For those who are enamored with Spitz-type dogs but don’t have much room for a large dog, the Alaskan Klee Kai offers quite a good compromise. Developed by crossing Siberian and Alaskan huskies with Schipperke and American Eskimo dogs, this breed is available in toy, miniature and standard sizes. Many people fall in love with this breed because of its small size and it closely resembles the Siberian husky. The most striking feature of this breed is its facial mask with its beautifully contrasting colors.
History of the Klee Kai Breed
Standing between 13 and 17 inches at the withers, an Alaskan Klee Kie is a rather young breed, having been developed between the 1970’s and late 1980’s by Linda S. Spurlin in Wasilla, Alaska. The idea to create this breed stemmed from a brief visit to Oklahoma when Spurlin came across a specimen of a dog that resembled a miniature husky. Once back in Alaska, she was on a mission to create a new breed. The first specimens had a high rate of success generating much interest in people who wanted one. Spurlin soon started selling specimens to the public and she continued to breed Alaskan Klee Kai for the rest of her days.
Where to get an Alaskan Klee Kai?
Nowadays, this breed remains quite rare; indeed, despite the fact that there are several breeders, the overall gene pool remains still quite small. The Alaskan Klee Kai was recognized by the American Rare Breed Association in 2002. If you are interested in this breed, you likely won’t need to go to Alaska to get one as there are several resources you can rely on to help you find the dog of your dreams.
A first place to start would be by contacting the Alaskan Klee Kai Association of America which was founded by Linda S. Spurlin in 1988. The website offers a directory of Alaskan Klee Kai breeders divided by state. The breeders listed are breeders in good standing with the association, even though the association points out that they won’t make any endorsements or recommendations.
Another reputable association is the United Alaskan Klee Kai Association. It’s a good idea to take a look at this association’s mission statement and ethical breeding guidelines. The website also offers a directory of breeders that can be helpful.
A simple search for “Alaskan Klee Kai breeders” may yield several results. There may be several directories of breeders categorized by state. Most of these websites will feature pictures of litters with relevant information about the breed. Some also have samples of their contracts.
Below are a few breeders:
- Cucamonga Klee Kai (California)
- Alberta Klee Kai (Canada)
- Reeves Pack of Alaskan Klee Kai (rpakk) (Florida)
- Rocky Mountain Klee Kai (Nevada)
- Fusion of XXcellence AKK (Texas)
If you are willing to open your heart and home to an adult Alaskan Klee Kai, try contacting a rescue. The Alaskan Klee Kai National Rescue for instance, takes in abandoned, neglected and abused Alaskan Klee Kai dogs and keeps them with foster families until they find their forever homes.
Pet Adoption Websites
Occasionally, you may be fortunate enough to stumble on an Alaskan Klee Kai being offered on some pet adoption website. Pet Finder is a popular website where you can type the breed of dog you are looking for along with other details such as the age and sex. You are then matched up with dogs that meet your criteria.
Sometimes you may find purebred dogs in your local shelter. While the Alaskan Klee Kai is quite a rare find, you may never know. At times, you may also find newspaper ads from people in need to re-home their dogs due to personal reasons. It never hurts to routinely look in these places.
Buyer Beware of Scams!
Regardless of the source, if you’re looking for a puppy, it’s important to purchase from a responsible breeder. Even though this breed is generally healthy, it can be affected by some heritable conditions such as juvenile cataracts, patellar luxation, thyroid, liver and cardiac disorders. Look for a reputable breeder who health tests the breeding stock and also cares about temperament.
Keep in mind that there are also many unscrupulous breeders who sell breed mixes as authentic Alaskan Klee Kai. Generally, the prices for these dogs are much lower than what an authentic Alaskan Klee Kai breeder would charge. Buyers must also be aware of breeders who claim their Alaskan Klee Kai is registered with the AKC. The only registry this breed is registered with in the United States is the United Kennel Club. And last but not least, anything that appears fishy should raise a red flag. Reputable Alaskan Klee Kai breeders breed for small size, so if you stumble on an ad that claims to sell large Alaskan Klee Kai, that should be sufficient proof that something is really amiss. On top of that, consider that reputable breeders would never ace ads in newspapers or bulletin boards, as they most likely have long waiting lists and don’t need to rely on the extra advertisement to begin with!