The mouse electroretinogram (ERG) consists of a complex set of signals or "waves" generated by multiple types of retinal cell. The origins of these waves are reviewed briefly for the C57BL/6J mouse. The differences in the properties of these waves are described for 34 strains of mice and 11 F1 hybrid mice, as is the way that inter-strain genetic polymorphisms can be exploited in order to help pin-point the genes responsible for ERG differences. There are certain technical difficulties, some subtle, that can arise in recording the ERG and these are classified and illustrated in order to facilitate their diagnosis. Forward genetic screens are described, along with abnormal mice that have been generated in a large screen. Several means are suggested for determining if a mouse having an abnormal ERG is a mutant.