Abstract Prior to experimental periodontal regenerative procedures in animals, the process of destruction due to periodontitis is often simulated by placing ligatures around the necks of teeth. 2 models, one using cotton floss ligatures and the other elastic rubber ligatures, have been widely used. The aim of this study was to compare these 2 methods using clinical and histometric criteria. Pre-molars on both sides of the mandibular jaw were used in 2 beagle dogs. Periodontal tissue breakdown was induced during a 48-day period using cotton floss ligatures on one side of the mandible and contra-laterally by elastic rubber ligatures. At weekly intervals, the ligatures were changed and pocket depth and loss of probing attachment were recorded. All the ligatures were removed after 7 weeks. The animals were fed a soft, plaque-promoting diet during the experimental period. 20 days after ligature removal, the teeth were hemisected and the 2 roots extracted. From each tooth, 1 root was prepared for scanning electron microscopy and one for light microscopy. At the time of extraction, no differences regarding pocket depth or probing attachment level were found between the 2 groups. Root resorption was observed in all elastic ligature teeth, whereas only minor alterations at the root surface were observed on cotton ligature teeth. This finding may be of particular interest to investigators designing studies evaluating the healing sequalae of regenerative surgery in animals. As was observed in this study, root resorption can already be present in the preexperimental phase of periodontal tissue breakdown, particularly if elastic ligatures are used.