One question that we get asked frequently is whether or not Alaskan Klee Kai shed and if so, do they shed as much as their Siberian husky counterparts?
Based on our experiences with Kobi, Alaskan Klee Kai do shed their undercoats (the softer, plush layer) but not to the extent of a Siberian husky. They are double coated breeds. Throughout the majority of the year, the Alaskan Klee Kai is considered to be an average shedder, which means that they shed small amounts of hair (on a very light basis). However, twice a year, they will blow their undercoats and during this time, they can be considered to be heavy shedders. Siberian huskies are regarded to be heavy shedders and this is usually one of the common warnings to potential Siberian husky owners.
The amount of fur blown is variable and depends on several variables. The climate that they live in could affect the amount and the rate of shedding as it is necessary to get rid of the extra hairs in warmer climates to prevent heat stress. Furthermore, the size of the Klee Kai can limit the amount of fur blown. Alaskan Klee Kai come in three typical sizes (standard: 15-17.5 inches, miniature: 13-15 inches, and toy: under 13 inches) and usually the smaller the dog, the less fur that will be blown.
It is essential to groom the Alaskan Klee Kai on a regular basis. Not only does it contribute to a shinier and healthier coat, it can also be a great opportunity to bond and spend some quiet time together. Do not view grooming as a chore (create positive feelings), instead play with the dog and allow them to view this as another source of affection and attention, akin to petting. During the warmer seasons when they shed their fur, daily grooming is essential to aid in the removal of the dead hair and skin cells and to enable a quicker re-growth. This is the natural life cycle of the dog’s coat.
Another breed should be considered for those that are allergic to or cannot tolerate shedding and dog hair.