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Dog breeding licence

Registration of dog breeding

If you want to run a business of breeding dogs you'll need an annual licence from Middlesbrough Council.

If you're running a dog breeding business, you'll need a licence regardless of the number of litters involved.

Guidance indicates that hobby breeders don't need to be licensed, even if they sell puppies. Therefore, you'll be presumed to be running a business if in a 12 month period any number of your bitches give birth to 5 litters or more in total (i.e. collectively).

Bitches owned by different persons but who are for example part of the same company or family, even if those bitches are kept at different locations, are all considered to be one business. This means that a number of people working together can't evade the licence requirements by claiming to own different dogs and at different locations. This rule prevents puppy farm breeders in rural locations and in different ownerships, which were then claimed to all be separate small enterprises.

Read the standard licence conditions for non-domestic premises

Read the standard licence conditions for domestic premises

Read the Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999

How to apply

You can apply by downloading the dog breeding licence application form and returning it to the Environmental Protection team with the correct fee.

What happens next?

After receiving your completed application and fee, an officer will contact you to arrange an inspection of your premises to ensure that they meet the licence conditions.

A vet inspection is required for an initial application, the cost of which is payable by the applicant.

Redress information

In case of dispute or to appeal a decision, please contact the Environmental Protection team on 01642 728011.

Customer complaint

If you're a customer of a licensed/registered premises and wish to complain about the service or products sold, we would advise you to contact the premises in the first instance to resolve the matter.

Trade associations

The Kennel Club