How do you become a council registered dog breeder?
March 15, 2021

becoming a council registered breeder

One of the biggest red flags people searching for a pup come across, is the breeder failing to show proof of a license, despite legally requiring one. Having a breeding license distinguishes reputable breeders from those who often pose as ethical breeders but are in fact operating as a puppy farm and keep their dogs and pups in appalling conditions. Here is everything you need to know about becoming an ethical and licensed dog breeder.

How do you become a council registered dog breeder?

By Emily Roach, Paws in Work guest blogger.

who needs a dog breeding license?

As a result of Lucy’s Law, changes have occurred to protect dogs and litters of puppies from being mistreated and handled by third-party sellers. It is now required that when searching for the perfect pup, you must find one directly from an ethical breeder or a rescue shelter.

In England, a breeding license is required if either:

  • You’re planning on breeding more than 3 litters of puppies per year with the intention of selling any of the puppies.

  • You run a business which involves breeding and advertising dogs for sale.

In Wales and Northern Ireland, a breeding license is required if either:

  • You’re planning on breeding more than 3 litters of puppies per year with the intention of selling any of the puppies.

  • You run a business which involves breeding and advertising dogs for sale.

  • You supply a puppy / puppies from your breeding premises from three or more litters bred per year.

In Scotland, a breeding license is required if either:

  • You are breeding and selling more than 5 litters of puppies per year.

  • You run a business which involves breeding and advertising dogs for sale.

is there a difference between kennel club (KC) registered and council registered breeders?

The difference between the two is that the majority of KC registered breeders will breed on average just one litter per year or even less. Despite this, any breeder who wishes to be KC registered must join the The Kennel Club Assured Breeders Scheme.

what is the assured breeders scheme?

This scheme is in place to enable The Kennel Club to ensure that all their breeders meet strict criteria regarding their breeding practices and the welfare of all animals under their care. Breeders undergo regular assessments, no matter how often they breed their dogs, and are expected to make any necessary changes after receiving their reports.

As well as protecting the welfare of dogs and their pups, the Assured Breeders Scheme provides benefits to their accredited breeders, such as free listings on the ‘find an assured breeder’ page, reduced puppy registration fees, prioritised access to support from The Kennel Club and discounts for DNA tests and events.

When prospective puppy owners search for terms such as ‘reputable dog breeders or where can I find an ethical dog breeder? The Kennel Club Assured Breeders page is one of the first to appear in the results. This will give those searching for a pup the reassurance that these breeders are ethical, reliable and knowledgeable. You will also be able to find an ethical and reputable breeder through our breeder match facility, which you can use here:

what do I need to consider before becoming a registered breeder?

There’s a lot to consider before becoming a registered breeder; from the facilities you’ll use, expenses, medical care, time, puppy socialisation and of course, which type of dog you’d like to breed. Whether you are breeding exclusively from your own dogs or looking to use a stud dog, you must research the specific health tests the breed requires and be able to prove all relevant health tests have been carried out.

what are the steps of registering as a breeder?

Firstly, you’ll need to contact your local council to confirm if your circumstances require you to have a breeding license. If so, the council will then inspect your establishment to assess if you qualify for a license, based on where the dogs are kept, how often they are exercised and their general health. You’ll need to keep records of your dogs and future pups. Your license number must be clearly displayed on the premises and any forms of advertising.

The frequency of inspection depends on the star rating you receive from the council, ranging from 1-5 stars. For example, if you’re rated as a 5* breeder, you will pay a lower fee and your license will be valid for 3 years, whereas if you’re a 1* breeder, your fees are higher and your license is valid for 1 year, requiring regular inspections. New breeders are automatically considered ‘high risk’ due to a lack of previous experience, therefore, they can’t aim to achieve a 5* rating until they have been successfully breeding for a minimum of 3 years.

what is a kennel name and do I need one?

A kennel name sets you aside from other breeders, acting as a unique signature to associate with your dogs and litters of puppies, however this is not compulsory.

become a registered breeder.

Becoming a council registered breeder will benefit you, your dogs, and prospective owners in a multitude of ways. If you’re feeling confident about becoming a registered breeder and you would like to benefit from our puppy socialisation programme, contact us on to find out how we can work together!

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