Recent examination of the mixed dopamine agonist apomorphine suggests that dopamine inhibits both passive avoidance and response suppression learning. The present study investigated the effects of selective dopamine agonists on memory consolidation using a passive avoidance task in the day-old chick. The dopamine D1 agonist SKF 38393, the D2 agonist quinpirole, and the D4 agonist PD 168077 all failed to disrupt memory consolidation when injected immediately after training. However, chicks injected with 6.0 mg/kg of the D3 agonist (+)-7-hydroxy-N,N-di-n-propyl-2-aminotetralin (7-OH-DPAT) displayed memory impairment 180 min after aversive training. A study of the time course of this effect of 7-OH-DPAT showed that it first appeared 90 min after aversive training. Pretreatment with the dopamine D3 antagonist U 99194 eliminated the disturbance of passive avoidance learning induced by 7-OH-DPAT. These results indicate that dopamine is involved in the later stages of the memory formation process and that the D3 receptor is crucially involved in this disruption.