The Alaskan Klee Kai first came into existence in the mid 1970s and its history is one of chance, as they have an unplanned encounter to thank for their breed’s creation. Through persistence and dedication to breeding standards, the creators of this new breed nourished their accidental roots to develop a budding and exciting dog breed that is loved by many.
The very first breeding of this dog was actually a mistake. In Oklahoma, a purebred Alaskan Husky accidently mated with a smaller dog. The result was an adorable litter that resembled Alaskan Husky breed standard, but were much smaller. Since the litter was unplanned and the smaller dog’s origins were unknown, there was no further interest in the new breed of dog. That was until a woman named Linda Spurlin and her husband took a trip from their home state of Alaska to visit family in Oklahoma.
On their trip, the couple fell in love with a little 17-pound dog that looked like a miniature Alaskan Husky. The husband and wife took the rescue dog, named “Curious,” back to Alaska with them where Linda decided she wanted to recreate this unique breed. It took many breeding attempts, but after years of hard work, Spurlin produced a handful of breed specimens that held the potential and promise to develop this new breed.
Ironically, Spurlin would later find out that her brother-in-law that lived in Oklahoma had been the owner of an Alaskan Husky who, years ago, had accidentally been bred with a small dog. The result was a litter of puppies that bore a strikingly similar resemblance to an Alaskan Husky, but were of a significantly smaller size. Spurlin’s brother-in-law had been so intrigued by the offspring of this unplanned breeding that he, too, had started trying to recreate the litter.
Hopeful that this could be a key to unlocking the early start of this breed, the pair decided to investigate further. While they were unable to determine the exact breed of the smaller dog that was mated to the Alaskan Husky, their research did yield an important clue. Spurlin and her brother-in-law were able to trace the history of these puppies back to her dog, Curious, which is the first link to the early ancestors of the Alaskan Klee Kai.
Spurlin’s brother-in-law eventually gave up his attempts at recreating the breed after having little success. He decided to sell his established lot of animals to Linda so that she could continue with her breeding research. Together, they decided that in order to give the breed the best chance, they would continue to select only the best examples of the ideal characteristics for breeding and the rest would be spayed and neutered to stop any inferior traits.
Developing Breed Standards In The Alaskan Klee Kai
A solid set of breed standards are needed to maintain the integrity of any breed. This is especially important when attempting to develop a new breed, as with the Alaskan Klee Kai. Holding a breed to certain standards ensures that future generations of the breed will continue to evolve in the most positive way possible. This is especially important in early generation breeding as any unfavorable traits can result in permanent damage to the bloodline.
As the Alaskan Klee Kai breed began to take shape, Spurlin began to develop strict breed standards for the good of the evolution of the breed. These standards focused on three major components; temperament, composition, and health characteristics. Offspring that rated substandard in these categories were not allowed to breed. Spurlin wanted to keep the breed as close to perfect as possible and continued to have a hands-on approach even after the breed became available for public ownership.
After the Alaskan Klee Kai breed was being offered to the public, almost 20 years after Spurlin started her work, owners were required to have their dog spayed or neutered if they displayed unfavorable characteristics. Spurlin did so through contractual agreements that she drafted once she started selling the breed. These agreements also required that any owner that wished to partake in breeding must follow all breed guidelines and carefully research the bloodline of a possible mate.
Evolution Of The Alaskan Klee Kai Breed
Spurlin had high hopes for the evolution of this breed, and once she decided that her breeding days were over, she decided to sell her remaining Alaskan Klee Kai stock to Eileen Gregory. Gregory was an experienced and trusted breeder who played a key role in the early stages of developing the Alaskan Klee Kai Association of America. She also had a pivotal role in the recoding process that is required for this breed to ensure all offspring meet the outlined breed standards.
Throughout the years, the Alaskan Klee Kai breed evolved into a strong breed with strong breed characteristics. Spurlin still continues to serve as an advisor to the board and is very active in crucial matters pertaining to the breed. Many current Alaskan Klee Kai breeders seek consultation from Spurlin to ensure that their breeding is in alignment with all breeding standards.
Alaskan Klee Kai Today
Today the Alaskan Klee Kai is a healthy, sturdy, and loyal companion that is loved by many all across the world. It is hard to believe, given their uncertain past, that they developed into such a strong and sought after breed of dog. However, thanks to the perseverance of Linda Spurlin and dedication to breed standards during the early breeding period, the Alaskan Klee Kai has flourished.
This breed is part of the Spitz family and looks like a miniature Alaskan Husky. According to breed standards, an adult Alaskan Klee Kai should be between 13 and 15 inches in height. They should weigh between 9.9 and 15 pounds. The breed has an average life expectancy of between 12 and 16 years.
Like Alaskan Huskies, the Alaskan Klee Kai is a loyal and highly intelligent dog. They require moderate exercise and, because of their heavy coats, should be monitored for signs of heat exhaustion and dehydration during hot summer months. This breed sheds moderately and overall has a positive health outlook. The Alaskan Klee Kai is suited for both country and city living provided that they get moderate amounts of exercise. This breed makes a great companion.
However, since they are still a relatively new breed of dog, owning an Alaskan Klee Kai requires a certain level of responsibility and commitment on the part of each and every owner to ensure the breeds’ continued perseverance. Owners of this breed are required to partake in Qualification Examination of their pets. The information from these exams is sent to either a qualified breeder or a group of overseers. This is done for breed monitoring and so that the Alaskan Klee Kai breed can continue to be improved.
In order to for this breed to continue to persevere, it is important that all breeders and owners do their part to maintain the breed standards. As a breeder, it is imperative that only the dogs that meet the standards are being bred. This does not mean that those animals exhibiting subpar traits cannot make great pets. It is just encouraged that they do not breed. Remember, the breed is still at a very crucial point in its development and you play an important role in the future of the Alaskan Klee Kai.
Before purchasing an Alaskan Klee Kai, make sure that you are buying from a reputable breeder. Only certain animals conform to the standards of a true Alaskan Klee Kai and only an experienced and qualified breeder will be able to identify those characteristics. This breed makes the perfect companion and will offer years of unconditional love and affection. They are the epitome of a big personality in a little package.