This study investigated whether the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor agonist 8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino) tetralin (8-OH-DPAT) can induce compulsive checking in a large open field, as does the dopamine D2/D3 receptor agonist quinpirole. To induce compulsive checking, male rats were exposed to eight injections of either 8-OH-DPAT (1 mg/kg), quinpirole (0.2 mg/kg), or saline. Subsequently, to assess cross-sensitization, rats received an acute challenge of 8-OH-DPAT or quinpirole. The results showed that treatment with 8-OH-DPAT induces compulsive checking and may have a stronger effect on this behavior compared with quinpirole. However, there was no cross-sensitization between 8-OH-DPAT and quinpirole on measures of compulsive checking and locomotion. Moreover, the spatial distribution of locomotor paths in 8-OH-DPAT animals was more confined and invariant than in quinpirole rats; their rate of locomotor sensitization was also faster than that in quinpirole animals. Thus, although 8-OH-DPAT and quinpirole can induce compulsive checking in a large open field, the results suggest that they do so differently. It is suggested that 8-OH-DPAT and quinpirole probably produce compulsive behavior by acting on different parts of a security motivation circuit underlying obsessive-compulsive disorder. Quinpirole may induce compulsive checking behavior by directly driving dopaminergic activity mediating the motivational drive to check. Conversely, 8-OH-DPAT may perpetuate the activated motivational state by inhibiting the serotonergic-negative feedback signals that normally deactivate the obsessive-compulsive disorder circuit.