The heritability of calcified intervertebral discs in the dachshund was estimated using data gathered from a radiographic study. Radiographs of the vertebral columns of 274 clinically normal, 12 to 18 months old dachshunds, were examined. The dogs were offspring from 75 different sires, representing the same number of half sib groups. There were 2 to 14 offspring in each half-sib group. The number of full sib groups was 81. Calcified intervertebral discs were identified in 20.4% of the dogs. An analysis of variance that used the data as a continuous and as an either/or-variable estimated the heritability of calcified discs to be 0.22 and 0.15 respectively. A genetic factor was found to be essential for the occurrence of calcified discs in a dog while a common environmental factor presumably resulting from non-genetic causes was significant in determining the number of discs to undergo calcification in affected dogs.