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Dog breeding licence

If you breed dogs in County Durham with the intention of selling them for profit then you will require a licence from us.

The legislation applies to all dog breeding, regardless of the number of litters per year.


All dogs that you sell must be microchipped and a sticker with a chip number should be provided to the buyer. 

Apply for a licence

You must read and meet the Icon for pdf Standard Conditions for Dog Breeding Establishment (PDF, 923.7kb)  before a licence can be issued. For further advice on the conditions please contact us.

To apply for a licence complete the Icon for pdf Breeding Establishment for Dogs Licence application form (PDF, 252.8kb)  and return to the address on the form with the required fee.

In addition to the application form and fee, we also require the following documents:

  • A site plan
  • Employers Liability Insurance certificate, if you have staff
  • Any training certificates you or your staff hold

We will also contact other agencies to check if you are a suitable person to run this type of business.

Application fees

The current fee is £150 for a new application and £125 for a renewal. Re-issue of a licence within the licence period due to material changes costs £20. Visits to check compliance will be charged at the relevant officer hourly rate in addition to the licence fee. 

This is an application fee and is non-refundable if you decide not to go ahead with the licence. In addition if you do not meet the conditions of the licence and your application is rejected you will need to pay the application fee again if you reapply. 

All new breeding establishments are required to pay a fee for a visit by a veterinary practitioner appointed by us. The fee varies and will be approximately £150 to £300 depending on the number of bitches you have and the conditions found at the time of the visit. 

Planning permission

You will need to check if your premise requires planning permission. You can submit an application before receiving approval from the Planning Department, however if the planning permission is rejected the licence will be cancelled and no refund will be available for the application fee.

Issuing of the licence

We aim to process all applications within 60 days from receipt. All outstanding veterinary fees must be settled before your licence will be approved. If you have not heard from us by the end of the target completion period you have the legal right to act as though your application has been granted.  

Once issued the licence is valid for one year.

Registered breeders

Please see our list of  Icon for pdf County Durham registered dog breeders (PDF, 156.0kb)

Further information

If you require advice prior to submission of an application, have concerns regarding a premises breeding dogs or would like to make a complaint, please contact us.


Contact us
Animal health
03000 261 016
Our address is:
  • Environment, Health and Consumer Protect
  • Durham County Council
  • PO Box 617
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 9HZ
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