Alaskan Klee Kai vs Mini Husky

When we talk about mini huskies, we’re referring to miniature Siberian huskies.

There is another mixed breed of dog, however, that very much resembles the mini husky (and is often called it in error): the Alaskan klee klai.

So, you may be wondering – what’s the difference?

Alaskan Klee Kai vs Mini Husky – how do the breeds compare?

Let’s take a look at what makes the Klee Lai unique, and how he compares to the smaller husky breed.

What Is The Alaskan Klee Kai?

alaskan klee kai

The Alaskan klee kai was first bred in the 1970s to be a smaller, companion-sized version of the mixed-breed Alaskan husky.

The dogs were bred using a mix of Siberian and Alaskan huskies, and schipperke and American Eskimo dogs. The breed was created by Linda Spurlin and not released to the public to buy until 1988.

As Ms Spurlin has now retired from breeding Alaskan klee kai, the dogs are reasonably rare and highly sought after.

They are also known as AKKs.

alaskan klee kai
By Jennifer Parks (via Hyrel – Creative Commons)

Alaskan Klee Kai vs Mini Husky Compared

Differences between mini huskies and Alaskan klee kais

alaskan klee kai
By Pauxcide (Creative Commons)
  1. AKKs are often a lot smaller than mini huskies. They are available in toy, medium and standard sizes – weighing anywhere between 5 to 25 pounds and usually somewhere between 13 and 17 inches in height.
  2. AKKs are often more cautious than mini huskies in temperament, although they are friendly and affectionate around people they know well.
  3. They are also better guard dogs than mini huskies as they are cautious and alert (like the Rottsky hybrid!)
  4. AKKs require lots of socializing in order to be calmer around strangers, small children and other dogs.
  5. AKKs can be more varied in color than mini huskies: they are available in black and white, gray and white, red and white, and occasionally all white.
  6. They have a strong prey drive so you will need to keep them on a leash while out and about as they may hunt rabbits, birds and other small animals.
  7. AKKs are often even more intelligent than mini huskies and excel in obedience classes and other training.
  8. The lifespan of a mini husky is between 12 and 14 years whereas it’s between 10 and 13 years for an AKK
  9. The AKK was bred to be a companion dog, whereas mini huskies are simply smaller sized working Siberian huskies
  10. AKKs are thought to be mostly free of genetic defects potential health problems linked to the breed include juvenile cataracts, liver disease, factor VII deficiency, cardiac issues, and thyroid diseases.

Similarities between mini huskies and Alaskan klee kais

  1. Both breeds possess very similar facial and body markings [see our husky colors and markings guide]
  2. Both are affectionate, loving and make great family pets
  3. Both are alert and intelligent
  4. Both require daily exercise and lots of play in order to manage their high-energy
  5. They both have double coats which will moderately shed
  6. They are very clean and efficient self-groomers: you just need to brush their coat at least once a week
  7. Both are relatively quiet dogs and not problem barkers

For more on the mini husky, see our owner’s guide.

Should I buy an Alaskan Klee Kai?

AKKs are not for everyone.

Their high-energy, intelligence and natural caution towards strangers requires that they be given lots of daily exercise, plenty of training and lots of socialization throughout their life – not just at the puppy stage.

You should have lots of time and energy to devote to your AKK or risk potential behavioral problems if not.

If you are willing to invest the time into loving, caring and training for your AKK, you’ll be blessed with a loyal and affectionate family pet. Not only are AKKs absolutely stunning, they are also very loving, docile and smart dogs – for the right person and family, they are the perfect canine companion.

alaskan klee kai
By Kobikleekai (Creative Commons)