Congenic breeding strategies are becoming increasingly important as a greater number of complex trait linkages are identified. Traditionally, the development of a congenic strain has been a time-consuming endeavour, requiring ten generations of backcrosses. The recent advent of a dense molecular genetic map of the mouse permits methods that can reduce the time needed for congenic-strain production by 18-24 months. We present a theoretical evaluation of marker-assisted congenic production and provide the empirical data that support it. We present this 'speed congenic' method in a user-friendly manner to encourage other investigators to pursue this or similar methods of congenic production.