Breeding Rules New Zeland

New Zeland Leonberger Club



Before breeding it must be ascertained that both sire and dam have acceptable and current heath test scores.


  1. PennHIP (for hip-dysplasia) . . . . . . . . . . .  . The PennHIP test measures joint laxity and can be done at 6 months of age. There is no pass or fail however the results are fairly explanatory and come with a recommendation. The median will always move but we should aim at keeping in the higher percentile (i.e. above the median) and take heed of the recommendations given regards breeding.
  1. If using the AVA hip dysplasia scoring scheme the combined total score of both parents should not exceed 24. The score on any individual hip joint must not exceed 8.
  1. NZVA Elbow (for dysplasia)    This test can be done at 12 months of age. Under the NZVA elbow dysplasia scheme it is desirable to have an overall CLEAR score (this is equivalent to zero:zero in the old scoring system). We suggest a BL is satisfactory. Score 1 we suggest use with care. Score 2 or 3 are definitely NOT acceptable for breeding.
  1. Clear Eye Certification . . . . . . . . . . Both Sire and Dam should be tested.Consider this as part of a breeding warrant of fitness. The optimum result is ‘CLEAR’. Your Ophthalmologist will also indicate if breeding is recommended.Remember that entropion and ectropion whilst best avoided if possible are NOT life threatening.
  1.   Polyneuropathy in Leonbergers is a crippling and fatal disease and the ILU has urged us to make this test mandatory. Testing for this disease enables us to contribute positively to the future of this wonderful breed.     It is possible to completely eliminate LPN in the Leonberger population in a very short period of time if we all strive to use breeding stock with N/N results. To continue breeding with a LPN carrier (D/N) is not a choice we would recommend.


 LPN 1        N/N – N/N   Be aware there are still some ‘unknowns’ regards PN1

D/N – use ONLY with N/N

Preferentially the N/N pups should be kept for future breeding.

(note: university now suggests that it’s not necessary to limit this combination for 1 generation only.)

D/N – D/N     NEVER use.


N/N – N/N

D/N – N/N    NEVER use


N/N result is preferred

D/N – use ONLY with N/N.    Preferentially N/N pups should be kept for future breeding.

D/N – D/N –  NEVER use.


  • Only dogs and bitches believed to be mentally stable should be bred from. Neither, timid, nervous or aggressiveness are considered acceptable traits for breeding stock.



  • Age must be considered when breeding. Due to skeletal growth and development we recommend Bitches not be mated until 24 months of age and not to be bred from more frequently than once a year. Bitches over the age of 7 years should not be bred from.
  • Males however can be used once all health tests are acceptable.

The inbreeding co-efficient (COI) should be considered when planning a litter.  It is not the only consideration of course but a low COI score is highly recommended. We therefore suggest you should aim for a 10 generation COI below 10% and be wary of choosing anything over 20%.

  • International dogs and bitches accepted for breeding in their own country are accepted for use in NZ, as long as their health tests are of an acceptable score (as above).
  • The colour of the dogs to be bred from must be accepted within the FCI Standards. Known carriers of colour-faults must not be combined.