Breed Standards

Since the Alaskan Klee Kai is now accepted by two registries; the UKC and the AKC it is logical they they have two slightly differing breed standards. You will note that a split mask is a dq or disqualification at UKC and an excessive mask is a dq at AKC. We would therefore suggest our breeders do not breed for split masks or for excessive masks so that their dogs stay within BOTH standards.

Alaskan Klee Kai

UKC

Northern Breed Group

The goals and purposes of this breed standard include: to furnish guidelines for breeders who wish to maintain the quality of their breed and to improve it; to advance this breed to a state of similarity throughout the world; and to act as a guide for judges. Breeders and judges have the responsibility to avoid any conditions or exaggerations that are detrimental to the health, welfare, essence and soundness of this breed, and must take the responsibility to see that these are not perpetuated.

 

Any departure from the following should be considered a fault, and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dogs ability to perform its traditional work, which includes, but it not limited to, acting as a companion.

Since the Alaskan Klee Kai is a breed developed through miniaturization, attention should be paid to certain faults inherent with this developmental process, especially taking into mind that faults can be perpetuated because of a small gene pool. This includes, but is not limited to, bulging eyes, unacceptable temperament, and extremely fine bone.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Alaskan Klee Kai is often referred to as a smaller version of their northern ancestors, the Alaskan Husky. They have a wedge-shaped head featuring a striking masked face, prick ears, and a double coat. The length of body 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 breeds Northern heritage.
Disqualifications: Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid.

CHARACTERISTICS

The most distinctive characteristic of the Alaskan Klee Kai is the contrasting colored facial mask with the well-defined nose bar down the center of the muzzle, and goggles around the eyes. They are very curious, intelligent, active, quick and agile. Loyalty and alertness make the Alaskan Klee Kai great watchdogs, good at giving alarm, who may be territorial despite their small size. While they are devoted to their owners, and make excellent companions, they may be aloof with strangers.
Disqualifications: Viciousness or extreme shyness.

UKC Breed Standards: Alaskan Klee Kai head

HEAD

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.
Faults: Narrow head; insufficient stop; stop too steep.

SKULL

The skull is slightly rounded and somewhat broad, tapering gradually from the widest point to the eyes.
Faults: Skull too flat or too domed.

MUZZLE

The length of the muzzle, from stop to nose, is equal to or slightly shorter than the length of the skull, from occiput to stop. When viewed from the side or from above, the muzzle tapers slightly from where it joins the skull to the nose. The muzzle is well-filled-in under the eyes. The lower jaw is strong, but not protruding. Lips are tightly-closed, and lip pigment is black in dogs whose coat colors are shades of black or gray; and lip pigment is liver-colored in dogs whose coat colors are shades of red. Faults: Loosely hanging lips; a shallow or receding lower jaw; a pinched or snipey muzzle; a too short or too long muzzle.

TEETH

A full complement of strong white teeth meet in a scissors bite.
Fault: Level bite.
Disqualifications: Overshot or undershot bite, wry mouth.

NOSE

Nose is black for dogs whose coat colors are shades of black or gray; and the nose is liver-colored for dogs whose coat colors are shades of red. A pink streaked snow nose is acceptable.
In profile, the nose is on the same line as the top of the muzzle and extends just slightly beyond the lower jaw.

EYES

The eyes are of medium size and may be any color or combination of colors. Almond-shaped eyes are the most desirable, followed in order of preference by oval and round. The eyes are set obliquely. Eye rims are black for dogs whose coat colors are shades of black or gray; and the eye rims are liver-colored in dogs whose coat colors are shades of red.
Faults: Eyes set too wide or too close together.
Eliminating Fault: Bulging eyes.

EARS

The ears are prick, strongly erect and pointed upward, well-furred, triangular in shape, and slightly large in proportion to the size of the head. The leather is thick from base to tip. The ears are set so that the inner edge of each ear is above the inner half of the eye below it. Ear tips are slightly rounded. The ears are extremely mobile and react sensitively to sounds.
Fault: Ears set too low.
Disqualification: Hanging or drop ears.

NECK

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.
Faults: Neck too short and thick; neck too long.

FOREQUARTERS

The shoulders are moderately laid back. The shoulder blade and the upper arm are roughly equal in length.

FORELEGS

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.
Faults: Straight shoulders; weak pasterns; short upper arm.

BODY

In profile, the length of the body, from the point of the shoulder to the rear of the buttocks, 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. The sloping croup is never so steep as to restrict the rearward thrust of the hind legs.
The ribs are well sprung out from the spine, forming a strong back, then curving down and inward to nearly a heart-shape 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.
Faults: Chest too broad; barrel or flat ribs; slack or roached back. High in rear.

HINDQUARTERS

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.
Serious Faults: Over-angulation; hocks turned in or out; thin or weak thighs.

FEET

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 may be removed.
Faults: Splayed feet; long feet; poorly cushioned pads; feet pointed in or out.

TAIL

The tail should be well furred and set on just below the level of the topline. The preferred tail carriage is a loose, natural 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, natural curl when the dog is alert or moving. Dark hairs at the tip of the tail are preferred.
Faults: Tail stands away from the back or sides of the body when curled.
Serious Fault: Tail kinks not a result of injury.
Disqualification: Tail too short to curl over and naturally touch the back.

COAT

The coat is double and of sufficient length to give a well furred appearance reminiscent of the breeds northern heritage. The coat is never so long as to obscure the outline of the dog. The neck is well furnished with fur, 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.
Serious Faults: Coat that is so long as to obscure the outline of the dog; trimming other than described above.

COLOR

Coat colors in shades of black, gray or red are acceptable provided that the facial mask is distinct and clearly visible, and there is a contrasting lighter color on the bottom half of the dogs face, throat, chest, breeches, feet, legs and underside. The overall appearance is one of symmetry.
The most desirable markings include light-colored spots over the eyes; lighter fur on the inside of the ears; a dark coloration at the tip of the tail; and a full facial mask which consists of dark coloration on the skull which extends down the nose bar of the muzzle and around the eyes, or goggles, provided that it does not extend down the face more than half the length of the muzzle (or face), a solid nose bar of undivided darker color extending from the forehead down the top of the muzzle to the nose without extending down the sides of the muzzle; and a contrasting lighter color extending up the cheeks to a line between the outside corners of the eyes and the base of the ears, down the sides of the muzzle, under the jaw, and down the throat. The fur on the inside of the ears should also be of the same lighter contrasting color.
The acceptable, but less desirable markings include: a white tipped tail; and a light-colored blaze centered in the middle of the skull and stop. With the exception of the blaze and the light spots above the eyes, the more of the lighter contrasting color present on the upper part of the face, the less desirable is the mask; and more of the darker color present on the lower part of the face, the less desirable is the mask; with the least acceptable being the Widows Peak (where the entire face is of the lighter color with just a small dark area capping the top of the head and a point dropping into the center of the upper forehead).
Fault: Symmetrical split – a narrow, light-colored strip which evenly divides the dark strip down the nose bar of the muzzle.
Eliminating Faults: Absence of required lighter contrasting color described above; asymmetrical markings visible while the dog is standing; any distinct area of lighter contrasting color on the topline, known as a cape; a dark nose bar on the center of the muzzle that extends down the sides of the muzzle; distinct spots of lighter contrasting color anywhere other than the spots over the eyes, the blaze on the head, or the tip of the tail.
Disqualifications: Absence of distinct mask; solid coat color lacking distinct and contrasting markings; albinism.

HEIGHT & 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. Weight should be proportionate to height and bone structure, appearing neither too heavy nor too thin.
Toy Variety: Up to and including 13 inches.
Miniature Variety: Over 13 inches and up to and including 15 inches.
Standard Variety: Over 15 inches up to and including 17 inches.
Serious Fault: Over 17 inches up to and including 17.5 inches.
Eliminating Fault: Over 17.5 inches in height.

GAIT

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.
Faults: Short, prancing or choppy gait, lumbering or rolling gait; crossing or crabbing.

SERIOUS FAULTS

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.
Coat: Coat that is so long as to obscure the outline of the dog; trimming other than as described in Coat paragraph.
Height and Weight: Over 17 inches up to and including 17.5 inches.
Hindquarters: Over angulation; hocks turned in or out; thin or weak thighs.

ELIMINATING FAULTS

(An Eliminating Fault is a Fault serious enough that it eliminates the dog from obtaining any awards in a conformation event.)
Over 17.5 inches in height.
Bulging eyes.
Absence of required lighter contrasting color described above; asymmetrical markings visible while the dog is standing; any distinct area of lighter contrasting color on the topline, known as a cape; a dark nose bar on the center of the muzzle that extends down the sides of the muzzle; distinct spots of lighter contrasting color anywhere other than the spots over the eyes, the blaze on the head, or the tip of the tail.

DISQUALIFICATIONS

(A dog with a Disqualification must not be considered for placement in a conformation event, and must be reported to UKC.)
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid.
Viciousness or extreme shyness.
Albinism.
Over or undershot bite.
Wry mouth.
Hanging or drop ears.
Tail too short to curl over and naturally touch the back.
Absence of distinct mask.
Solid coat color lacking distinct and contrasting markings.
Albinism.

Please Note: In UKC Conformation Shows, this breed is shown by variety in this order Toy, Miniature, Standard.

Official UKC Breed Standard Revised January 1, 2019

 

©Copyright 1997, United Kennel Club

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Foundation Stock Service (FSS)

General Appearance:


The Alaskan Klee Kai is a small sized companion dog that is alert, energetic, and curious, yet
reserved with unfamiliar people and situations. The body is well proportioned, with a level
topline and a length slightly longer than height. The gait is smooth, agile, and well balanced.
The wedge-shaped head, erect triangle shaped ears, well furred double coat, and loosely
curled tail reflect its arctic heritage. The most distinctive characteristic of the Alaskan Klee
Kai is the contrasting symmetrical facial mask and body markings.
This standard is the description of the ideal Alaskan Klee Kai. Any deviation from this description is
considered a fault, the seriousness with which the fault is regarded should be in proportion to the extent
of the deviation. Faults common to all breeds are as undesirable to the Alaskan Klee Kai as in any other
breed, even though such faults may not be specifically mentioned in this standard.

Size, Proportion, Substance:

Size – Alaskan Klee Kai have 3 size varieties determined by the height measured from the
ground to the withers. Toy is up to and including 13 inches; Miniature is over 13 inches up to
and including 15 inches; and Standard is over 15 inches up to and including 17 ½ inches.
Disqualifications: over 17 ½ inches in height.
Proportion – In profile, the length of the body, from the point of the shoulder to the point of
the buttocks, is slightly longer than the height of the body from the ground to the withers,
making the dog slightly longer than tall.
Substance – Weight and bone are in proportion to the overall dog.


Head:

Expression is alert, keen, and intelligent.
Eyes are of medium size and may be any color or combination of colors. Almond- shaped eyes
are the most desirable, followed in order of preference by oval and round. The eyes are
moderately spaced, not set too wide or too close together. Dogs with coat colors in shades of
black with white or gray with white have eye rims that are black; and dogs with coat colors in
shades of red with white have eye rims that are liver/brown colored.
Serious Faults- Bulging eyes; Eyes set too deep.
Disqualifications- Partial or completely black eye rims on dogs with coat colors in shades of red
with white.
Ears are strongly erect and triangle in shape with slightly rounded tips. They are set high yet
well apart, and are slightly large in proportion to the size of the head. The leather is thick from
base to tip and well furred. The ears are extremely mobile and reactive.
Disqualifications- Hanging or drop ears.
Skull is slightly rounded and somewhat broad, neither too flat nor too domed. It tapers
gradually from the widest point to the eyes. The stop is moderate and slightly sloping. The head
is in proportion to the size of the body, and it is neither too narrow nor too thick. The skull and
muzzle taper toward the nose to form a broad-based wedge shape.
Muzzle tapers slightly from the stop to the nose, with a straight bridge, and is well filled in under
the eyes. The lower jaw is strong but not protruding. The length of the muzzle from stop to nose
is equal to, or slightly shorter than, the length of the skull from occiput to stop. Lips are tight.
Dogs with coat colors in shades of black with white or gray with white have black lip color; and
dogs with coat colors in shades of red with white, have liver/brown lip color.
Faults- Pinched or snipy muzzle.
Disqualifications- Partial or completely black lips on dogs with coat colors in shades of red with
white.

Nose in profile, is on the same line as the top of the muzzle and extends just slightly beyond the
lower jaw. Dogs with coat colors in shades of black with white or gray with white have a nose
that is black; and dogs with coat colors in shades of red with white have a nose that is
liver/brown colored. A streaked “snow nose” is less desirable, but acceptable.
Disqualifications- Partial or completely black nose on dog with coat colors in shades of red with
white.


Bite- Strong white evenly aligned teeth close in a tight scissors bite.
Faults- level bite

Disqualifications- Overshot or undershot bite; wry mouth.
Neck, Topline and Body:
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.
Body is straight and moderately muscled with a level topline from the withers to the croup.
Chest is muscular and moderately broad with a slightly pronounced prosternum clearly defined
between the points of the shoulders. The lowest point of the chest does not extend below the
elbows and is just behind the forelegs.
Ribs are well sprung, forming a strong back, then curving down and inward to form a body that
would be nearly heart-shaped if viewed in cross-section.
Loin is strong and short, narrower than the rib cage, and has a slight tuck-up.
Croup is broad and very slightly sloping.
Tail is well furred and set on or just slightly below the level of the topline. The tail is carried in
a loose, natural curl which falls to the center of the back or drapes down against either side
when the dog is alert or moving. When the tail is curled, it does not stand away from the
back or sides of the body. When the dog is relaxed, the tail may hang down.
Disqualifications- Kinked tail; Tail too short to naturally curl over and touch the back.
Forequarters:
Angulation- The forequarters are well angulated.
Shoulders are well laid back to allow for good reach and freedom of movement.
The shoulder blade and upper arm are approximately equal in length.
Forelegs, when viewed from the front, are straight, parallel, and moderately spaced with bone
in proportion to the dog, appearing neither fragile nor heavy.
Elbows are set close to the body and turned neither in nor out. The length of the leg from the
ground to the elbow is slightly longer than the length from the elbow to the withers.
Pasterns are flexible and strong, moderately short, and slightly angled.
Dewclaws removal is optional.
Feet are oval in shape, yet not long. The paws are sized in proportion to the bone of the
individual dog and turn neither in nor out. The toes are well arched. The pads are thickly
cushioned and furred between the toes and pads.
Faults- Splayed feet.

Hindquarters:
Angulation- The hindquarters are well angulated.
Hind legs, when viewed from the rear, are moderately spaced and parallel, turning neither in
nor out. The bone is in proportion to the dog, appearing neither fragile nor heavy.
Upper thighs are moderately muscled.
Stifles are well bent.
Hock joints are firm and well let down. Pasterns are straight.
Dewclaws removal is optional.
Feet are as described in forequarters.
Serious Faults- Over angulation; Under angulation of stifles or hocks

Coat:
The Alaskan Klee Kai is double coated with the hair being medium length, giving a well-furred
appearance reminiscent of the breed’s Arctic heritage. The outer coat guard hairs are straight
and somewhat smooth lying, never harsh nor extremely soft. The dense, soft undercoat is of
sufficient length to support the outer coat. The absence of an undercoat should not be penalized
during shedding season. 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. The standard coat is preferred, but a longer coated dog is acceptable as long as the coat is
not so long as to obscure the outline of the dog.
Serious faults- Coat that is so long as to obscure the outline of the body.
The Alaskan Klee Kai is shown in its natural state and the only trimming permissible is
around the foot area to present a clean/neat appearance. Any trimming of the whiskers,
or the fur on any other part of the dog, is to be severely penalized.
Color:
The Alaskan Klee Kai has symmetrical and distinctive dark and white/light contrasting colored
markings
The three allowable coat colors are in shades of black, gray or red.
• White is the preferred white/light contrasting color which is required on all coat colors
in the following areas: inside the ears, on the lower portion of the face and jaw, on the
sides of the muzzle, on the cheeks, on the throat, on the chest, on the abdomen, on
the legs, on the feet, around the vent and on the underside of the tail.
• The darker coat color extends down the sides of the body, shoulders and hips. It may
also extend partially down the outside of the forelegs and hindlegs, and/or reach
down and around the upper chest in a symmetrical pattern. It is acceptable, although
less desired, for the darker color to extend continuously from the hips all the way
down the outside of the hindlegs to cover the hocks.
• The darker coat color extends down the top side of the tail. It is preferred that the tip
of the tail is the same dark color or darker.
The facial mask is a distinctive trait of this breed and must be symmetrical and clearly visible
due to the contrasting colors. Different combinations of markings are possible on the mask,
ranging from the full mask (described below) which is the most desirable, to the color going
down the top/bridge of the muzzle having a symmetrical split, where a narrow white/lighter
colored strip evenly divides the dark colored strip which is less desirable, to the widow’s peak
which is the least desirable. The acceptable masks can have any combination of markings as
long as they are symmetrical and have the contrasting white/lighter color prominent in the
areas listed above. Absence of the darker color forward of the ears is to be considered as
having no mask at all.
The full mask is the most desired for the Alaskan Klee Kai. It includes the dark coloration on
the head extending continuously down the top/bridge of the muzzle to the nose, and also under
or around the eyes. The darker color below the eyes does not extend more than a quarter way
down the cheek. The darker color down the top/bridge of the muzzle does not extend more
than a quarter of the way off the sides of the muzzle. The color going down the top/bridge of the
muzzle is solid. White/lighter colored markings above the eyes completes the most desired full
mask.
Serious Faults- Darker color below the eyes extending more than halfway down the cheek;
Darker color down the top/bridge of the muzzle extending more than halfway off the sides of the
muzzle;

Disqualifications- Asymmetrical markings; Absence of distinct mask; any solid coat color lacking
distinct and contrasting markings; Absence of required white/light contrasting color as described
in the color section; Distinct dark area, spots or speckles in the lighter areas, other than the tip
of the tail, and the symmetrical markings on the facial mask, chest, and legs as described;
Distinct white/light area or spots in the dark areas, other than the tip of the tail, and the
symmetrical markings on the facial mask, chest, and legs as described.
Gait:
The characteristic gait of the Alaskan Klee Kai is seemingly effortless, smooth, agile and well
balanced, with neither crossing nor crabbing. It has good reach in the forequarters and good
drive in the hindquarters with the top line remaining firm and level. Shown on a loose lead at a
moderately fast trot, the dog will single track as their speed increases and their legs gradually
angle inward until the pads are falling on a line directly under the longitudinal center of the body,
single tracking. The forelegs and hind legs are carried straight forward, with neither the elbows
nor stifles turning in or out.
Temperament:
The Alaskan Klee Kai is intelligent, alert, curious and talkative. They enjoy being physically and
mentally challenged and have an energetic eagerness to participate in a broad array of
activities. A perceptive yet mischievous nature, and an adaptability to most lifestyles, make
them a loving and devoted companion. The Alaskan Klee Kai has a sensitive and reserved
nature so positive reinforcement and proper socialization from a young age is important.

Summary of Faults: This standard is the description of the ideal Alaskan Klee Kai. Any deviation
from this description should be considered a fault, the seriousness with which the fault should be
regarded should be in proportion to the extent of the deviation. Faults common to all breeds are as
undesirable to the Alaskan Klee Kai as in any other breed, even though such faults may not be
specifically mentioned in this standard.
Faults- Pinched or snipy muzzle; level bite; Splayed feet.
Serious Faults- Bulging eyes; Eyes set too deep; Over angulation; Under angulation of stifles or
hocks; Coat that is so long as to obscure the outline of the body; Darker color below the eyes
extending more than halfway down the cheek; Darker color down the top/bridge of the muzzle
extending more than halfway off the sides of the muzzle.
Disqualifications: Over 17 ½ inches in height; Partial or completely black eye rims, lips, or nose
on dog with coat colors in shades of red with white; Hanging or drop ears; Overshot or
undershot bite; Wry mouth; Kinked tail; Tail too short to naturally curl over and touch the back;
Asymmetrical markings; Absence of distinct mask; any solid coat color lacking distinct and
contrasting markings; Absence of required white/light contrasting color as described in color
section; Distinct dark area, spots or speckles in the lighter areas, other than the tip of the tail,
and the symmetrical markings on the facial mask, chest, and legs as described; Distinct
white/light area or spots in the dark areas, other than the tip of the tail, and the symmetrical
markings on the facial mask, chest, and legs as described.
Severely Penalized: The Alaskan Klee Kai is shown in its natural state and the only trimming
permissible is around the foot area to present a clean/neat appearance. Any trimming of the
whiskers, or the fur on any other part of the dog