You will often hear people say that mutts are healthier than purebred dogs. To some extent this is true because of bad breeding (also known as inbreeding); the result is purebred dog breeds have become plagued by genetic defects.
Hip dysplasia in German Shepards is a good example. Good breeders of German Shepards are working towards eliminating that defect from their bloodlines. The problem is most people who just want a German Shepard for a pet don't want to spent 2k or more on one. So it's the backyard breeders who either don't know any better or don't care that sell most people their pet German Shepards.
Alaskan Klee kai are no different. By health screening and continuing to health screen our breedings dogs, we are trying to much sure each generation is healthier than the last. In the past few month it has come to light that there are several operations that are breeding AKK 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 AKK. They are not health screening the AKK to make sure it doesn't carry a genetic defect and then breed it to another dog that hasn't been screened for genetic defects. Some of these people are saying they have has 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 is affected by factor VII? Do they even know what factor VII is? Have they run liver panels and full cbc? I have yet to meet 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 AKK? 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:
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 - Aa 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.
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.