If you’ve encountered an Alaskan Klee Kai, you’d be forgiven for thinking they’re a mini husky, a chihuahua mix, or pomsky.
These little dogs were created by American Linda Spurlin in Alaska in the late 1970s after she encountered a small Alaskan Husky and set about recreating the unique dog.
Both the Alaskan Husky and Siberian Husky played a role in the breed’s development, while Spurlin used American Eskimo Dog and Belgian breed Schipperke to reduce the size of her Alaskan Klee Kai without dwarfism.
Often dubbed “mini huskies,” they’ve started to receive more attention over the past couple of years. Actress Sophie Turner and her husband Joe Jonas have two AKK, while Superbowl champion Bill Belechik is the proud owner of a black and white Klee Kai called Nike.
Our first encounter with an Alaskan Klee Kai came over a decade ago. After a long wait, we brought home Skye in September 2017 before Copper followed in March 2018.
It is important to point out that Alaskan Klee Kai can vary quite a bit. They usually come in four different coat colours with variations in each (black and white, grey and white, red and white, and white) and can feature blue eyes, bi-coloured eyes, and parti-eye.
While Skye is black and white, she does have the same red-and-white father as her little brother, Copper. This could partly explain why they’re inseparable. They’ll either be found play fighting or napping together. It’s a case of extremes with our two Alaskan Klee Kai!
Don’t be fooled by their adorable looks, though. Getting an Alaskan Klee Kai can be a lot of work.
Spurlin created the AKK to be companion dogs. Our dogs love to cuddle up on the couch, follow us around the house or go for daily runs.
This bond can come at a price. Separation anxiety remains the biggest hurdle that we’ve had to overcome with Copper and Skye.
They’re quick to identify tell-taill signs that we’re about to leave the house. Their anxiety can kick in, which results in persistent barking, crying, and screaming.
Given their ancestors are pack animals, one of the reasons we got Copper was to give Skye company. While her separation anxiety is no longer an issue, Copper suffers from the same problem.
So getting a second dog isn’t necessarily a quick fix.
We constantly work on soothing Copper’s anxiety and thanks to consistent routines and persistent practice, he is becoming less stressed when we leave.
Have you ever wanted to experience what it would be like to be a celebrity? Well owning an Alaskan Klee Kai will certainly give you a small glimpse into life in the presence of a “celeb”.
The breed’s unique appearance means Copper and Skye get a lot of attention wherever we go. Curious to learn more, you’ll need to be prepared to answer a lot of questions and absorb both positive and negative comments.
Like most celebrities, the Alaskan Klee Kai can be aloof when it comes to encounters with new people. That’s why socialization from puppy hood and onwards can be very important.
We introduced Skye to anyone and everyone when she was a pup and she loves to meet new people. However, due to family and work commitments, we didn’t have the same luxury with Copper. He’s more introverted than Skye as a result.
Copper and Skye love their daily exercise, especially going on runs around the parks and streets of London. Although they’re small dogs at around 10 lbs each, their stamina continues to surprise.
We were warned by our breeder that Alaskan Klee Kai can be a flight risk if allowed to roam off the leash. For that reason, we keep Copper and Skye on a lead at all times.
Alaskan Klee Kai can be a stubborn breed, so puppy manners and dog training classes are a good idea. These “Mini Huskies” may be better suited for those with previous experience with owning a dog.
If you’re willing to put the work in, Klee Kai can be great dogs. They’re affectionate and loyal, while their goofy personalities put smiles on faces. While Copper and Skye continually challenge us, we wouldn’t have it any other way. If you’d like to learn more about Alaskan Klee Kai or keep tabs on Copper and Skye’s adventures in London, follow @ispywithmylittleskye!
For more information on Alaskan Klee Kai visit AKKAOA.org.
All photos by ispywithmylittleskye!
Have you encountered a unique dog breed? Tell us in the comments!
A dedicated sport journalist for 10 years and counting, Kieran is now pursuing one of his other greatest passions: animals. Having co-founded The Sport Review over a decade ago, Kieran launched helloBARK! in 2019. Having grown up with German Shepherds and rescue dogs throughout his childhood and teenage years, Kieran and his wife recently swapped California for London with their two Alaskan Klee Kai Skye and Copper (@ispywithmylittleskye).