Importance This article explores the regional problems of cattle breeding against the background of aggravation of international relations and vital necessity of food supply of the country. Objectives The article aims to develop methodological approaches to the definition of territorial-branch specialization in cattle breeding. Methods For the study, we used abstract-logical, monographic, economic and statistical, and computational and constructive methods of research. Results Having analyzed the effectiveness of cattle breeding in the regions and establishing the dependence of the economic efficiency of meat and dairy production on the availability of resource potential, we offer a grouping of Russian regions, determining the territorial-sectoral specialization in cattle breeding. Conclusions Assessment of the status and development of cattle breeding in the Russian regions helps establish a long-overdue necessity of structural changes in the development of the sub-sector towards the formation of specialized areas of beef and milk production in the regions.