Records of Gyr cows selected for milk production were obtained from the National Gyr Dairy Cattle Breeding Program (Embrapa/CNPGL) and analyzed, in order to estimate genetic parameters for the first three lactations and to verify the effects of some environmental factors on milk production from 1979 to 1994. Genetic parameters were estimated by REML with an animal model and a group of fixed effects that included classes of herd, year, season and age at calving. Milk production means and standard deviations were 2,183 kg, 707 kg; 2,682 kg, 762 kg and 2,638 kg, 851 kg, for first, second, and third lactations, respectively. Heritability estimates were 0.20, 0.12, and 0.19 for first, second, and third lactations, respectively, and repeatability was 0.44. Genetic correlation estimates were: 0.68 between first and second lactations, 0.84 between first and third lactations and 1.0 between second and third lactations. Results confirm other research for specialized dairy breeds and firmly suggest that even in breeds of Indian origin the best time to make selection decisions is during the first lactation.