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Late last week, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) proposed new regulations for dog and cat breeders that must be licensed by the state.  The proposed regulations implement amendments to Texas’ breeders law that were enacted earlier this year.  Texas dog breeders licensed by TDLR are encouraged to review the proposed rules and provide comment to TDLR before Friday, October 20, 2023.

Changes to Texas’ Dog or Cat Breeders Law, which went into effect on September 1, include:

  • Lowering the minimum number of adult intact female dogs or cats possessed by a person who is engaged in the business of breeding and selling them from 11 to five.
  • Removing the condition that a person sell at least 20 animals per year before being subject to licensure.
  • Adding a new exemption from licensing for those who breed dogs primarily for breed or conformation shows or similar organized events.
  • Expanded the herding/sporting/performance exemption to include those who breed dogs for these activities for sale.

The proposed rules are limited to those needed to quickly implement the changes to the Dog or Cat Breeders Law.  During the most recent Licensed Breeders Advisory Committee meeting and in the preface of the proposed rule, TDLR noted that it will implement additional substantive changes in a future rulemaking.

SUMMARY OF PROPOSED RULES – In addition to carrying out the statutory changes noted above, the proposed rules also: 

  • Add a new $150 license fee for breeders newly subject to the licensing requirements because they possess five to 10 intact adult female animals and are in the business of breeding them for sale or exchange in return for consideration.
  • Note that breeders who possess five or more but fewer than 11 adult female animals are not required to hold a license before January 1, 2024.
  • Permit an applicant whose facility is found to not meet requirements during a prelicense inspection to, instead of reinspection, provide evidence in a manner prescribed by the department that deficiencies have been corrected and that the facility meets requirements.
  • Allow a licensee who has been provided recommendations by TDLR with a list corrective actions to implement alternative corrective actions to achieve compliance.
  • Create formal rules for the establishment and operation of the Licensed Breeders Advisory Committee.
  • Allows licensees to maintain a single record for all dogs kept in a group.

WHAT YOU CAN DO – Texas dog breeders licensed or to be licensed by TDLR under the state’s Dog or Cat Breeders Act are encouraged to review the proposed rules and provide comment to TDLR by Friday, October 20, 2023.  Comments may be submitted on TDLR’s website, by fax at (512) 475-3032, or by mail to Monica M. Nunez, Legal Assistant, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, P.O. Box 12157, Austin, Texas 78711.


Licensed Breeder Program
(800) 803-9202 (in Texas only)
(512) 463-6599
TDLR Customer Service

American Kennel Club Government Relations
(919) 816-3720