Alaskan Klee Kai
OVERVIEW OF THE ALASKAN KLEE KAI
Alaskan Klee Kai is still a fairly new breed of dog. Linda S. Spurlin started the breed in the 1970s when she wanted to create a small type of husky that served as more of a companion dog than a working dog. While they are not suitable for apartment living, they are people-loving dogs and should sleep inside. They are good watchdogs and loving family dogs who are wary of strangers. They love attention from their pet parents and are eager to please which makes them fairly easy to train.
The name ‘Klee Kai’ means ‘little dog’. The breed is not recognized by all kennel clubs and is still rare worldwide. The Alaskan Klee Kai breed comes in three sizes. a toy Alaskan Klee Kai is up to 13 inches tall while miniatures grow up to 15 inches in height. A standard Alaskan Klee Kai will grow to about 17 inches. They generally range between 10 and 15 pounds, although some can grow up to 22 pounds.
If you’re thinking of getting an Alaskan Klee Kai to join your family it is important to know that these pets have a high prey drive which means they won’t be suitable for homes with other small pets such as hamsters, or cats, or rabbits. Although they’re great family dogs, small children may provoke them to snap during play if prodding or pulling them.
Alaskan Klee Kai (AKK) are intelligent, loving, and energetic but they’ll require some special looking after. In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know to give your pup the best care possible.
ALASKAN KLEE KAI FOOD AND HEALTH
The amount of food an Alaskan Klee Kai needs will depend on their age and activity level. They can be picky eaters and do best with a diet high in protein with a small number of healthy fats and moderate to low carbs. Their diet can include lean meat, fish, vegetables, sweet potatoes, and premium dry dog food.
Always feed puppies food specifically formulated for puppies and never give them adult dog food. The packaging will provide guidelines with regards to the quantity according to their weight.
A diet with adequate amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 will help keep their skin and coat health as well as aid their brain development. Develop a consistent feeding schedule twice a day for your pup. They’re intelligent and will quickly pick up when it is feeding time.
You can incorporate kibble that is free of additives and preservatives into your pup’s diet. Kibble can also be beneficial for their dental health.
There are some foods you should avoid giving your dog at all costs. These include anything containing onions, garlic, chocolate, macadamia nuts, caffeine, raisins, grapes, xylitol, and deep-fried foods. Also avoid overly salty, high-fat, and sugary foods since they can lead to pancreatitis. If you give your pup foods containing dairy or wheat, start with a small amount. Check for any reactions whether digestive or on their skin as many dogs suffer from allergies to these foods.
AKK is generally quite healthy but can display some health issues. The most common health problems within the breed are heart murmurs, patella luxation, cryptorchidism, autoimmune thyroiditis, cataracts, and blood clotting irregularities.
Heart murmurs have been noted in some puppies but the issue generally goes away as they get older. Have your Klee Kai checked as a puppy and again when they are one year old.
Patellar luxation is common in many small dog breeds. This is when the knee joint moves out of place, causing difficulty walking and pain. It usually occurs in one of the hind legs. Depending on the severity, patella luxation can be treated with physical therapy, anti-inflammatories, wearing a leg brace or may require surgery.
Cryptorchidism affects only male Alaskan Klee Kai and can lead to testicular infection or even cancer.
Autoimmune thyroiditis most commonly occurs between the age of two and five years. If your pet lacks energy, feels cold, gains weight without dietary changes, and refuses to exercise, get them checked by a vet.
LEASHES AND COLLARS FOR YOUR ALASKAN KLEE KAI
A Klee Kai has a medium to high energy level and requires at least 45 minutes of exercise daily. They need to be both physically and mentally stimulated. Breaking up the activity during the day will be most beneficial to prevent them from getting bored and potentially becoming destructive in their boredom.
They love being active with their human family in exciting ways such as hiking, camping, climbing, swimming, and even paddle boarding. If you can’t dedicate plenty of time to your dog, even just playing fetch, walking, and giving them lots of attention, this breed is probably not the right choice for you.
The AKK is clever, curious, and fast. Since they have a high prey drive it’s best to keep them on a leash when outside your home. If you don’t, your pup can be quick to jolt away if it spots a little animal that piques its interest. A harness is the best and most comfortable choice for your pet since it won’t place any strain on their neck or trachea if either of you pulls. Keep their collar for pet identification. You can use either a back clip harness or a front clip harness. For smaller varieties, a back clip harness is the best choice.
Check both their collar and harness regularly to ensure it is not too tight. Puppies grow quickly and will need looser-fitting accessories as they grow to prevent choking. You should be able to fit two fingers between your pup’s neck and its collar.
Getting a leash, collar, or harness that features reflective strips is a great way to stay visible to traffic and other people in dim-light conditions. It will also help you spot your pup in the garden at night if you have an expansive yard where they like to explore.
The Alaskan Klee Kai is naturally cautious of strangers. If you want them to be friendly to new people, it will be important to socialize your pup at a young age.
BEST CRATES, BEDS, AND DOG HOUSES FOR ALASKAN KLEE KAI
Despite your pup being of husky descent, they don’t want to sleep outside. Your pet pal is highly sociable and desires to be near their human family. A crate is not only a good idea for puppy training but can serve as your pup’s very own corner of comfort. When it comes to the right size crate for your pet, remember that they will grow. If you want to avoid up-sizing later, you can always section off a bigger crate until they reach adult size.
A crate should never be associated with punishment and should always be a pleasant place for your dog. Make it inviting by adding a soft blanket, plush toy, and mattress.
Dogs with joint problems will benefit greatly from an orthopedic dog bed. Since an AKK is not a big dog, there will be many dog bed options to choose from. Ideally, you’ll want something that has a removable, washable cover and that is odor resistant.
ALASKAN KLEE KAI TOYS
Since they are an active breed, the type of toys suitable for Alaskan Klee Kai is versatile. Every pup will have their own personal favorite, but anything from a stuffed toy to a Kong, ball or puzzle toy can be suitable.
Stuffed toys can undergo a lot of playing trauma so make sure you get one that will endure tugging and tossing. If it spills its inner fluff, make sure your pup doesn’t eat it in all the excitement.
These dogs enjoy swimming and playing in the water. Consider getting your pup a pet pool or water fountain mat. These mats have a non-slip center area with a rim that squirts out water fountains for your pup to play in and run through. The mat connects to a regular garden hose and requires very little setup.
Playing frisbee with your pet is a great way to get active. Always go for a rubberized dog frisbee as plastic frisbees can hurt your pal’s mouth. A Kong is a happy alternative to playing fetch with a ball. These bounce in unpredictable directions and can hold a treat inside. That means your pup gets a reward for retrieving the Kong.
To keep your Alaskan Klee Kai intellectually stimulated, give them a puzzle toy to solve. These usually involve a small treat as a reward for solving the puzzle. We also recommend chewing toys for teething puppies and teeth cleaning toys for slightly older dogs.
GROOMING INSIGHTS FOR ALASKAN KLEE KAI OWNERS
The Alaskan Klee Kai does a pretty good job at grooming themselves. This means less work for you, although they do still require maintenance. Rather than shedding all year, they ‘blowout’ twice a year. During this time, brush your pup daily. The AKK has longer outer coats with short dense undercoats. Their double coat helps to regulate their temperature and protects their skin from UV (ultraviolet) rays.
Brush your pup once weekly to get rid of loose or dead hairs and to keep their skin healthy. Their coats are naturally dirt repellent so they only need a few baths a year. This will, however, depend on your dog’s lifestyle and the type of activities you do together. Using a powerful hairdryer in a cool setting after washing will also assist in removing loose hair and dirt.
It is recommended not to cut your puppy’s hair as this will interfere with body temperature regulation.
Brush your puppy’s teeth once a week and check their ears for redness or infections. Also, keep a check on their nails and trim them if they don’t wear them down naturally. This will prevent foot problems. You do, however, have to be very careful when trimming dog nails so you may prefer to get a professional groomer to do this.
Get your pup used to having their teeth brushed, paws checked and coat combed from a young age. Always make it a pleasant experience with lots of praise and positive reinforcement. This will set a good foundation for effortless grooming as they get older.
ALASKAN KLEE KAI ACCESSORIES
The best grooming accessories for you Alaskan Klee Kai are a slicker brush, undercoat rake, shedding comb and pin brush. An undercoat rake helps to brush out loose undercoat hairs while keeping the top coat undamaged. A shedding brush can be used for more sensitive areas including their legs or belly. Pin brushes are ideal for tail brushing, but can also be used for regular grooming.
If you’re planning to bathe your pup at home, a good quality forced air dryer is another handy grooming tool to get your pup to dry quickly and eliminate loose hairs around the house later.
If you and your AKK love hiking and running together, get a leash and hip belt set. The running belt is tear resistant and absorbs pressure and movement. The leash clips onto the running belt which allows you to keep your pup nearby while still having both hands free. Some belts come with a few pockets for keys, treats, and poop bags.
When out and about it’s also important to keep your pup hydrated. A water bottle with a collapsible water bowl lid is the perfect solution. It fits like a normal bottle into a pouch or backpack, but the lid doubles up as a water bowl for your pup.
Getting a crate cover is another wonderful accessory that will make your pups crate a lot more homely and comforting. Get a washable cover with a foldable door flap that can be left open or rolled down. Alternatively, a soft blanket can also be used to drape over the crate.
Check out our breed hub page to learn more about breeds like Alaskan Klee Kai.