A retrospective histopathologic study was performed to evaluate the effect of primary intraocular melanocytic neoplasia on canine survival. Tumor size, location within the globe, extent of infiltration, and mitotic index were analyzed for their potential to predict survival. A total of 244 cases of dogs with melanocytic tumors submitted to the Comparative Ocular Pathology Laboratory of Wisconsin from 1988 to 1998 were evaluated. Histopathologic criteria (mitotic index, cytologic features of anaplasia) were used to differentiate 188 benign melanocytomas from 56 malignant melanomas. Signalment evaluation of age, sex, and breed revealed similarities in both tumor populations, with the majority of tumors discovered in 9-year-old, female/spayed, mixed-breed dogs. A greater percentage of left eyes (66%) vs. right eyes (47%) was found in the melanoma population, but an equal distribution was found in the melanocytoma population (48% and 52%, respectively). The majority of tumors arose from the anterior uveal tract (79% in the melanocytoma and 95% in the malignant melanoma populations). The German Shepherd breed was predisposed in the limbal distribution. At the time of enucleation, most tumors had invaded the sclera, but did not show extrascleral extension (51% in the melanocytoma and 61% in the malignant melanoma populations). Survival analysis showed a significant difference in survival between control and malignant melanoma populations (P = 0.0081) and was suggestive of a difference between the melanocytoma and melanoma populations (P = 0.031). Tumor extension, tumor size, and mitotic index were not found to be reliable predictors of survival.