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Alaskan Klee Kai

Alaskan Klee Kai Dog Breed

Alaskan Klee Kais (AKKs) are categorized under the UKC (United Kennel Club) category of Northern Breed dogs. The AKK is also known as the Miniature Alaskan Husky. A smaller version of the Alaskan Husky, the AKK also physically resembles the Siberian Husky. They come in three size varieties.

Standard AKKs have a height range of 15 – 17.5 inches (38 – 42 centimeters) and a weight range of around 23 pounds (10 kilograms).
Miniature AKKs have a height range of 13 – 15 inches (33 – 39 centimeters) and a weight range of around 15 pounds (7 kilograms).
Toy AKKs have a height of less than 13 inches (33 centimeters) and a weight of less than 10 pounds (4.3 kilograms).

They have a lifespan of 12-15 years.

History/Origin

A relatively new breed, AKKs share characteristics from both the Alaskan and Siberian Huskies, as well as a smaller amount from the American Eskimo. They were bred to be companion dogs in the 1970s. Developed in Wasilla, Alaska by Linda Surplin, they came about through her 17-pound female Alaskan Husky and her desire to reproduce the charming dog.

Physical Appearance

AKKs have a physical standard based on the Siberian Husky, although there are differences between the two breeds such as the length of their snouts, size of their ears, and the set of their tails. All three sized varieties of AKKs have wedge-shaped skulls, small sharp ears that are pointed upwards, and a double coat. Their tails are set just below the level of the top-line and they curl loosely.

Their coats are thicker around the neck and their tails have longer hairs at the base and on the underside. Some dogs will have longer hairs than others. The hairs of the undercoat are soft and dense, whereas those of the outer coat are straight and slightly coarse. Their coats come in four colors: black and white, gray and white, red and white, and pure white.

Personality/Temperament

AKKs are a relatively high-maintenance breed. They do not react well to rough handling or constant teasing (seen commonly in children), and will often resort to nipping or biting at whoever/whatever is irritating them. They are very alert, making them good watchdogs, and they will usually exhibit suspicion towards strangers.

AKKs adore their families, and love to be a part of whatever is happening. If left alone for long periods of time, an AKK will likely develop separation anxiety, and this stress will manifest itself in terms of destructive behavior. They do bark, and their barks are loud in comparison to their size. AKKs are quite hyperactive, and may not always be obedient. As such, AKKs should have obedience training starting a young age, as well as early socialization as they are quite prey driven – without early socialization, AKKs may hunt and kill smaller animals in the vicinity.

Due to their high energy levels, AKKs need regular exercise. Leaving it in a yard may not prove to be enough, as AKKs will likely get bored of the same surroundings. Taking them out for walks/jogs/runs will prove to be a better choice. As long as their active needs are met, AKKs will be fine in an apartment-based lifestyle.

General Care & Health

AKKs are relatively clean dogs, and they will spend a good amount of time per day cleaning itself. Their coats should be brushed regularly in order to remove any tangles that might occur. In addition, AKKs will shed around twice a year, and constant brushing will keep shedding in control. Bathing should be carried out minimally in order to prevent stripping the natural oils off their coats. Their ears should be checked weekly and cleaned with a cotton ball and a cleanser obtained through a vet. Cotton swabs should not be stuck into the ear as it may lead to damage in the ear canal. Teeth should be brushed two to three times a week at the very least, and nails should be trimmed once or twice a month. Check for signs of infection whenever the AKK is groomed, keeping an eye out for redness and inflammation of the skin, eyes, nose and mouth.

As AKKs come in three different sizes, it is best to discuss with the breeder on how much a particular dog should be fed daily. Amounts can be altered based on activity levels.

The AKK is prone to the following diseases:
• Hypothyroidism – dogs with hypothyroidism may be prone to developing epilepsy, alopecia, obesity, lethargy, and other various conditions brought on by the low activity of the thyroid gland.
• Heart Murmurs – a condition that is caused by a disturbance in blood flow to the heart.
• Patellar Luxation – this condition is caused when the patella is not properly lined up, leading to an abnormal gait or the lack of ability to walk. Constant rubbing of the joint can lead to arthritis.
• Factor VII Deficiency – factor VII is a coagulation factor that is involved in blood clotting. Dogs with this disease will experience mild to moderate levels of bleeding. This disease is inherited – individuals looking to own an AKK should check with the breeders beforehand.

Summary

The Alaskan Klee Kai makes for good companions if they are well and appropriately trained as they are hard to maintain without sufficient training. They are not ideal for first-time dog owners, as they will take lots of time to train and manage. Bred to be companion dogs, AKKs are loving and cheerful towards family members, but will be suspicious of strangers.


Image Credit

Photo by JeanCC BY 2.0

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