Licences for dog breeders

You must have a licence if you breed and sell dogs.

This applies to anyone regularly selling dogs for profit and in all cases where more than five litters are sold in a 12 month period. The CIEH model conditions and guidance for dog breading establishments is a good reference for understanding the requirements.

There are currently no licensed dog breeders in Cheltenham borough.

Make an application

Information on how to apply for a licence, including fees and how we make a decision on whether to grant an application.

Buying a puppy

Please buy from either a licenced breeder or a small breeder who doesn't require a licence.

The following information will be helpful:

  • Guidance from the RSPCA including questions to ask
  • Advice from the Dogs Trust
  • The Council on the Welfare Issues of Dog Breeding gives advice on buying a puppy including what you need to consider before buying a puppy, and how to identify a breeder who takes a real interest in the health and welfare of their puppies
  • The RSPCA support the ‘Puppy contract’ – a record of good breeding and care which can help ensure a puppy has a happy and healthy life
  • The Kennel Club provides guidance and lists their breeders.  In addition to the general kennel club breeders they also have a UKAS accredited breeders under their 'Assured Breeders Scheme'
  • There are schemes in place for the screening of hereditary conditions. The British Veterinary Association (BVA) - in conjunction with the Kennel Club and the International Sheep Dog Society -  encourages responsible breeding through its canine health schemes

Do not buy a puppy if you are uncomfortable with the situation, even if you want to rescue it.  Buying a puppy from a bad breeder continues the poor behaviour. You cannot rescue all the puppies this breeder will produce, and if you buy the puppy you are providing the sellar with the money to continue.  Instead please report the situation to us.  

Complaints or information about a dog breeder

Signs of obvious neglect or cruelty should be reported directly to the RSPCA

For other complaints, please contact us providing details of the person and/or premises involved. Please clearly state your concerns and reasoning. All matters of concern will be investigated. We are interested in non-licenced commercial breeders and licenced breeders that are breaching our standard conditions.

For other animal welfare complaints please see who is responsible in animal welfare.

Relevant legislation