The Alaskan Klee Kai is a spitz type breed of dog, developed in the 1970s to create a companion sized dog resembling the Alaskan Husky (a mixed breed of dog used for sled racing). It is an energetic, intelligent, apartment-sized dog with an appearance that reflects its northern heritage. There are approximately 1500 Alaskan Klee Kais in the world.
The breed was developed in Wasilla, Alaska, from the early 1970s to 1988 by Linda S. Spurlin and her family. The breed was developed with Siberian and Alaskan Huskies using Schipperke and American Eskimo Dog to bring down the size without dwarfism. She bred these dogs in private until she released them to the general public in 1988. Originally called the Klee Kai, the breed split into Alaskan Klee Kai and Klee Kai for political reasons in 1995. The breed consolidated as its current name in 2002. The Alaskan Klee Kai was officially recognized by the American Rare Breed Association (ARBA) in 1995 and by the United Kennel Club (UKC) on January 1, 1997.
The Alaskan Klee Kai is a highly intelligent, curious and active breed. Unlike Siberian Huskies, whom they closely resemble, Alaskan Klee Kai can be standoffish and cautious around unfamiliar individuals. Because of their inherently reserved disposition in the presence of strangers, continual socialization throughout an Alaskan Klee Kai’s life is highly encouraged. They are moderately active and have a strong prey drive. This means unless they are properly introduced and raised with smaller animals such as rabbits, hamsters, cats and birds, they will hunt them.
They can be a great family dog if raised with young children who are careful with animals: Alaskan Klee Kai are not likely to tolerate being mistreated and should be monitored when with children. Because of their intelligence, they do well in obedience classes and have a high drive to please their owners which helps them to excel in this area as well as many other types of activities. Another such activity is agility in which the Alaskan Klee Kai almost seems to have been bred to take part in.