Dog breeding licence

Dog breeding is regulated by three pieces of legislation:

DEFRA have clarified that a dog breeder is someone who is in the business of breeding and selling dogs, regardless of the number of litters produced in a 12 month period. In summary anyone "in the business" of breeding and selling dogs (trading) needs to be licensed. (DEFRA Circular 23rd November 2014)

Anyone producing five litters or more in a 12 month period also should be licensed regardless of whether they are in the business of breeding and selling dogs.

Two examples of consideration of whether someone is trading are:

(i) profit-seeking motive - an intention to make a profit supports trading;

(ii) the number of transactions involved - systematic and repeated transactions support trade.

No person may keep a breeding establishment without first obtaining a licence from their Local Authority. You can apply for this licence by downloading the form on the right hand side.

A licence may be granted if the applicant is not disqualified under any of the following Acts.

  • The Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 amended 1999.
  • The Pet Animals Act 1951.
  • The Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954.
  • The Protection of Animals (Cruelty to Dogs) (Scotland) Act 1934.
  • The Animal Welfare Act 2006

There is fee which must be paid at the time the application is made. Currently the fee is £105 plus the cost of the initial veterinary inspection which must be paid whether a licence is granted or not.

Where a licence is granted, that licence will last for a year and must be renewed before that date if the premises are to continue as a dog breeding establishment.

Council's duties

Before deciding to grant a licence to a person for the first time, the local authority is required to arrange an inspection of the premises by a veterinary surgeon / practitioner and by an officer of the authority.

The applicant must be able to demonstrate to the Council's Licensing Officer:

  • 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.


Contact us

Trading Standards
Gateshead Council
Civic Centre
Regent Street

0191 433 3889

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