Abstract We have measured the transport properties of YBa 2Cu 3O 7− δ (YBCO) dc SQUIDs with Josephson junctions characterized by a combination of 45° [0 0 1] tilt and α [1 0 0] tilt grain boundary with α = 0°, ±10° and 45°. By increasing the component of transport in the YBCO c-axis direction (increasing values of α), the SQUIDs showed an enhanced quality factor. At the same time, for all the devices the response under an external magnetic field presented the main features of an unconventional Josephson current phase relation with a pronounced sin 2 ϕ component. Switching current measurements at low temperature (10th of mK) also revealed that the dynamics of grain boundary junction resulting from a combination of 45° [0 0 1] and 45° [1 0 0] tilt is dominated by macroscopic quantum tunnelling of the superconductive phase. The features are quite encouraging for applications of d-wave junctions in quantum circuitry.