In this study, polymorphism in the bovine LEPR gene exon 4 was detected by PCR-SSCP and DNA sequencing methods in 653 individuals from five Chinese cattle breeds. Two haplotypes (M and N), three observed genotypes (MM, MN, and NN), and five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (NC_007301:g.26767T>C, NC_007301:g.26805C>T, NC_007301:g.27050A>G, NC_007301:g.27063G>A, NC_007301:g.27079G>A) were detected. The frequencies of haplotypes M and N in the five breeds were 0.661–0.747 and 0.253–0.339, respectively. The SNP locus was in Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium in Nanyang, Jiaxian red, Angus, and Jinnan cattle (P > 0.05) and was in Hardy–Weinberg disequilibrium in Qinchuan cattle (P < 0.05). Polymorphism of the LEPR gene was shown to be associated with growth traits in the Nanyang breed. The SNP in the bovine LEPR gene had significant effects on body height, body length, body weight, heart girth, and average daily gain at 6 and 12 months old (P < 0.01 or P < 0.05). Therefore, these results suggest that the LEPR gene is a strong candidate gene that affects growth traits in cattle.