How to join the Assured Breeders scheme

Bull terrier puppy on summers day

Our Assured Breeders are passionate about the health and welfare of the dogs they care for and the puppies they produce. If you'd like to become an Assured Breeder, then you can find all you need to know about the scheme on this page, including the steps you'll need to take to meet our requirements and how to apply.


What is the Assured Breeders scheme?

Our scheme promotes responsible dog breeders who have a strong focus on high welfare standards, giving the puppies they produce the best chance at living a long and happy life. 
All of our Assured Breeders:

To ensure that our scheme is robust and impartial, we’re accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) to certify breeders on our scheme.

Find out more about how we are accredited by UKAS.

Why join the scheme?
There are lots of great dog breeders who breed responsibly but it can be difficult to find them. Our scheme helps responsible breeders to stand out from the rest and helps puppy buyers feel reassured that the breeders they’re buying from are inspected and monitored by us. 
Find out more about why to join our scheme. 
How much does it cost to join the scheme?
  • Administration fee (£25) - We charge an initial administration fee for each application. Once your initial application has been accepted, you’ll be eligible to access the discounts associated with the scheme, including discounts on health testing and screening schemes. If you've not previously bred a litter, but have received a successful breeder assessment visit, your yearly payment will be activated but your membership will remain in a pending state until you apply to register a litter that meets all the requirements of the scheme 
  • Joining fee (£60) - Once your initial application has been accepted, we will provide you with a payment link, via email, to take a joining fee. You will then be submitted for a pre-joining assessment visit 
  • Annual membership (£60 each year) - After you have been an Assured Breeder for a year, you will be expected to pay an annual membership. Please note that you will need to receive a breeder assessment visit every three years to ensure that you comply with the scheme requirements 
  • Non-breeding discount (£45 each year) - If you have not had a litter in the last 12 months, we offer a non-breeding discounted annual rate 
Membership types
We have a number of different membership options available: 

Full membership  
  • If you breed litters of puppies, you will need full membership
  • If you breed litters of puppies and you also own stud dogs, you’ll need full membership

Stud dog only membership 
If you only own stud dogs and you don’t breed litters of puppies, you’ll need to apply for stud dog only membership. Please note, you can apply to amend your membership at a later date should you wish to breed a litter of puppies in the future. 
Additional membership and multiple breeding partnerships 
You must set up a membership for each individual breeding partnership you have. Additional memberships at the same address cost £12 per year. Please contact the office for information on how to apply by emailing Assured Breeder scheme (The Kennel Club) . 

Rules and requirements

Rules of the scheme

The standard for our Assured Breeders scheme includes all of the rules, requirements and expectations that must be followed by our Assured Breeders. 

You must read the scheme standard in full, but the essentials of the scheme can be found below.

  1. Ensure all breeding stock is registered with us and that the dog's signed registration certificate is handed over at time of sale 
  2. Make sure that health of breeding stock and puppies produced is a particular priority and make use of health screening schemes, relevant to your breed 
  3. Allow your premises to be inspected and assessed by our assessors to ensure compliance with the scheme standard 
  4. Commit to operate to high standards and duty of care and comply with all relevant laws including the Animal Welfare Act (2006) and microchipping legislation 
  5. Only sell puppies bred by yourself and raised in your own safe and secure environment, which meets all the requirements of the assured breeders scheme 
  6. Socialise your puppies and provide written advice on continuation of socialisation 
  7. Take all reasonable steps to ensure that purchasers are able to provide a suitable home and that they are committed to caring for the dog for the whole of its life and provide reasonable after-sales advice 
  8. Allow any purchaser to be able to view the puppies with their mother and siblings in the environment they were born and raised 
  9. Commit to help, if necessary, with the re-homing of any dog that you provide within the scheme, throughout the dog's lifetime, for whatever reason 
  10. Issue the scheme's puppy sales wallet for each dog sold containing up-to-date written information 
Health and welfare requirements and recommendations
To make sure our Assured Breeders produce the healthiest puppies possible, we require them to only breed from dogs that have been appropriately health screened, using health tests and screening schemes that are appropriate to their breed (this includes both the sire and the dam). Before mating, Assured Breeders must carefully evaluate any test results and follow any breeding advice issued under each scheme. 
Find a list of our breed-specific health and welfare requirements and recommendations. 
As an Assured Breeder, when you register a litter with us you must ensure that any relevant results have been recorded on our database. You can do this by checking your dog’s details on our Health Tests Result Finder.

Assessment visits and monitoring

Breeder assessment visits

We visit all of our Assured Breeders to ensure they’re following our schemes rules, and to give them information and an opportunity to talk face to face with one of our assessors. 

When can I expect a breeder assessment? 

  • Before being accepted on to the scheme, all applicants need to be assessed and inspected by one of our regional breeder assessors 
  • All current members are routinely inspected every three years 
  • We may arrange a random visit to check that the rules of the scheme are being followed 
  • We may need to arrange an inspection to investigate a complaint 

Find out more about thebreeder assessment visits. 

How is the scheme monitored?

We police our scheme in the following ways:

  • During application – An applicant’s records with us are checked to make sure that they are likely to be able to fulfil the basic scheme requirements. Sometimes we might need extra information to check this 
  • Breeder assessment visits – Each member is visited by one of our trained assessors before they are accepted on to our scheme and at least once every three years after that. Our assessment visits check on information about the breeder, their facilities, how their dogs are cared for, how records are kept and their paperwork, such as puppy packs and contracts 
  • Registering a litter – Each time one of our Assured Breeders registers a litter, we automatically check that both the sire and dam of the litter are microchipped and have met all of the breed-specific health tests and screening that we ask for 
  • Puppy buyer feedback – Whenever one of our assured breeders sells a puppy, they must give the new owner a feedback form. The forms are returned to us so that we can check that our Assured Breeders are complying with the scheme. We also compare the feedback we receive to the number of puppies each Assured Breeder registers, to ensure that we receive an appropriate number of feedback forms 

Things you need to supply

Breeder licensing

If you breed as a business (usually defined as breeding three or more litters in a 12-month period), you may be asked to show evidence that you either have:

  • A local authority breeder licence 
  • Proof of a current, submitted local authority breeder licence application 
  • Evidence from the local authority that confirms that you don’t need a breeder licence 

Find out more about breeder licencing. 

Information for puppy buyers

All of our Assured Breeders must give each new puppy owner a pack of information, known as a puppy pack. Each pack must include breed-specific information and information specific to the puppy, including:

  • Socialisation information
  • Exercise information (puppy & adult requirements)
  • Breed features and characteristics (information about the breed)
  • Training information (early and later)
  • Feeding advice (diet sheet)
  • Grooming information
  • Worming regime (when the puppy was last wormed, which product was used and when the puppy is next due their worming medication)
  • Immunisation regime (which vaccinations are recommended and which have been given so far)
  • Puppy's microchip number

To help our members provide a breed-specific puppy information pack, we’ve produced a puppy pack template that must be edited and personalised with your own information before it can meet the requirements of our scheme. We’ve included full instructions at the front of the pack and it shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes to edit and complete this.

When you’re applying to join the scheme, you’ll need to upload a copy of your puppy information pack (for each breed you’re breeding) so we can check that it complies with the rules of the scheme.

Contract of sale

Our Assured Breeders must provide a copy of a contract of sale for each puppy they sell and keep a copy of each contract they issue.

Your contract must:

  • Be dated & signed by yourself and the puppy buyer
  • Include your contact details and the puppy buyer’s contact details
  • Include the puppy’s details, such as date of birth, microchip number and inbreeding coefficient
  • Provide details of any guarantee given e.g., time limit and/or provisions for refund or return and of the puppy
  • Give details of any endorsements placed
  • Confirm that the puppy has been vet checked and what the resulting outcome was
  • State that the puppy buyer must take the puppy to the vet after purchase
  • When you’re applying to join the scheme, you’ll need to upload a copy of your contract of sale so we can check that it complies with the rules of the scheme
Stud dog contract (if applicable)

If you own stud dogs and allow your dog(s) to be used at stud to visiting bitches, you’ll need to use a stud dog contract for each mating.

We’ve produced a guide to a stud dog contract, which must be edited and personalised, with your own information, before it can meet the requirements of our scheme.

Find out stud dog contract template.

Joining the scheme

Before you apply to join our Assured Breeders scheme, please make sure that you have read all the information above and that you comply with the requirements of the scheme. Please be aware that the initial membership application fees we charge are non-refundable.

Apply to join our scheme.

Apply to join our scheme (stud dog only membership).

Application process & things you need to check
1. Initial application
Before you apply to our scheme, you’ll need to ensure that:
  • All breeding dogs are Kennel Club registered
  • All breeding dogs are registered in the correct ownership before you apply to join the scheme
  • The ownership of your dogs and the name you submit on our application form match
  • Any ownership transfers have been completed before applying for Assured Breeder membership
    • If you wish to change the registered owner of your dog(s), you can apply here
    • Our registration team should be able to assist with any registration queries you may have and can be contacted on 01296 318 540
  • You know which membership option you require
  • You’ve checked that you’ll be able to fully meet the requirements of the scheme

To process your application, we charge an initial administration fee of £25. This fee is non-refundable. We fully consider all applications, but please be aware that we do occasionally need some extra information from you to demonstrate your compliance with the scheme requirements.

Please note:

  • We reserve the right to refuse an application
  • An application may be subject to committee approval by its review panel
  • Any breeder subject to our disciplinary penalties under rule A42/43 will not be eligible for Assured Breeders scheme membership
2. Accepted application
If your initial application is successful, you’ll be eligible to access the discounts associated with the scheme, including discounts on health testing and screening schemes.

If the dogs you’re thinking of using for breeding don’t meet the scheme’s health requirements and recommendations, then you’ll need to put these in place before you breed and before you can receive an assessment visit from us.

You’ll also need to prepare the following documentation as this will be required at the next stage of the application process:
  • A puppy information pack for each breed
  • A contract of sale
  • A stud dog contact (if applicable)
  • A breeder licence (if applicable)
3. Application upgrade

Once your dogs have been tested in line with the required tests and you've prepared the required documentation, you can apply to upgrade your application. We will provide you with a link to upload your documentation and pay the remaining £60 joining fee.

Final checks on your application will then be made to ensure that everything is in place.

4. Breeder assessment visit

Following a successful upgrade, you’ll be contacted by one of our regional breeder assessors for a breeder assessment visit. Our assessor will contact you directly to arrange an appointment date.

5. Final approval

Once the assessment visit has been completed, you’ll be sent an assessment visit report to let you know how you got on. In some cases, this may include some changes that you need to make to meet our requirements, which could include a further visit. We can offer you further support and advice in these areas if needed.

6. Being a member

Once your membership is activated and certified, you’ll be listed on our website as one of our Assured Breeders. You’ll also receive a membership certificate and access to all the benefits and discounts associated with the scheme.

Once you’ve been an Assured Breeder for a year, you’ll be expected to pay an annual membership. Please note that you’ll need to receive a breeder assessment visit every three years to ensure that you comply with the scheme requirements. Your fee for assessment is split over three years of annual membership.