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Commercial Dog Breeders
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The Ohio General Assembly has passed several laws regarding the breeding, sale and care of dogs in the State of Ohio. Regulatory authority in these areas rests with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Division of Animal Health. The Commercial Dog Breeders (CDB) office consists of veterinarians, inspectors and support staff who work to help Ohio individuals and businesses comply with Ohio law and raise healthy dogs who ultimately enter the marketplace and find forever homes.

Who is regulated by these laws?

Ohio law defines and applies certain regulations for high volume dog breeders, pet stores and dog brokers. These individuals or businesses have inspection and/or record-keeping requirements to meet; applications to fulfill; and licenses to obtain. Ohio law also defines an animal rescue for dogs. An animal rescue for dogs must register with ODA. The CDB office coordinates all of these efforts.


Animal rescue for dogs means an individual or organization recognized by the director of agriculture that keeps, houses, and maintains dogs and that is dedicated to the welfare, health, safety, and protection of dogs, provided that the individual or organization does not operate for profit, does not sell dogs for a profit, does not breed dogs, does not sell dogs to a dogbroker or pet store, and does not purchase more than nine dogs in any given calendar year unless the dogs are purchased from a dog warden appointed under Chapter 955. of the Revised Code, a humane society, or another animal rescue for dogs. Animal rescue for dogs includes an individual or organization that offers spayed or neutered dogs for adoption and charges reasonable adoption fees to cover the costs of the individual or organization, including, but not limited to, costs related to spaying or neutering dogs.
Dog broker means a person who buys, sells, or offers to sell dogs at wholesale for resale to another or who sells or gives one or more dogs to a pet store annually. Dog broker does not include an animal rescue for dogs, an animal shelter for dogs, a humane society, a medical kennel for dogs, a research kennel for dogs, a pet store, or a veterinarian. 
High volume breeder means an establishment that keeps, houses, and maintains six or more breeding dogs and does at least one of the following: 
  • In return for a fee or other consideration, sells five or more adult dogs or puppies in any calendar year to dog brokers or pet stores;
  • In return for a fee or other consideration, sells forty or more puppies in any calendar year to the public; or
  • Keeps, houses, and maintains, at any given time in a calendar year, more than forty puppies that are under four months of age, that have been bred on the premises of the establishment, and that have been primarily kept, housed, and maintained from birth on the premises of the establishment.
Pet store means an individual retail store to which both of the following apply: the store sells dogs to the public; and with regard to the sale of a dog from the store, the sales person, the buyer of a dog, and the dog for sale are physically present during the sales transaction so that the buyer may personally observe the dog and help ensure its health prior to taking custody. Pet store does not include an animal rescue for dogs, an animal shelter for dogs, a humane society, a medical kennel for dogs, or a research kennel for dogs. 


Dog Broker Application

Pet Store Application

High Volume Dog Breeder Application

Standards of Care Compliance Verification

Animal Rescue Registration

Additional Resources

Canine Brucellosis Testing - ODA's Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory will perform Canine Brucellosis testing.

Ohio Canine Certificate of Veterinary Inspection  (OCCVI) - Obtain a uniquely numbered OCCVI form. 

Ohio Revised Code Chapter 956: Regulation and Licensing of Dog Kennels

Ohio Administrative Code 901:1-5-12 Brucella canis

Ohio Administrative Code 901:1-5-13 Designating a kennel brucella canis free status

Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 901:1-6 High Volume Dog Breeders

Commercial Dog Breeding Advisory Board


Board Member Position
Dr. Tony Forshey, DVM State Veterinarian
Dr. Dennis Summers, DVM Interim-State Veterinarian
Ms. Lisa Zimmerman Representative of dog rescues
Dr. Patricia Haines Member of a professional dog breeding association
Ms. Loraine Carlson Representative of a humane society
Mr. Matt Granito County dog warden
Dr. Michael A. Frederick, DVM Veterinarian
Ms. Linda A. Stickney Representative of the public
Ms. Heidi Allen Representative of ODA