The Government is planning to place restrictions on the sale of puppies online, according to a junior minister.

Minister of State for Community and Rural Development Seán Canney is in talks with officials from the Department of Agriculture to change the law in this area.

"When you see a puppy for sale online, you don't know the conditions under which it was born. For bad breeders, these puppies are simply commodities and are ripped from their mothers within weeks of birth. That is simply cruel and should not be tolerated," he said.

The minister said the current guidelines state that a puppy cannot be permanently removed from its mother before it is six weeks old, but they do not cover the sale of animals. 

Legislation to place a cap on the number of dogs that a breeder can own is also under consideration. 

"The placing of limits on the number of breeding bitches is on the table on the basis that a high number of dogs would lead to welfare, socialisation and other issues," the minister said.

Separate to the work on dog breeding establishments, Minister Canney also wants the public's input into whether any breeds should be tightly controlled or even banned.