Our goal was to evaluate the ability of three magnetic resonance arthrography (MRA) techniques to improve visualization of soft tissue stabilizing components of the canine shoulder. The optimum concentration of gadolinium (gadodiamide) for MRA was determined by imaging seven individual shoulders with one of seven dilutions of 0.5 mol/l gadodiamide in saline; (1:100, 1:400, 1:800, 1:1000, 1:1200, 1:1400, and 1:1600). For this, sagittal and dorsal T1-weighted fat saturation (T1WFS) images were used. The 1:1200 dilution of gadolinium was determined to be the optimum concentration as it provided adequate contrast to distinguish supporting joint structures without obscuring the edges of those structures. Sagittal, dorsal, and transverse MRA images were then acquired in nine cadaver shoulders using T1WFS with gadolinium, proton density fat saturation (PDFS) with gadolinium, and PDFS with saline. Descriptive comparisons were made among techniques. When gadolinium was compared with saline as a contrast medium, gadolinium provided greater contrast against underlying soft tissues, thereby enhancing tendon and ligament conspicuity. When T1WFS and PDFS gadolinium sequences were compared, minor differences were noted. The interface between tissue and fluid was sharper and more distinct in PDFS images. MRI arthrography has promise as a tool for the diagnosis of canine soft tissue shoulder injury. MRA may be most useful when trauma to the biceps tendon, lateral glenohumeral ligament, or medial glenohumeral ligament is suspected.