming products that we’ve tried, the Tangle Teezer was the biggest success. We were surprised by how effective it was at collecting loose hair from Copper and Skye’s coats. It was plastic so they were much more comfortable tolerant of being brushed. The Tangle Teezer has been designed with double-coated dogs in mind so it’s perfect for Alaskan Klee Kai.

The Tangle Teezer uses patented two-tier teeth technology – their website explains that the longer teeth gently removes dirt, reaching down to the undercoat, while shorter teeth pick up loose hair. While other grooming brushes can cause what’s called “brush burn”, the Tangle Teezer uses polymer teeth for a much more pleasant experience for your dog. Copper and Skye certainly appreciated this.

Pet Teezer (Photo: lifewithkleekai.com)
Pet Teezer (Photo: lifewithkleekai.com)

They manufacturers kept dog owners in mind with an ergonomic design to make it easier to brush your Alaskan Klee Kai. Tangle Teezer claims that this means less wrist strain! It’s easy to clean – too. You can remove the hair and run under warm water to get rid of any dirt between the teeth.

Dyson pet grooming kit (Photo: lifewithkleekai.com)
Dyson pet grooming kit (Photo: lifewithkleekai.com)

Aside from the Tangle Teezer, we’ve also tried the Dyson’s pet grooming kit. As dog owners, we found this a particularly effective tool to use during grooming sessions. Dyson’s pet groom tool will collect hair and suck it directly into your Dyson’s bin. So you don’t have to deal with picking dog hair from a grooming brush and collection copious amounts of fluff. The brush itself looks like a standard slicker brush. So for Copper and Skye, it was less comfortable than the Tangle Teezer. It has 364 slicker bristles angled at 35° flex to an upright position as you brush, penetrating deep to grab loose hairs. Once you’ve filled the slicker brush with hair, you simply release and the hair will be sucked into the bin.

Dyson pet grooming kit (Photo: lifewithkleekai.com)
Dyson pet grooming kit (Photo: lifewithkleekai.com)

If you’re getting an Alaskan Klee Kai and you’re doing your research on grooming products, our three recommendations would be a grooming glove, the Tangle Teezer and the Dyson pet groom tool.

However, even with these tools, you’ll still find hair on your furniture, clothes and floor. It’s inevitable and part of life owning these wonderful double-coated dogs. Their shedding is manageable provided you’re willing to put the effort and time into grooming them or you’re willing to invest in a bi-weekly or monthly trip to the groomer.

Their shedding might be a shock at first when you encounter your first shedding season. But trust us, you do get used to it!

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Reviews

Butternut Box Review

Are you thinking about making the switch to Butternut Box?

In this review, I’m going to be talking about one of our favourite dog food delivery companies in the UK at the moment – Butternut Box.

Before I get started, I want to share with you our discount code that can save you 75% off your first Butternut Box order. So if you want to give Butternut Box a try, you can use the link in the description or message us on social media and we can provide you with the link to get that 75% discount. If you decide to use the discount link, we may get a commission. Hopefully, if you find this video useful in your research on the best dog food delivery in the UK and decide to go with Butternut Box, you can reward us for putting this video together by using the link so we can earn a commission and that will allow us to dedicate more time to creating videos like this. To avail of our discount, you can click here now or else keep reading!

Ok, with that out of the way, let’s take a closer look at Butternut Box and why we love feeding our dogs their fresh dog food meals.

Copper with his Butternut Box delivery (Photo: lifewithkleekai.com)
Copper with his Butternut Box delivery (Photo: lifewithkleekai.com)

We first encountered Butternut Box when we moved back to the UK with my wife and two dogs at the start of 2019. Skye and Copper had been picky eaters when we lived in the USA so I wanted to find a dog food company that created balanced and complete meals that used fresh ingredients. We had been feeding Nom Nom in California and we were disappointed to be leaving them behind.

When we stumbled across Butternut Box online, we were instantly impressed. We love that they only use real ingredients in their recipes – that’s fresh meat, fruit and vegetables. You won’t find any additives, fillers or nasties in their fresh dog food. Just real ingredients displayed clearly on the packaging that you and I will recognise. 

Their meals are comprised of 60% protein – so that could be meat or fish and the rest is vegetables and lentils. Some recipes have a hint of fruit – too. Unlike some big-name brands that you’d find at the supermarket, Butternut Box cook their meals at low temperatures to retain all the nutritional goodness and lock in all the flavour.

Once their meals are prepared, they’re frozen and shipped to your door. It couldn’t be easier. All the packaging in the box can be recycled – which is a great eco-friendly approach. The only part of your delivery that can’t be recycled is the meal packets – hopefully that will change.

Skye and Copper have been fussy eaters in the past. Skye has also struggled with digestive issues. I was drawn to Butternut Box after reading just some of the thousands of reviews from customers who also had picky dogs or dogs who required a low-fat diet. 

Copper and Skye with their Butternut Box delivery (Photo: lifewithkleekai.com)
Copper and Skye with their Butternut Box delivery (Photo: lifewithkleekai.com)

You can start your Butternut Box journey by signing up and filling out their questionnaire. This allows you to provide Butternut Box with key information about your dog such as age, weight, breed, activity level, allergies or dietary requirements. They can work with you to find the right recipe. If you have two dogs with different activity levels or different weights, Butternut Box will suggest recipes that suit both. 

They’ve got an impressive range of recipes that has continued to expand since we first signed up with Butternut Box in 2019. You can now choose from Beef It Up, Wham Bam Lamb, Swish Fish Dish, Chicken You Out, Pork, You’ve Got Game, Pork This Way, Gobble Gobble Turkey, Duo Of Duck And Pork, Ready Steady Veggie and Plant Get Enough. The variety is incredible and extremely useful to keep picky eaters like Skye stimulated at mealtime. 

You can opt for how frequently you’d like deliveries but going for every 4 weeks is slightly cheaper. However, keep in mind that you’ll need sufficient freezer space to store a month’s worth of meals. Once you break down the cost, feeding your dog Butternut Box’s meals can cost less than your daily cup of coffee. In my opinion, it’s worth it to promote a happy and healthy lifestyle for my dogs.

Now, we’ve tried a few fresh dog food brands since we’ve been in the UK. I think Butternut Box represents the best overall value of all the brands that we’ve tried. They provide a premium service so it can range from £30 to £70 a month depending on your dog (perhaps even more if you live with multiple big dog breeds). I pay £66 total for Skye and Copper’s meals. That works out at just under £2.40 a day. Some people may think that’s a lot but for me it’s worth every penny.

Skye and Copper are no longer fussy with their food. They get excited about every meal. We’e tried a lot of different brands over the years and Butternut Box is the only one that Skye will consistently eat. Copper is less picky but no less enthusiastic about his fresh dog meals. When we first moved to the UK and before finding Butternut Box, we had many trips to the vet and emergency vet due to Skye’s tummy. We’ve had no issues since feeding Butternut Box so we’ve saved on medical bills. Not only that, Skye and Copper are happier and healthier, with lots of energy and perfectly-shaped stools.

Skye with her Butternut Box delivery (Photo: lifewithkleekai.com)
Skye with her Butternut Box delivery (Photo: lifewithkleekai.com)

If you’ve come across this article and you’re looking for fresh dog food that can help your dog’s energy levels, flatulence, pickiness, sensitive tummy, bowel movements, I really recommend giving Butternut Box a try. You can get a 14-day trial box to see how your dog does if you’re still unsure. Butternut Box provide lots of great information on how to make the transition to their food, too.

So now that you know a little bit more about Butternut Box, you may be ready to give them a try. As I mentioned at the start of the video, we can offer our readers 75% off their first Butternut Box order. All you have to do is simply click this link.

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Alaskan Klee Kai vs Mini Husky

Alaskan Klee Kai and Mini Huskies can be easily confused – but they’re not the same dog.

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. Hence our handle, lifewithkleekai. Their names aren’t Klee and Kai as we often get asked.

Alaskan Klee Kai vs Miniature Husky: Origins

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 Klee Kai were already proving increasingly popular in the United States and their notoriety would steadily grow throughout the 2000s.

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 the popular Siberian Husky dog, 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

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

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).

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.

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 Klee Kai, they 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

Copper (Photo: lifewithkleekai.com)
Copper (Photo: lifewithkleekai.com)

The Alaskan Klee Kai was bred to be a companion dog so they can become quickly attached to their owners. In some cases, your Klee Kai 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. They’re 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 Klee Kai 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.

Alaskan Klee Kai vs Miniature Husky: Conclusion

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

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.

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What’s An Alaskan Klee Kai?

This is the question we get asked perhaps the most on social media: What is an Alaskan Klee Kai?

The answer is an Alaskan Klee Kai is a purebred dog that is recongised by the United Kennel Club. They’re not a cross or mix breed.

The breed was created by an American lady called Linda Spurlin in Alaska in the 1970s. Spurlin set about creating the Klee Kai breed after she met a Husky mix called Curious who weighed just 17 pounds.

Speaking to the Alaskan Klee Kai Association of America’s website, Spurlin shared her experience meeting Curious and why this dog inspired her to create a breed that looked like a Husky. Spurlin was visiting family in Oklahoma when she came across one of their dogs – Curious.

I thought this little creature was so cute that I asked if I could take her back to Alaska with us. They seemed quite pleased to be rid of an extra dog, and thus I acquired my first little husky. It seemed as though everywhere we went, people flocked around the vehicle to exclaim and marvel about this little dog. We went into a restaurant and discovered it empty because the patrons were over at the window looking out at our little dog! I knew I had to find a way to duplicate this little wonder.

Linda Spurlin on AKKAOA’s website.

Spurlin set about creating a dog that looked like a Husky but came in a much smaller package. She wanted a Husky-like dog that would serve as a companion pet rather than a working dog like most Husky breeds.

The Alaskan Klee Kai founder used Alaskan Husky, Siberian Husky, Schipperke and American Eskimo to create the initial stock of AKK. She describes the Alaskan Husky as the Alaskan Klee Kai’s ancestors.

 The Alaskan Husky is a mixture of the best, and so was the creation of the Alaskan Klee Kai. I also added a small dose of Siberian Husky, and just the right amount of smaller dogs of similar conformation for developing my original stock.

Linda Spurlin on AKKAOA’s website.

Spurlin explained that the Klee Kai’s name came about from the Inuit word for little dog. Although she didn’t initially intend to release her Klee Kai in the world, Spurlin sold her first “miniature husky” in 1987. The rest is history as word of these small Husky-like companion dogs spread and Spurlin was inundated with requests for her Klee Kai pups.

Although she was first in touch with the American Kennel Club in 1988, the Alaskan Klee Kai breed is still not recognised by the organisation. However, the Klee Kai have achieved recognition with Federation of International Canines, the American Rare Breed Association and Canine Rarity Shows. In 1997, the United Kennel Club granted breed status to the Alaskan Klee Kai. The following year, the Alaskan Klee Kai Club of America was created.W

When it comes to prospective owners of the breed, Spurlin shares a lot of great advice on the AKKAOA’s website that we should all heed.

You should also ask to see the parents of the animal you are interested in. It is very important to see the environment in which your prospective pet has been raised. Puppies, like children, can be affected their entire lives by how they were treated at a young age. Any respectable breeder should allow you to visit their facility, as their schedule allows. They should also understand the importance of matching the right pup with the right family. I believe if a breeder does not have time for you, you do not have time for that breeder.

Linda Spurlin on AKKAOA’s website.

So there you have, a brief history of the Alaskan Klee Kai breed. Yasmin was first introduced to the breed at the age of 10 when she saw one of Klee Kai in the Bay Area in California. Kieran didn’t meet his first Alaskan Klee Kai until Skye was collected from LA in 2017.

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Meet Copper

Copper is our youngest Alaskan Klee Kai. He’s a bundle of energy and love with a splash of mischief for good measure. Copper is from Nordic Mini Husky, like his sister Skye. They share the same father, Apollo, who was a red and white Alaskan Klee Kai. Apparently Apollo is responsible for Copper’s vocal chords!

We adopted Copper in March 2018 after toying with the idea of getting a second dog for a number of months. On the advice of our breeder Brenda, we went with Copper. He has perfectly complemented Skye. It’s been love at first sight for them.

Copper is a loving soul that could probably be described as a velcro dog. He craves companionship. He rarely leaves our side. Wherever we go, Copper is like a shadow. Having said that, he likes to snuggle in his dog bed just as much as with Mom and Dad.

He’s food motivated which has helped with training. So he’s been easy to teach the basic commands but potty training took a little longer with this naughty boy. He’s got a big prey drive, which means seeing a cat, fox or squirrel in London drives him insane.

Copper isn’t as social as Skye. He takes a little while to warm up to new people. However, once you’ve earned his trust, he’ll happily ask for neck scratches or belly tickles. His favourite pastime is to play with his sister Skye, whether it’s a wrestling match on the bed or a tug of war on the sofa.

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Meet Skye

Skye is our eldest Alaskan Klee Kai. She’s the alpha dog in our home. She’s sassy and smart. Skye was our first dog as a couple. We adopted her in September 2017 from Nordic Mini Husky. She slept the eight-hour car journey from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Her personality was evident from the start with a stubborn streak mixed with a loving side. She operates on her own terms.

Skye spent her first six months with us as an only dog. She was quick to pick up on potty training and basic commands. However, she struggled with separation anxiety, which was something we weren’t prepared for. Getting Copper appears to have soothed her separation anxiety.

She is energetic and enjoys going for 10km runs with Dad around London. She’s got endurance and elegance. She’s the boss of the house even if she lets Copper think he’s in control. When Skye speaks, Copper listens. She loves nothing more than to cuddle up next to Mom in front of the TV in the evenings.

Skye is the more social of our two dogs. She loves to meet new people, quickly winning them over with her big personality. Whether it’s neck scratches, a game of tug or plumping herself on a stranger’s lap, Skye loves attention. She’s good around other dogs as long as they don’t invade her personal space too much.

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Life With Klee Kai

Welcome to Life With Klee Kai.

If you’ve come across our website or one of our social media channels for the first time, we’re excited to introduce to the world of Alaskan Klee Kai. The stars of this website are Copper and Skye. They’re two AKK siblings who live in London. They started life in San Francisco before undergoing a journey of a lifetime in January 2019. Copper and Skye survived an 11-hour flight to start a new adventure in London.

Copper and Skye may be mini huskies but they’ve got huge personalities. They’re very different but love each other endlessly. They’re inseparable, whether it’s watching the world go by together from their vantage point at the window or enjoying some playtime around our apartment. We try our best to give our followers and those interested in Klee Kai an insight into life with these little dogs.

We’re excited to have you join us on our journey through life with Klee Kai. We’re more than happy to answer any questions you may have about Copper, Skye or the breed in general. You can follow us on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.