Dog Breeding Law
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Dog Breeding Law


Many countries have established dog breeding law to protect the interests of dogs and dog buyers. The dog breeding law varies significantly from country to country, and different states and regions within countries can also have their own dog breeding law and ordinances. If you consider breeding dogs, it is therefore important to learn more about the dog breeding law in your particular area.

If you live in the United Kingdom, one of the most important parts of dog breeding law is the Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999. According to this law, you must obtain a dog breeding license if you want to run a breeding establishment for dogs. The term “dog breeding establishment” is used if you own at least five breeding bitches and they produce at least five litters in any one 12 month period. This means that even a hobby breeder that does not breed dogs for the purpose of commercial gain will be required to obtain a license, as soon as he or she engage in dog breeding on a large enough scale. If you premises are used for dog breeding only, it will be considered a dog breeding establishment even if you have fewer dogs than five or they produce fewer than five litters each year.

How to obtain a license under the UK dog breeding law can vary somewhat from county to county, but the general requirements are quite similar. The license should typically be renewed once a year and Environmental Health Officers or the Council's Veterinary Officer must be allowed to visit and inspect your premises.

To obtain a dog breeding license under a dog breeding law, you must typically adhere to several types of rules. Most of the rules tend to focus on the wellbeing of each dog on your premises. You will typically be required to provide your dogs with suitable accommodation. The dogs should not be too cold or too hot, they must be protected from the weather, each dog must have suitable bedding material, and ventilation and lighting must reach a certain standard. The premises must also be clean.

Different breeds require different types of accommodation, and it is common for a dog breeding law to recognise this fact. A Newfoundland dog will for instance typically prefer a lower temperature than a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. The minimum size of the accommodation will naturally also vary from breed to breed. Most dog breeding laws call for sufficient amounts of exercise, and this is naturally also something that varies from breed to breed.

In most parts of the world, the dog breeding law require you to give your dogs access to drinking water at all times. Sometimes exceptions are made for really young puppies who will receive all the fluid they need from their mothers’ milk. Dogs naturally also need suitable food.

Other rules in dog breeding law do not primarily focus on the wellbeing of the dog in the breeding facility; they have instead been created to make the dog a suitable companion for a future buyer. It is for instance common for dog breeding law to require regular socialising of the dogs, i.e. the dogs must spend a lot of time with humans and learn to interact with humans. A dog raised by dogs alone will not really suffer, but it will be harder to train and behavioural issues may arise in the future and ultimately lead to the destruction of the dog. 

Disclaimer: This text is meant as an introduction only and might contain errors. Always refer to a lawyer in your area to get the facts in your particular case.

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