The aim of this study was to evaluate antimicrobial resistance in canine staphylococci, Escherichia coli and enterococci, which were isolated from 22 dogs with pyoderma and a history of previous antibiotic treatment, compared to bacterial isolates from 56 non-treated control dogs. Two isolates of each bacterial species per dog were investigated, if detected. Staphylococcal isolates from dogs with pyoderma (35 isolates) were more resistant to sulphatrimethoprim than the isolates from controls (56 isolates) (57% vs. 25%, p < 0.004). Multiresistance in staphylococci was also more common in dogs with pyoderma (29% vs. 9%, p = 0.02). A similar trend among isolates of E. coli was detected (24 and 74 isolates from treated and control dogs, respectively), but the differences were not significant. Resistance for macrolide-lincosamides was approximately 20% among staphylococci in both groups. Resistance to ampicillin among enterococci was 4%-7%. The age of the dogs might have an impact on resistance: multiresistance among staphylococcal isolates from younger dogs (< or = 5 years) was more common than in older dogs (26 years) (24%, vs. 0%, 63 and 27 isolates, respectively, p = 0.02). Staphylococci in younger dogs were more resistant to tetracycline (48% vs. 11%, p < 0.001) and sulphatrimethoprim (48% vs. 15%, p < 0.01) than those in older dogs. In contrast, the isolates of E. coli from older dogs tended to be more resistant, although a significant difference was detected only in resistance to tetracycline (13% vs. 2% of 40 and 50 isolates respecthely, p = 0.04)). The results of this small study indicate that resistance in canine staphylococci in the capital area of Finland is comparable with many other countries in Europe. Resistance in indicator bacteria, E. coli and enterococci, was low.