Preclinical testing of new therapeutic strategies in relevant animal models is an essential part of drug development. The choice of animal models of disease that are used in these studies is driven by the strength of the translational data for informing about safety, efficacy, and success or failure of human clinical trials. Hemophilia B is a monogenic, X-linked, inherited bleeding disorder that results from absent or dysfunctional coagulation factor IX (FIX). Regarding preclinical studies of adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated gene therapy for hemophilia B, dogs with severe hemophilia B (<1% FIX) provide well-characterized phenotypes and genotypes in which a species-specific transgene can be expressed in a mixed genetic background. Correction of the hemophilic coagulopathy by sustained expression of FIX, reduction of bleeding events, and a comprehensive assessment of the humoral and cell-mediated immune responses to the expressed transgene and recombinant AAV vector are all feasible end points in these dogs. This review compares the preclinical studies of AAV vectors used to treat dogs with hemophilia B with the results obtained in subsequent human clinical trials using muscle- and liver-based approaches.