Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) is a systemic disorder of the axial and peripheral skeleton in humans and has incidentally been described in dogs. The aims of this retrospective radiographic cohort study were to determine the prevalence of DISH in an outpatient population of skeletally mature dogs and to investigate if dogs can be used as an animal model for DISH. The overall prevalence of canine DISH was 3.8% (78/2041). The prevalence of DISH increased with age and was more frequent in male dogs, similar to findings in human studies. In the Boxer breed the prevalence of DISH was 40.6% (28/69). Dog breeds represent closed gene pools with a high degree of familiar relationship and the high prevalence in the Boxer may be indicative of a genetic origin of DISH. It is concluded that the Boxer breed may serve as an animal model for DISH in humans.