Rare Breed Spotlight: The Alaskan Klee Kai

This small magnetic spitz creation attracts admirers with undeniable force.

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Now and then, fate puts the right person in the right place at the right time. That was the case when Linda Spurlin and her husband left Wasilla, Alaska, and drove to Oklahoma in the mid-1970s to visit her husband’s relatives, who had a number of dogs on their farm. Spurlin was smitten by a petite, gray-and-white female husky-type dog and asked the family if they would part with her. They did.

Every time the Spurlins stopped on the trip home, they were besieged by folks who fawned over their new pet. They asked, “What breed is she?” and “Where can I get one?” Because of the dog’s instant popularity, Spurlin pondered breeding her adorable dog.

Joint effort
Fate, or perhaps coincidence, stepped in again. Although Spurlin was unaware of it at the time, her dog’s ancestors had been produced by her brother-in-law and his wife in Fairbanks, Alaska, when they had an accidental mating between an Alaskan husky and a small dog of indeterminate origin. The resulting litter was so appealing, they began a breeding program to produce more of these diminutive dogs.

By the time Spurlin learned of their endeavors, she had already bred a few of these dogs. When her brother-in-law stopped breeding in the early 1980s, Spurlin bought his breeding stock. With a larger gene pool at her disposal, Linda launched into a strict breeding program.

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