Alaskan Klee Kai Mixes/Cross Breeds
What is wrong with buying an Alaskan Klee Kai mix? Weren't Alaskan Klee Kai created by mixing other dogs breeds?
You will often hear people say that mutts are healthier than purebred dogs. To some extent this is true because of inbreeding, resulting in purebred dogs plagued by genetic defects. The mixed breed dogs have more genetic diversity which can lower the chances of genetic issues, but it also means you know nothing about what other unwanted traits might show up as well. That's also assuming that the puppy got the best traits or genes from both parents and none of the bad ones. Any breeder can tell you that is rarely the case. We only get lucky a small percent of the time.
Hip dysplasia in German Shepherds is a good example. Responsible breeders of German Shepherds are working towards eliminating that defect from their bloodlines. The problem is most people who want a German Shepard for a pet don't want to spent 2k or more to get one from a responsible breeder. So it's the backyard breeders who either don't know any better or don't care that sell most people their German Shepherd pets. So now these people have a purebred dog with hip issues and blame it on the fact that its purebred, although a Shepherd mix could have just as easily had hip issues for the same reason their purebred one does: IRRESPONSIBLE BREEDING.
Alaskan Klee Kai are no different. By health screening and continuing to health screen our breeding dogs, we are trying to ensure each generation is healthier than the last. Recently it has come to light that there are several operations that are breeding Alaskan Klee Kai Mutts. The reason I call them mutts, and not a Klee Kai cross, is this: The people breeding these dogs are not trying to produce a better Alaskan Klee Kai or even a better dog. They are not health screening the Alaskan Klee Kai to make sure it doesn't carry a genetic defect and then are breeding it to another dog that hasn't been screened for genetic defects either.
Some of these people are saying that have had their dogs health tested. Very well, what's their OFA numbers showing they have no issues with their heart, thyroid, knees, or hips? Have they checked to make sure the dog isn't affected by factor VII? Do they even know what Factor VII is? Have they run liver panels and full bloodwork? I have yet to talk to one who has.
Our breed was created by crossing other breeds to create something in particular, a small sized husky. What are these people trying to create? Are they trying to improve the health of the Alaskan Klee Kai? Or improve their temperament so they will be more outgoing? No.
If they were health testing their dogs and had a goal in mind, I would be a hypocrite to condemn them. But that isn't what is being done. These are the most popular mixes and the issues with them besides the above stated lack of health testing:
AKK/Pom Mix – I have a pom as a pet and I absolutely adore him. To me they are one of the most wonderful breeds in existence. However, I would never consider crossing one with an Alaskan Klee Kai. The biggest issue with this is the health problems that poms have. Patella Luxation being one of the foremost and one we also deal with in our AKK. They also have problems with their thyroid which we do too. Then there's the structural conflicts. The pom is built in a way that conflicts with the way an AKK should be built. Then again, the people crossing these two breeds really doesn't care about that do they, they just want to make a cute little fluff ball that will sell for more because it has AKK in it.
Alaskamo – Alaskan Klee Kai and American Eskimo mix. The biggest issue with this is temperament. The American Eskimo dog or Eskie was one of the breeds used to create the Alaskan Klee Kai. It is also where the Klee Kai inherited its temperament issues. Eskies require a great deal of socialization. In the past 5 years we've made such a huge step in improving the temperament of our Klee Kai to be more social and less reserved. To breed an AKK back to an Eskie only undermines all the work that has been done.
AKK/Shiba Mix – Alaskan Klee Kai and Shiba Inu mix. There was a reason this breed was not used in creating the Alaskan Klee Kai and that was temperament. Shiba Inu's are very reserved with strangers, have a very strong prey drive, and tend to be aggressive towards other dogs. It is like an AKK temperament at its worst. My god, why would anyone in their right mind breed these dogs together?
AKK/Wolf – A lap-sized husky was a great concept, so why not a lap-sized wolf? Again temperament. Wolf hybrids are usually created by breeding a wolf to a Siberian Husky or a Malamute. The nicest hybrids I have been around were the Sibe mixes which were more husky than wolf. A Sibe is very out-going by nature where the wolf is anything but. By breeding a Wolf to a Sibe they can produce a hybrid with a better temperament. To breed down the size of the wolf they are breeding it to an Alaskan klee Kai. So now your putting a very shy and aggressive animal with a shy and fearful one. Great Idea! Sadly, I'm sure we will see more such crosses as time goes by. If you really want to own an AKK but don't want to spend 1000+ that AKK puppies go for, why not adopt a rescue or retired breeder. Either one would be happy to find its forever home with you and you won't be encouraging these irresponsible breeders.