Breed Group Group 2: Spitz and Nordic Breeds
Sub-group :
Origin Country United States
Weight Males: 16-23 pounds. Females: 16-23 pounds.
Height Males: 16-18 inches. Females: 16-18 inches.
Breed Type Pure
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Alaskan Klee Kai

Breed Group Group 2: Spitz and Nordic Breeds
Sub-group :
Origin Country United States
Weight Males: 16-23 pounds. Females: 16-23 pounds.
Height Males: 16-18 inches. Females: 16-18 inches.
Breed Type Pure
click here for FULL BREED STANDARD

Origins

The Klee Kai is a rather recent creation, developed by Linda Spurlin of Alaska between the 1970s and 1980s. Spurlin wanted to create a pint-sized variation of the much-loved Alaskan Husky. The breed’s name means “small dog” in Inuit.

Breed Characteristics

Head: Mesaticephalic skull type, moderate in size, wedge-shaped, in appearance, and in proportion to the rest of the body. The head is clean-cut without excess skin or wrinkle.
Eyes: Medium in size, almond, oval to open-oval in shape, and any color or combination of colors, with preference given to dark brown eyes. The eyes are set obliquely. The eye rims are well fitted and well pigmented. The eyes are never bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes. Any signs of entropion or ectropion are incorrect for this breed.
Ears: Ranging from fairly small (preferred) to moderately large in proportion to the head. Set fairly high on the skull, with the inner edge of each ear above the inner half of the eye below. They are triangle in shape, with slightly rounded tips. They are held firmly erect. The ears are never long, overly large, or broken.
Muzzle: The muzzle is full, deep, and broad at the base, but tapers smoothly toward the nose. The plane, or bridge of the muzzle, is straight and level. Upper and lower jaws are well developed, approximately equal in length, and have good bone substance, never appearing snipy or weak.
Nose: The nose is well pigmented and black, or self-colored according to the coat in liver-based varieties. Snow noses are permissible. The nostrils are well-opened. The nose may protrude just slightly beyond the vertical line of the end of the muzzle, or it may be flush with the vertical line of the end of the muzzle.
Neck: Moderately long length to allow for proud head carriage when standing. It is strongly muscled with a good arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut, with a slight amount of loose skin at the throat area, but without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep and broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows. The forechest is well developed without being excessively pronounced.
Body: Compact, solid, and of good substance. The body is never racy or refined or heavy and cloddy. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Feet: Oval to round, compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.
Tail: Set neither high nor low on the croup, but as a natural extension of the topline, or set just below the topline. It is thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. The tail is carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, usually in a loose curl which may fall to the center, or either side of the back. It is carried in a downward, neutral position when relaxed. It should never be tucked. The tail is of a moderate length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down.
Movement: The gait is smooth and flowing with energetic, effortless, and efficient movements. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the centerline of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.
Temperament: Like his Nordic ken, the Alaskan Klee Kai was bred from independently thinking dogs and carries on the same tradition. For this reason, they are known to be somewhat stubborn and develop their own ideas about things. However, they respond well to gentle training methods such as positive reinforcement, and, if started early from puppyhood, eagerly learn their tasks with joy ease. They are devoted and loving companions to their families, although they can be a bit aloof with strangers. When properly trained and socialized, they make wonderful companions. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.
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Breed Standard

BREED GROUP 2: Spitz and Nordic Breeds

Proportions: The Alaskan Klee Kai was designed to resemble the Nordic sled dogs, and in particular, the Alaskan Malamute, with some exceptions. The body is somewhat rectangular with length of the body, measured from the point of the forechest to the point of the rump, being slightly greater than the height at the withers. The ideal body-height-to-length ratio is approximately 5:4. The body is well put together, with sturdy substance and medium bone. Males should appear masculine, being more substantial in size and mass, while females should appear more feminine and slightly less substantial. Neither should lack overall type.

Head

General Appearance: Mesaticephalic skull type, moderate in size, wedge-shaped, in appearance, and in proportion to the rest of the body. The head is clean-cut without excess skin or wrinkle.
Stop: The stop is moderate.
Skull: The ideal muzzle-to-skull ratio is between 1:1 and 4:5 with the topskull being equal to or just longer than the muzzle.
The ideal muzzle-to-skull axis is parallel or may be slightly convergent.
Muzzle: The muzzle is full, deep, and broad at the base, but tapers smoothly toward the nose. The plane, or bridge of the muzzle, is straight and level. Upper and lower jaws are well developed, approximately equal in length, and have good bone substance, never appearing snipy or weak.
Lips or Flews: Lips are well pigmented, clean, and fit tightly over the teeth and jaws.
Nose: The nose is well pigmented and black, or self-colored according to the coat in liver-based varieties. Snow noses are permissible. The nostrils are well-opened. The nose may protrude just slightly beyond the vertical line of the end of the muzzle, or it may be flush with the vertical line of the end of the muzzle.
Cheeks: The cheeks are well filled and smoothly muscled, never appearing chiseled or coarse.
Dentition and Bite: Forty-two strong, clean, white teeth preferred. Bite may be level or scissor, or reverse-scissor. Contact must be made between the top and bottom incisors.
Eyes: Medium in size, almond, oval to open-oval in shape, and any color or combination of colors, with preference given to dark brown eyes. The eyes are set obliquely. The eye rims are well fitted and well pigmented. The eyes are never bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes. Any signs of entropion or ectropion are incorrect for this breed.
Ears: Ranging from fairly small (preferred) to moderately large in proportion to the head. Set fairly high on the skull, with the inner edge of each ear above the inner half of the eye below. They are triangle in shape, with slightly rounded tips. They are held firmly erect. The ears are never long, overly large, or broken.

Body and Tail

General Description: Compact, solid, and of good substance. The body is never racy or refined or heavy and cloddy. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Neck: Moderately long length to allow for proud head carriage when standing. It is strongly muscled with a good arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut, with a slight amount of loose skin at the throat area, but without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep and broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows. The forechest is well developed without being excessively pronounced.
Topline: Straight and level from slightly prominent withers to loin. The back is broad, strongly muscled, and straight, yet supple. The loin is taut, slightly arched, yet supportive. The back is never swayed or roached.
Croup: Gently sloped.
Underline: Slight to moderate tuck-up present, or the underline may run parallel to the topline. The underline is taut and firm, without any indication of sagging or excess weight.
Ribs: Long, well-sprung, well-laid-back, and oval-shaped, never barrel-chested or slab-sided.
Tail: Set neither high nor low on the croup, but as a natural extension of the topline, or set just below the topline. It is thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. The tail is carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, usually in a loose curl which may fall to the center, or either side of the back. It is carried in a downward, neutral position when relaxed. It should never be tucked. The tail is of a moderate length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down.

Forequarters and Hindquarters

Forequarters: Forequarters are always in balance with the hindquarters. Forequarters are well angulated with well-laid-back shoulder blades. Shoulder blades are fairly long and approximately equal in length to the upper arm and forearm. Shoulder blades and forearm may also be just greater in length than the upper arm.
Elbows: Elbows are close to the body. The point of the elbows is approximately half the dog’s height at the withers.
Forelegs: Frontal View: Straight, of good muscle, of moderate bone, and parallel to one another.
Side View: The forelimbs appear straight with strong pasterns.
Pasterns: Never weak or broken.
Hindquarters: Upper thigh and lower thigh are fairly long, equal in length, strong, of moderate bone, and well-muscled.
Rear View: When viewed from the rear, the rear pasterns are parallel to one another.
Side View: Good angulation will allow the rear toes to align with the point of the rump or within one to two paw-lengths behind the point of the rump, with the rear pasterns remaining perpendicular to the ground and parallel to one another.
Stifle Joint: Well-angulated with a good bend to well-let-down rear pasterns.
Angulations: Angulation of hindquarters is always in balance with angulation of forequarters.
Feet: Oval to round, compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.

Coat

Skin: Well-fitted, yet supple. The skin should never obstruct the outline of the dog.
Coat Type: The Alaskan Klee Kai comes in two coat varieties: the smooth coat and the long, or full, coat. Both coat types are double-coated with a soft, supportive, dense undercoat. Neither coat should be so long as to obstruct the outline of the dog.
Smooth-coat variety: The coat is well furred, straight, and weather-resistant throughout. The texture is glossy. Coat is slightly longer on neck and chest—forming a protective ruff and apron—and on the well furred tail.
Full-coat variety: The coat is short on the face, forehead, and front of the forelimbs and hindlimbs. The coat is slightly longer on the neck, base of the ears, forming a ruff and apron, and slight feathering on the rear of the forelimbs and hindlimbs, feet, and a well-furred tail. The coat should never be abundantly thick, abundantly long, or silky.
Coat Color or Pattern: Black, gray, liver red, tan, yellow, cream sable or agouti; all with a distinct and clearly visible contrasting lighter colors in traditional cream or white points (throat, chest, breeches, feet, legs, and underside). Facial mask must be present, with preference given to symmetrical masks.

Movement

The gait is smooth and flowing with energetic, effortless, and efficient movements. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the centerline of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.

Temperament

Like his Nordic ken, the Alaskan Klee Kai was bred from independently thinking dogs and carries on the same tradition. For this reason, they are known to be somewhat stubborn and develop their own ideas about things. However, they respond well to gentle training methods such as positive reinforcement, and, if started early from puppyhood, eagerly learn their tasks with joy ease. They are devoted and loving companions to their families, although they can be a bit aloof with strangers. When properly trained and socialized, they make wonderful companions. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.

Faults

All dogs should be in proper healthy condition, free from disease or defect. Any departure from this description is considered a fault. Unless altered, all male dogs should have two fully descended testicles.