The effects of N-(piperidin-1-yl)-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-met hyl-1H-pyrazole-3-carboxamide HCl (SR 141716A), a specific cannabinoid receptor antagonist, were assessed in the dog static ataxia test after either acute treatment with two cannabinoid receptor agonists, delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and arachidonylethanolamide (anandamide), or chronic treatment with delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol. As previously reported, acute intravenous (i.v.) injected delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol produced dose-dependent cannabinoid effects, including marked static ataxia, prancing, loss of muscle tone, and incoordination. The behavioral profile of anandamide was distinctly different in that it produced a loss of muscle tone and considerable sedation with little static ataxia, prancing, or incoordination. Despite these qualitative differences between the two agonists, SR 141716A blocked the acute behavioral effects of both drugs indicating a cannabinoid receptor mechanism of action. Interestingly, SR 141716A was able to precipitate a withdrawal syndrome in delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol-tolerant dogs, but failed to produce any observable effects in dogs receiving chronic vehicle injections. Acute toxicity caused by anandamide, which was not blocked by SR 141716A, precluded conducting dependence studies with this drug. The delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol precipitated withdrawal syndrome included diarrhea, vomiting, excessive salivation, decreases in social behavior, and increases in restless behavior and trembling. This is the first demonstration of a precipitated withdrawal syndrome in a non-rodent species.