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Dog breeding licence

You must have a licence to breed dogs if you:

  • breed three or more litters of puppies per year
  • run a dog breeding business, regardless of the number of litters bred each year

You must be aged over 18 to apply for a dog breeding licence and must not be disqualified from keeping an animal breeding establishment or from keeping or having custody of animals.

Apply for an animal activity licence

To apply you need to complete and submit the following forms:

Use our online form below to submit the completed forms and public liability insurance certificate. You will also need to pay the fee using a debit or credit card.

You must provide and pay for a veterinary inspector’s report for new premises.

The cost to apply for the grant of a dog breeding establishment licence is £427. The fee to apply for renewal is £391.

When we get your application and inspector’s report we’ll arrange an inspection. We’ll check licence conditions that cover:

  • accommodation
  • food, drink and exercise
  • precautions to prevent the spread of disease
  • measures in the event of an emergency
  • age of the dog breeding
  • number of litters allowed
  • records kept at the premises

You’ll get a star rating for the premises, between 1 and 5. Full information about the rating system is in the DEFRA guidance notes. We strongly advise that you also read Guidance Notes for Breeding of Dogs

You should allow two months for your application to be processed.

Report unlicensed dog breeder

If you know or suspect someone is breeding dogs without a licence, you can report it to us by using our general enquiries online form.

We will investigate reports to check if the premises has a licence.

Laws and regulation

Animal Activity licences are granted under The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018