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AKK Breed Standards
ALASKAN KLEE KAI
The Alaskan Klee Kai was developed in Alaska by Linda Spurlin and her family, to be a companion-sized version of the Alaskan Husky. From the early 70's through 1988, the Spurlins carefully selected dogs who met their high standards for appearance and soundness. In 1988, they made the Alaskan Klee Kai available to others. Mrs. Spurlin originally called her new breed the "Klee Kai" but in 1995, it was changed to "Alaskan Klee Kai." The Alaskan Klee Kai is still extremely rare.
The Alaskan Klee Kai is a small version of the Alaskan Husky with a wedge-shaped head featuring a striking masked face, prick ears, and a double coat. The length of back is just slightly longer than the height. The tail is well-furred and curls over the back or to either side when the dog is alert or moving. The appearance of the Alaskan Klee Kai reflects the breed's Northern heritage.
The most distinctive characteristic of the Alaskan Klee Kai is the facial mask which must be clearly visible due to contrasting colors. The full face mask is the most desirable. The Alaskan Klee Kai is very curious, active, quick and agile. His loyalty and alertness make the Alaskan Klee Kai an excellent watchdog who may be territorial despite his small size. While affectionate with family members, the Alaskan Klee Kai is reserved and cautious with strangers and in unfamiliar situations.
The head is clean, free of wrinkles, proportionate to the size of the body, with a moderate stop. When viewed from the top or side, the skull and muzzle taper toward the nose to form a broad-based wedge shape.
The neck is medium in length, arched and carried proudly erect when the dog is standing. When moving at a trot, the neck is extended so that the head is carried slightly forward.
The shoulders are moderately laid back. The scapula and the upper arm form an angle of about 110 degrees. The shoulder blade and the upper arm are roughly equal in length. Viewed from the front, the forelegs are straight, parallel, and spaced moderately apart, with moderate to fine bone in proportion to the size of the dog. Pasterns are flexible and strong, moderately short, and slightly sloping. Elbows are neither close to the body nor out but are set on a plane parallel to the body.
In profile, the length of the back from the withers to the base of tail is slightly longer than the height of the body from the withers to the ground. The withers are just slightly higher than the croup. The topline of the back is level from just behind the withers to the loin which is slightly arched. The croup is broad and very slightly sloping. The ribs are well sprung out from the spine, forming a strong back, then curving down and inward to form a body that would be nearly heart-shaped if viewed in cross-section. The loin is strong and short but narrower than the rib cage and with a slight tuck-up. The chest is moderately broad and let down to the elbows. When viewed from the side, the lowest point of the chest is immediately behind the foreleg. The forechest should extend in a shallow oval shape in front of the forelegs but the sternum should not be excessively pointed.
Viewed from the rear, the rear pasterns are parallel to each other and spaced moderately apart. The rear legs are moderately well angulated at stifle and hock joints. The rear pasterns are well let down and perpendicular to the ground when viewed from any angle.
The feet are sized in proportion to the bone of the individual dog, oval in shape, and well-knuckled up. The pads are thickly cushioned and well furred between the toes and pads. Hair on the feet may be trimmed between the pads and around the outer edges of the feet. All dewclaws should be removed.
The tail should be well furred and set on just below the level of the topline. The preferred tail carriage is a loose curl which falls to the center of the back or drapes to either side of the body. The tail may hang down when the dog is relaxed or in unfamiliar situations but forms a loose curl when the dog is alert or moving. Dark hairs at the tip of the tail are preferred.
The coat is double and of sufficient length to give a well furred appearance reminiscent of the breed's Alaskan Husky heritage. The coat is never so long as to obscure the outline of the dog. The neck is well furnished with hair, which forms a protective ruff blending into the apron. The tail is well furred with longer hair at the base and underside of the tail. Longer-coated dogs may have some feathering on the rear of the front legs; the rear of the hindquarters, from the buttocks to the hock joint; underside of the body and tail; and the ears. The undercoat is soft, dense, and of sufficient length to support the outer coat. The guard hairs of the outer coat are straight and never harsh nor extremely soft. The absence of undercoat during the shedding season is normal. This breed is presented in a completely natural condition except that trimming of hair between the pads and around the feet to present a neater appearance is permissible.
All coat colors acceptable provided that the facial mask is distinct and clearly visible and there is a contrasting lighter color on the dog's throat, chest, breeches, feet, legs and underside. The overall appearance is one of symmetry.
Height and Weight
It is intended that the Alaskan Klee Kai remain a small to medium-sized dog. Height is measured from the withers to the ground. An Alaskan Klee Kai should not appear heavy or too thin. Weight should be proportionate to height.
The Alaskan Klee Kai should move with the smooth, effortless, agile gait of his Arctic forebears. When in the show ring, they should be gaited on a loose lead at a moderately fast trot, exhibiting good reach in the forequarters and good drive in the hindquarters. When viewed from front to rear while moving at a walk, the Alaskan Klee Kai does not single-track, but as the speed increases, the legs gradually angle inward until the pads are falling on a line directly under the longitudinal center of the body. As the pad marks converge, the forelegs and hind legs are carried straight forward, with neither elbows nor stifles turned in or out. While the dog is gaiting, the topline remains firm and appears level.
Judges must penalize dogs with any one of the following serious faults and withhold championship points from any dog possessing two or more of these faults. Breeders should take as strict or even stricter view of these serious faults in their breeding program.
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Over or undershot bite. Wry mouth. Hanging or drop ears. Tail too short to curl over and touch the back. Absence of mask. Solid coat color lacking distinct and contrasting markings. Albinism. Over 17½ inches in height.
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