Last Updated on April 19, 2023 by Kieran Beckles
Alaskan Klee Kai are often nicknamed “Mini Huskies” – but how big do they get?
If you’re enamored with husky-type dogs but you don’t feel capable or ready to handle a medium-to-large dog or you don’t have the space for an Alaskan Husky or Siberian Husky, a Klee Kai could be the solution.
They’re a small dog breed that share some of the same personality traits of the Alaskan Husky and Siberian Husky.
While there are some similarities, Alaskan Klee Kai differ a lot. They’re not necessarily as outgoing as Siberian Huskies.
The Alaskan Klee Kai was recognised by the United Kennel Club in 1997 but hasn’t been granted status by the American Kennel Club (correct at the time of writing).
In this article, we’re going to take a look at the three different sizes of the Alaskan Klee Kai breed (with help from the breed standard).
Alaskan Klee Kai Origins
The Klee Kai was created by an American lady called Linda Spurlin in the 1970s as she sought to develop a companion-sized dog breed.
Spurlin was inspired to start her quest to create what would end up being called Alaskan Klee Kai after she encountered and ended up adopting a small Husky-like dog called Curious.
In the mid 1970′s my husband and I had come down from Alaska to visit his relatives in Oklahoma. Of their various farm dogs, one of them was a 17 pound gray and white female husky. They called her ‘Curious’ because she was a curiosity to them. 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
Her goal was to create a dog that looked like a Husky but came in a much smaller package and wasn’t bred to work like the sled dogs.
These [Alaskan Husky] are the ancestors of the Alaskan Klee Kai. 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 used four different dog breeds to create her original Klee Kai: sled dogs Alaskan Husky and Siberian Husky; Belgian breed Schipperke and American Eskimo Dog.
While the Alaskan Husky and Siberian Husky are medium-sized dogs, the Schipperke and American Eskimo Dog breeds are much smaller.
By using the Schipperke and American Eskimo Dog, Spurlin was able to develop her companion-sized Husky-like dogs.
Alaskan Klee Kai Size
The length of an Alaskan Klee Kai’s body should be just slightly longer than the height (as highlighted by the picture of Skye above).
Alaskan Klee Kai come in three different sizes: standard, miniature and toy. It’s important to note that unlike other dog breeds, the Alaskan Klee Kai’s size is determined by height rather than weight. Their height should be measured from the withers to the ground.
Here’s a further explanation cited from the United Kennel Club.
It is intended that the Alaskan Klee Kai remain a small to medium-sized dog. Height is measured from the withers to the ground. Weight should be proportionate to height and bone structure, appearing neither too heavy nor too thin.Alaskan Klee Kai breed standard
A Toy Alaskan Klee Kai have a height range up to and including 13 inches. Copper and Skye are right on the cusp of the 13-inch range.
A Miniature Alaskan Klee Kai should be over 13 inches and up to and including 15 inches – ever-so slightly bigger than the Toy Klee Kai.
A Standard Alaskan Klee Kai is over 15 inches but shouldn’t be any bigger than 17 inches. These are the biggest of the Klee Kai dogs.
It’s important to note that Alaskan Klee Kai over 17 inches aren’t allowed and would be considered a fault if you’re abiding strictly by the breed standard outlined on the United Kennel Club’s website.
Alaskan Klee Kai Weight
Alaskan Klee Kai are measured by height rather than weight.
The United Kennel Club explain that “weight should be proportionate to height and bone structure, appearing neither too heavy nor too thin”. So an Alaskan Klee Kai’s weight will vary depending on each individual dog.
Copper weighs 7.5 kilograms (16.5 pounds) but Skye is slightly lighter with a weight of 6.5 kilograms (15.5 pounds).
So there we have it! The Alaskan Klee Kai come in three sizes.
You can find Standard, Miniature and Toy Alaskan Klee Kai.
As we’ve already mentioned, Toy Alaskan Klee Kai can be up to 13 inches tall, Miniature Alaskan Klee Kai can range from 13 to 15 inches and Standard Alaskan Klee Kai start at over 15 inches up to 17 inches.
Over 17 inches is considered a fault according to the breed standard.
Kieran runs Life With Klee Kai on social media and other online platforms alongside his wife Yasmin. With over 10 years of experience as a journalist and a passionate dog owner, Kieran loves to combine his passion for pets and writing to share useful insights and product reviews to help other dog owners.