Licence to Breed Dogs

Licence to Breed Dogs

You will require a licence for the Breeding of Dogs if you are involved in either or both of the following;

  • breeding three or more litters of puppies in any 12-month period

  • breeding dogs and advertising a business of selling dogs

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?  

The activity described above does not include;

  • keeping a dog on any premises pursuant to a requirement imposed under, or having effect by virtue of the Animal Health Act 1981

  • breeding only assistance dogs or dogs intended to be used as assistance dogs within the meaning of Section 173 of the Equality Act 2010, or

  • breeding three or more litters of puppies in any 12-month period if the person carrying on the activity provides documentary evidence that none of them have been sold (whether as puppies or as adult dogs).

Risk Assessment

Before we can approve your licence, we will risk assess your home or premises, and how you look after the animals in your care. To pass this assessment, you must meet the conditions listed in the Regulations. Defra have issued Guidance (pdf 563 kb) to assist you.

If you meet these conditions, as well as your licence, you will receive a star rating (between one and five stars) for your business. The star rating you receive determines the length of time your licence is for (between one and three years).  

Applicant requirements and further information

Please contact us directly for applicant requirements and conditions. Application Form (pdf 226 kb)

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

There is a fee of £150.00 payable upon application. However, should we require the expertise of an animal specialist this may incur further costs at your expense before a Licence is issued.

What happens next

When we receive your application, we'll arrange to visit your home or premises to complete our assessment. After this assessment, we'll let you know if your application has been successful, and based on our risk assessment how long your licence is for.

If your application is not successful, we will include the reasons why in our letter. 

If you are unhappy with our decision

If you don't agree with our decision you can appeal.

If you do not agree with your star rating

If you do not agree with the star rating we give your business, contact us to appeal this.   

Request a re-score   

If you get less than five stars, we'll let you know what you need to do to increase your star rating. An increased star rating could increase the length of time that your licence is for. 

If you complete these actions, you can ask us to return to your home or premises to repeat the risk assessment. This costs £100 - contact us on

If we reject your application

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

Planning requirements

Your application for a licence will need to consider whether planning permission is required for the proposed licensed activity. You should telephone 0191 2787878 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 want to make a complaint about any business activity involving the breeding of dogs that you may be concerned about, please contact us. Trading Standards service, Directorate of Operations and Regulatory Services, Civic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8QH. Telephone (0191) 2116102. Email:      


Is this page useful?
Is this page useful?