Dependencies of the dynamic mechanical properties of the respiratory system on mean airway pressure (Paw) and the effects of tidal volume (VT) are not completely clear. We measured resistance and dynamic elastance of the total respiratory system (Rrs and Ers), lungs (RL and EL), and chest wall (Rcw and Ecw) in six healthy anesthetized paralyzed dogs during sinusoidal volume oscillations at the trachea (50-300 ml; 0.4 Hz) delivered at mean Paw from -9 to +23 cmH2O. Changes in end-expiratory lung volume, estimated with inductance plethysmographic belts, showed a typical sigmoidal relationship to mean Paw. Each dog showed the same dependencies of mechanical properties on mean Paw and VT. All elastances and resistances were minimal between 5 and 10 cmH2O mean Paw. All elastances, Rrs, and RL increased greatly with decreasing Paw below 5 cmH2O. Ers and EL increased above 10 cmH2O. Ecw, Ers, Rcw, and Rrs decreased slightly with increasing VT, but RL and EL were independent of VT. We conclude that 1) respiratory system impedance is minimal at the normal mean lung volume of supine anesthetized paralyzed dogs; 2) the dependency of RL on lung volume above functional residual capacity is dependent on VT and respiratory frequency; and 3) chest wall, but not lung, mechanical behavior is nonlinear (i.e., VT dependent) at any given lung volume.