JLPP In Rottweilers

Sub-links for this page

The two articles on linked to this page are designed to help people to understand what JLPP is and how it is passed on to subsequent generations. The first link is designed for people who have no or little previous knowledge of the disease. The second link is designed as a more indepth look at the disease and it's behaviour within the gene pool.



JLPP in Rottweilers - What is it and why is it important for Breeding Dogs to be Tested?

In late 2016 Rottweiler Breeders around the world became aware of an inherited disease in Rottweilers called JLPP (Juvenile Laryngeal Paralysis & Polyneuropathy). This disease was far more wide spread than anyone had considered possible. Currently about 1 in 5 Rottweilers carry the JLPP gene - this is true both here and in every country around the world. It is both a local and global problem.


How is it inherited:

JLPP is recessive which means that both parents have to be carriers of the JLPP gene in order to produce an affected puppy. If at least one parent is clear then the breeding will not produce an affected puppy. If one parent is a carrier then the breeding will produce both carrier and clear puppies (but no affected). If both parents are clear then the breeding will produce only clear puppies.


What is being done to prevent this disease:

There is a DNA test available to accurately test for the JLPP gene. Once a dog is tested breeders will then know if their dog is a carrier or not . This means that they will be able to select breeding pairs which will ensure that there are no Affected puppies born.


Why is it important to test breeding dogs:

It is important to test for this disease as it is always fatal to Affected puppies. There is no cure. Symptoms can start to manifest at 10 weeks of age, but, may take longer. Most affected puppies die before 1 year of age. This means that the breeder cannot tell without a DNA test if a puppy is affected before it leaves for it's new home at 8 weeks old.

It is important to stress that it doesn't matter if the parents or their ancestors never had any problems with JLPP. Because this disease is recessive it is impossible to determine if a dog is a carrier or not. ANY non-tested pairing has a possibility of producing JLPP Affected puppies.

We have discovered that this gene has been in Rottweilers for at least 80 years - once rare it is now far more common. This gene can be found in ANY Rottweiler - regardless if they are papered, unpapered or a rescue.

Anyone can get their dog tested and the test isn't hard to do or expensive. Therefore there is no excuse for any breeder not getting their breeding dogs tested or anyone selling or finding homes for puppies to not know if the pups could be affected or not.


What can I do:

Before buying/rescuing a Rottweiler puppy make sure at least one of the parents has been tested JLPP clear or (if their JLPP status is unknown) the pup has been tested. For most people (those not looking to breed) it does not matter if one of the parents is a carrier as long as the other is clear.


Do I need to test:

For most the answer is no. Only breeding dogs need to be tested.However, the test is available to everyone.


I own a Rottweiler and the parents were not tested - what do I do:

If your dog is over 9 months old and doesn't have any symptoms or over 1 year of age then your dog will not develop JLPP as it is only found in very young dogs.

If you have a young pup under the age of 9 months then you can keep an eye out for any developing symptoms.

Those pups most at risk are between 10 weeks and 4 months of age. Again you can just keep an eye out for any symptoms.

If you are still worried then you can have your pup tested.


What are the symptoms:

This disease is a neurological one - basically the pups nervous system is shutting down and the symptoms reflect this.

The first symptom is the inability to bark either properly or at all. This is not usually noticed by most owners. Most owners first notice that their pup is having trouble walking properly with it's back legs. Eventually the pup will lose the ability to use their back legs entirely. By this stage the pup will be losing the ability to move their front legs properly. Most pups are euthanized at this point. If the pup is not euthanized then their nervous system will continue to shut down until the pup eventually dies a horrible death.

This disease is not quick and is not curable. It takes months for it to run it's course, however, most pups die before their 1st birthday.


If you have any questions about this disease feel free to ask.

Anne-Maree O'Grady
Noblesaga Rottweilers