Breeding dogs

Breeding dogs and advertising a business of selling dogs requires a licence, as does breeding three or more litters of puppies in any 12-month period

Anyone breeding puppies and advertising a business selling them is subject to the business test. This is irrespective of the number of litters produced per year. This is not restricted to registered businesses - individuals can also be classed as a business depending on the extent of their activities.

What is a business? 

Government has issued statutory guidance that instructs local authorities to consider a number of criteria including: 'The allowance of £1,000 for trading income from April 2017 (announced in the 2016 budget). Anyone falling under this threshold would not need to be considered in the context of determining whether they are a business.'

The statutory guidance additionally confirms that breeders will not require a licence where they can provide documented evidence, if requested, showing that none of the puppies were sold or that they kept all of the puppies themselves. Documented evidence will need to include records of the new owners of all of the puppies and provide details on why there was no transaction involved (including in kind).

Our animal activities licensing section contains further details (including guidance notes, conditions and details of fees and when we will be accepting applications).

Public Register

Find out who holds a licence on our  Icon for pdf Public Register [124.58KB]. This includes unexpired licences expiring under the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 (and associated Acts & regulations) which expire on the 31 December 2018. 

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