Alaskan klee kai Dog

The Alaskan Klee Kai is a young dog breed developed in the United States with the aim of achieving a smaller version of the Alaskan Husky , which is not exactly a breed but a category or variety of dogs from crosses between the Siberian Husky and others. Nordic type dogs that have lived in Alaska for thousands of years. Thus, Alaskan Klee Kai dogs are very similar to the Siberian Husky or even the Alusky , which is born from a cross between the latter and the Alaskan Malamute, but is significantly smaller. In fact, the term “ klee kai” means “small dog” in the Athabascan languages ​​spoken by the native peoples of Alaska and other locations in northwestern North America.

So, if you have always wanted to have a Nordic type dog, but you don’t have that much free space in your house, adopting an Alaskan Klee Kai may be the ideal alternative for you. Therefore, we invite you to continue reading this AnimalWised sheet to learn all the characteristics of the Alaskan Klee Kai and the most important care to preserve its good health. Shall we begin?

Origin of Alaskan Klee Kai

This is a breed of American dog created in the 1970s in the town of Wasilla , Alaska, at the initiative of Linda S. Spurlin. It is said that Linda had the idea of ​​creating a small-sized Alaskan Husky after observing individuals that were born from an accidental cross between an Alaskan Husky and an unknown small-sized dog. It should be noted that Linda’s purpose was to reduce the size of these typical snow and sled dogs without generating a condition of dwarfism , which would bring multiple complications for the mobility and health of the resulting litters.

For this purpose, specimens of Siberian husky and Alaskan husky were selected (many of them had been trained by Linda herself), which were subsequently crossed with the American Eskimo (or American Eskimo dog ) and an ancient breed of Belgian shepherds known as schipperke. to achieve the intended size reduction. In a short time, Linda and her family would manage to give rise to a small dog with the typical Nordic features of her ancestors and a character marked by joy and versatility.

The Alaskan Klee Kai is still one of the breeds not recognized by the FCI, but since 1997 it has been registered with the United Kennel Club (UKC) and in 2022 it gained an official standard published by the American Kennel Club (AKC), being classified among the spitz type dogs.

Features of Alaskan Klee Kai

Their general appearance is very similar to that of the Siberian husky, but it is possible to differentiate them with the naked eye both by their smaller size and by their shorter snout and proportionally larger ears than those of their ancestors of Russian origins. When talking about size, it is important to keep in mind that, while the AKC standard mentions a single range of height at the withers between 30.5 cm and 43.2 cm, the UKC recognizes the following three varieties or types of Alaskan kee kai :

  • Toy : 33 cm.
  • Miniature : from 30.5 cm to 38 cm.
  • Standard : from 38 cm to 43.2 cm.

In all cases, the so-called Nordic style is observed not only in the coat of the Alaskan Klee Kai, but in all its morphology and especially in its face and head, where we see triangular ears and distinctive black dots on the lips and the characteristic mask. facial consisting of a well-defined nasal line and glasses around the eyes, whose dark color contrasts with the mostly white hairs that cover the facial region.

The entire head size should be proportional to the body. Seen from above, it reveals a slight wedge shape, with a slightly rounded skull, which is wider at the junction with the neck and gradually narrows towards the snout, without ending in a point. The stop is moderate and the nose is black in dogs with black or gray fur, or liver-colored in dogs with a reddish coat. In both cases, small pink spots or stripes on the nose are acceptable, as long as they are not predominant.

Also notable on the face of the Alaskan Klee Kai are eyes of medium size and an almond-shaped, oval or round shape , which are placed obliquely and in which any color combination is allowed. In turn, the edges of the eyes are well adjusted to the eyeball and their color varies depending on the predominant shade of the dog’s coat, as does the color of the nose.

Finally, the Alaskan Klee Kai has a strong tail that is placed just below the upper body line and should always be covered by an abundant amount of hair. She usually wears it in a loose curl, mainly when she is on the move, but she may also have it hanging down when relaxing.

Alaskan Klee Kai Colors

This dog has a dense coat that covers its entire body and is made up of a double layer. The length of the coat is variable, but it should be long enough to give the dog the typical shaggy appearance of Nordic dogs, but never so long as to “blur” the contour of its body.

A large concentration of hairs is observed that protect the neck region and form the so-called lion’s mane . Additionally, Alaskan Klee Kai dogs with longer coats may have some feathers on the back of the front legs; the back of the hindquarters; the lower part of the body and tail.

Regarding colors, all shades of black, gray or red are allowed , as long as the face mask is clearly visible and there is a lighter contrasting color on the lower half of the face, throat, chest, pants , the legs and bottom of the dog.

However, let us remember that the presence of other colors or patterns in a dog’s coat does not influence its beauty, much less its character. Therefore, if you have adopted an Alaskan Klee Kai that does not turn out to be pure, you will still be able to enjoy the company of an elegant and extremely happy furry dog.

What is the Alaskan Klee Kai puppy like?

The similarities with the Siberian Husky are more evident when the Alaskan Klee Kai is just a puppy, but the difference in size is also already seen from the first weeks of life. Likewise, and beyond appearances, the most important thing is that you are clear that childhood is the most determining period for the physical, cognitive, emotional and social development of your dog.

Alaskan klee kai character

The Alaskan Klee Kai is an alert, active and intelligent dog that, when well motivated, is very amenable to training and can easily learn a wide variety of obedience commands, tricks and dog activities or sports. In fact, he responds very well to positive reinforcement and is quite easy to train, as long as his tutors are patient and know how to plan the training sessions to promote his learning. Here at AnimalWised, we tell you exactly what a dog training session should be like .

Like the Siberian Husky, the Alaskan Klee Kai is a dog that greatly enjoys the company of its favorite humans and behaves in a particularly playful and affectionate manner when in its family unit . However, they can be somewhat reserved or even distrustful in the presence of strange people or animals, so good early socialization will be a key factor in the education of the Alaskan Klee Kai.

Of course, when well socialized, this dog develops great self-confidence and should not suffer behavioral problems related to shyness or insecurity, unless it has a history of bad experiences or physical or psychological abuse. Discover here what the different types of animal abuse are, their causes and how to report them .

Alaskan Klee Kai Care

Adopting an Alaskan Klee Kai will bring many joys to your daily life, but also a series of responsibilities to provide it with a good quality of life in the long term. In this sense, it is essential that you focus on the fundamental care for this dog:

  • Nutrition : regardless of the type of diet you decide to offer, it is essential that it completely meets the nutritional requirements of their age . Furthermore, having free and assured access to fresh, drinkable water is key to ensuring good hydration, which is crucial for the optimal functioning of your entire body.
  • Physical Activity : The Alaskan Klee Kai is a lively dog ​​who needs and enjoys daily exercise to stay physically and mentally healthy. Therefore, we suggest that, in addition to doing basic daily walks, you evaluate the benefits of starting him in a canine sport, such as Agility, Frisbee or mushing.
  • Mental stimulation and training : a sedentary dog ​​that lives in a poorly or unenriched environment becomes much more prone to multiple diseases and behavioral problems related to chronic stress and accumulated tension. To prevent this from happening, be sure to invest in environmental enrichment so that your dog can entertain and exercise even when he is home alone. Also keep in mind that training is the most complete exercise you can offer your dog’s body and mind, so we recommend starting to train your dog from an early age.
  • Hair care : maintaining the beautiful Nordic coat of the Alaskan klle kai requires some effort on the part of its guardians. At least three weekly brushings will be necessary to remove dead hair and impurities from its skin, and during shedding periods you may need to brush your dog daily. On the other hand, you can reserve baths only for occasions when it is really necessary to deeply cleanse their coat, since bathing your dog excessively can weaken its health by eliminating the natural layer of fat that covers and protects its body.
  • Oral hygiene : the accumulation of food residue on the teeth and gums is the starting point for common dental conditions in dogs, ranging from tartar formation to painful diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis. To prevent them, it is important to regularly clean your furry’s teeth .
  • Preventive medicine : apply essential vaccines with the correct frequency, do periodic deworming against internal and external parasites and take your dog to the vet once or twice a year to check its health.

Last but not least, the basic freedoms of animal welfare must be taken very seriously and one of the most important is to respect your dog’s freedom of expression. This means allowing him to behave and express himself like the dog he is, without imposing humanization practices or systematically reprimanding him for carrying out instinctive behaviors or behaviors inherent to canine nature.

Alaskan Klee Kai Education

Training a dog is a gradual process that should begin upon arrival at home , and ideally from its first months (although the same rule applies if you adopt an adult dog), and continue throughout its life. following a progressive logic. To help you in this sense, at ExpertoAnimal we tell you How to start training a puppy correctly .

The first months of your puppy’s life, and preferably before he reaches his fourth month, are the most opportune time to begin early socialization that will allow him to recognize a greater variety of friendly species, as well as assimilate a greater number of resources. to manage your own emotions and the way you react to different stimuli, individuals and environments with which you will have contact throughout your life. For safety reasons, it is best not to take your puppy outside before completing the puppy vaccination schedule, but you can begin to socialize him by introducing him to dogs and other animals that you know are healthy, vaccinated and dewormed, as well as people. who do not participate in their family nucleus.

When your puppy is properly vaccinated and dewormed, you can start walking on the street and outdoors to give him the opportunity to interact with a greater diversity of individuals, environments and stimuli. This will also be the perfect occasion to teach your puppy to eliminate outside and begin to introduce him to some basic obedience commands to stimulate his intelligence and encourage more stable behavior inside and outside the home.

Finally, if you have decided to adopt an adult Alaskan Klee Kai, be sure to take a look at our selection of good practices for training an adopted dog and our practical tips for correctly socializing dogs in adulthood .

Health of the Alaskan Klee Kai

Like any Nordic type dog, a well-cared for Alaskan Klee Kai becomes a very resistant and versatile dog, which can adapt to different climates, surfaces and people or personalities. However, due to the selective logic applied in the crosses that gave rise to them, these dogs have a certain genetic predisposition to several diseases common in the Siberian Husky. The main ones are:

  • Eye diseases : juvenile cataracts , glaucoma , progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and corneal dystrophy, mainly.
  • Skin problems : the most common is a type of nasal dermatitis caused by zinc deficiency, which is known as “husky nose” and whose symptoms include hair loss and redness of the skin on the muzzle, as well as lesions and depigmentation in the truffle.
  • Thyroid problems : the most common dysfunction is hypothyroidism in dogs , which is characterized by insufficient production of thyroid hormones.
  • Hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia .
  • Some types of cancer , which mainly affect elderly dogs.

Likewise, when they receive all the essential care and love from their guardians, Alaskan Klee Kai dogs enjoy a privileged life expectancy of 12 to 16 years , and can reach up to 17 or 18 years in optimal conditions.

Where to adopt an Alaskan Klee Kai?

At ExpertoAnimal we do not support the breeding of animals for commercial purposes and that is why, if you are interested in adopting a dog with the appearance and/or temperament similar to that of an Alaskan Klee Kai, our best advice is to contact shelters or animal shelters located near your home to schedule a visit and learn about the dogs available for adoption.

There you will have a good chance of finding a furry friend compatible with your lifestyle and expectations, who will also be an extremely loyal and grateful companion. And if you still have doubts about the basic adoption process,

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