Neuropeptide S (NPS) and its receptor (NPSR) have been implicated in the mediation of anxiolytic-like behaviour in rodents. However, little knowledge is available regarding the NPS system in depression-related behaviours, and whether NPS also exerts anxiolytic effects in an animal model of psychopathology. Therefore, the aim of this work was to characterize the effects of NPS on depression- and anxiety-related parameters, using male and female rats in a well-validated animal model of depression: the Flinders Sensitive Line (FSL), their controls, the Flinders Resistant Line (FRL), and Sprague–Dawley (SD) rats. We found that FSL showed greater immobility in the forced swim test (FST) than FRL, confirming their phenotype. However, NPS did not affect depression-related behaviour in any rat line. No significant differences in baseline anxiety levels between the FSL and FRL strains were observed, but FSL and FRL rats displayed less anxiety-like behaviour compared to SD rats. NPS decreased anxiety-like behaviour on the elevated plus-maze in all strains. The expression of the NPSR in the amygdala, periventricular hypothalamic nucleus, and hippocampus was equal in all male strains, although a trend towards reduced expression within the amygdala was observed in FSL rats compared to SD rats. In conclusion, NPS had a marked anxiolytic effect in FSL, FRL and SD rats, but did not modify the depression-related behaviour in any strain, in spite of the significant differences in innate level between the strains. These findings suggest that NPS specifically modifies anxiety behaviour but cannot overcome/reverse a genetically mediated depression phenotype.