Dog Breeding

On the 1 October 2018, the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018 No. 486) came into force. These regulations replace a number of pieces of legislation and provide a new single licensing regime for a number of animal licensing activities. One of these activities is the breeding of dogs. 

Specific Requirements for Breeding of Dogs

If you breed three or more litters of puppies over 12 months, you must have a dog breeding licence. If you breed less than three litters of puppies you may still need a dog breeding licence.

You must have a dog breeding licence if either:

  • you breed three or more litters of puppies in any 12-month period and sell any of the puppies or 
  • you breed and sell puppies as a business

If you answer 'yes' to any of the questions below, you are classed as a business and you must have a dog breeding licence. Do you:

  • sell/advertise for sale the dogs?
  • have an income over £1000 from the sale of the dogs?

Risk assessment

Before any application can be approved, we will risk assess your home or premises, and how the animals are looked after. To pass this assessment, the applicant must meet the conditions listed in the Regulations. Details concerning applicant requirements, conditions, and offences can be found in the Guidance (pdf 563 kb) as issued by DEFRA.

How to apply

Any application made to us for a licence must be made by the individual(s) or body corporate who/which proposes to own and operate the business. Application Form (pdf 409 kb)

Requests for application forms can be made by email: or by phone: (0191) 2116121

Application Form (pdf 409 kb)

The licence will be issued subject to compliance with the licence conditions and payment of the licence fee.

There is a fee payable upon application and subject to an annual renewal. However, should we require the expertise of an animal specialist this may incur further costs at your expense before a Licence is issued.

Current Licence Fees

Planning requirements

Your application for a licence will need to consider whether planning permission is required for the proposed licensed activity. You should contact the Planning Authority via or telephone 0191 2115654 to discuss whether permission will be needed. Your application for a licence will not be processed until the planning issue has been decided.

If you are unhappy with our decision

If the applicant doesent agree with the decision, they can appeal. 

If you do not agree with your star rating

If the applicant does not agree with the star rating provided, contact us to appeal this.

Request a re-score

If an applicant gets less than five stars, we will let you know what you can do to increase your star rating. An increased star rating could increase the length of time that the Licence is for. 

If the applicant completes these actions, we can return to the home or premises to repeat the risk assessment. This costs £100. Contact us to arrange.

If the application is rejected

If we do not issue a Licence, and the applicant wishes to appeal this decision, contact the First-tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber) to launch an appeal. 


If you want to make a complaint about any business activity involving the breeding of dogs that you may be concerned about, please contact us.

If you feel we have failed to provide you with good service or are concerned about the progress of your application, please telephone the Trading Standards service. The Trading Standards service will endeavour to resolve any concerns you may have.

The Council also has a formal complaints procedure.  

Useful links

Visit the Department for Food and Rural Affairs website.

Copies of the Regulations can be viewed at the Trading Standards Service, Directorate of Operations and Regulatory Services, City of Newcastle upon Tyne, Civic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8QH, where you may also obtain an application form and further help or advice.

Trade associations

Copies of the legislation mentioned on this page can be purchased from Her Majesty's Stationery Office or can be accessed at OPSI.

Please note: This information has no legal force and is not an authoritative interpretation of the law, which is a matter for the Courts. It is intended to help businesses to understand in general terms, the main features of the legislation. The information is not a substitute for the legislation and you should refer to the text of the legislation for a full statement of legal requirements and obligations. Where appropriate, you should seek your own independent legal advice.

Contact details

For further information or clarification please contact the Trading Standards Service, Directorate of Operations and Regulatory Services, City of Newcastle upon Tyne, Civic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8QH. Phone: 0191 2116121 

Page last updated: 
11 April 2019
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