Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A, VEGF-A receptor (Flt-1) and KiSS-1 receptor (KiSS-1R) all play a role in trophoblast invasion in a number of mammalian species. However, mRNA expression of factors regulating trophoblast invasion has not been studied in dogs. Abnormal expression of these factors at the end of canine gestation may contribute to placental retention and/or subinvolution of placental sites. Therefore, we sought to determine the relative mRNA expression of these factors in canine chorioallantois tissue at 61 ± 1 day past the LH surge (pre-term; n = 4), following elective c-section at 64 ± 1 day past the LH surge prior to first-stage labour (pre-labour; n = 4) and following natural delivery (parturient; n = 3). Total RNA was isolated, real-time RT-PCR was performed, and relative expression was calculated using the relative quantitation (inline image) method. MMP-9 mRNA expression was significantly higher in pre-term samples compared to pre-labour and parturient samples. The results showed no significant difference between MMP-2, TIMP-2, VEGF-A and Flt-1 mRNA expression among the three groups. KiSS-1R mRNA was not expressed in any tissues studied. Gene expression of MMP-9 may be related to the onset of labour, whereas MMP-2, VEGF-A, Flt-1, TIMP-2 and KiSS-1R mRNA do not appear to play a role at the end of gestation in the dog.