Advances in treatment of human melanoma indicate that immunotherapy, particularly dendritic cell (DC) immunization, may prove useful. The aim of this study was to investigate whether blood-derived DCs could be generated from canine melanoma patients. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated from three such dogs and cultured with recombinant canine granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), canine interleukin 4 and human Flt3-ligand for 7 days. The resulting cells demonstrated a typical dendritic morphology, and were enriched for cells expressing CD1a, CD11c and MHC II by flow cytometric analysis. Thus, canine blood-derived DCs can be generated in vitro and DC immunization should be feasible in dogs.