At present there is a lack of information concerning the breeding methods practised by owners of pedigree dairy cattle in New Zealand. This deficiency is a serious handicap in attacking some of the major problems facing the dairy industry in this country. Since the emergence of the Dairy Board in 1936 as the main national force concerned with herd improvement a great deal has been achieved in the field of dairy cattle improvement and the evolution of a sire survey applicable to conditions obtaining in New Zealand is one of the major achievements of the Dairy Board. But many aspects of the pedigree industry which provides the majority of sires used in the Dominion remain to be elucidated. For example, the present scarcity of proven sires, and the more or less stationary level of production of commercial herds are some of the problems which have direct bearing on the pedigree section of the dairy industry. These facts alone illustrate the importance of the study of current breeding methods and of the pedigree system as it exists in New Zealand. Many investigations relating to dairy cattle breeding have been carried out overseas. Although many of the problems studied are encountered in New Zealand, the Dominion's typical grassland farming and the seasonal dairying associated with it limit the usefulness of such investigations. With more information becoming available breed societies are beginning to adjust themselves to a new phase of cattle breeding. The increasing emphasis on production as an aid to selection, and the acceptance of artificial insemination are two phases in which a change of attitude is desirable. The rapid growth of pedigree herds, the more frequent appearance of performance details in pedigrees and the increasing number of pedigree animals mated artificially each year illustrate this gradual change.