To investigate the mechanical properties of a dowel action under fatigue loads, nine reinforced concrete specimens were fabricated, and the monotonic and fatigue loadings were performed on these specimens, respectively. All of these specimens were divided into two series. Six specimens in SeriesⅠwith different bar diameters of 12, 20 and 25 mm were subjected to monotonic loads and were used to confirm the ultimate bearing capacity. The remaining three specimens in SeriesⅡwere subjected to fatigue loads and were designed to investigate the attenuation character of dowel action and the fatigue failure modes. The test results show that the accumulated fatigue damage due to fatigue loads can reduce the ultimate bearing capacity of specimens. With the increase in fatigue loads, the failure mode can transform to fatigue rupture of the dowel bar under the serviceability loading state, i. e. 55% of the monotonic capacity. The fatigue life is determined by the fatigue properties of steel and concrete. Based on the test data, the failure process of dowel action can be divided into two stages: the accumulation of fatigue damage and the fatigue rupture of dowel bar.