In order to evaluate the relation between hypotension induced by hydralazine and the resultant reflex tachycardia, as well as the role of baroreflex sensitivity in determining the magnitude of these responses, the drug was administered orally at a dose of 1 mg/kg to a group of trained conscious normotensive and renal hypertensive dogs. Responses were assessed by measuring blood pressure and heart rate for 8 hr after dosing and integrating the changes observed over time in order to obtain a mean value. Baroreflex gain was calculated as the ratio of heart rate to blood pressure responses. Hypotension was greater in hypertensives, whereas tachycardia was not different between groups. Gain was therefore smaller in hypertensives, but not uniformly so, a portion of these animals having values within the normotensive range. This high gain group responded with less hypotension and more tachycardia than did the low gain group. Differences in pressure and rate responses to repeated administration of hydralazine between the two groups were minimal. It is suggested that baroreflex gain, an innate individual characteristic, is an important determinant of acute pressure responses to hydralazine in dogs, hypertensive animals having less gain than normotensives and showing increased hypotensive responses. Gain appears not to be as important in determining the chronic effects of the drug.