An optimized system of computerized image analysis was used to investigate variations in the adherence of Staphylococcus intermedius to canine corneocytes from four different breed groups and six different anatomical sites. S. intermedius showed significantly greater adherence to the head and neck compared with the dorsum, but adherence to the limb, axilla and groin did not differ from other sites. Furthermore, there was significantly greater adherence of S. intermedius to corneocytes from the dorsum, forelimb, axilla and groin of Boxers and Bull Terriers than Spaniels and Hounds. S. intermedius, and also Pseudomonas aeruginosa, exhibited abundant adherence, which was significantly greater than Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus canis, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli. In addition, S. intermedius adherence demonstrated a sigmoid dose–response curve with increasing bacterial concentration. These results suggest that S. intermedius adheres to canine corneocytes by a specific receptor–ligand interaction and adheres to the skin of some breeds more avidly than others. However, variations in adherence between body regions would not account for the predilection sites of canine bacterial pyoderma.