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Three identical bills have been introduced in Texas that will require anyone who owns 5 or more intact female dogs over 6 months of age to become a state licensed dog breeder – even if they never breed a litter or sell a single dog.

The bills are not yet scheduled for hearings, but it is important for legislators to start hearing concerns from their constituents today.

How to Help: 

Texas residents should contact their State Representative and State Senator today.  Let them know you are a constituent that opposes House Bill 274, House Bill 2238 and Senate Bill 876 and urge them to oppose these bills. Be sure to share your experience and expertise with dogs and express how this legislation will negatively impact you and your dogs.

You can find the contact information for your State Senator and State Representative HERE.


Currently, a dog breeder in Texas is required to obtain a state license if they own 11 or more intact females and sell 20 or more dogs in a license year. House Bill 274, House Bill 2238 and Senate Bill 876 are identical bills that will lower the licensing threshold in Texas to 5 intact females over 6 months of age, and will remove the requirement that a breeder must sell 20 dogs before a license is required.

Existing law presumes that intact adult females are kept for breeding, and it would be incumbent on the dog owner to prove that the dogs are not being kept for breeding purposes.

The AKC believes that commercial breeder regulation should be based on a commercial activity requirement; and the elimination of this commercial activity requirement would create a policy whereby many home-based hobbyists’ mere ownership of dogs would require them be regulated as commercial entities.

Changing the licensing thresholds will force those who meet the new definition to:

  • Open their private homes or facilities to inspections following an application and at least once every 18 months thereafter
  • Pay at least a $300 permit fee for every license year
  • Meet ambiguous housing standards for the dogs in their care
  • Submit to a criminal background check when applying for licensure
  • Submit a yearly report and yearly application for licensure accounting for all animals held at a facility


It is also important to note that in June 2020, staff of the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission recommended that the Dog and Cat Breeder Act should be eliminated due to fundamental flaws with the law that created it, the program’s ineffectiveness, and significant operational costs. Ultimately, the Dog and Cat Breeder Act did not sunset because former State Senator Eddie Lucio moved to “sever” the Commission Staff’s recommendation.

The staff’s findings indicated that the Dog and Cat Breeders Act provides significant statutory exemptions and unenforceable requirements that undermine both the program’s goals and Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation efforts.  Moreover, program revenues have been found to fall far short of funding the administration of the licensed breeder program; yet despite these disproportionately high administrative costs, the Commission found that Texans still primarily rely on other laws that predate the program.

AKC Government Relations will provide more information on these bills as it is available.

In addition, AKC GR continues to watch for further introductions of bills impacting dog owners leading up to the March 10 introduction deadline and will continue to provide updates as necessary.  For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at