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Dog breeding

Dog breeders who breed dogs as a business must apply for a licence. This is where two bitches are kept for the purpose of breeding for sale.

You cannot get a licence if you are disqualified under any of the following:

  • The Breeding of Dogs Act 1973
  • The Pet Animals Act 1951
  • The Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954
  • The Protection of Animals (Cruelty to Dogs) (Scotland) Act 1934

How to apply

If you would like to apply for a dog breeding licence you should fill in a dog breeding licence application form (PDF/12KB/1 page).

Return the application form and the relevant documents to the licensing group, along with the correct fee:

  • dog breeding licence (grant): £249.39
  • dog breeding licence (renewal): £221.35

You will also have to pay the cost of inspections carried out by our authorised veterinary surgeon or practitioner.

Existing holders of a dog breeding licence will be forwarded the relevant application forms approximately a month prior to the renewal date.

Our duties

Before granting a licence the veterinary surgeon acting on our behalf must be satisfied that:

  • that the dogs will at all times be kept in accommodation that is suitable in respect of construction, size of quarters, number of occupants, exercising facilities, temperature, lighting, ventilation and cleanliness
  • that the dogs will be adequately supplied with suitable food, drink and bedding material, adequately exercised, and (so far as is necessary) visited at suitable intervals
  • that all reasonable precautions will be taken to prevent and control the spread amongst the dogs of infectious or contagious diseases, including the provision of isolation facilities
  • that appropriate steps will be taken for the protection of the dogs in case of fire or other emergency, including the provision of suitable and sufficient fire fighting equipment
  • that all appropriate steps will be taken to ensure the dogs will be provided with suitable food, drink and bedding material and adequately exercised when being transported to or from the breeding establishment

A licence may be refused on other grounds if the conditions are not suitable for dog breeding.

Each licence is subject to standard conditions imposed on all of the dog breeding establishments we license.

A licence may also contain special conditions that only apply to your premises.


If you disagree with our decision to refuse a licence or any conditions you can appeal to the Magistrates' Court. The court will make a decision on your appeal.

Offences and penalties

Anybody found guilty of keeping a dog breeding establishment without a licence, or not keeping to the conditions of the licence, could be fined up to £2,500.

Anybody found guilty of obstructing or delaying an Inspector or authorised veterinary surgeon or veterinary practitioner in the exercising of their powers may be fined up to £1,000.

If found guilty your licence could be cancelled and you could be disqualified from keeping a dog breeding establishment for as long as the court thinks fit.

Further information is available in The Breeding of Dogs Act 1973.