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When getting in to the business of breeding dogs, whether it’s one dog or twenty dogs, all the legal requirements can get confusing. We hope that the following documents and information will help you understand what you need to do in order to responsibly breed dogs, from proper licensing to humane treatment of your dogs.

If you are a High Volume Kennel or you think you may need to register as a High Volume Kennel with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, please visit their Commercial Dog Breeders Page  for information and resources more specific to you. 

For information on USDA registration please visit their webpage.

Please remember if you are ODA and USDA registered you are still required to purchase a county kennel license at a price of $1.00 per dog in the kennel. 

Ohio Kennel Licensing Requirements Ohio Cruelty Laws Applied to Kennels

Anyone selling their dogs’ retail is required to purchase a vendors license through the Holmes County Auditors. 

Vendors License

Anyone selling their dogs’ wholesale or to a pet store will need to obtain a brokers license with the Ohio Department of Agriculture. 

Dog Brokers License

Once I have my tags am I required to put them on the dogs in my kennel? 

It depends. Here is the direct O.R.C Code 955.10 “No owner of a dog, except a dog constantly confined to a dog kennel registered under this chapter or one licensed under Chapter 956. of the Revised Code, shall fail to require the dog to wear, at all times, a valid tag issued in connection with a certificate of registration. A dog found not wearing at any time a valid tag shall be prima-facie evidence of lack of registration and shall subject any dog found not wearing such a tag to impounding, sale, or destruction.” 

If your dog is not constantly confined to the kennel they are registered under than they would be legally required to wear their licenses. 

If you are housing your dogs at another property make sure the dogs have their tags on. 

The Holmes County Dog Warden’s Department responds to kennel complaints on a regular basis. As Dog Wardens we are always making sure breeders have obtained the proper licensing under Ohio Revised Code 955, and as Humane Agents we want to ensure all dogs are being provided adequate food, water, shelter, and have not been subject to an act of cruelty as defined in Ohio Revised Code 959.131 and Ohio Revised Code 1717.

In 2019 the Holmes County Commissioners enacted a barking dog resolution for all of Holmes County. Its important that as a neighbor and as a fellow citizen you respect your neighbors privacy and desire for a peaceful atmosphere. The Holmes County Dog Warden’s Department is also responsible for investigating these complaints.


With any complaint or concern, we ask for your cooperation to the fullest extent. It’s important to remember that our department receives calls on a weekly basis from individuals seeking information on breeders they are purchasing puppies from. Any contact with our department is public record. 


Shelters all across the nation refer to the below resource from the Association of Shelter Veterinarians when it comes to facility management, design, environment, sanitation, medical health and physical well being, behavioral health and mental well being, animal handling, and transportation of animals, among other things. We encourage dog breeders to follow the same guidelines and use this information as a resource.

When breeding dogs, it is crucial that you establish a relationship with a local veterinary clinic. Below is a list of local clinics that may be able to assist you.

  • East Holmes Veterinary Clinic PH# 330-893-2057 (Berlin Ohio)
  • Anderholm Veterinary Clinic PH# 330-893- 3256 (Berlin Ohio)
  • Danville Veterinary Clinic PH# 740-599-5991 (Danville Ohio)

Dog waste and what to do?? 

If you are looking for resources on how to manage the waste in your kennels here is a resource form the Ohio EPA that you might find helpful. Dog waste should not be dumped in places where others will be affected.  Please click here to view the document




We ask that you do your best to put your dogs’ health and well being over financial gain and that you have a plan for your kennel dogs’ futures. After your dogs’ are no longer of breeding age, chances are you will be looking to rehome them. A well cared for and socialized dog is much easier to re-home than a shy, fearful, and unsocialized dog. The Holmes County Dog Warden’s Department does offer an owner release program for dogs that are not aggressive. You can find more information on owner releases on our owner release page.