Dog breeding licences

Do you need a licence to breed dogs, how to apply and pay for a dogs breeding licence, how to renew the licence, what other permissions you need, who regulates dog breeding and what happens if you don't apply.

Do I need a licence to breed dogs?

If you want to breed dogs, and meet any of the below criteria, you will require a licence:

  • Breeding three or more litters of puppies per year (unless you can show that none of the puppies has been sold)
  • Breed and advertise a business of selling puppies, irrespective of the number bred each year (subject to a number of exemptions).
If you are unsure whether you fit into these categories please email your query to:



How do I apply for a dog breeding licence?

If you require further advice and guidance on applying for a dog breeding licence, we offer a pre-application advice service, and the fee for this service is £50 plus VAT.

If you would like to book an appointment for pre-application advice please email: licensing@eastriding.gov.uk.

Please note: the legislation for dog breeding changed on 1 October 2018, and is now subject to the following regulations under the New Animal Welfare (Activities involving Animals)(England) Regulations 2018. To apply for a licence you will need to be able to meet all the requirements set down in the regulations and guidance. 

Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities involving animals) Regulations 2018 (pdf 5mb)

Guidance notes for Breeding of dogs (pdf 648kb)


Application for an animal activities licence is £220 for a single type only. £85 is payable for each additional activity applied for under the licence.

For example, dog breeding and boarding dogs in kennels would be £305.

Veterinary fees will also be due, which will be separately charged, as every application must be inspected by a vet. 

Processing your application

If you wish to apply for a dog breeding licence you will need to complete and submit the application form below, which can then submitted via email to:

Email: licensing@eastriding.gov.uk

Application for the breeding or sale of dogs ( word 191kb)

Your application form must be accompanied by all supporting documents listed in the application form declaration, any application received without supporting documents will not be accepted. 

When your valid and completed application has been received by the licensing team, a licensing officer will contact you and arrange for a veterinary to inspect your premises to ensure that you meet the required standards.

If the vet and licensing officer are satisfied that you meet the required standard, your dog breeding licence will be issued within 10 weeks of your complete application been made.

If the licensing officer is not satisfied that you meet the required standard they will tell you why and give you the opportunity to do further work. This may extend the 10-week progress of your application and a second vet's inspection may be required. 

A tacit consent does not apply to this application, meaning that your application will not be automatically granted after a specified period of time. Each application must be considered on its own merits. 

What other permissionsmay I need?

If you are applying for a dog breeding licence you may also need to contact Planning and Business Rates in relation to use of your premises for business.

How do I renew my dog breeding licence?

If you hold a current dog breeding licence issued prior to 1 October 2018, you must apply to for a new licence before the 31 December 2018. 

Due to a change in legislative requirements you will no longer be able to apply to renew your breeding licence. All applications made will be considered as a new application under the new regulations. 

The new licence will be issued and considered under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.

Who regulates dog breeding?

The licensing team are responsible for the licensing and compliance of dog breeders.

If a business holds a licence it should be on display in a prominent position at the premises.

If you have concerns about premises operating under a licence, have a complaint or would like to report a business that you are concerned are operating without a licence you can contact us online.

Alternatively, you can contact us via email:

Email: licensing@eastriding.gov.uk

Please ensure you provide as much information as you can to help us.

You will be required to give your name and contact details so that we can ensure that the complaint is genuine.

Your details will be kept confidential and will not be disclosed unless the investigation results in a prosecution at which stage your details would have to be disclosed.

How do I know who is licensed to breed dogs?

If you would like to know who is licensed to breed dogs within the East Riding of Yorkshire area, please view our animal public register.

What happens if I do not apply for a dog breeding licence?

If you are found to be operating without a licence you may be prosecuted.  

All cases will be investigated on an individual basis.