Dog Breeding

You must have a licence to keep a breeding establishment for dogs.

Please note, as of 1st October 2018 the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations come into force. For more information please click here.


A person will be treated as carrying on a business of breeding dogs for sale at the premises where:

a person keeps a bitch at any premises at any time during any period of twelve months; and

the bitch gives birth to a litter of puppies at any time during that period; and

four or more other litters are born during the period to bitches falling within the following categories:

  • the aforementioned bitch;
  • any other bitch kept by the person at the premises at any time during the period;
  • any bitch kept by any relative of his at the premises at any such time;
  • any bitches kept by him elsewhere at any such time; and
  • any bitches kept (anywhere) by any person at any time under a breeding arrangement made with him

Applying for a Licence

When we receive your application and fee we will arrange for an inspection of the premises resulting in a report upon the suitability of the application. We may impose conditions on the licence to ensure that appropriate welfare standards are met. In addition to these it is a requirement that:

  • bitches are not mated if less than one year old,
  • bitches do not give birth to more than six litters of puppies each,
  • bitches do not give birth to puppies before the end of the period of twelve months beginning with the day on which they last gave birth to puppies,
  • accurate records in a form prescribed by regulations are kept at the premises and made available for inspection there by any officer of the local authority, or any vet authorised by the local authority to inspect the premises.

Note that in addition to a full inspection prior to the granting of a new licence or a renewal, licensed premises will also be subject to unannounced inspections to ensure that the licence conditions are being met and that the welfare of the animals being used for breeding under the licence is secured.

Licences must be renewed annually while the breeding operation continues and we would recommend that applications for renewal are made in good time to ensure that we can be satisfied that new licences can and should be granted and issued prior to the expiry of the existing one.

Licence fees

  • First application: £208 per annum
  • Renewal: £157
    - expires 31st December each year
  • Amendments and copies of licences: £10.50

Other issues

You must ensure that any other necessary general regulatory approval, such as planning permission, is also in place.

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