Grooming behavior in response to novelty and water immersion was examined in rat offspring sired by males consuming liquid alcohol diets containing 35%, 17.5% or 0% ethanol-derived calories (EDC). In the first study, offspring were tested at 35-38 days of age under conditions of lights on or off. Offspring in the 35% EDC group groomed less than controls. Lighting conditions did not affect grooming significantly. In the second study, animals were immersed in a water bath for 15 seconds and were then placed in the same observation chambers. As in the previous study, animals sired by alcohol-consuming fathers groomed considerably less than controls. These results were interpreted as suggesting offspring sired by alcohol-consuming fathers have a blunted response to conditions which spontaneously elicit behavior like grooming or ambulation.