We were all captivated by little Benji at the Purina PawWay Halloween Party. I asked his owner if he was a Mini Husky Puppy but he informed me Benji is an Alaskan Klee Kai Puppy.
I confess I was not familiar with the dog breed or the traits of a miniature Husky puppy or an Alaskan Klee Kai so I did some research.
The Alaskan Klee Kai is a spitz type breed of dog (like the Siberian Husky), developed in the 1970s to create a small companion sized dog resembling the beautiful Husky in Alaska. The breed was reportedly developed by a woman named Linda Spurlog by breeding Siberian and Alaskan Huskies, with Schipperke and American Eskimo Dogs to bring down the size without dwarfism.
Benji is only 5 months old and about a foot tall, but he will probably not grow beyond 15inches tall and 15lbs.
The huskies were bred as working sled dogs. The Klee Kais look like huskies but were bred as small companion dogs. They do best with early and continual positive socialization and training. They often have a high prey drive and do well at sports like agility.
Benji’s owner described him as “friendly, intelligent.playful, and curious”. He was certainly very friendly and sweet to me and friendly and playful with other dogs. He made a lot of new pals but he moved so much it was hard to get a good photo.
Alaskan Klee Kai come in three recognized color varieties: black and white, gray and white, or red and white (which may appear as a cinnamon or a dark auburn)
Like the Siberian Husky, the Alaskan Klee Kai are usually extremely clean so not much grooming is needed, except maybe when they are shedding their coats. Like Siberians (and unlike short haired dogs who shed all year), the Klee Kai blows its coat twice a year.Most Klee Kai will seldom require a bath and do not like wet feet and will spend hours daily grooming themselves. Alaskan Klee Kai, like many other northern breeds, do not have a typical “doggy odor” or “doggy breath.” You never want to shave an Alaskan Klee Kai unless for medical reasons.They need their coat to keep them cool and to protect their skin.
The Miniature Husky has the same pedigree as the Siberian Husky. It is not a mix, it is just selectively bred for its smaller size. The Mini Husky has the same traits as a Siberian Husky.
Check out our post on Is a Husky the Right breed for you? and our story of Icy the Therapy Dog.
You can follow Benji on Instagram here @benji_thekleekai sitting here at the Toronto Christmas Pet Show with celebrity @MoosethePug
Do you love Huskies too? Had you heard of the Alaskan Klee Kai dog breed?