Golden retriever muscular dystrophy (GRMD) is a spontaneous, X-linked, progressively fatal disease of dogs and is also a homologue of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Two-thirds of DMD patients carry detectable deletions in their dystrophin gene. The defect underlying the remaining one-third of DMD patients is undetermined. Analysis of the canine dystrophin gene in normal and GRMD dogs has failed to demonstrate any detectable loss of exons. Here, we have demonstrated a RNA processing error in GRMD that results from a single base change in the 3' consensus splice site of intron 6. The seventh exon is then skipped, which predicts a termination of the dystrophin reading frame within its N-terminal domain in exon 8. This is the first example of dystrophin deficiency caused by a splice-site mutation.