New Owner’s Glossary

If you are interested in purchasing a Leonberger puppy to add to your family, you must do your homework, take your time to do your research and don’t rush the process.

This glossary is to help potential puppy buyers become more familiar with some of the terms and health issues that you should be able to discuss when reaching out to breeders. This is by no means a definitive list of all potential health issues that can affect Leonbergers. If you are interested in purchasing a Leonberger puppy to add to your family, you must do your homework, take your time to do your research and don’t rush the process. Know what to ask and what the answers should be. Be informed, be assertive in your discussions with breeders and most of all, be committed to providing a good home to your new puppy.

AKC Limited Registration

Limited Registration means that the dog is registered but no litters produced by that dog are eligible for registration.

Chapter 3, Section 4A of the AKC’s Rules Applying to Registration and Discipline states the following:

“Limited Registration may be requested for a dog when application for individual registration of the dog is submitted, provided the application, together with a request for such limitation, is filed by the owner(s) of the litter at birth. No offspring of a dog for which Limited Registration has been granted is eligible for registration. Each registration certificate for such dog shall carry notice of the limitation, and the limitation shall continue, regardless of any change of ownership, unless and until the owner(s) of the litter at birth shall apply to AKC for removal of the limitation.”


Canine Health Information Center Provides a source of health information for owners, breeders, and scientists that will assist in breeding healthy dogs.

In order to receive a CHIC number Leos must complete all of the health tests required by the LCA and make sure the information has been submitted to the OFA. Information on most tests generate automatically to CHIC. Currently, the club requires the following tests: Hip Conformation (either OFA or Penn Hip) with an OFA score of, excellent, good or fair or a Penn Hip score between .00 and .47 which the LCA considers to be “breedable”. Additional tests required are, elbow conformation, eye evaluation (CERF or OFA), LPN1, LPN2, and LEMP status and OFA Thyroid. At this time, an OFA heart evaluation is recommended, but not required.

Please keep in mind that being assigned a CHIC number is only indicative of the dog completing all of the required health tests and does NOT indicate passing scores. Scores (passing/failing) are displayed on the CHIC database and can easily be found by entering the dog’s CHIC number.

Leonberger University

The LCA’s newest educational program known as Leonberger University. Online interactive home-study courses and activities along with hands-on seminars were developed for the continuing education and enrichment of anyone with the desire to learn more about the breed. Whether you are involved in breeding, judging, conformation, therapy work, a new Leonberger family, or simply enjoy your Leo as a loving companion there are classes of interest at Leonberger University. Their “Leonberger Owner’s Guide” is an invaluable addition to your library, especially for first time Leonberger owners. http://www.leonberger-u-org/

Leonberger Health Foundation

(LHF) The Leonberger Health Foundation was formed with the vision to improve the quality of life, health and longevity in our Leonberger companions. Their mission is to raise money to fund canine research that will improve the health of the Leonberger dog through increased knowledge and understanding of canine diseases.

Member Practices

(MP’s) A document that represents our club’s code of ethics that ALL members agree to abide by when joining the LCA. The MP’s are designed to establish a baseline standard for owning and breeding Leonbergers responsibly. The MP’s consist of five sections: Required Breeding Practices, Recommended Breeding Practices, Sales, Ethics and Compliance, which can be found here: Leonberger Club of America Member Practices

Orthopedic Foundation for Animals

(OFA) The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals promotes the health and welfare of companion animals through a reduction in the incidence of genetic disease through health screening

Penn Hip

Incorporates an alternative method for evaluating the integrity of the canine hip. It is accurate in puppies as young as 16 weeks of age, and has great potential to lower the frequency of canine hip dysplasia when used as a selection criterion prior to breeding. The LCA considers results between .00-.47 as breedable.

Required Health Tests for LCA Member’s Breeding Dogs

Required Health Tests for LCA Member’s Breeding Dogs

  • OFA hips – must be a passing score (fair, good, excellent) or Penn Hip – must be between .00-.47
  • OFA elbows
  • CERF or OFA eye exam
  • OFA thyroid
  • LPN1 mutation (from Univ. of Minn. or Univ. of Bern)

Recommended Health Test for LCA Member’s Breeding Dogs

  • OFA cardiac

Other Recommendations for LCA Member’s Breeding Dogs

  • CGC (Canine Good Citizen)
  • DNA repository (Participation in the OFA/Chic DNA Repository for future research)

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