The Linear Type Classification replaced the 10x10 scale in 1992. The change brought the following advantages:
- The registration is objective
- The breeding values for conformation traits of bulls are of a descriptive character
- Complex traits, e.g. feet and legs, are divided into several single traits so that advantages or disadvantages are pointed out more clearly
- Breeding values are estimated with a higher security
- The results are well suited for designing breeding plans
- The linear classification is internationally known and used
The estimation of breeding values for conformation traits of bulls and cows, and the Total Score are based on the linear registration.
In total, 21 traits are assessed, besides milking speed and temperament are also registered for daughter groups. Moreover, defective characteristics can be recorded, in case that the linear classification does not give enough information (see page about "defective characteristics").
Breeding values are estimated for all linear traits for all proven bulls. For cows, breeding values are estimated for three groups of conformation traits (body, feet & legs, and mammary system). Besides, a total breeding value is estimated for all cows that have been linearly classified.
It is important to distinguish between the breeding value and the conformation score:
- The breeding value expresses the genetic value of an animal, i.e. the traits the animal passes on to its offspring.
- The conformation score describes the conformation (how "good" the cow looks), and to which degree the animal corresponds to the breeding goal of the breed for conformation.
Only the breeding value should be used when making breeding decisions.