The expression and localisation of downstream signalling molecules of transforming growth factor beta superfamily, Smad2 and Smad4 proteins, was investigated in immature and mature dog testis. Cellular localisation of Smad2 and Smad4 proteins was examined using immunohistochemistry. Quantitative analysis of immunostaining was determined by the image analysis system. The specificity of the antibodies was examined using Western blotting assay. Smad2 and Smad4 were widely expressed in the testes, mainly immunolocalised in the cytoplasm of gonocytes, Leydig cells and Sertoli cells of immature testes, and Leydig cells and Sertoli cells of mature testes. At the same time, the expression levels for both proteins were different between immature and mature age groups: the expression of Smad2 and Smad4 proteins in the Sertoli cells of mature testis was higher than in the immature group (P < 0.05), but the expression of these two proteins in Leydig cells of mature testis was weaker than that seen in immature stage (P < 0.05). The temporospatial distribution of Smad2 and Smad4 proteins in testicular cells suggests that these two signalling molecules may play an important role in specific stages of testicular development and spermatogenesis, thus providing direct evidences for transforming growth factor beta action in the dog testis.