The Alaskan Klee Kai is the reduced copy of the Alaskan Husky that was bred in the 70s of the XX century. In spite of its diminutive size it fully shares vigour and stamina of its closest relative. At the same time it’s much less demanding as long as it concerns its physical exercise than other northern sled dogs and therefore fits ideally for the role of a companion animal.
Photo: : © Angels’ Crest Alaskan Klee Kai (angelscrestkleekai.com)
The Alaskan Klee Klai belongs to the group of the northern breeds that is marked by incredible power, agility and sturdiness. Its immediate predecessor, the Alaskan Husky appeared as the result of long and assiduous breeding work of Alaskan mushers and earned reputation as one of the best sled dogs in the world. In the middle of the 70s of the XX century an Alaskan inhabitant, Linda Spurlin, run across a miniature specimen of the Siberian Husky in Oklahoma. She was absolutely infatuated with its sweet expression and on her return from her trip started breeding experiments in order to reproduce this canine into a new breed.
In the breeding program Linda Spurlin primarily utilised the members of the Alaskan Husky and the Siberian Husky. Other small canine varieties with similar appearances were also involved in this process in order to enlarge the gene pool of the Alaskan Klee Klai and avert the issues with dwarfism in its still scanty population. For several decades the Spurlins carefully chose and crossed the dogs whose conformation matched up with predefined requirements.
In 1988 the breed specimens finally became accessible to other canine fanciers. In 1995 Linda Spurlin handed over the responsibility for the breed’s further development to Eilеn Gregory of Peyton, Colorado. At that point this dog was also renamed from the Klee Klai of Alaska to the Alaskan Klee Kai. In the same year the dog received recognition of the the American Rare Breed Association (ARBA), and two years later was also accepted by the United Kennel Club (UKC).
Today the long-term future of this breed is secured by efforts of Linda’s successors although it’s still barely recognisable in European countries and it’s usually improperly taken for the puppy of the Alaskan Husky. Alaskan Klee Klai is valued for both its compactness and energetic nature, which make it an excellent choice for active people.
The Alaskan Klee Klai was specifically created as a companion dog for those who admire the noble look of the Alaskan Husky but can’t provide this dog with sufficient physical exercise. This smart, merry, inquisitive and loving dog with a proper amount of socialisation will become a member of almost any family. It has relatively sturdy body and stable temper to endure lots of rough-housing from familiar children and always willingly participates in their games. Regardless of how friendly this breed really is, it won’t tolerate excessive misuse so teach your kids to handle it with due respect.
The Alaskan Klee Klai commonly stands aloof with strange people although it can’t be described as an aggressive breed. It will closely observe the gestures and facial expressions of any guest in your dwelling and will be ready to take action at the slightest display of hostility. Apart from being a fearless yet intelligent guardian this dog makes a good watcher that won’t let any changes in the environment go unnoticed for its masters.
Being a truly pack animal the Alaskan Klee Klai loves mixing with its counterparts and will be totally thrilled to have several permanent canine companions. Of course, proper caution is still a must when introducing two strange dogs to each other. This breed tends to chase every object that even slightly resembles a prey so it’s ill-suited for households with pre-existing cats or other small pets. However in most cases the animals of two different species will get on well if they were brought up together since a very young age.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· juvenile cataracts;
· liver disease;
· factor VII deficiency;
· patellar luxation;
· cardiac issues;
· thyroid diseases.
The grooming of the Alaskan Klee Klai is a rather time-consuming task. It dense double coat requires systematic brushing because it sheds lightly all the year round. This dog will lose its entire undercoat during the seasonal changes, which inevitably means the piles of the dog’s hair in your house. During these times it’s advisable to switch to daily brushing to keep the shedding under control.
The rest care procedures include monthly nail trimming, weekly teeth brushing and regular ear cleaning. Bathe your Alaskan Klee Klai as rarely as possible since its fur naturally casts off grime and debris.
The Alaskan Klee Klai is notable for great intelligence and disposition to independent thinking so it can be trained with relatively reasonable amount of efforts. Begin to teach your pup elementary commands as soon as it arrives in the house and you won’t have any issues with its obedience afterwards.
Regularity of training sessions as well as their shortness is a must if you want fast and stable results from your work with this dog. It’s acceptable to motivate the Alaskan Klee Klai exclusively with reward-based techniques, which should certainly include lots of treats and verbal encouragements. At the same time harsh discipline will only intimidate this dog into even more wilful actions.
Despite its small size the Alaskan Klee Klai is a lively and cheerful breed with a fairly high exercise requirements. An hour-long daily walk is an absolute minimum of physical activity that will make this dog calm and well-mannered indoors.
But the Alaskan Klee Klai will definitely welcome any opportunity to stretch its legs in a safely enclosed area. This breed also possesses outstanding endurance and will be happy to accompany its masters in a walking tour and other similar pastime.