Restricting dog breeding

The Kennel Club will not normally register more than four litters from any one bitch because of concerns that the current legal limit of six litters per bitch can be potentially detrimental to a dog's welfare.

It does not believe that reducing this further will help to reduce the number of stray and abused dogs in the country, rather that it would have a detrimental effect on the welfare of dogs.

The Kennel Club supports the work of breed rescue organisations and other rehoming charities through the Kennel Club Charitable Trust but there will always be a demand for registered pedigree puppies, which are a better fit for some lifestyles than rescue dogs. Reducing the number of litters produced by good breeders will not ease the demand for puppies but will potentially push people into the arms of puppy farmers instead.

The Kennel Club has been working to eradicate the cruel practice of puppy farming by educating people about buying a dog responsibly from a Kennel Club Assured Breeder, who puts the health and welfare of their pups and breeding bitches first and foremost. Puppy farmers, by contrast, breed alarming numbers of litters from bitches, in poor conditions and separate the puppies from their mother at a young age. The Kennel Club is concerned that these unscrupulous breeders would see an increase in demand and would breed to fill the gap in the market, exacerbating the situation of abandoned and sick dogs.

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