Breeding of Dogs

If you are a dog breeder, you may need a licence to carry out such activity.

Do I Need A Licence?

You will need a dog breeders licence if you are:-

  • Breeding three or more litters of puppies per year (unless you can show that none of the puppies were sold).
  • Breeding puppies and selling them as a business, with a view of making a profit.  This is not restricted to registered businesses - individuals can also be classed as a business depending on the extent of their activities.

When Do I Not Need A Licence?

You will not need a dog breeders licence if you are:-

  • A breeder who can provide documented evidence that none of the puppies were sold or that you kept the puppies yourself.  Documented evidence will need to shows records of the new owners of all the puppies and provide details of why no transaction took place.
  • A registered charity that re-homes puppies that are born to rescue dogs, unless the registered charities are running this element of their operations as a commercial activity.
  • Breeding assistance dogs only as defined in the Equality Act 2010 (e.g. Guide Dogs for the Blind).
  • Keeping a dog under the Animal Health Act 1981.
  • An organisation regulated under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.
  • Breeding less than three litters per year that are sold without making a profit.

How To Apply

Read the Statutory Guidance and Conditions. 

Complete the application form and submit along with all relevant supporting documents and the application fee.

If you wish to pay online - Click here to make payment and quote payment reference on the application.

We recommend you contact our Planning Department to determine whether a planning application is required.

Application Process

Before your licence can be approved an officer will visit your home or premises to risk assess the activity, and to ensure you will be able to meet the mandatory conditions that will be attached to the licence.  The officer will also assess how you look after the animals in your care.

Copies of guidance and procedural notes and  can be found under Useful Links.

Following the inspection, your application will be assessed and determined.  A licence will be star rating, ranging from 1 to 5 stars.  The length of licence is determined by the star rating, and can be issued for 1, 2 or 3 years.

Business Support 

We offer a range of business regulatory support services which may be of assistance.  These are available to help assist businesses to be more successful and compliant.

Premises with lower star ratings

A premise with a lower star rating is not necessarily a premise to avoid, as other factors are also taken into consideration, such as the length of time the licence holder has been operating.  New businesses will be assessed at a slightly higher risk because there is no history of good practice that can be considered.


 The Council may refuse to:-

  • grant or renew a licence, or

  • revoke or vary a licence 

Any person who is aggrieved by a decision may appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal within 28 days of the decision.


Licence holders must submit renewal applications at least 12 weeks prior to the expiry of the licence.  This enables the application to be accessed, and inspections carried out, so the activity can continue to operate without a break.