Canine biological specimens are often part of the physical evidence from crime scenes. Until now, there have been no validated canine-specific forensic reagent kits available. A multiplex genotyping system, comprising 18 short tandem repeats (STRs) and a sex-linked zinc finger locus for gender determination, was developed for generating population genetic data assessing the weight of canine forensic DNA profiles. Allele frequencies were estimated for 236 pedigreed and 431 mixed breed dogs residing in the U.S. Average random match probability is 1 in 2 x 10(33) using the regional database and 1 in 4 x 10(39) using the breed dataset. Each pedigreed population was genetically distinct and could be differentiated from the mixed breed dog population but genetic variation was not significantly correlated with geographic transition. Results herein support the use of the allele frequency data with the canine STR multiplex for conveying the significance of identity testing for forensic casework, parentage testing, and breed assignments.