Renfrewshire Council

Dog Breeders Licence

No person may keep a breeding establishment without first obtaining a licence from their Local Authority.

Establishments used for the breeding of dogs are controlled by the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 and 1991 and the Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999.

The 1999 Act amends the definition of a breeding establishment in the 1973 Act. A breeding establishment is defined as any premises where the business of breeding dogs for sale is carried on.

Thinking of buying a dog/puppy?

There are many important things to consider before you start looking to buy a dog - from finding out if you are ready, to discovering the right breed to suit your lifestyle. Also, do you want to buy a pedigree puppy or get a dog from a breed rescue? Please read the guidance found on the The Kennel Club website.

Hobby breeders

Hobby breeders would not be expected to fall within that definition, even if they sold some puppies, provided that the new section 4A(3) of the 1973 Act does not apply to them. Section 4A(3) provides that a person will be presumed to be carrying on the business of breeding dogs for sale at any premises if, during any 12 month period, a total of 5 or more litters are born to bitches (at any location) during that period.

In summary, anyone carrying out a dog breeding business will require a licence regardless of the number of litters involved. However, any hobby breeder whose bitches produce 5 or more litters a year will be regarded as carrying on a business by Renfrewshire Council.


Applications for a licence must be made to Renfrewshire Council, and a licence may be issued if the applicant is not disqualified under any of the following acts.

  • The Breeding of Dogs Act 1973.
  • The Pet Animals Act 1951.
  • The Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954.
  • The Protection of Animals (Cruelty to Dogs) (Scotland) Act 1934.

How to apply for a licence

Applicants should complete the application form which is available below. On request an application form will be forwarded to the applicant for completion by post. On receipt of the application form the council will arrange for an officer to carry out an inspection of the premises to ensure its suitability for dog breeding. Dependent on the findings of the inspection a licence may or may not be issued.

  • Refer to the conditions of licence for required evidence/information.
  • Please refer to the Fees and Charges page for current cost of a licence.
  • You must contact us immediately with any changes of circumstances.

Where a licence is granted, that licence and any subsequent licence will expire on 31 December of the year to which the licence relates and must be renewed before the date if the premises are to continue as a dog breeding establishment.

Application forms

To apply for a new dog breeders licence complete the application form found on the 'related media' section of this page.

The licence lasts for one year. Before the renewal date, Renfrewshire Council will write to you informing you that the licence is due to be renewed asking you to complete a licence renewal form.

Conditions of licence

Before being granted a licence the applicant must be able to demonstrate to the Council's officer:

  • that the dogs will at all times be kept in accommodation that is suitable in respect of construction, size of quarters, number of occupants, exercising facilities, temperature, lighting, ventilation and cleanliness
  • that the dogs will be adequately supplied with suitable food, drink and bedding material, adequately exercised, and (so far as is necessary) visited at suitable intervals
  • that all reasonable precautions will be taken to prevent and control the spread amongst the dogs of infectious or contagious diseases, including the provision of isolation facilities
  • that appropriate steps will be taken for the protection of the dogs in case of fire or other emergency, including the provision of suitable and sufficient fire fighting equipment
  • that all appropriate steps will be taken to ensure that the dogs will be provided with suitable food drink and bedding material and adequately exercised when being transported to or from the breeding establishment

A licence may be refused or withheld on other grounds if those grounds are such that conditions are not suitable for the breeding of dogs.

Each licence is subject to standard conditions that are imposed on all dog-breeding establishments licensed by Renfrewshire Council. In addition to the standard conditions a licence may also contain special conditions that are only applicable to your premises.

The following offences apply to the breeding of dogs.

  • Anybody found guilty of keeping dog breeding establishment without a licence may be subject to a fine not exceeding £2,500.
  • Anybody found guilty of failing to comply with the conditions of their licence may be subject to a fine not exceeding £2,500.
  • Anybody found guilty of obstructing or delaying an Inspector or authorised Veterinary Surgeon or Veterinary Practitioner in the exercising of their powers may be fined up to a maximum of £1,000.
  • If found guilty under this Act, the defendant's licence may be cancelled and they may be disqualified from keeping a dog breeding establishment for such length of time as the Court thinks fit.

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health website has published model terms and conditions. Please refer to the Model Conditions. 

The licence lasts for one year. The onus is on the licence holder to apply for a renewal of the licence in good time, you will not receive any reminder from the Council. Please apply for your following year licence by 30 September to allow our Service time to process the new licence.

If you are refused a licence

Any person aggrieved by a refusal to be granted a licence or by any conditions to which a licence is subject may appeal to the Sheriff who may give such directions regarding the licence or its conditions as it thinks proper.


There will be an initial inspection on application and annually thereafter carried out by a Public Health Enforcement Officer (Environmental Health).

Dog breeders register

YearNew licenceRenewalRefused