Ventricular dysfunction remains a hallmark of most cardiac disease. The mouse has become an essential model system for cardiovascular biology, and echocardiography an established tool in the study of normal and genetically altered mice. This review describes the measurement of ventricular function, most often left ventricular function, by echocardiographic methods in mice. Technical limitations related to the small size and rapid heart rate in the mouse initially argued for the performance of echocardiography under anesthesia. More recently, higher frame rates and smaller probes operating at higher frequencies have facilitated imaging of conscious mice in some, but not all, experimental protocols and conditions. Ventricular function may be qualitatively and quantitatively evaluated under both conditions. Particular detail is provided for measurement under conscious conditions, and measurement under conscious and sedated or anesthestized conditions are contrasted. Normal values for echocardiographic indices for the common C57BL/6 strain are provided. Diastolic dysfunction is a critical pathophysiologic component of many disease states, and progress in the echocardiographic evaluation of diastolic function is discussed. Finally, echocardiography exists among several competing imaging technologies, and these alternatives are compared.