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Dog breeding

Dog breeding establishment

Establishments used for the breeding of dogs are controlled by the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 and the Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999.

No person may keep a breeding establishment without first obtaining a licence from their Local Authority.

A licence is needed for any person keeping a breeding establishment if five or more litters are born during any 12 month period (assuming that at least one puppy is sold during that period).

Licensing of Breeding Establishments

Applications for a licence must be made to the Local Authority, and a licence may be issued if the applicant is not disqualified under any of the following Acts.

  • 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    

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


New regulations come into effect from 1st October 2018, replacing a number of animal welfare laws.

If you have a licence that is in force on 1st October 2018, it will continue to be valid until it is due to expire.  You will then need to apply for a licence under the new regulations.

Application forms and fees will appear here once they are available.

Please read:

Procedural Guidance for Animal activity Licensing;

Guidance notes for Breeding Dogs

Council’s Duties

Before being granted a licence the applicant must be able to demonstrate to the council’s Licensing Inspector:

  • 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 that 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 or withheld on other grounds if those grounds are such that conditions are not suitable for the breeding of dogs.

Each licence is subject to standard conditions that are imposed on all dog breeding establishments licensed by the council.

In addition to the standard conditions a licence may also contain special conditions that are only applicable to your premises.

Application for a Licence to
Keep a Breeding Establishment for Dogs

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