The Alaskan Klee Kai breed (often casually called the Mini Husky breed) originates from the Spitz family and is very similar to a Siberian Husky dog. The Alaskan Klee Kai has a lot of Alaskan and Siberian Husky DNA, as well as small amounts of American Eskimo / Schipperke dog in it.
The Klee Kai was developed in the 1970’s, and is a relatively new breed. They were bred to be companions, and their numbers are increasing.
The Alaskan Klee Kai was originally developed in Alaska by Linda Spurlin and her family, to be a companion-sized version of the Siberian Husky. From the early 1970’s through 1988, the Spurlins carefully selected dogs who met their high standards for appearance and health, assembling the foundation stock for the breed.
In 1988, they made the Alaskan Klee Kai available to others. Mrs. Spurlin originally called her Husky breed the “Klee Kai.” In 1995, it was changed to “Alaskan Klee Kai.” The Alaskan Klee Kai is still extremely rare.
The name was recognized by the American Rare Breeds Association in 1995, and the United Kennel Club on January 1, 1997.
The Alaskan Klee Kai or Mini Husky dogs come in three sizes, based on height:
The most distinctive characteristic of the Alaskan Klee Kai or Mini Husky is the facial mask, which is a fur pattern on the head that is clearly visible due to contrasting colors. The full face mask is the most desirable.
The Alaskan Klee Kai is a small version of the Alaskan Husky, with a wedge-shaped head featuring a striking face, prick ears, and a double coat. The length of the back is just slightly longer than the height. The tail is well-furred, and curls over the back or to either side when the dog is alert or moving.
UKC, ARBA, AKC
An Alaskan Klee Kai or Mini Husky can come in three main color varieties: Black and White, which can appear with stark contrasts or with a more diluted diffusion of the colors; Gray and White, which comes in several variations; Red and White, which appears either as a cinnamon or a dark auburn.
Alaskan Klee Kai eyes can also come in a variety of colors. They can be blue, brown, or green. You can have bi-eyed dogs in this breed, which is when each eye is a different color (like one blue, one brown). You can also get a parti-eyed Klee Kai, which is a mixture of two colors in one eye; so, a dog could have a single eye that is blue on top and brown on the bottom.
The Alaskan Klee Kai is a highly intelligent, curious and active breed. Unlike Siberian Huskys, whom they closely resemble, Mini Huskys are typically standoffish and cautious around unfamiliar individuals, which causes them to excel as watchdogs.
Because of their inherently reserved disposition in the presence of strangers, continual socialization throughout their life is highly encouraged. They are an active breed, so need daily exercise and play time.
This breed is unlikely to tolerate being mistreated (poked at, pinched, bullied) by children, and may respond by nipping them. Even so, they make great pets and can be terrific for a family if properly socialized with kids.
Because of their intelligence, they do well in obedience classes and have a high drive to please their owners. This helps them to excel in this area, as well as many other types of activities (such as general training).
Another such activity is agility trials, in which the Alaskan Klee Kai almost seems to have been bred to take part. If you have an Alaskan Klee Kai that is highly active, this is a great way to help them use some of that up.
Because of their size, these dogs can live in an apartment, but a house with at least a small yard is recommended.
They do well in an apartment if you spend some time daily playing, walking, or letting them play with other dogs. They can be a great family dog if raised with well-behaved children.
Your Mini Husky will be very active as a puppy, and will need a lot of play time and exercise. Once they get older, they will tend to be as active as you are. Whether it’s a thirty-minute walk, playing with you or another dog in the yard, or a 5-mile jog—the Mini Husky just wants to be with you.
The Alaskan Klee Kai is relatively easy to care for. They are extremely clean. Most do not like to be dirty, and will spend hours daily grooming themselves. The Alaskan Klee Kai, like many other northern breeds, do not have a typical “doggy odor” or “doggy breath.” Most Klee Kai dogs will seldom require a bath.
As with Siberians (and unlike short-haired dogs who shed all year long), the Klee Kai blows (sheds) their coat twice a year. Of course, the size of the dogs limit the amount of fur blown. It is best to groom the dog on a regular basis during this time. Some of the longer-haired dogs can become matted if not groomed regularly.
Other than this period of blowing coat, the Klee Kai is very self-sufficient in terms of grooming. The normal preventative measures should be taken, such as trimming of nails, dental care, and ordinary brushing of fur. This process is especially important in the bonding process between a puppy and their owner.