Background and Purpose: Strontium ranelate, a drug approved and until recently used for the treatment of osteoporosis, mediates its effects on bone at least in part via the calcium-sensing (CaS) receptor. However, it is not known whether bone-targeted CaS receptor positive allosteric modulators (PAMs; calcimimetics) represent an alternative (or adjunctive) therapy to strontium (Sr2+ o). Experimental Approach: We assessed three structurally distinct calcimimetics [cinacalcet, AC-265347 and a benzothiazole tri-substituted urea (BTU-compound 13)], alone and in combination with extracellular calcium (Ca2+ o) or Sr2+ o, in G protein-dependent signalling assays and trafficking experiments in HEK293 cells and their effects on cell differentiation, tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) activity and hydroxyapatite resorption assays in human blood-derived osteoclasts. Key Results: Sr2+ o activated CaS receptor-dependent signalling in HEK293 cells in a similar manner to Ca2+ o, and inhibited the maturation, TRAP expression and hydroxyapatite resorption capacity of human osteoclasts. Calcimimetics potentiated Ca2+ o- and Sr2+ o-mediated CaS receptor signalling in HEK293 cells with distinct biased profiles, and only cinacalcet chaperoned an endoplasmic reticulum-retained CaS mutant receptor to the cell surface in HEK293 cells, indicative of a conformational state different from that engendered by AC-265347 and BTU-compound 13. Intriguingly, only cinacalcet modulated human osteoclast function, reducing TRAP activity and profoundly inhibiting resorption. Conclusion and Implications: Although AC-265347 and BTU-compound 13 potentiated Ca2+ o- and Sr2+ o-induced CaS receptor activation, they neither replicated nor potentiated the ability of Sr2+ o to inhibit human osteoclast function. In contrast, the FDA-approved calcimimetic, cinacalcet, inhibited osteoclast TRAP activity and hydroxyapatite resorption, which may contribute to its clinical effects on bone mineral density. Linked Articles: This article is part of a themed section on Molecular Pharmacology of GPCRs. To view the other articles in this section visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.v175.21/issuetoc.