Apply for or renew a dog breeding licence

You will need to apply for a licence if you are:

  • breeding 3 or more litters of puppies in a 12 month period and/or
  • breeding dogs and advertising a business of selling dogs (no matter how many litters)

Licences are valid for between 1 and 3 years depending on the star rating.

Before you apply, you may need to check if planning permission is required to carry out the specific activity.

Who cannot apply

You cannot apply for a licence if you:

Fees

Number of dogs you’ll breed Fee
Fewer than 10 dogs (stud or bitch) £596
10 to 19 dogs (stud or bitch) £781
20 or more dogs (stud or bitch) £846

Vet fees are also payable for new applications.

Who does not need a licence

You do not need a licence if:

  • you can provide documented evidence that none of the puppies were sold (whether as puppies or adult dogs) or that you have kept them all yourself (this includes records of the new owners of all of the puppies and why there was no money involved, including in kind)
  • you're a registered charity that rehomes puppies born to rescue dogs, unless it is clear that this part of your operation is a commercial activity
  • you breed only assistance dogs as defined in the Equality Act 2010 (Guide Dogs for the Blind)
  • you're keeping a dog under the Animal Health Act 1981
  • you're an organisation regulated under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986)
  • you're a breeder that breeds a small number of puppies (fewer than 3 litters per year), and you sell them without making a profit - you'll need to provide documented evidence

Apply for or renew a licence

Dog Breeding Application PDF, 790.84KB

Along with your application, you’ll need to provide your:

  • premises plan
  • insurance policy
  • operating procedures
  • fire risk assessment and emergency plan
  • preventative healthcare plan
  • qualifications
  • training records

We'll contact you to request payment for the licence after we receive your application.

Pay the fee

Do not send cash or cheques. We'll contact you for payment when we have verified your application.

Renewing your licence

You should renew your licence at least 10 weeks before your current licence expires.

If we do not receive your application within this time, it may be delayed and you may need to stop trading until it’s approved.

If your licence is approved

You’ll need to display your licence in a public-facing area of the premises, such as the entrance or reception area.

You’ll also need to show the name of the licence holder and the number of the licence holder’s licence on any website used in respect of the licensable activity.

Premises inspections and star ratings

We will inspect your premises before the licence is granted. You’ll need to be able to show that you have:

  • a specialist knowledge in the species that they are caring for and a clear understanding of its needs and welfare
  • comprehensive records that contain all the information required by the conditions that apply to the activities you want to carry out
  • an understanding of risks involved in caring for the animal, including an extensive risk assessment and written policies and procedures that are reviewed regularly
  • training procedures in place to make sure staff know what is expected of them, a system of annual staff appraisals and ongoing knowledge development for all staff, including yourself
  • suitable accommodation for the animals as set out in statutory guidance

Based on the application, and the information given to us at the inspection, we’ll assess the risk rating and award stars using the animal activity star rating system.

Challenging your star rating

If you want to challenge the star rating awarded, you should contact the inspecting officer to discuss the matter. If they do not revise their decision, you can appeal in writing.

You have 21 days to make your challenge following the issue of the licence.

If you disagree with the outcome of the appeal, you can challenge the decision through a judicial review.

Requesting a reinspection

If you feel that your star rating should be reviewed, and have made improvements or changes, you can apply for a re-inspection in writing by showing:

  • what changes you've made
  • evidence of the changes

Find out about reinspection requests during the term of a licence on GOV.UK.

If your application is refused

You can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal if we refuse to grant or renew a licence.

You must make your appeal within 28 days of the day following the date of the decision.

Make a change to your licence

You'll need to request a variation to your licence if you want to:

  • increase animal numbers
  • add a new type of animal
  • change the premises you operate from

Contact [email protected] for advice.

Statutory guidance

Contact the animal licensing team