2016 LCC Specialty Show

The Leonberger Club of Canada

Invites you to our 2016 Specialty Show to be held on Sunday June 5th, 2016 in conjunction with the Erie Shores, All-breed dog shows, in Caledonia Ontario – a beautiful outdoor show on the shores of the Grand River.

The weekend will feature 2 Leonberger Specialty Shows with both the Leonberger Club of Canada and the Leonberger Club of Ontario each holding their annual event. In addition, there will be 4 All-breed conformation shows – altogether, you will have 6 opportunities to earn points on your Leonberger. You could earn your Canadian Championship in just one weekend!

William (Bill) Shelton has been approved as the judges for our Specialty event. From Pomona, California, Bill has been involved in the sport of purebred dogs since childhood. He has owned, bred, and shown multiple Best in Show and specialty-winning dogs in several breeds.

His Coventry Kennel was elected “2012 Breeder of the Year” by the five-decade tradition of the DR Winkie awards.

Mr. Shelton writes on a wide range of dog-related topics for several publications and has lectured on canine anatomy at AKC Judges Institutes.

His judging career has taken him to many fascinating places around the world. He says his “greatest pleasure is adjudicating national specialties, and events like the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship.”

The Leonberger Club of Canada will be offering sweepstakes for veterans and puppies. In addition, there will be raffle items, trophies and prizes.

Our American friends really get value for their dollar as a result of the terrific exchange rate. Mark your calendars for June 3 – 6, 2016 and book you accommodation. Check www.erieshoreskennelclub.net for a list.

To sponsor trophies for the Specialty event or make a donation to the trophy fund, please contact Sonya Birch at sonya.leolady@yahoo.ca

Check back regularly for news and updates

2016 Barn Hunt

Barn hunt

 This is an introductory Workshop to the new sport of Barn Hunt. Your dog will start to learn what the quarry smells like, work on climbing the straw bales and tunneling skills. We will focus on marking the quarry and handling techniques. All this helps prepare you for your first test, by explaining procedures and the Barn hunt rules.

Training opportunities for the Barn hunt beginner to experience dogs working to complete their RATN title.

 In a small group, you will be lead step by step from the concept of recognizing the rat in the tube to finding the hidden rat tube in the straw bails. Your dog can discover his natural hunting instincts in a safe and constructive way.

Mark your calendar for June 25 & 26, 2016 closing date is June 15, 2016. This event will be held at 12900 Winston Church Blvd., Terra Cotta, Ontario

For more information and to register contact Sonya Birch Sonya.leolady@yahoo.ca

 

2016 Leonberger Specialty Show

The Leonberger Club of Canada

Invites you to our 2016 Specialty Show to be held on Sunday June 5th, 2016 in conjunction with the Erie Shores, All-breed dog shows, in Caledonia Ontario – a beautiful outdoor show on the shores of the Grand River.

The weekend will feature 2 Leonberger Specialty Shows with both the Leonberger Club of Canada and the Leonberger Club of Ontario each holding their annual event. In addition, there will be 4 All-breed conformation shows – altogether, you will have 6 opportunities to earn points on your Leonberger. You could earn your Canadian Championship in just one weekend!

William (Bill) Shelton has been approved as the judges for our Specialty event. From Pomona, California, Bill has been involved in the sport of purebred dogs since childhood. He has owned, bred, and shown multiple Best in Show and specialty-winning dogs in several breeds.

His Coventry Kennel was elected “2012 Breeder of the Year” by the five-decade tradition of the DR Winkie awards.

Mr. Shelton writes on a wide range of dog-related topics for several publications and has lectured on canine anatomy at AKC Judges Institutes.

His judging career has taken him to many fascinating places around the world. He says his “greatest pleasure is adjudicating national specialties, and events like the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship.”

The Leonberger Club of Canada will be offering sweepstakes for veterans and puppies. In addition, there will be raffle items, trophies and prizes.

Our American friends really get value for their dollar as a result of the terrific exchange rate. Mark your calendars for June 3 – 6, 2016 and book you accommodation. Check www.erieshoreskennelclub.net for a list.

To sponsor trophies for the Specialty event or make a donation to the trophy fund, please contact Sonya Birch at sonya.leolady@yahoo.ca.

Check back regularly for news and updates.

Starting over as a breeder

By Cindy,

Sometimes, as a Leonberger kennel owner, events happen that are not “on the books” or advertised. Some good and some not so good. Yes, it’s easy to tell everyone when you have a litter planned and then when it arrives, or when a new puppy comes from an outside source – you know – all the happy stuff! But sometimes, things happen that you do not plan for. And sometimes, you need to start all over again – from scratch.

Me – at our place on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast with Sunna (on left), Lexi (on right) and Summer (in the rear). Photo by Ulrike Koleszar

Cindy and hounds_4

This past year has been one of those years for us. We lost 2 of our breeding girls in the space of a few months. Pica ‘left’ us last fall and then Summer we had to let ‘go’ just a few weeks ago. Here’s Pica on left……… and Summer on right. This second shot was taken a few weeks before she died.

Photo by Ulrike.

Summer down in grass_4

Summer and Cello in the fall of 2013

 

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Summer had a breeding planned for the past fall/winter and all was ready in preparation for her last litter. But then she had an old, ( unknown to us) injury reoccur on her elbow. Instead of healing, it had manifested into a tumour. Over the weeks it got worse and even with pain med’s, we were unable to make her comfortable. So it was time……Then all of a sudden we were left with only one dog in the house, after years of breeding and raising leos. It was very strange indeed. That one dog is Cello – now only 7 months old and totally confused as to where her buddies went. Here is Cello…..

Cello 16 weeks

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Our shared/co-owned leo Lexi, lives down the road and she is wonderful, but we had no other dog living at home here full time to share life with Cello.

Here is Lexi at one year old. She is co-owned by Ulrike Koleszar and myself.

IMGLexihead

So begun the search for a new puppy – not so much for me, but for Cello. Long story short, – after hours and hours of re-searching, phone calls, checking and re-checking sources, photographs and pedigrees, I had to let go. All the breedings that I was interested in, were many months away. Such a long time to wait. So wait we did……… Then from left field, on very short notice from Poland – comes “Kiwi”.

Kiwi headfront

Kiwi came to us, not from all my hard work, but because my great Leonberger breeder friends were looking out for me. A few of them especially, helped me look at loads of planned breedings and litters and dogs from all over the world. This little girl came to us from a place we weren’t looking (of course) and she is a delight. Truly a gift  – Of course now she & Cello are inseparable and play away most of the day in sweet oblivion.

So yes, now we have very little left from the blood lines we had only a few short years ago, with the exception of a couple of excellent intact males here and there across the continent. This is just the way it turned out. I hope to see one or 2 of those beautiful boys father their own litters one day. This is something else we have no control over. Life is a funny mixed bag of sweet and sour but it’s all what we make of it though. Even though the last year has been very tough for us, we still choose to focus on the good things in life and know we are blessed in spite of our seemingly, & at times sad, circumstances.

So I say again – Cheers y’all, Life is still good!!  Cindy

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LCC Specialty Show June 7, 2015

Please come and join us for Canada’s Leonberger National Specialty Show

June 7th, 2015

Held in conjunction with the Erie Shores Kennel Club All Breed Shows (June 5th-June 8th) at Caledonia Fairgrounds (outdoors)

 in beautiful Caledonia, Ontario, Canada (90 minutes west of Toronto)

 Featuring

1 x National Specialty Show; 1 x Regional Specialty Show; 4 x All Breed Conformation Shows;

All Breed Puppy and Veteran Sweepstakes; 6 x All Breed Obedience and Rally Obedience Trials

 Judging Panel for National Specialty Show

Specialty Conformation Classes – Johan Becerra-Hernandez from Puerto Rico

Sweepstakes (Puppies and Veterans) – Jarka Smrhova from the Czech Republic

Sieger Show (European judging) – Jarka Smrhova from the Czech Republic

 

Mark your calendar and join us for a wonderful weekend of lovely Leonbergers and friends, old and new 

For more information contact:

June Ward, Specialty Chair (519)-855-6326, june015@sympatico.ca

www.leonbergerclubofcanada.com

www.erieshoreskennelclub.net

www.entryline.com

Orono Booster June 10, 2012

LCC Booster – Ontario County Kennel Club Dog Show, Orono

– June 10, 2012

What a day we had!  This year’s booster brought out a total entry of 13 dogs and many more came out to cheer on the competitors.  Here are the results:

Dogs:

6-9 Month Puppy – Forrest  – Heronviews Hercules – Owner Anna Marie Kristensen

Senior Puppy – Higgins  – CR Higgins Hijacked My Heart – Owner  Andrea and Don

Canadian Bred – Dutch   – Heronviews Gone Country – Owner Gord Rutledge

Open Dog – Bastii   – Bastian Bane Member of the Leo Gang – Owner Linda Engstrom

Winners Dog – Dutch  – Heronviews Gone Country

 

Bitches:

6-9 Month Puppy – Lola – Heronviews Halloween Dancer – Raine Wannitt and Lori Dzingala

Open Female – Hannah – Heronviews Go Go Dancer – Iivi Silvaste

Winners Bitch – Hannah – Heronviews Go Go Dancer

 

Best of Winners – Dutch –  Heronviews Gone Country

Best Puppy – Forrest – Heronviews Hercules

Best of Opposite  – Emma – Heronviews Exotic Dancer – Lori Dzingala

Best of Breed – Lear – GoldnPheonix Change of Pace – Kim and Ray Kehoe

To end the day, Lear also took Working Dogs Group 4th place!!!

LEOPALOOZA 2011 – Leonberger Fun Day

When: SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18TH

Starts at 11:00am

Where: Guelph Lake Conservation Area

Ball Diamond Area on the Island

7743 Conservation Road, Guelph, ON

Park Admission $5.25/adult, $2.75/child (6 to 14yrs)

Children 5 and under free

Camping and swimming available

Please bring your own folding chairs and shade canopy

Buffet Potluck Lunch

Please call to confirm food choices and RSVP to June Ward

Silent Auction and raffle to be held, with a portion of funds raised going to Leo Health Research

Please be sure to bring some special items for the auction.

All are welcome.  Should be a fantastic time!

For the flyer click here.

LCC Show Booster October 30, 2010

The Leonberger Club of Canada will be holding a one day Booster on Saturday October 30, 2010. This will be held in conjunction with the Lower Mainland Dog Fanciers of BC show (AKA “TRADEX”) under the rules of the Canadian Kennel Club. This is a three day all breed conformation show, held at the Tradex building in Abbotsford, BC (a stones throw from the US border) with world renowned judges, including Obedience Trials, Rally Trials and The Peace Arch Working and Herding Trial on Thursday ~ October 28, 2010.

We are planning a group dinner (location and time TBA) after the show on Saturday so we hope that you will be able to join us and make a fun weekend of it. If you think you will be able to make it, please email me so we can make appropriate arrangements for the group dinner.

For more information on the show contact Tobi Smith – flyinlions@shaw.ca

TO BE HELD IN CONJUNCTION WITH LOWER MAINLAND DOG FANCIERS of BC “TRADEX” OCTOBER 28—31, 2010

JUDGE: PAUL STANTON “SWEEDEN”

ROSETTES & ADDITIONAL PRIZES WILL BE AWARDED TO

BEST OF BREED

BEST OF OPPOSITE SEX

BEST OF WINNERS

WINNERS MALE

WINNERS FEMALE

BEST PUPPY IN BREED

HIGHEST QUALIFYING SCORE OBEDIENCE

HIGHEST QUALIFYING SCORE RALLY-O

ALL ENTRIES WILL RECEIVE A RING FAVOR!!

PLEASE JOIN US FOR FOUR UNIQUE DAYS OF CONFORMATION, OBEDIENCE AND RALLY-O TRIALS AT CANADA’S LARGEST DOG SHOW.  EVERYONE IS WELCOME!

Upcoming events sponsored by the Leonberger Club of Ontario

The Leonberger Club of Ontario presents a special, in depth seminar on…

“The Leonberger”

Presented by Mary Decher

When: Sunday October 24, 2010

Mary Decher has been involved in the breed since 1982 when she and her family saw their first Leonberger while living in Germany. They returned home to America shortly afterwards with a female puppy who literally changed their lives. Eventually, they located several other Leo owners, called a meeting in 1985 in Denver, and formed an Independent Leonberger Club that has just celebrated its 25th year. Through the years Mary has been, and still is, an active member, breeder / stud owner, officer, and past president of the club, as well as an LCA judge. She has participated in several German judging clinics looking at the Leonberger. Her most recent accomplishment was the development and publication of “The Leonberger: An Illustrated Breed Standard.”

For more information on this exciting seminar and to register for the seminar click here.

New Canadian Leonbergers LPN1 genetic test results page

We have added a page to report on Canadian Leonberger LPN1 genetic test results.  For more information please click here.

Stella’s Favorite Sleeping Spot!

By Fran

Well like many Leos Stella LOVES to climb up on things.  She loves to get to the highest spot so that she can oversee what is happening around her!  She will do this outside in the yard where she climbs up on a huge rock that overlooks the yard.  She loves to hang out up there!  The younger dogs will run around and she will perch herself up on the rock to keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t get themselves into any trouble!

But really, Stella’s most favorite sleeping spot is up on our kitchen table!  She loves to climb up there to oversee what is going on!  Yes I know the kitchen table is no place for a dog to sleep – but she really does love it!  Leos are funny dogs and they truly like to do what they like to do!

Funny thing, I have heard of other Leos too that venture up on the kitchen table, some to look for scraps of food, some to just see what is up there, and some, like Stella, who what to take a little nap up high off the floor where they have the best view in the house!  Give her a doggie bed on the floor and she walks away!  Now the couch is another option too!  Leos love to be Leos and they are great at being just that!

Do they SHED?

By Fran

I always get the question ‘do they shed?’ So thought it might be nice to show that YES they do shed especially when they ‘blow their coats’. No other breed is quite as good as a Leo when it comes to ‘blowing their coats’.  Sometimes they look like they have almost NO hair at all after it all comes out all over your house!  Like the story goes a picture is worth a thousand words so here are a few pictures of our Stella.  She is a four year old female Leo who has a beautiful medium length coat.  Well these pictures are of ONE brushing!  Just ONE!  So you can see Leos do shed!  Stella is very happy in her summer attire.  It is hot outside so she is much more comfortable with all that Leo undercoat gone.  The best way to get the undercoat out is to give them a nice bath with quality dog shampoo and then dry the coat with a blow dryer.  That loosens up all the fur and you can rake it out more easily.  Leos like to be brushed so that never is a problem. They like the attention:-).  Happy brushing!

 

Living with Leos!

By Lori

For me, I think Leonbergers are the perfect dog!  Leonbergers are fun, loving, and affectionate dogs.  They have a sense of humor and sometimes what they think is funny is not so funny to us though. If you like a dog who loves life, their family, and any sort of water or mud they can find, then maybe a Leo might suit you too.

Leonbergers love their people. They want to be wherever you are at all times.  Leaving the house and not taking your Leo with you will get you the saddest look that will make you feel guilty every time.  For this reason, even though a Leonberger is a big hairy dog, they are not suited for living outside. They just want to be with their people too much. They do much better living in the middle of the family whether it is just you and your Leo, or a busy family with lots of children and chaos.   When people come to my farm I tell them it is easy to find me, just look for the dogs, they will always be where I am.

Leonbergers shed. I am asked many times if they shed and yes they do, just look at the coats on these dogs.  The shedding is not too bad on a daily basis, but when they blow their coat, look out, the dust bunnies turn into dust puppies and we have litters of them rolling around! When we had carpeting, I used to think I had a new dog when one would get up and leave it’s silhouette on the ground.  I myself prefer hair as opposed to drool, which is another reason the Leos are perfect for me, they don’t drool.  Like all dogs, they can drool over wanting some yummy tidbit you are thinking of not sharing, it is the drool that is like glue that I dislike. Scraping drool off of walls is not for me, but sweeping up some dog hair no big deal.  Besides, all the birds on my farm make lovely soft nests for their babies from my Leo’s fur that I put outside.

Water!!  Yes, it can be everywhere. Leo puppies are adorable, but give them a water dish and they try and turn it into a swimming pool. Puddles they make and always when they have dirty feet.  Muddy wet Leo feet can turn a lovely clean floor into a work of art with all their paw prints.  Toilets are also great play toys for pups.  I have been sitting on the couch not paying attention to where a puppy is until it is to late. I hear splash and know they are playing in the toilet.  I had two same age pups and went upstairs to find the two of them running around my bathroom in inch deep water from splashing it out of the toilet.  They were having so much fun and were so pleased with themselves.

A small dog might chew up a shoe or two, a Leo might chew up a door frame, carpet, or whatever else strikes their fancy.  They have even been known to open closet doors and destroy whatever is inside.  I got that call from one of my puppy owners, I am including the pictures, her boy took it upon himself to open the sliding closet door and empty and destroy anything and everything that was inside.  So, glad she loves him.  I did offer to take him back, but she kept him anyway.  Leos are big and that means they can reach things others dogs cant.  They are also fairly easy to train, thank goodness.

Leonbergers are big powerful dogs and do need training.  People meet my dogs and ask me if they are always this calm  Any dog, small or large will not be a great companion if it does not have basic obedience.  First of all, you must start with a puppy with a good temperament.  A typical Leo temperament is an easy going dog that wants to please you.  A Leo is not meant to be shy or aggressive.  They are not typically a hyper dog either.  Leos do go through an adolescent stage, and as an owner, it is up to us to train them to behave in public and around other animals.   They do not do well with heavy handed training, if I raise my voice to one, the others also get upset hoping they are not in trouble. So, heavy handed training does not work with Leonbergers.

What can you do with a Leonberger?  Anything you want! They are great at water rescue, carting, obedience and agility (but not with the gusto other breeds do it with), and therapy (I think this is their main calling).  If you go into anything with your Leo, do it with an open mind and a sense of humor, because you will need it.  You could be in an obedience ring with your Leo, and they see someone they know or an interesting kid, they might just leave and decide to go and visit.  

So, if you think owning a smart dog, with a sense of humor, that loves to play in water, rolls around in the mud, come into the house and shares all this with you is wonderful, then a Leo might be the perfect dog for you too.

Boating and on the Farm

By Lori

We go boating with our Leos and they sleep on the boat as well. We have slept on our boat with 5 Leonbergers at the same time. Ok, we are very crowded, but they are happy even if t0hey are a little squished together. Why are they so happy? Because they are with us. They don’t try and jump off the boat, are not scared of noises, and love going through the locks in the Trent/Severn water canal system. They know there is always the reward of swimming afterwards.Bogie, one of our males, knew how to open the camper top zipper on the boat and was leaving during the night to check out the marina. I would wake up in the morning and wonder how the zipper was opened. Bogie would be innocently sleeping soundly. I did hear him one night though, I heard the zipper open and him trotting off. I got up and called out to him and he sheepishly came back on board. Ya, just upset he was caught!! So, needless to say, we had to secure the zippers. Bogie could also open just about any door and would let all the other dogs out. He would never close it though, particularly in the middle of winter, not fun to come home with a family room full of snow and freezing temperatures. We had to get special locks on our patio doors as well, they were no challenge to unlock!! Smart, smart dogs. 

We live on a farm and we raise other animals. Leo’s can learn and adapt to live and get along with any animal. One of the animals we raise are Alpacas. Alpacas are known to be afraid of dogs. Well, that changed and I guess the Leos won them over. My Alpacas will even lay down beside a Leo without fear. 

My Leo’s meet every Alpaca born here within an hour of it being born. They sniff it and lick it, the moms allow this, I find that amazing. We also have donkeys and donkeys do not like dogs. Well, they like mine. They do not chase them, ok they do in fun at times, that’s because the donkeys and dogs actually play together. Even my ducks will be seen laying down by the dogs. They are just big gentle oafs.

Rescue Leonbergers Available in Canada

For more information on Leonbergers in Canada that are in need of adoption or a foster home please visit the Leo Rescue Canada at www.LeoRescueCanada.com or contact via email info@LeoRescueCanada.com.


Leopalooza

September 12th | Leopalooza – 2010

This Ontario annual fun day is a great way to share the day with your Leo. To catch up with old friends and to make new friends.  We hope that everyone will come out and enjoy the day!  For directions and more information see the Leopalooza flyer!

Should be lots of fun!

Leonberger Club of Canada Booster

June 13th | Leonberger Club of Canada Booster – 2010

Sunday June 13th The Leonberger Club of Canada held a booster At the Ontario Kennel Club Dog show held in Orono, Ontario. Everyone had a fantastic time.

There were 12 Leos entered in the show and everyone had a fantastic time. The dogs were all well behaved and everyone did a great job in the ring.

Congratulations to the winners!

Winners Dog: Accolade of Sterlingden (Laddie) , owners Beverly Waites and David Ludwick

Best of Winners and Winners Bitch: Heronview’s Exotic Dancer (Emma), owner Lori Dzingala

Best Puppy: Ludwick’s Belle Von Drea (Belle), owners Beverly Waites and David Ludwick

Best of Opposite (below): Heronview’s Exotic Dancer (Emma), owner Lori Dzingala

Best of Breed (below): CH GoldnPheonix Hit the Road CGN (Darcy), owners Janet Hanson and Alex Klebnikoff

A prize and ribbon was offered for Best of Breed, Best of Opposite, Best Puppy in Breed, Best of Winners, Winners Dog and Winners Bitch.

Ms. Nells does Agility!!!!

By Heather
At almost age 6 Ms. Nells decided to conquer new feats. A lot of her friends are agility and sport dogs! Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, and many mixes and rescues. Nells and I thought we would give agility a try just for fun! Another opportunity to bond together and socialize.
This is Ms. Nells and her tunnel success!!! I am so proud of her and we have so much fun together! I love how versatile our Leos are!

Tango & the Swan

By Nancy

About 8 years ago I wanted a dog. Not just any dog, I had my heart set on a Newf. When I was growing up one lived in my neighborhood and I had fallen in love. Now that I was older, I decided that I would go to a couple of dog shows to see if I thought that breed was still for me. At the show I saw a Leonberger for the first time. They looked magnificent, but what type of dog (personality, demeanor, health etc) were they. After some research I decided this was the breed for me. About a year later my not so little furball arrived.

This was my first dog. I went through all the new owner excitement and traumas. Tango loved to eat anything wooden. My kitchen chairs to this day have his teeth marks. Baseboards have the same marks. My garden did not survive; bushes were torn apart and ripped up by the roots. He outgrew that stage – thankfully I thought. Over the years Tango has developed into a wonderful dog (my opinion). He no longer is interested in gardening or sticks or anything else wooden. He has discovered something wonderful – Swans.

I walk Tango down by a beach every day. Our first experience with swans went like this. We were walking along the beach with a friend who has a Newf named Piper. This was in the dead of winter; the shoreline was frozen but only extending out about 15 feet. Around the same time both dogs noticed swans swimming beyond the ice. They took off down to the shore. My friend and I at first were amused, but when they did not come back when called (they both did turn their heads and acknowledge us), then proceeded to launch themselves off the ice into the water and swim after those strange white things. I can only imagine what was going through the swans minds – what the heck are these creatures doing, coming after us in icy waters. Thankfully Tango and Piper gave up. They came back to shore only to find they could not jump up onto the ice, they were either too water logged and tired or just didn’t care if they came out of the water. My friend and I helped them out, much to the amusement of the onlookers. That first experience was three years ago. Tango is now 7 years old. We still walk with Piper, but now she just stands on shore and barks at the swans (smart girl), Tango still goes for them winter, spring, summer and fall. 

Genetic Testing for Inherited Polyneuropathy in Leonbergers Now Available

Genetic Testing for Inherited Polyneuropathy in Leonbergers Now Available

Sample submission information below

Leonbergers may suffer from a hereditary neurological disease, which has frequently been termed “inherited polyneuropathy (IPN)” or “Leonberger polyneuropathy (LPN)” by veterinarians and breeders. Affected dogs suffer from slowly worsening exercise intolerance and may develop gait abnormalities, such as an exaggerated hitched step, especially in the hind limbs. There is often wasting of the hind limb muscles as well.  Additionally, these dogs may have noisy breathing, a change in their bark, or even difficulty breathing due to involvement of the larynx and laryngeal folds in the throat. Eventually the disease may progress to the point where the dog can no longer support its own weight.

IPN can manifest in a variety of ways, some very mild and some very severe.  Mild IPN can affect dogs that are older and have relatively little impact on the quality of life of the dog.  Some older dogs might tire more easily or breath a little deeper but have no serious symptoms.  However, the early onset IPN is known to cause severe symptoms and can cause significant difficulty in the dog. Genetic research carried out at the University of Minnesota, the University of Bern, and the University of California San Diego, indicates that polyneuropathy is likely a group of several genetically distinct, but clinically similar diseases. Researchers have mapped two major genetic risk loci and identified the causative mutation in one of these loci that we now term LPN1.

Dogs being homozygous mutant (having two copies of the mutation gene) for this mutation will typically develop neuropathy before they reach 3 years of age. At this time researchers do not know whether dogs heterozygous for this mutation (carriers of one copy of the mutation gene) might also develop mild clinical signs late in life, but they will most likely not develop severe disease.

The identified mutation is responsible for approximately one third of the cases of polyneuropathy in Leonbergers. The other two thirds of cases are apparently caused by different genetic mutations.  However, the other two thirds of cases are typically those that manifest in dogs over three years of age with milder symptoms.

The University of Minnesota and the University of Bern will offer genetic testing for the identified LPN1 mutation starting July 1st, 2010. At this time we recommend that all breeding dogs should be tested. Researchers also recommend avoiding breeding homozygous mutant dogs as well as matings that could produce homozygous mutant dogs. Researchers do not recommend excluding heterozygous mutant dogs from breeding as this would significantly constrict the gene pool of the Leonberger population and might lead to an increase in the other forms of disease. However, dogs heterozygous for the LPN1 mutation should only be mated to tested dogs which are free of the mutation. This will ensure that no homozygous mutant offspring affected with the severe form of the disease will be born.  All dogs that are going to be bred should be tested for LPN1 and carefully bred to ensure that the offspring will not produce this one form of neuropathy.

At this time the implementation of genetic testing cannot completely eliminate polyneuropathy from the Leonberger population. This LPN1 test diagnoses only one of possibly several genetic risk factors. Thus, it is still possible that affected offspring with a different genetic form of polyneuropathy will result even from a mating of two dogs that both have been tested free for this mutation.  However, the current LPN1 test can reliably eliminate one severe early-onset form of disease and significantly reduce the overall frequency of neurological disease in Leonbergers.

Instructions for ordering the LPN1 test:

North America.  Genetic testing will be performed at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.  The preferred sample is 2-3 ml of fresh blood collected in EDTA tubes.

Further information on sample submission, as well as the required submission forms is available at: http://www.cvm.umn.edu/vdl/ourservices/canineneuromuscular/home.html

The samples, packaged in a padded, leak-proof container, accompanied by a submission form for each dog, should be sent by regular mail, without cooling, to the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory:

Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Minnesota
1333 Gortner Avenue
St Paul, MN  55108-1098
Phone: (612) 625-8787 or (800) 624-8787
Website: www.vdl.umn.edu
LPN-specific questions email: lpninfo@umn.edu

The price per test is $85 and the expected turnaround time is 3 – 4 weeks.

We encourage all breeders to test their breeding stock prior to the mating, which should completely eliminate one form of the early onset LPN1 from our wonderful Leonbergers.  Great news and congratulations to the researchers for their dedication and commitment to this project!  Hopefully further genetic testing for the other forms of LPN will be available soon.

Policies

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