The short stature of mini-poodles is associated with low serum levels of IGF-I. Standard poodles are taller and have considerably higher serum levels of IGF-I. Low IGF-I serum levels may be a symptom or the cause of small stature. We, therefore, undertook a study in which serum IGF-I levels of mini-poodles were elevated over a prolonged period of time by a constant infusion of rhIGF-I and the growth rate of the mini-poodles was followed. We infused four mini-poodles from day 91 to day 221 of age with 6 mg/day of recombinant human insulin-like growth factor I (rhIGF-I). Serum levels of IGF-I rose from about 160 to about 500 μg/l. Blood glucose remained within normal limits. Stimulation tests with clonidine and with GHRH revealed suppression of endogenous GH secretion during the IGF-I infusion. Serum levels of IGF-II and of creatinine were lower in the IGF-I-infused animals. Radial length and body weight did not increase to a greater extent in the IGF-I infused dogs than in controls. However, 'adapted body mass index' (aBMI = gram body weight/(mm radial length)2) decreased in each of the IGF-I infused animals, whereas it increased in each of the control dogs (p <0.05). We conclude that long-term infusion of IGF-I does not stimulate growth in young minipoodles, but may change body composition.