Dog breeding licence

You will require a licence to breed dogs if you either:

• Breed three or more litters of puppies per year
• Breed puppies and advertise a business of selling them (this is irrespective of number of litters produced per year)

You must be over 18 years of age to apply for a dog breeding licence and must not be disqualified from keeping an animal breeding establishment or from keeping or having custody of animals.

To apply you need to complete and submit the following forms:

• Animal Licensing Standard Applicant Profile Section 1
• Animal Licensing Standard Declaration
• Application for Licence to Breed Dogs

Once completed, return it to us with the relevant fee and a public liability insurance certificate.

A veterinary inspectors report is required for new premises and you must pay the cost of this.

The cost to apply for the grant of a dog breeding establishment licence is £347. The fee to apply for a further licence is £329.

You can find out how the Council constructs its fees by downloading the document Guidance on fee construction.

Once we receive your application and inspectors report we will arrange an appointment to inspect the premises.

During the inspection the officer will check that the premises comply with licence conditions for animal breeding establishments. These conditions cover:

• The accommodation provided
• The food, drink and exercise provided
• The precautions in place to prevent the spread of disease
• Measures to be taken in the event of an emergency
• The age of the dog breeding
• The number of litters allowed
• Records kept at the premises

Upon completion of the inspection, the applicant will then receive a star-rating based upon compliance, risk and standards.  The rating your premises receives pending inspection will determine the duration for which the licence will last (one, two or three years).  Please note, as new applicants will not have a compliance/complaint history with the local authority, they will initially always be treated as ‘high-risk’ and, as such, may not be eligible for the highest ratings until they renew the licence.  Full information about the rating system can be found by viewing the DEFRA guidance notes.

It is strongly advised that you read the relevant guidance notes below for more information on dog breeding best practice. 

You should allow two months for your application to be processed.

• Guidance Notes for Breeding of Dogs

Laws and regulation

Dog Breeding Establishment Licences are granted under the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973, the Breeding of Dogs Act 1991, the Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999 and The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.