As a breed, the Alaskan Klee Kai has not been around for long-only about 30 years. The developer of this breed (and devoted breeders) has worked tirelessly to develop the best physical and temperament characteristics into the dog, this miniaturized version of the Alaskan Husky. To maintain the breed that has been so meticulously created, continued dedication and effort on the part of both breeders and owners is needed.
The Alaskan Klee Kai has risen to gain acceptance into rare breed associations and even the United Kennel Club (UKC) in its 30 short years; the Alaskan Klee Kai gained entrance into the UKC on its first application. This is not the norm for most breeds which require at least two applications before acceptance by the UKC.
The reason the Alaskan Klee Kai was so successful in gaining acceptance and recognition is that the developer, Linda Spurlin, was extremely careful in her breeding and painstakingly recorded every breeding which resulted in the dog we know today. Careful culling of inferior specimens (through spay and neuter) assured only the best dogs that met Spurlin's detailed standard were bred; the result is a hardy, healthy, stable dog breed in just three decades.
The Alaskan Klee Kai is still a very rare breed, but its population is growing. As it grows, it is imperative that the same dedication to responsible breeding be maintained or the breed will go the way of so many other purebred populations and suffer from health concerns and mutation of the breed standard. To this end, breeders and owners both play an important part.
Breed Quality--Your Role As Potential Owner
Irresponsible breeding is spurred by high demand for a given breed. If you care about a breed as an owner, you will commit to buying your dogs from a reputable breeder who has the health of his or her dogs and the health of the breed as a whole as primary objective-quality, not quantity. You can help ensure the stability and health of the Alaskan Klee Kai breed by
Choosing a good breeder with references
Not buying from pet stores and "puppy mills"
Not buying suspect dogs or dogs that do not appear to meet standards
Understand the difference of pet quality, show and breeding quality and respect breed restrictions on companion animals
Completing the Qualification exam and returning it to the breeder so they can determine the success of matings
Breed Quality-The Breeder's Role
Of course, the onus rests on the breeders to conform to standards and guidelines and respect the integrity of the breed. Good breeders make good breeds, and the Alaskan Klee Kai is no exception. Breeders enhance breed quality when they commit to
Responsibly produce new pups
Carefully pair bitches and dogs, avoiding close relations and in-breeding
Mate healthy dogs with favorable characteristics
Keep detailed and accurate breeding records (this is where your Qualification Examination comes in)
Stay current on breed developments, learn about new health issues as they arise
Test for genetic anomalies so as not to pass on poor health traits
Cull inferior animals through spay and neuter programs
To some, this sounds like too much to think about just to own a dog; owning a young breed like the Alaskan Klee Kai does require a commitment to be sure. The rewards are great, but for those not up to the task, a more historically proven breed of dog may be a better choice for a pet.