The dopamine agonist apomorphine (apo) elicits bouts of stereotyped pecking in pigeons, a response which increases with successive apo injections. This sensitization is strongly context-specific and has been suggested to arise through a Pavlovian conditioning to both external and internal cues. We hypothetized that this learning involves dopamino-glutamatergic interactions and investigated the issue by inducing NMDA glutamate receptor blockades with the antagonist dizocilpine (diz). A first experiment examined the effects that four different doses (ranging between 0.05 and 0.12 mg/kg) of diz co-administered with a standard dose of 0.5 mg/kg of apo had on the development of the incremented response and on the later expression of the conditioned pecking response. Both responses were impaired by doses of around 0.10 mg/kg diz. A second experiment assessed whether either a diz treatment or a diz plus apo co-treatment affected the development of a subsequent sensitization to apo. The first treatment had no effect on the latter sensitization. A part sensitization that arose with the second treatment did not transfer to the final sensitization. The last experiment examined whether the administration of diz had an immediate effect on the incremented responding to apo and on the conditioned response shown by already sensitized pigeons. No effect was apparent with the first treatment, but there was a marked response inhibition with the second treatment. It is concluded that NMDA glutamate receptors play an important role in apo-induced sensitization in pigeons which is compatible with the Pavlovian conditioning account of sensitization.