Size can be an important factor when it comes to selecting what breed of dog is right for you. Some people just have a preference for dogs of a certain size. Others may have to deal with dog size constraints, such as renters who are only allowed to keep dogs under a certain weight in their apartment. When I wrote my Alaskan klee kai breed profile post, I briefly addressed the fact that this unique breed actually comes in 3 different sizes. All three recognized sizes, plus sometimes oversized dogs, can occur in the same litter, regardless of the size of the parent dogs. This can be confusing to anyone new to this breed! This post is going to be a deep dive into the size of Alaskan klee kai.
First thing first, what are the three recognized Alaskan klee kai sizes?
The three recognized sizes of Alaskan klee kai are toy, miniature, and standard. To determine what size an Alaskan klee kai (AKK) is, the dog’s height from the withers is measured.
- Toy sized AKK are the smallest, measuring in at 13 inches tall and under.
- Miniature, or mini, sized AKK are over 13 inches, but no taller than 15 inches.
- The tallest recognized size of Alaskan klee kai is the standard size. Standard dogs are over 15 inches tall, but under 17.5″.
- Any Alaskan klee kai over 17.5 inches tall is considered to be oversized.
Being oversized is a disqualification as far as the breed standard is concerned, but oversized AKK still make amazing pets!
So what are withers!?
Unlike in humans, whose heights are measured at the tops of their heads, dogs’ heights are measured at the withers. The withers are the ridge between your dog’s shoulder blades, right behind the neck. The withers are considered to be the tallest point of a dog’s body (not including the neck and head), which is why it’s used to measure their height.
To find your dog’s withers, you’ll want to locate the top of his shoulder blade, behind the back of the neck. Dogs are commonly measured at the withers to determine whether they confirm to their breed’s height standard. These measurements are also used in dog sports. In agility, for example, your dogs height at the withers will determine how high their jumps are set.
How much do Alaskan klee kai weight?
Alaskan klee kai are the ultimate body positive breed. The AKK breed standard does not decree that these dogs have to be any certain weight, as long as they are a healthy weight for their height. That can be frustrating for new AKK owners, because most people want some idea of what their puppy will weigh as an adult.
After years of speaking with other AKK owners, as well as breeders, I can say that, in general, toy Alaskan klee kai will be under 15lbs as adults. Many toy AKK I’ve met have been around 10lbs. Miniature Alaskan klee kai tend to trend between 10 to 20 lbs. Standard sized AKKs tend to be around 15 to 25 lbs. Oversized individuals tend to be 20+ lbs. I’ve met a small number of oversized Alaskan klee kai who were almost as large as a small husky! Keep in mind, though, that these numbers are just averages. Since there is no weight requirement in the Alaskan klee kai breed standard, your individual dog may, or may not, fall into these averages.
My Alaskan klee kai, Fenrir, is a large mini. He is 14.5 inches tall, and weighs 18 lbs.
How will you know what size your AKK puppy will be?
With Alaskan klee kai, it’s luck of the draw! All three sizes of AKK can appear in the same liter, no matter what the size of the parent dogs. Your best bet, if you’re looking for a specific size of AKK, is to go to a good breeder. Most breeders develop a knack for determining what size a puppy will grow up to be, although they won’t give you any guarantees as far as size is concerned. When I got my Fenrir, his breeder estimated that he would grow to be a large miniature. That’s exactly what he is!
Of course, another option is to try to find an adult AKK for adoption. Once in awhile breeders will have adult dogs that need new homes, and Alaskan klee kai do sometimes turn up in rescues. By adopting an already full grown, adult dog, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting size wise.
Comment below! Did you know that Alaskan klee kai come in three (four if you count oversized dogs) sizes? If you have an AKK, what size dog(s) do you have?