Type Classification Scheme

Type Classification provides an independent assessment of cows in your herd reviewing the strengths and weaknesses to enhance longevity, health and welfare. It provides an overall classification score for your heifers and cows, which can substantially increase their value.

  • See your cows through fresh eyes
  • Classifiers score twenty-four individual ‘linear’ traits
  • Insight enables better corrective breeding decisions to be made
  • Identify the top percentage of the herd on type to breed your replacements from
  • Helps breed in good functional conformation and reduces unnecessary rearing costs
  • Classification information is used in our truly independent mating program 
    ‘WebMate’ which is a fully interactive tool to make breeding decisions easier
  • Highly graded animals can have a considerably higher value than their non-classified counterparts

The NBDC Type Classification scheme currently evaluates over 130,000 dairy and beef animals every year. The NBDC classifiers operate an internationally recognised appraisal system which is used by the AI industry in the British Isles to provide reliable type proofs.

Breed your way to higher profit with Holstein UK presents the material in a way to help herd owners make better management decisions leading to improved profit. 


Type Classification

The role of classification is to identify those animals which will have a trouble-free and productive life. Classifiers score twenty-four individual ‘linear’ traits on a 1 to 9 scale and combine this information in five ‘composites’ and an overall classification score.

Breeders use classification information to help select and develop the best bloodlines in their own herds, as well as when sourcing animals from other herds. Animals that classify well command a premium at sale time.

Classification information is a key component in the calculation of UK bull proofs and in calibrating UK genomic evaluations for type traits.

Holsteins and British Friesians are classified using the same traits, with adjustments made to the scales used for certain linears.

Holstein UK classifiers take part in regular WHFF workshops to harmonize international classification.

The breakdown of Linear traits into each of the five composites as well as the weighting of these in the overall score is detailed below:

Mammary (40%)

  1. Udder Depth
  2. Udder Texture
  3. Udder Support
  4. Fore Udder Attachment
  5. Front Teat Placement
  6. Rear Udder Height
  7. Rear Udder Width
  8. Front Teat Length
  9. Rear Teat Length
  10. Rear Teat Placement
  11. Teat Side Position
  12. Udder tilt

Feet & Legs (30%)

  1. Foot Angle
  2. Rear Leg Side View
  3. Rear Leg Rear View
  4. Bone quality
  5. Front Feet Orientation
  6. Locomotion

Dairy Capacity (10%)

  1. Stature
  2. Body Depth
  3. Chest Width
  4. Height at Front End

Rump (10%)

  1. Rump Angle
  2. Rump Width
  3. Loin Strength
  4. Thurl Position

Dairy Character (10%)

  1. Rib Structure

Classification Score

90-97              Excellent (EX)

85-89              Very Good (VG)*

80-84              Good Plus (GP)             

75-79              Good (G)

65-74              Fair (F)

50-64              Poor (P)

*Maximum for first calf heifers is 88 points


Watch the TraitTalk series on YouTube to learn more about Type Classification, brought to you by the National Bovine Data Centre

View the Dairy Type Classification Guide

Classification Fees

To enquire about classifying your herd, call our team on 01923 695208 or email