Although dogs have been proposed as carriers of extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) with infectious potential for humans, presumed host species-specific differences between canine and human ExPEC strains have cast doubt on this hypothesis. The recent discovery that allele III of papG (the P fimbrial adhesin gene) predominates among human cystitis isolates and confers an adherence phenotype resembling that of canine ExPEC prompted the present reevaluation of the canine-human ExPEC connection. Sixteen paired pap-positive urine and rectal E. coli isolates from dogs with urinary tract infection were studied, papG (adhesin) and papA (pilin) allele type, agglutination phenotypes, virulence factor genotypes, and randomly amplified polymorphic DNA and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis fingerprints were analyzed and compared with those of human ExPEC controls. The 16 canine strains contained predominantly papG allele III. Agglutination phenotypes segregated strictly according to papG allele status and were homogeneous among strains with the same papG allele profile irrespective of their human versus canine origin. Canine and human PapG variant III peptide sequences were highly homologous, without host species-specific differences. The most prevalent canine papA allele was F48, a novel variant recently identified among human urosepsis isolates. In addition to pap, human ExPEC-associated virulence genes detected among the canine strains included sfa/focDE, sfaS, fyuA, hlyA, cnfl, cdtB, kpsMT-II and -III, rfc, traT, ompT, and a marker for a pathogenicity-associated island from archetypal human ExPEC strain CFT073. Molecular fingerprinting confirmed the fecal origin of all but one canine urine isolate and showed one pair of O6 canine urine and fecal isolates to be extremely similar to an O6 human urosepsis isolate with which they shared all other genotypic and phenotypic characteristics analyzed. These data demonstrate that canine ExPEC strains are similar to, and in some instances essentially indistinguishable from, human ExPEC strains, which implicates dogs and their feces as potential reservoirs of E. coli with infectious potential for humans.