Pituitary dwarfism in the German shepherd dog is an autosomal recessive inherited abnormality. We tested the hypothesis that a variant of the LIM homeodomain gene LHX4 is responsible for the dwarfism phenotype. To this end, we isolated Bacterial Artificial Chromosome clones for the canine LHX4 gene. Southern blotting experiments showed that the LHX4 gene is a single copy gene in the canine genome. A complex CA-repeat was isolated from the BAC clones and was found to be polymorphic in German shepherd dogs. Genotyping 5 litters in which the dwarfism was segregating showed disconcordance between the inheritance of the dwarfism phenotype and the DNA marker. It is concluded that the LHX4 gene does not play a primary role in the pituitary dwarfism in the German shepherd dogs.