Canine hypothyroid disease is similar to Hashimoto's disease in humans, which has been shown to be associated with human major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes. We have collected 27 Doberman Pinschers affected with primary hypothyroid disease and compared their MHC class II haplotypes with 129 unaffected Doberman Pinschers. Three dog-leucocyte antigen (DLA) genes, DLA-DRB1, DQA1 and DQB1, were characterized by sequence-based typing and assigned to haplotypes for each dog. One rare haplotype was found at an increased frequency in the affected dogs compared to the unaffected dogs (Odds ratio = 2.43, P < 0.02). This haplotype has only been found in Doberman Pinschers and Labradors to date.