Apply for animal activity licences

Dog breeding

You must have a dog breeding licence if either or both of the following apply: 

  • breeding three or more litters of puppies in any 12-month period
  • breeding dogs and advertising a business* of selling dogs.

Licences are valid for a period of one to three years. All potential dog breeding sites will require an inspection from the Council and a qualified vet before a licence can be granted. 

The full licencing conditions are set out in the government’s guidance notes for breeding dogs

A change in the law in April 2020 requires that all puppies in England must now be bought direct from a breeder or rescue centre. These animals can no longer be sold by a third party, such as a pet shop or dealer. If you sell puppies without a licence, you could receive an unlimited fine or be sent to prison for up to six months. 

Apply for a dog breeding licence 

* A business is defined as a trade, profession or vocation that:

  • makes any sale or carries out the activity to make a profit
  • earns any commission or fee from the activity