Double muscling is a trait previously described in several mammalian species including cattle and sheep and is caused by mutations in the myostatin (MSTN) gene (previously referred to as GDF8). Here we describe a new mutation in MSTN found in the whippet dog breed that results in a double-muscled phenotype known as the "bully" whippet. Individuals with this phenotype carry two copies of a two-base-pair deletion in the third exon of MSTN leading to a premature stop codon at amino acid 313. Individuals carrying only one copy of the mutation are, on average, more muscular than wild-type individuals (p = 7.43 x 10(-6); Kruskal-Wallis Test) and are significantly faster than individuals carrying the wild-type genotype in competitive racing events (Kendall's nonparametric measure, tau = 0.3619; p approximately 0.00028). These results highlight the utility of performance-enhancing polymorphisms, marking the first time a mutation in MSTN has been quantitatively linked to increased athletic performance.