Licence - dog breeding

If you intend to operate a business of breeding dogs with a view to selling them, you may require a licence.

If the number of litters delivered, or expected to be delivered, during a twelve month period exceeds five in total, you must obtain a dog breeding licence.

How to apply

Please download the relevant form:


You may not apply for a dog breeding licence if you have ever been disqualified under any of the following legislation:

  • Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999
  • Pet Animals Act 1951
  • Protection of Animals (Cruelty to Dogs) Act 1933 from keeping a dog
  • Protection of Animals (Cruelty to Dogs - Scotland) Act 1933 from keeping a dog
  • Protection of animals (Amendment) Act 1954 from having custody of animals
  • Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963 from the boarding of animals

What the law says

Licences to breed dogs are issued under the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973, Breeding of Dogs Act 1991 and Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999.

Application process

Applications should be made to the local authority where the premises is situated.

Officers authorised by the council will carry out an inspection of the premises prior to granting a licence. Officers may also attend to inspect the premises without notice when a licence is in force to monitor compliance with the licence conditions.

The licence will be issued subject to compliance with licence conditions and payment of the licence fee. Licences are renewable annually.

How long will it take to process my application?

We aim to process your application within 28 days of receiving it. As it is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted please contact us if you have not heard from us by the end of this period.

How to appeal

Please contact us first. Any applicant who is refused a licence or wants to object to a condition on the licence can appeal to their local magistrates' court within 21 days of receiving notice of the decision.

Complaints about dog breeding

If you wish to complain about a business that breeds dogs or if you believe that there has been a breach of licence conditions please contact us so we can investigate.

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