Summary A previously published data-set with observations on supernumerary teats (hyperthelia) in dual-purpose Simmental was reanalysed by maximum-likelihood. The data comprised 537 unrelated animals and 614 members of 27 paternal half-sib families with known phenotype of each sire. The frequency of hyperthelia was 58% in unrelated animals, 51% in families with unaffected sire, and 73% in families with affected sires. Six different cases of single-gene inheritance were considered. The highest log-likelihood was obtained for additive inheritance and for a recessive pattern with 100% penetrance for recessive homozygotes and 32% for both other genotypes. Estimates for the gene frequency of the favourable allele were 0.34 and 0.29, respectively. Simple dominance or recessiveness with full or incomplete penetrance could be excluded. The possibility of finding paternal half-sib families with a heterozygous sire as a resource for a mapping experiment seem to be good in German Simmental.