Paraffin-embedded tissue sections of 96 surgically removed mammary tumors from female dogs were analyzed for their proliferation state using three different methods. The AgNOR method, originally developed by Ploton and coworkers in 1986, modified and standardized by the AgNOR committee, is an easy, inexpensive silver-staining procedure used to determine cell proliferation and prognosis of various tumors. Due to the standardized staining protocol of the AgNOR method and a postfixation step, results obtained were of excellent quality for image-analysis processing. The growth fraction was evaluated by counting of immunohistologically positive-stained cells for Ki-67 or proliferating-cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). The values determined were, in general, lower with Ki-67 (MIB1) than with PCNA (PC10). Nevertheless, the labeling indices of these antigens correlated significantly (P < 0.001). Though the differences of the means between the tumor groups according to the classification system of the World Health Organization were significant for all three investigated methods (P < 0.001), there was a considerable overlap between the tumor groups concerning all investigated parameters. An exploratory data analysis (multivariate analysis) as performed to evaluate the prognostic relevance of the three methods including further anamnestic, clinical, gross, and histopathologic variables. Besides the histopathologic diagnosis (survival P < 0.001; survival time P < 0.05; reappearance of tumor growth P < 0.05), only the PCNA-labeling index (time until reappearance of tumor growth P < 0.001) was of prognostic significance.