Graves' disease affects only humans. Although it is a treatable illness, medical therapy with antithyroid drugs is imperfect, showing high rates of recurrence. Furthermore, the etiology and treatment of the associated ophthalmopathy still represent problematic issues. Animal models could contribute to the solution of such problems by providing a better understanding of the underlying pathogenesis and could be used for evaluating novel therapeutic strategies. This article discusses the pursuit of a better experimental model for hyperthyroid Graves' disease and outlines how this research has clarified the immunology of the disease.