The glycosaminoglycan (GAG) dermatan sulfate and chondroitin sulfate side-chains of small leucine-rich proteoglycans have been increasingly posited to act as molecular cross links between adjacent collagen fibrils and to directly contribute to tendon elasticity. GAGs have also been implicated in tendon viscoelasticity, supposedly affecting frictional loss during elongation or fluid flow through the extra cellular matrix. The current study sought to systematically test these theories of tendon structure-function by investigating the mechanical repercussions of enzymatic depletion of GAG complexes by chondroitinase ABC in a reproducible tendon structure-function model (rat tail tendon fascicles). The extent of GAG removal (at least 93%) was verified by relevant spectrophotometric assays and transmission electron microscopy. Dynamic viscoelastic tensile tests on GAG depleted rat tail tendon fascicle were not mechanically different from controls in storage modulus (elastic behavior) over a wide range of strain-rates (0.05, 0.5, and 5% change in length per second) in either the linear or nonlinear regions of the material curve. Loss modulus (viscoelastic behavior) was only affected in the nonlinear region at the highest strain-rate, and even this effect was marginal (19% increased loss modulus, p=0.035). Thus glycosaminoglycan chains of small leucine-rich proteoglycans do not appear to mediate dynamic elastic behavior nor do they appear to regulate the dynamic viscoelastic properties in rat tail tendon fascicles.