The case records of 151 dogs diagnosed with congenital heart disease were reviewed retrospectively. The most common defect was aortic stenosis, accounting for 35 per cent of all cases, followed by pulmonic stenosis (20 per cent), ventricular septal defect (12 per cent), patent ductus arteriosus (11 per cent), mitral valve dysplasia (8 per cent), tricuspid valve dysplasia (7 per cent), endocardial fibroelastosis (1.9 per cent) and tetralogy of Fallot (0.6 per cent). Fifty-one breeds were represented, with golden retrievers, German shepherd dogs and boxers predominating. No overall sex predilection was obvious. Seventy-five per cent of the dogs were asymptomatic at presentation. The defects most often associated with presenting symptoms, such as dyspnoea, syncope, ascites, failure to grow and depression, were mitral valve dysplasia, atrial septal defect, tricuspid valve dysplasia and endocardial fibroelastosis. The latter presented with the most severe signs of heart failure. In some cases of aortic stenosis and pulmonic stenosis, where the defect could not be accurately visualised with two-dimensional echocardiography, Doppler echocardiographic examination was needed for definitive diagnosis.