Ventricular fibrillation threshold (VFT), frequently determined in dogs during pentobarbital sodium anesthesia, usually is replaced by a single repetitive extrasystole threshold (SRET) or a multiple repetitive extrasystole threshold (MRET) determination in conscious animals and in the human being. In the present study SRET, MRET, and VFT were determined initially in 39 pentobarbital sodium-anesthetized dogs. One week later these three thresholds were redetermined during anesthesia in 13 of the 39 dogs (control group). In the remaining 26 dogs (experimental group), thresholds were redetermined while the dogs were conscious. Significant changes in threshold values occurred only in the experimental group for VFT (P < 0.001) and MRET (P < 0.02). The square of the linear correlation coefficient showed conscious state MRET to be a good predictor of conscious state VFT (R2 = 0.90). Conscious state SRET and anesthetized state VFT showed less predictiveness for the conscious VFT (R2 = 0.72 and 0.51, respectively). These data indicate that MRET may be preferable to SRET as an index of VFT. The SRET, MRET, and VFT determined during pentobarbital anesthesia may not accurately reflect the value of these parameters in the conscious animal.