An epidemiological study was conducted in a highland rural community in Peru to determine risk factors for canine echinococcosis caused by Echinococcus granulosus. Dogs were diagnosed using a coproantigen enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Dog owners were interviewed prior to stool collection and asked for attitudes, practices and beliefs likely to be associated with local patterns of E. granulosus transmission. Univariate and multivariate analysis were used to determine odds ratios (OR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI). The main risk factors found to be significantly associated with canine echinococcosis by univariate analysis were dog age (3-25 months) (OR, 5.14; CI, 1.7-15.7), female sex (OR, 4.3; CI, 1.4-13.3) and having been fed hydatid infected offal (OR, 2.9; 95% CI, 1.0-8.6). There was complete lack of knowledge about echinococcosis transmission. In addition to periodic dog treatment, control programs need to emphasize education of the human population to increase knowledge of parasite transmission and to change human practices associated with high rates of infection. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.