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Inspection Details - Breeding dogs

Part A - General Conditions

1.0Licence Display

The licence must be displayed in a public-facing area of the premises such as the entrance or reception area.

1.1A copy of the licence must be clearly and prominently displayed on any premises used for the licensable activity.
1.2The name of the licence holder followed by the number of the licence holder's licence must be clearly and prominently displayed on any website used in respect of the licensable activity.
2.0RecordsElectronic records must be backed up
2.1The licence holder must ensure that at any time all the records that the licence holder is required to keep as a condition of the licence are available for inspection by an inspector in a visible and legible form. Where any such records are stored in electronic form, they must be able to be produced in a visible and legible form.
2.2The licence holder must keep all such records for at least three years beginning with the date on which the record was created.
3.0Use, number and type of animal
3.1No animals or types of animal other than those animals and types of animal specified in the licence may be used in relation to the relevant licensable activity.

The licence conditions must clearly state the total numbers of dogs that are kept for the licensable activity permitted at the premises including puppies

3.2The number of animals kept for the activity at any time must not exceed the maximum that is reasonable taking into account the facilities and staffing on any premises used for the licensable activity.



Sufficient numbers of people competent for the purpose must be available to provide a level of care that ensures that the welfare needs of all the animals are met.

Where there is evidence that the welfare needs of the animals are not being met, the inspector should consider if the staffing levels are appropriate. The inspector should take into account:

  • The size of premises
  • The layout of the premises i.e. how many dogs may be permitted in each separate area
  • The type of dog e.g. breed, age, health status and needs
  • The qualifications / experience of the staff
  • Additional services offered by the establishment
  • Use of part-time or voluntary staff
  • As a guide, the ratio of staff to dogs in established businesses will be around 1:2
Higher standardStaffing levels will be up to 1 full-time equivalent attendant per 10 adult dogs kept.

The licence holder or a designated manager and any staff employed to care for the animals must have competence to identify the normal behaviour of the species for which they are caring. They must be able to recognise signs of, and take appropriate measures to mitigate or prevent, pain, suffering, injury, disease or abnormal behaviour.

Training must be a minimum of an OFQUAL regulated level 2 qualification in a relevant subject, or clear evidence of knowledge and experience.

Suitable and sufficient training of staff must be demonstrated to have been carried out in the following areas:

  • animal welfare, including recognising poor welfare;
  • animal handling;
  • animal behaviour;
  • cleanliness and hygiene;
  • feeding and food preparation;
  • Disease control;
  • Recognition and first aid treatment of sick animals and abnormalities.
  • New information on disease and inherited disease, legislation and behaviour
Higher standard

Where there are staff employed at least one must have an OFQUAL regulated Level 3 qualification in a relevant subject and must be present during the working day.

A suitably qualified behaviour expert must be appointed in relation to the licensable activity and active engagement recorded.


The licence holder must provide and ensure the implementation of a written training policy for all staff.

It will be applicable to any members of staff and can be shown by engagement with courses, written or online learning, keeping up to date with any research or developments for specific species and the documentation of the annual appraisal.

The training policy must be reviewed and updated on an annual basis and must include:

  • annual appraisal
  • planned continued professional development
  • recognition of knowledge gaps
  • Use of online courses and literature
  • If no staff are employed the licence holder must demonstrate their own knowledge development.

Evidence of staff attendance or completion of the training must be provided.

5.0Suitable Environment

All areas, equipment and appliances to which the animals have access must present minimal risks of injury, illness and escape. They must be constructed in materials that are robust, safe and durable, in a good state of repair and well maintained.

Kennel Environment: 

Timber must be of good quality, well-kept and any damaged areas sealed or over clad. Wood must be smooth and treated and properly maintained to render it impervious.

Interior surfaces, including floors, must be smooth, impervious and able to be disinfected, where appropriate. Floors must have a non-slip, solid surface. Junctions between sections must be coved or sealed.

There must not be any sharp edges, projections, rough edges or other hazards which present risk of injury to a dog.

Windows must be escape-proof.

Doors must be strong enough to resist impact, scratching and chewing, and must be capable of being effectively secured. Large apertures to unlock a door must be avoided.

Gaps or apertures must be small enough to prevent a dog's head passing through, or entrapment of any limb or body parts. To protect against entrapment any such gaps must prevent the passage of a 50 mm sphere, or smaller if appropriate.

Unit doors must open inwards to protect the health and safety of attending staff. Where this is not feasible there must be a documented procedure in place to demonstrate the safety of staff.

Door openings must be constructed such that the passage of water/waste is not impeded, or allowed to gather due to inaccessibility.

Access doors must not be propped open.

All wire mesh/fencing must be strong and rigid and kept in good repair to provide an escape and dig proof structure. Where metal bars and/or mesh and/or frames are used, they must be of suitable gauge (minimum 2 mm diameter, approximately British Standard 14 gauge) with spacing adequate to prevent dogs escaping or becoming entrapped.

Drainage must be effective to ensure there is no standing or pooling of liquids. A minimum gradient of 1:80 is advised to allow water to run off. Waste water must not run off into adjacent pens/dog units.

Drainage channels must be provided so that urine is not allowed to pass over walk areas in corridors and communal access areas or there must be an alternative means of removing excess liquid in place. There must be no access to the drainage channels by the dogs housed in the dog units.

Any drain covers in areas where dogs have access must be designed and located to prevent toes/claws from being caught.

For kennels where there are facing dog units accessed by an indoor corridor, the corridor must be at least 1.2 m wide. If this is not feasible, demonstrable measures must be in place to protect the safety of staff e.g. routes taken to remove dogs from kennel units and where dogs are placed within the establishment.

Kennels and runs must open onto secure corridors or other secure areas so that dogs are not able to escape from the premises. These corridors / areas must not be used as an exercise area.

Each unit must have minimum headroom height of 2 m and be designed to allow staff to access dogs and clean all parts of the unit safely. Where this is not feasible there must be a documented procedure in place to demonstrate the safety of staff.

Where new kennels are built, they must be built in compliance with good building practice, on a concrete base with a damp proof membrane.

Home Environment:

The home must be well maintained and in good repair. There must not be any sharp edges, projections, rough edges or other hazards, such as chemicals and loose cables, which may present risk of injury to a dog. No standing water from cleaning or urine is acceptable.

Doors to the outside must be escape proof, securable, strong enough to resist impact and scratching, and to prevent injury. External doors/gates must be lockable. Those involved in the care of the dogs and residents must have easy access to keys and/or any key code in case of emergency. Doors must have secure latches or other secure closing devices.

All outdoor fencing must be strong and rigid and kept in good repair to provide an escape and dig proof structure. Where dogs have access to mesh, the diameter of the wire must not be less than 2.0 mm (British Standard 14 gauge welded mesh). Mesh size must not exceed 50 mm in any direction.

Each room used for the activity must have a securable, full height door for access and security. Internal doors must open inwards in order to protect the health and safety of attending people and reduce the risk of escape. Where this is not feasible there must be a documented procedure in place to demonstrate the safety of the licensee / attending people. Where appropriate, doors to rooms must be kept shut at night. Each dog room must have a secure latch or other secure closing device.

All interior surfaces to which dogs have access must be maintained in good order and repair. Wherever possible, interior surfaces must be smooth, impervious and able to be cleaned, with no gaps or protrusions on which claws can be caught. All floors must be suitably clean. Floors must be non-hazardous for dogs to walk on, in particular to avoid slipping.

Any electrical sockets and appliances in the dog room must be secure and protected against damage.

Higher StandardDogs must be provided with a design and layout that provides them with choice. Separate areas for different activities should be provided. This can be achieved by, for example, inclusion of raised platforms

Animals must be kept at all times in an environment suitable to their species and condition (including health status and age) with respect to 

(a) their behavioural needs,

(b) its situation, space, air quality, cleanliness and temperature

(c) the water quality (where relevant),

(d) noise levels

(e) light levels

(f) ventilation.

Dogs must not be restricted to areas when climatic conditions may cause them distress. Insulation and temperature regulation in the kennels must aim to keep the ambient temperature in the dog sleeping accommodation above an absolute minimum of 10 °C and below a maximum of 26 °C.

Additional local heating must be provided within the whelping enclosure for the first 10 days after birth.

Dogs must be monitored to check if they are too hot or too cold. If an individual dog is showing signs of heat or cold intolerance steps must be taken to ensure the welfare of the dog.

A dog must be able to remove itself from a direct source of heat or light.

Dogs must have exposure to natural light for at least parts of the day.

Ventilation must be provided to all interior areas to avoid excess humidity.

Higher Standard

Ventilation must be a managed, fixed or portable, air system to ensure appropriate temperatures are maintained in all weathers. This can be an air conditioning unit or use of removable fans.

A noise management plan must be in place e.g. physical barriers, sound absorbing build structure, positive reinforcement training to keep barking down, kennel design to prevent noise generation with demonstration of effectiveness


Staff must ensure that the animals are kept clean and comfortable

Each occupied kennel must be cleaned daily at a minimum.

Dogs must be removed from the area while it is being cleaned.

5.4Where appropriate for the species, a toileting area and opportunities for toileting must be provided.

For kennelled dogs there will be regular access to a run for toileting during the working day.

In a home environment dogs will have access to a secure outside area for toileting.

Females must be allowed a minimum of four periods a day for toileting and exercise away from their puppies.

5.5Procedures must be in place to ensure accommodation and any equipment within it is cleaned as often as necessary and good hygiene standards are maintained. The accommodation must be capable of being cleaned and disinfected.

Kennels, including outside runs, must be inspected daily and kept in a clean condition, in accordance with the documented cleaning and disinfection procedure.

Kennels must be disinfected at least once a week and at occupancy change.

Faeces must be removed from all areas as often as necessary and in any case a minimum of twice a day.


The animals must be transported and handled in a manner (including for example in relation to housing, temperature, ventilation and frequency) that protects them from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

Leaving dogs in vehicles must be minimalised and dogs must never be left unattended in a car or other vehicle where the temperature may pose a risk to the animal.

If transporting dogs by road, sufficient breaks must be offered for water and the chance to go to the toilet.

Any animals received or delivered must be transported according to the regulations laid down in current legislation.

The licence holder must demonstrate that a suitable vehicle is available to transport dogs. It does not have to be owned by the licence holder. Dogs must be suitably restrained using a dog crate or dog guard. Dog crates need to be of adequate size, designed to provide good ventilation and firmly secured.

Vehicles must be cleaned and disinfected after each collection / delivery of any new dogs.

Injured, diseased or ill dogs must not be transported unless they are being taken to a veterinarian for treatment. In these situations, there should be barriers between carriers to reduce the transmission of disease and the vehicle and equipment should be appropriately disinfected following transportation.

5.7All the animals must be easily accessible to staff and for inspection. There must be sufficient light for the staff to work effectively and observe the animals.

Where practicable this must be natural light, but artificial light must be available. Where artificial lighting is used, this must be within a range of 10 to 12 hours daily.

Lights must be turned off to provide a period of darkness overnight.


All resources must be provided in a way (for example as regards. frequency, location and access points) that minimises competitive behaviour or the dominance of individual animals.

Resources include, but are not limited to, food, water, enrichment items and resting/sleeping areas.

There must be multiples of all resources (food, water bowls and sleeping areas), equal or greater than the number of dogs in the unit. Dogs must be carefully monitored, especially at feeding times. Each weaned dog must be provided with a non-slip water bowl. Each bitch must have access to food that is not accessible to the puppies.


The animals must not be left unattended in any situation or for any period likely to cause them distress.

All dogs must be observed regularly throughout the day. The licence holder or responsible person must visit the dogs at regular intervals (of no more than 4 hours apart during the working day e.g. starting at 0800, until 1800), or as necessary for the individual health, safety and welfare of each dog.

Higher StandardAll individual dogs must be inspected at least once at an appropriate interval during the out of hours' period (e.g. 1800-0800).
6.0Suitable Diet 

The animals must be provided with a suitable diet in terms of quality, quantity and frequency. Any new feeds must be introduced gradually to allow the animals to adjust to them.

If there are concerns about an individual dog's diet, veterinary advice must be sought.

All breeders must have a plan for weaning puppies. They must ensure that each puppy starts weaning as soon as it is capable of ingesting feed on its own and provide each puppy with feed appropriate for its stage of development; and ensure that each puppy ingests the correct share of the feed provided. Puppies at weaning must initially be offered food four to five times a day. The initial diet may be liquid progressing to solid food over the ensuing period; the transitional feeding schedule must also be provided showing the day by day ratio if weaning puppies on to a different food.

Where a proprietary food source is used the manufacturer's guide must be followed. Veterinary advice must be sought if in doubt.

Adult dogs must be fed at least once per day and in accordance with the individual dog's needs. Dogs must be fed a complete diet appropriate to their age, breed, activity level and stage in the breeding cycle.

A plan/record of the type, quantity, frequency of food each dog receives must be kept.

During pregnancy and lactation, each bitch must have sufficient appropriate food to satisfy the demands being made upon her.

The licence holder must be able to show how the diet of pregnant bitches is managed, and have an appropriate procedure in place for doing so.

During lactation the bitch must be closely monitored for signs of complications (e.g. eclampsia, mastitis). The feeding level required for the bitch after weaning will depend upon her body condition

Higher Standard

Dogs must be fed twice a day with a feeding plan for each dog balancing feeding with food enrichment such as use of scatter feeders. Inspector must see the enrichment tools and plan for each dog.

A minimum of a week's supply of the puppies' current diet must be included when they go to their new home.


Feed and (where appropriate) water intake must be monitored, and any problems recorded and addressed.

Dogs must not remain inappetent (without appetite) for longer than 24 hours without seeking veterinary advice. If there are specific concerns veterinary advice must be sought earlier.

The general condition of the dogs must be observed and dogs displaying significant weight loss/gain must be evaluated by a veterinarian and treated as necessary.

Weekly records of weight and Body Condition Scoring (BCS) must be kept to ensure the health of puppies and to allow any issues to be tracked.

The weight and BCS of adult dogs must be monitored to ensure they are healthy and any issues tracked.


Feed and drinking water provided to the animals must be unspoilt and free from contamination.

Food must not be left out for more than 24 hours.

Refrigeration facilities for food storage must be provided.

Food must be stored away from risk of vermin and in appropriately cool and dry places.

6.4Feed and drinking receptacles must be capable of being cleaned and disinfected, or disposable.

Receptacles must be non-porous.

Receptacles must be cleaned daily and disinfected at least once a week and between dogs. If damaged they must be disposed of.


Constant access to fresh, clean drinking water must be provided in a suitable receptacle for the species that requires it.

Fresh water must be provided daily in a clean container and changed or refreshed as often as necessary.

One water bowl must be provided per adult dog in a kennel environment.


Where feed is prepared on the premises, there must be hygienic facilities for its preparation, including a working surface, hot and cold running water and storage.

In establishments where staff are employed a separate hand wash basin with an adequate supply of hot and cold water must be provided for them to wash their hands. This must be connected to a suitable drainage system.

Soap and hygienic hand drying facilities must also be available.

The food preparation area must be kept clean and vermin free at all times.

Receptacles for food and drink must not be used for any other purposes.

7.0Monitoring of behaviour and training of animals

Active and effective environmental enrichment must be provided to the animals in inside and any outside environments.

A programme must be available setting out enrichment both inside and outside including training, grooming, socialisation and play. All dogs must receive appropriate toys and / or feeding enrichment such as scatter feeders unless veterinary advice suggests otherwise.

All items of enrichment must be checked daily for any signs of damage. Damaged/broken items must be discarded and replaced.


For species whose welfare depends partly on exercise, opportunities to exercise which benefit the animals' physical and mental health must be provided, unless advice from a veterinarian suggests otherwise.

Opportunities to exercise must involve at least one walk per day or access to a secure open space. Consideration must be given to life stage, physical and mental health and breed when planning daily exercise.

Dogs must be monitored whilst in outdoor exercise areas.

Puppies cannot be walked so will require at least four opportunities to engage in play and human interaction during the day.

Dogs which cannot be exercised for veterinary reasons must be provided with alternative forms of mental stimulation.

Higher Standard

There must a clear plan setting out two walks per dog each day for a minimum of 20 minutes each.

There must be an alternative form of enrichment planned for dogs which cannot be exercised for veterinary reasons.


The animals' behaviour and any changes of behaviour must be monitored. Advice must be sought, as appropriate and without delay, from a veterinarian if adverse or abnormal behaviour is detected.

The behaviour of individual dogs must be monitored daily and changes in behaviour and/or behaviours indicative of suffering, stress, fear, aggression and anxiety must be acted upon.

Records of assessment must be kept. All staff must be able to identify dogs that are anxious or fearful about contact.

Where necessary advice must be available from a suitably qualified clinical animal behaviourist.

Dogs likely to, or showing, signs of being nervous or stressed must be located in a suitable part of the establishment, bearing in mind their individual disposition. This could include: elderly dogs; nervous dogs; dogs on some medications. Where a dog shows signs of being nervous, stressed or fearful, steps must be taken to address this.

7.4Where used, training methods or equipment must not cause pain, suffering or injury.Training must be reward based (i.e. reward desired behaviour and ignore unwanted behaviour).

All immature animals must be given suitable and adequate opportunities to:

  • learn how to interact with people, their own species and other animals where such interaction benefits their welfare, and;
  • become habituated to noises, objects and activities in their environment.

From 3 weeks old puppies must be habituated to events likely to be encountered throughout their adult lives. This must include the sights and sounds in households, such as appliances, as well as differing surfaces on which to walk. Introduction to novel sights and sounds must be gradual so that puppies do not show a fearful response such as startling or withdrawal.

Puppies must also be introduced to a variety of people. Beneficial and positive contact can include grooming, exercise, play, petting and training as appropriate for the individual.

8.0Animal Handling and Interactions

All people responsible for the care of the animals must be competent in the appropriate handling of each animal to protect it from pain, suffering, injury or disease.

A suitable range of muzzles of varying sizes and a suitable dog catching device must be kept on site

Dogs must always be handled humanely and appropriately to suit the requirements of the individual dog and to minimise fear, stress, pain and distress. Dogs must never be punished so that they are frightened or exhibit aversive behaviour.

People must have the competence to handle dogs correctly. A protocol must be in place for dealing with difficult dogs, to include members of staff appropriately trained in dog handling and the use of appropriate equipment. They must also have the ability to recognise and act upon undesirable behaviours, and those dogs that are anxious or fearful.


The animals must be kept separately or in suitable compatible social groups appropriate to the species and individual animals. No animals from a social species may be isolated or separated from others of their species for any longer than is necessary.

Dogs must be held in socially-harmonious groups with a minimum of two, i.e. a pair after prescreening has been carried out to ensure no aggressive behaviour is shown.

Dogs which show significant signs of fear, anxiety or aggression associated with contact with other dogs may be better housed and exercised separately, as long as they are provided with sufficient human contact. They must not be used for breeding.

A policy must be in place for monitoring the introduction of new dogs to other dogs in either domestic or kennel environments, to avoid stress to either new or resident animals.

Dogs must not be muzzled to facilitate group or pair housing.

8.3The animals must have at least daily opportunities to interact with people where such interaction benefits their welfare.

Dogs must have beneficial human contact and interaction e.g. staff on a daily basis.

Suitable intervals for puppies to be visited are frequent, as they require to be socialised. This must be a minimum of 4 times per day with 20 minutes of interaction per litter.

Animals should be encouraged but never be forced to interact with people

9.0Protection from Pain, Suffering, Injury and Disease 

Written procedures must:

  • (a) be in place and implemented covering:
    • i. feeding regimes,
    • ii. cleaning regimes,
    • iii. transportation
    • iv. the prevention of, and control of the spread of, disease,
    • v. monitoring and ensuring the health and welfare of all the animals,
    • vi. the death or escape of an animal (including the storage of dead animals);
  • (b) be in place covering the care of the animals following the suspension or revocation of the licence or during and following an emergency.

The procedures must demonstrate how the conditions outlined in this guidance are met.

9.2All people responsible for the care of the animals must be made fully aware of these procedures. 

Appropriate isolation, in separate self-contained facilities, must be available for the care of sick, injured or potentially infectious animals.

Dogs in the isolation facility must be checked at least as frequently as other dogs as a minimum and unless it is a separate person looking after them, after all the other dogs.

Protective clothing and footwear must be worn when handling dogs in the isolation facility, and sanitation protocols adhered to.

Separate feeding and water bowls, bedding and cleaning utensils must be stored in the isolation unit ready for immediate use.

Dogs showing signs of infectious disease must not be allowed in any shared outside exercise area.

Where infectious disease is present in the whole premises, barrier nursing procedures, and people trained in these, must be implemented. This includes use of protective clothing and footwear (where applicable) changed between enclosures; separate storage of equipment and segregation of waste.

Provision must be made for the isolation of sick/injured/infectious animals and those that might reasonably be expected to be carrying serious infectious diseases.

In a kennel environment, isolation facilities for dogs with infectious diseases must be provided. In a domestic environment, it must be demonstrated as to how a dog can be kept an appropriate distance from any litters of puppies or places where the litters go for 14 days.

If the isolation facility is at another location, such as a local veterinary practice a letter must be provided by the practice stating that they are prepared to provide such facilities.

All staff must understand the procedures to prevent the spread of infectious disease between any infected animals and the other dogs.


All reasonable precautions must be taken to prevent and control the spread among the animals and people of infectious diseases, pathogens and parasites.

An up-to-date veterinary vaccination record must be seen to ensure that dogs have current vaccinations against canine parvovirus, canine distemper, canine adenovirus/infectious canine hepatitis, leptospirosis. Vaccination against other diseases such as Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough) or Canine parainfluenza virus may be required by the establishment.

Vaccines used must be licenced for use in the UK. Homoeopathic vaccination is not acceptable.

Certification from a veterinarian of a recent protective titre test may be accepted instead of a booster vaccination as required by the establishment. The certificate must state the specific disease it is for and that it is valid for the current period.

If there is evidence of external parasites (fleas, ticks, lice) the dog must be treated with a product authorised by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate and licensed to be used in the UK. Treatment must be discussed with a veterinarian before administration.

9.5All excreta and soiled bedding for disposal must be stored and disposed of in a hygienic manner and in accordance with any relevant legislation.

This must be in a clearly-marked bin which is emptied either daily or when full, whichever is the sooner. Excreta must be removed in accordance with the documented cleaning and disinfection procedure.

Storage of excreta must be away from areas where animals or food are kept.

9.6Sick or injured animals must receive prompt attention from a veterinarian and the advice of that veterinarian must be followed.

People caring for the dogs must be familiar with the signs of pain and stress that are displayed by animals.

When a dog is suspected of being ill or injured a veterinarian must be contacted for advice immediately and any instructions for treatment recorded.


Where necessary, animals must receive preventative treatment by an appropriately competent person.

All animals must receive appropriate vaccination, as advised by the appointed veterinarian. Veterinary advice must be sought whenever necessary. Vaccination courses must begin at the appropriate age

Vaccinations must only be administered by either a veterinarian or registered veterinary nurse under the direction of a veterinarian.

Routine and documented treatment must in place for internal and external parasites (adult dogs and puppies must be wormed and given flea and tick treatment as appropriate).

9.8The licence holder must register with a veterinarian with an appropriate level of experience in the health and welfare requirements of any animals specified in the licence and the contact details of that veterinarian must be readily available to all staff on the premises used for the licensable activity.

The name, address and telephone contact number, including out of hours provision, of the veterinarian used by the establishment must be displayed in a prominent place and accessible to all members of staff.

The veterinary practice must be in a reasonable travel distance (e.g. approximately 20 minutes or less).

9.9Prescribed medicines must be stored safely and securely to safeguard against unauthorised access, at the correct temperature, and used in accordance with the instructions of the veterinarian.

All courses must be completed to the specifications given by the veterinarian.

Any unused medications must be returned to the owner, nominated contact or prescribing vet.

A fridge must be available to store medicines which require being kept at certain low temperatures.

9.10Medicines other than prescribed medicines must be stored, used and disposed of in accordance with the instructions of the manufacturer or veterinarian. 

Cleaning products must be suitable, safe and effective against pathogens that pose a risk to the animals. They must be used, stored and disposed of in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and used in a way which prevents distress or suffering.

Any equipment that has been used on an infectious or suspected infectious animal must be cleaned and disinfected after use or disposed of.

Standing water must not be allowed to accumulate due to the possibility of pathogens residing in these moist environments.

People using cleaning products must be competent in the safe use of detergents and fluids. Cleaning products must be kept entirely out of the reach of animals, and must never be left in kennels.

The choice of cleaning and disinfectant products must be based on suitability, safety, compatibility and effectiveness. Disinfectant products must be virucidal as well as bacteriocidal.

Cleaning and disinfection products must be used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.


No person may euthanise an animal except a veterinarian or a person who has been authorised by a veterinarian as competent for such purpose or

  1. in the case of fish, a person who is competent for such purpose;
  2. in the case of horses, a person who is competent, and who holds a licence or certificate, for such purpose.
  3. a person who has been authorised by a veterinarian as competent for such purpose

Euthanasia must be carried out using a humane and effective method that is carried out in a manner compliant with current legislation, including, but not limited to, the Animal Welfare Act (2006).

Only a veterinarian may euthanise a dog.

The licence holder must be able to demonstrate which veterinary practice is to be called and keep a record of all euthanasia and the identity of the qualified veterinarian that carried it out.

9.13All animals must be checked at least once daily or more regularly as necessary to check for any signs of pain, suffering, injury, disease or abnormal behaviour. Vulnerable animals must be checked more frequently. Any signs of pain, suffering, injury, disease or abnormal behaviour must be recorded and the advice and further advice (if necessary) of a veterinarian must be sought and followed

A system of recording observations must be maintained. Records and any associated checklists must be made available to inspectors. Any signs of ill health, injury or unusual behaviour must be recorded and veterinary advice sought and followed without delay.

Presence or absence of faeces and urine must be monitored daily. Any abnormalities must be recorded and acted upon as appropriate.

9.14Any signs of pain, suffering, injury, disease or abnormal behaviour must be recorded and the advice and further advice (if necessary) of a veterinarian (or in the case of fish, of an appropriately competent person) must be sought and followed.



A written emergency plan, acceptable to the local authority, must be in place, known and available to all the people on the premises used for the licensable activity, and followed where necessary to ensure appropriate steps are taken to protect all the people and animals on the premises in case of fire or in case of breakdowns for essential heating, ventilation and aeration or filtration systems or other emergencies.

All electrical installations and appliances must be maintained in a safe condition for health and safety of staff and animals. There must be an effective contingency plan for essential heating, ventilation and aeration/ filtration systems, as appropriate.

All electrical installations and appliances must be installed by appropriately qualified persons and maintained in a safe condition; and sited such that they do not present a risk.

There must be a documented policy in place for dealing with extremes of temperature and weather conditions (both hot and cold).

There must be an appropriate plan for accommodation of the dogs should the premises become uninhabitable.

Entrances and fire exits must be clear of obstructions at all times.

Suitable firefighting, prevention and detection equipment must be provided and maintained in good working order. Any buildings must have at least one working smoke detector (or other suitable fire detection system) installed in a suitable location on each separate level / floor of the property and there must be at least one carbon monoxide detector.

An emergency drill programme must be in place with annual testing, or as determined by fire risk assessments. All new members of staff must have this as part of their induction program and must be properly trained on the use of equipment provided.


The plan must include details of the emergency measures to be taken for the extrication of the animals should the premises become uninhabitable.

It must also include an emergency telephone list that includes the fire service and police.

10.3External doors and gates must be lockable. 
10.4A designated keyholder with access to all animal areas must at all times be within reasonable travel distance of the premises and available to attend in an emergency.

A reasonable distance would, in normal conditions, be interpreted as no more than 30 minutes travelling time.

For a non-home based facility emergency contact name / number must be displayed on the outside of the premises.

Higher StandardA competent person must be on site at all times.

Part B - Specific Conditions

1.0Advertisements and Sales

The licence holder must not advertise or offer for sale a dog

  • a) which was not bred by the licence holder;
  • b) except from the premises where it was born and reared under the licence;
  • c) otherwise than to:
    • i. a person who holds a licence for the activity described in paragraph 2 of Schedule 1; or
    • ii. a keeper of a pet shop in Wales who is licensed under the Pet Animals Act 1951 to keep the shop,
  • d) knowing or believing that the person who buys it intends to sell it or intends it to be sold by any other person.
The complete sales route from birth to sale must be clear, and the inspector must be shown how and where puppies are bred, born, reared and kept until sale. The inspector must also see what potential buyers are shown.

Any advertisement for the sale of a dog must:

  • a) include the number of the licence holder's licence,
  • b) specify the local authority that issued the licence,
  • c) include a recognisable photograph of the dog being advertised, and
  • d) display the age of the dog being advertised.
1.3The licence holder and all staff must ensure that any equipment and accessories being sold with a dog are suitable for it. 

The licence holder and all staff must ensure that the purchaser is informed of the age, sex and veterinary record of the dog being sold.


1.5No puppy aged under 8 weeks may be sold or permanently separated from its biological motherDogs must remain with their mother for the first eight weeks of life unless the mother dies or there is a health risk to the puppy or its littermates or the mother from remaining with her. Where necessary, a veterinarian may certify that it is in the best interests of the animal to be removed earlier.
1.6A puppy may only be shown to a prospective purchaser if it is together with its biological mother

Puppies must be seen interacting with the mother and any siblings.

1.7Sub-paragraphs (5) and (6) do not apply if separation of the puppy from its biological mother is necessary for the health or welfare of the puppy, other puppies from the same litter or its biological mother.In the event of the mother's death before the puppy is sold, or if her health or that of the puppy would be compromised by interacting with each other, this must be documented in the records and explained to the buyer. Buyers must be able to access the environment in which the mother and her puppies are kept.
Higher standards

The breeder must give all details of the sire to the buyer including date of birth, microchip number, registration body if applicable and details of any inherited diseases to which the father's breed is prone and any screening tests or surgery to amend confirmation the father received.

The breeder must give all details of the bitch to the buyer including date of birth, microchip number, registration body if applicable and details of any inherited diseases to which the bitch's breed is prone and any screening tests or surgery to amend conformation that the bitch received.

The breeder will ensure all breeding stock or puppies are recorded in the UK with a registration organisation compliant with BSI 9001 which must make available record of parent or lineage including coefficient of inbreeding and record of health screening test results.

2.0Suitable Environment
2.1Each dog must have access to a sleeping area which is free from draughts and an exercise area.

Dogs kept in domestic premises must have free access to more than one room.

Dogs must have access to an outside exercise area.

Dogs kept in a kennel environment will have an adjoining run or secure outside space


Each dog must be provided with sufficient space to:

  • a) stand on its hind legs,
  • b) lie down fully stretched out,
  • c) wag its tail,
  • d) walk, and
  • e) turn around,
  • f) without touching another dog or the walls of the sleeping area

Bitches with litters must be provided with double this space allowance.

Puppies must be housed in litter groups but have the ability to move away from littermates.

The minimum kennel size must be as below. This must be increased in relation to size, and number of dogs. The minimum area is per non whelping adult dog with each additional dog requiring the additional space listed per animal:

DogMin areaAdditional area per additional dog
Dogs less than 5 kg4 m20.5 m2
Dogs between 5 and 10 kg4 m21 m2
Dogs between 10 and 15 kg4 m21.5 m2
Dogs between 15 and 20 kg4 m22 m2
Dogs over 20 kg8 m24 m2
Dogs over 30 kgThese sizes must be scaled up accordingly and must be proportionate
2.3The exercise area must not be used as a sleeping area. 
2.4Part or all of the exercise area must be outdoors.Dogs must have constant access to shade and shelter so they can avoid extremes of weather.
2.5There must be a separate whelping area for each breeding bitch to whelp in which contains a suitable bed for whelping.

There must be a whelping bed raised off the floor and with sides high enough to prevent new born puppies from falling out. The bed must contain sufficient bedding to ensure a soft surface for the bitch and to enable the absorption of mess resulting from whelping. The bed must be constructed of easily cleanable impervious material and must be cleaned and disinfected between litters.

Bitches must be moved to their whelping accommodation 60 days after mating or sooner if signs of imminent whelping are shown.

There must be access to the whelping area without disturbing other dogs.

Where a bitch is whelped in a domestic environment it is acceptable for a temporary disposable covering to be used.

2.6Each whelping area must be maintained at an appropriate temperature (between and including 26 and 28 degrees centigrade) and include an area which allows the breeding bitch to move away from heat spots.Monitoring of temperature must be in place.
2.7Each dog must be provided with constant access to a sleeping area. 
2.8A separate bed must be provided for each adult dog.

Clean and dry beds and bedding material must be provided for each dog. Any bedding material used must clearly be non-toxic, be absorbent, nonallergenic and padded so not to cause injury.

Bedding material must be cleaned or disposed of in accordance with the documented cleaning and disinfection procedure.

The bed must be: easy to clean and disinfect; sited away from draughts; and free from hazards. Bedding material must be: non‐irritant and dry; and used in sufficient amounts to provide the necessary comfort and warmth required. Examples of suitable bedding material include blankets or quilted dog bedding.


No puppy aged under eight weeks may be transported without its biological mother except:

  • a. if a veterinarian agrees for health or welfare reasons that it may be so transported, or
  • b. in an emergency.
2.10No breeding bitch may be transported later than 54 days after the date of successful mating except to a veterinarian.Breeders must make reasonable effort for the veterinarian to visit the premises rather than transport the bitch.
2.11No breeding bitch may be transported earlier than 48 hours after whelping except to a veterinarian where it is not otherwise practicable or appropriate for that person to attend to the bitch.Breeders must make reasonable effort for the veterinarian to visit the premises rather than transport the bitch.
2.12Each dog's sleeping area must be clean, comfortable, warm and free from draughts. 
2.13In this paragraph, "exercise area" means a secure area where dogs may exercise and play. 
3.0Suitable Diet 

Staff must

  • a) ensure that each puppy starts weaning as soon as it is capable of ingesting feed on its own,
  • b) provide each breeding bitch with feed appropriate to its needs,
  • c) provide each puppy with feed appropriate for its stage of development, and
  • d) ensure that each puppy ingests the correct share of the feed provided.


4.0Monitoring of behaviour and training
4.1The licence holder must implement and be able to demonstrate use of a documented socialisation and habituation programme for the puppies

The facility must have in place an adequate programme to socialise puppies and prepare them for life in the environment in which they are going to live. Procedures must be available so that all staff know how to appropriately socialise puppies.

Where bitches are anxious or aggressive when puppies are approached, this process must be gradual.

Puppies must be handled regularly from shortly after birth for short periods (e.g. gently picking up and examining) to habituate them to human contact and to examine them for any sign of disease and to ensure they are feeding properly.

Toilet training of puppies must be started before sale.

Harsh handling or potentially painful or frightening equipment must not be used.

4.2Each dog must be provided with toys or feeding enrichment (or both) unless advice from a veterinarian suggests otherwise.

Food provision can be used to enhance enrichment, for example through the use of devices increasing the time and effort taken to access food (e.g. puzzle feeders, activity balls, stuffed rubber toys).

Where dogs are kept in pairs or larger groups, more devices must be available than the number of dogs and use must be supervised carefully to identify where adverse behaviour occurs.

Dogs which show adverse behaviour associated with feeding, or when provided with food based enrichment, must be separated from other dogs prior to feeding

4.3Except in the circumstances mentioned in sub-paragraph (4), all adult dogs must be exercised at least twice daily away from their sleeping area.

There are various options for exercise - a secure exercise space, or on-lead walk.

Pregnant and lactating bitches will require frequent opportunity to toilet with short gentle exercise. Consideration must be given to bitches within 48 hours of birth to access short toilet breaks.

4.4Where a veterinarian has advised against exercising a dog, the dog must be provided with alternative forms of mental stimulation.Walks must be replaced with two extra periods of human interaction during the day using grooming or toys/play. Toys will ideally be on a rotation so that their preferences for different toys can be established, and to minimise stress
4.5Any equipment that a dog is likely to be in contact with and any toy provided must not pose a risk of pain, suffering, disease or distress to the dog and must be correctly used.

All toys must be inspected and cleaned where appropriate in between each usage. Damaged toys must be disposed of.

Any equipment used to walk dogs must protect the dog's welfare and must be correctly fitted and used.

5.0Housing with or apart from other dogs
5.1Each adult dog must be provided with opportunities for social contact with other dogs where such contact benefits the dogs' welfare.

Dogs must not be kept separate from other dogs where possible. Mothers and puppies, must be kept together in a kennel area of sufficient size for their sole occupancy, with a divider that allows the mother space away from the puppies.

Suitable facilities must be available to securely separate male dogs from bitches in season to avoid frustration.

5.2Each adult dog must be given suitable and adequate opportunities to become habituated to handling by people. 
5.3Procedures must be in place for dealing with dogs that show abnormal behaviour.This will include people competent in understanding and handling difficult dogs and the use of appropriate equipment. Professional advice must be sought as necessary and such advice applied.
5.4There must be an area within each sleeping area in which dogs can avoid seeing people and other dogs outside the sleeping area if they so choose

The design and layout of kennels must allow dogs to be able to control their visual access to surroundings and dogs in other kennels. It must also minimise the number of dogs that staff disturb when removing any individual dog and ensure the safety of staff when passing other dogs.

There must be facility for a dog to be able to hide to avoid visual contact with other dogs.

6.0Protection from pain, suffering, injury and disease.
6.1All dogs for sale must be in good health. 
6.2Any dog with a condition which is likely to affect materially its quality of life must not be moved, transferred or offered for sale but may be moved to an isolation facility or veterinary care facility if required until it has recovered. 

The licence holder must ensure that no bitch

  • (a) is mated if aged less than 12 months;
  • (b) gives birth to more than one litter of puppies in a 12-month period;
  • (c) gives birth to more than six litters of puppies in total 1.0
  • (d) is mated if she has had two litters delivered by caesarean section.
Mating must not begin until the appropriate time after the previous mating.
Higher Standards

All bitches must be at least 18 months old before they are used for mating.

A bitch must not be mated if she is 8 years of age or older.

A bitch must not give birth to more than four litters of puppies in total.

A bitch must not be bred from if they have had one caesarean.

6.4The licence holder must ensure that each puppy is microchipped and registered to the licence holder before it is sold.

It is the responsibility of the breeder to get the dog microchipped by a suitably qualified professional, as it must be done by eight weeks after birth and it is not possible to rehome before eight weeks. Any health exemptions must be supported by a veterinary certificate. The details must be recorded on a compliant database.

The breeder must be registered as the first keeper.

Higher StandardThe licence holder must ensure that the microchipping database is amended with the puppy buyer's details.
6.5No dog may be kept for breeding if it can reasonably be expected, on the basis of its genotype, phenotype or state of health that breeding from it could have a detrimental effect on its health or welfare or the health or welfare of its offspring.

Licence holders must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the dogs are of good physical and genetic health, of acceptable temperament and fit for function (e.g. be able to see, breathe normally, and be physically fit and able to exercise freely).

Licence holders must be aware of any health risks that may be specific to that type or breed. Where appropriate veterinary advice on the suitability of an animal for breeding must be sought.

Dogs that have required surgery to rectify an exaggerated conformation that has caused adverse welfare, or require lifelong medication, must not be bred from.

Bitches that have had two litters delivered by caesarean section must not be bred from.

The prospective purchaser must be provided with written guidance on any relevant conformation issues and how to manage them in the relevant literature handed over with each sale. Licence holders must not breed from stock which shows fear or aggression.

Higher Standards

Licence holders must test all breeding stock for hereditary disease using the accepted and scientifically validated health screening schemes relevant to their breed or type, and must carefully evaluate any test results. They must also follow any breeding advice issued under each scheme prior to breeding.

No mating must take place if the test results indicate that it would be inadvisable in the sense that it is likely to produce health or welfare problems in the offspring and/or it is inadvisable in the context of a relevant breeding strategy.

No bitch will be intentionally mated when the Coefficient of Inbreeding of the puppies would exceed the breed average or 12.5% if no breed average exists as measured from a minimum five generation pedigree.

Surgery to correct exaggerated conformation must be reported to the appropriate organisation.

6.6The health, safety and welfare of each dog must be checked at the start and end of every day and at least every four hours during the daytime.All dogs must be observed regularly throughout the day. The licence holder or responsible person must visit the dogs at regular intervals (of no more than 4 hours apart during the working day e.g. starting at 8am, until 6pm), or as necessary for the individual health, safety and welfare of each dog.

Breeding bitches must be adequately supervised during whelping and the licence holder must keep a record of

  • a) the date and time of birth of each puppy,
  • b) each puppy's sex, colour and weight,
  • c) placentae passed,
  • d) the number of puppies in the litter, and
  • e) any other significant events.
Puppies must be checked for birth defects and medical conditions and the buyer made aware of such.
Higher StandardThe puppy must be checked by a veterinarian before sale with proof of such held and available to the puppy buyer.

The licence holder must keep a record of each puppy sale including:

  • a) the microchip number of the puppy,
  • b) the date of the sale, and
  • c) the age of the puppy on that date.
Higher StandardA puppy contract must be used, which must include undertakings and warranties around health, vaccinations and socialisation carried out by the seller prior to sale, and also make clear the responsibilities of the buyer relative to the dog. This must then give both parties confidence that a transaction has taken place in good faith.

The licence holder must keep a record of the following in relation to each breeding dog:

  • a) its name,
  • b) its sex,
  • c) its microchip and database details,
  • d) its date of birth,
  • e) the postal address where it normally resides,
  • f) its breed or type,
  • f) its description,
  • g) date or dates of any matings, whether successful or not,
  • h) details of its biological mother and biological father,
  • i) details of any veterinary treatment it has received, and
  • j) the date and cause of its death (where applicable).

In addition to the matters mentioned in subparagraph (7), the licence holder must keep a record of the following in relation to each breeding bitch:

  • a) the number of matings,
  • b) its age at the time of each mating,
  • c) the number of its litters,
  • d) the date or dates on which it has given birth, and
  • e) the number of caesarean sections it has had, if any
6.11Unless the licence holder keeps the dog as a pet, the licence holder must make arrangements for any dog no longer required for breeding to be appropriately rehomed.

Breeders have a responsibility to care for their animals appropriately, and must be able to document how both puppies that do not sell, or bitches and dogs that are no longer able to breed are cared for or rehomed.

If any animal is deemed unsuitable for breeding, and the owner of the animal is unwilling or unable to keep it as a domestic pet, then they must be rehomed to an appropriate environment.

The decision to proceed with euthanasia must only be taken for health or behaviour reasons, by someone suitably medically and / or behaviourally qualified to make that decision such as their veterinarian.

6.12A preventative healthcare plan agreed with the veterinarian with whom the licence holder has registered under paragraph 9(8) of Schedule 2 must be implementedThe establishment's appointed veterinarian must be consulted. A written health plan must be provided including vaccination, internal and external parasite control, monitoring of weight and body condition score.
6.13The licence holder must keep a record of any preventative or curative healthcare (or both) given to each dog. 
6.14Where any other activity involving animals is undertaken on the premises, it must be kept entirely separate from the area where the activity of breeding dogs takes place.Other activities involving animals must be undertaken in a separate building.


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