Contraction tension and kinetics of the peroneus longus muscle were studied in dogs with the Duchenne homologue, golden retriever muscular dystrophy (GRMD), in advance of evaluating localized therapies such as myoblast transplantation. Absolute and both muscle- and body-weight-corrected twitch tension in GRMD dogs were low compared to normal litter mates at 3 months of age (p < 0.0005 for all). Tetanic tension was affected similarly. However, whereas absolute values were still reduced at 6 months (p < 0.0005 for twitch and 0.005 for tetany), twitch and tetanic tension corrected for either muscle or body weight was not statistically different, suggesting that the peroneus longus may be relatively spared in GRMD. Post-tetanic potentiation was more pronounced in GRMD versus normal dogs at both 3 (p < 0.0001) and 6 (p < 0.01) months. The degree of positive staircase at 3 months of age did not differ. Twitch contraction and relaxation times were dramatically prolonged, and there was concomitant sustained electrical activity, at, or before, 6 months of age in some severely affected dogs. Relatively few carriers were evaluated at these ages, but their values were similar to those of normal dogs. Apparent sparing of the peroneus longus muscle may limit application of this technique to evaluation of therapies administered early in life or in combination with toxins. Treatment to alter changes in contraction kinetics could also be assessed.