Dog breeding licence

You'll need a licence if four or more litters of puppies are born within one calendar year at either a domestic or commercial premises for the purposes of commercial sale.

Legislation summary

You can read the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 here.

Eligibility criteria

To qualify for a licence, you must meet the following criteria:

  • 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
  • the dogs must be adequately supplied with suitable food, drink and bedding material, adequately exercised, and (so far as is necessary) visited at suitable intervals
  • all reasonable precautions will be taken to prevent and control the spread of infectious or contagious diseases amongst the dogs, including the provision of isolation facilities
  • appropriate steps will be taken for the protection of the dogs in case of fire or other emergency, including suitable and sufficient fire fighting equipment
  • the dogs must 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 or withheld on other grounds if conditions aren't suitable for the breeding of dogs

Each licence is subject to standard conditions that we impose on all our licensed dog breeding establishments.

In addition to the standard conditions, a licence may also contain special conditions applicable to your premise.

Applying for a licence

You can apply for a dog breeding licence online. We advise you to read the guidance notes (pdf, 14kb) before applying.

Once your application is submitted and paid for online it is automatically sent to the responsible authorities, so there is no need for applicants to send in paper hard copies.


The licence costs £450 per year.

Application evaluation process

Once your application is received, a licensing officer will contact you to make arrangements to carry out an inspection of your premises. The officer will be accompanied by an approved vet who will set the licensing conditions.

A licence may be issued if the applicant isn't disqualified under any of the following Acts:

a) The Breeding of Dogs Act 1973
b) The Pet Animals Act 1951
c) The Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954
d) The Protection of Animals (Cruelty to Dogs) (Scotland) Act 1934

If a licence is granted, that licence will expire on 31 December of that year. The licence must be renewed before that date if the premises are to continue as a dog breeding establishment.

If you're experiencing issues applying for a licence or if you have any questions, contact us on

Page last updated: 14 May 2018