The objectives of this study were to see if the body condition score curve during lactation could be described using a model amenable to biological interpretation, a non-linear function assuming exponential rates of change in body condition with time, and to quantify the effect of breed and parity on curves of body condition during lactation. Three breeds were represented: Danish Holstein (n = 112), Danish Red (n = 97) and Jerseys (n = 8). Cows entered the experiment at the start of first lactation and were studied during consecutive lactations (average number of lactations 2, minimum 1, maximum 3). They remained on the same dietary treatment throughout. Body condition was scored to the nearest half unit on the Danish scale (see Kristensen (1986); derived from the Lowman et al. (1976) system) from 1 to 5 on days: 2, 14, 28, 42, 56, 84, 112, 168, 224 after calving. Additionally, condition score was recorded on the day of drying off the cow, 35, 21, and 7 days before expected calving and finally on the day of calving. All condition scores were made by the trained personal on the research farm, where the same person made 92% of the scores. The temporal patterns in condition score were modelled as consisting of two underlying processes, one related to days from calving, referred to as lactation only, the other to days from (subsequent) conception, referred to as pregnancy. Both processes were assumed to be exponential functions of time. Each process was modelled separately using exponential functions, i.e. one model for lactation only and one for pregnancy, and then a combined model for both lactation only and pregnancy was fitted. The data set contained 467 lactation periods and 378 pregnancy periods. The temporal patterns in condition score of cows kept under stable and sufficient nutritional conditions were successfully described using a two component non-linear function. First lactation cows had shallower curves, they had greater condition scores at the nadir of the curve. Danish Holstein and Jersey were thinner at the end of the mobilisation period having lost more body condition than the Danish Red breed. Although the dairy breeds ended up being thinner there were no significant differences in the rate at which they lost body condition.