This satellite meeting to the 12th International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma was conceived to bring together European researchers focused on canine lymphoma to explore several facets of this promising model of human disease. A series of invited lectures showed striking similarities between the two diseases namely in topics related to pathogenesis, diagnosis and classification and therapy. In particular, the potential value of the model was shown at the level of the NF-kB/p65 pathway, the Bcl-2 family of proteins, Ki67 and the S-phase fraction, as well as the MMPs, VEGF and PDGF. The utility of the growing body of well-characterized canine cell lines was stressed. The value of cytology and flow cytometry as tools for diagnosis, disease progression monitoring and prognosis were emphasized, whereas the failure so far of the standard immunohistochemical panel to differentiate between germinal centre and non-germinal centre diffuse large B-cell lymphomas subtypes in dogs was discussed. Further contributions included the report of encouraging results from a chemo-immunotherapy trial administered to dogs with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, an overview on the use of radiation therapy for canine lymphoma and the role of surgery in splenic lymphoma. Altogether, the success of this meeting, attended by more than 160 participants, documents the rising interest for the spontaneous canine lymphoma model. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.