Mechanical strain or stretch of collagen has been shown to be protective of fibrils against both thermal and enzymatic degradation. The details of this mechanochemical relationship could change our understanding of load-bearing tissue formation, growth, maintenance, and disease in vertebrate animals. However, extracting a quantitative relationship between strain and the rate of enzymatic degradation is extremely difficult in bulk tissue due to confounding diffusion effects. In this investigation, we develop a dynamic, enzyme-induced creep assay and diffusion/reaction rate scaling arguments to extract a lower bound on the relationship between strain and the cutting rate of bacterial collagenase (BC) at low strains. The assay method permits continuous, forced probing of enzyme-induced strain which is very sensitive to degradation rate differences between specimens at low initial strain. The results, obtained on uniaxially loaded strips of bovine corneal tissue (0.1, 0.25, or 0.5 N), demonstrate that small differences in strain alter the enzymatic cutting rate of the BC substantially. It was estimated that a change in tissue elongation of only 1.5% (at approximately 5% strain) reduces the maximum cutting rate of the enzyme by more than half. Estimation of the average load per monomer in the tissue strips indicates that this protective "cutoff" occurs when the collagen monomers are transitioning from an entropic to an energetic mechanical regime. The continuous tracking of the enzymatic cleavage rate as a function of strain during the initial creep response indicates that the decrease in the cleavage rate of the BC is nonlinear (initially steep between 4.5 and 6.5% and then flattens out from 6.5 to 9.5%). The high sensitivity to strain at low strain implies that even lightly loaded collagenous tissue may exhibit significant strain protection. The dynamic, enzyme-induced creep assay described herein has the potential to permit the rapid characterization of collagen/enzyme mechanochemistry in many different tissue types.