Matrix metalloproteases (MMPs) are endogenous proteases that are responsible for degradation of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins and cell surface antigens. The breakdown of ECM participates in the local invasion and distant metastases of malignant tumors. Canine transmissible venereal tumor (CTVT) is a naturally occurring contagious round cell neoplasm of dogs that affects mainly the external genitalia of both sexes. CTVT generally is a locally invasive tumor, but distant metastases also are common in puppies and immunocompromised dogs. We investigated the immune expressions and activities of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in CTVT. The presence of these enzymes in tumor cells and tissue homogenates was demonstrated by immunohistochemistry and western blotting. We used gelatin substrate zymography to evaluate the activities of MMP-2 and MMP-9 enzymes in tumor homogenates. We found that tumor cells expressed both MMP-2 and MMP-9. Electrophoretic bands corresponding to MMP-9 and MMP-2 were identified in immunoblots and clear bands that corresponded to the active forms of MMP-2 and MMP-9 also were detected in gelatin zymograms. Our study is the first detailed documentation of MMPs in CTVT.