The Ovsynch protocol was designed to synchronize ovulation, thereby allowing timed artificial insemination (TAI) of all cows without detection of estrus. However, the effectiveness of Ovsynch in different breeds of dairy cows has not been previously compared. The aim of this study was to compare the response to Ovsynch in cycling lactating Holstein-Friesian (HF) and Swedish Red (SR) dairy cows. A total of 495 cyclic cows (n = 347 HF, n = 148 SR) were housed together and treated with Ovsynch (GnRH - 7 d - PGF(2 alpha) - 56 h - GnRH - 16 to 18 h - TAI). Ovulatory responses, synchronization rate, maximal follicle size at the time of AI, and percentage of pregnant cows per AI (P/AI at 31 and 62 d after AI) were compared between breeds. Ultrasonography was performed during Ovsynch at first GnRH, PGF(2 alpha), at time of AI, and 7 d after AI. Ovulatory response and synchronization rate were similar in HF versus SR cows (60.2 vs. 62.2%; 88.4 vs. 88.5%, respectively). Cows that ovulated to the first GnRH of Ovsynch had smaller follicle size at AT (15.9 +/- 0.1 vs. 16.4 +/- 0.2 mm). Maximal follicle size at AT was greater for HF (16.4 +/- 2.2 mm) than SR (15.5 +/- 2.3 mm) cows. The P/AI was greater for SR than HF cows at the 62-d pregnancy diagnosis (56.1 vs. 46.1%). In addition, pregnancy loss between 31 and 62 d of pregnancy was greater in HF (10.1%) than SR (3.5%) cows. Fertility was less in HF cows during the hot season (57.7 in cold vs. 38.1% in the hot season), whereas such a decrease was not observed in SR (60.0 in cold vs. 53.5% in the hot season) cows. Thus, although the GnRH treatments of Ovsynch were equally effective in SR and HF cows, pregnancy outcomes (P/AI at d 62 and pregnancy survival) were greater in SR than HF cows, and P/AI in SR cows was not compromised during the hot season as was found for HF cows.