X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP) caused by mutations in the RPGR gene is an early onset and severe cause of blindness. Successful proof-of-concept studies in a canine model have recently shown that development of a corrective gene therapy for RPGR-XLRP may now be an attainable goal. In preparation for a future clinical trial, we have here optimized the therapeutic AAV vector construct by showing that GRK1 (rather than IRBP) is a more efficient promoter for targeting gene expression to both rods and cones in non-human primates. Two transgenes were used in RPGR mutant (XLPRA2) dogs under the control of the GRK1 promoter. First was the previously developed stabilized human RPGR (hRPGRstb). Second was a new full-length stabilized and codon-optimized human RPGR (hRPGRco). Long-term (>2 years) studies with an AAV2/5 vector carrying hRPGRstb under control of the GRK1 promoter showed rescue of rods and cones from degeneration and retention of vision. Shorter term (3 months) studies demonstrated comparable preservation of photoreceptors in canine eyes treated with an AAV2/5 vector carrying either transgene under the control of the GRK1 promoter. These results provide the critical molecular components (GRK1 promoter, hRPGRco transgene) to now construct a therapeutic viral vector optimized for RPGR-XLRP patients.