Care for your working dog

Jul 2, 2022 9:04:05 PM


What is a working dog?

There are a couple of ways of considering the definition of a working dog. Your dog might be a working dog breed, classified by the Kennel Club as a dog that is traditionally used for all sorts of work including police, military and farm assistance. They might also be therapy or companion dogs. So you might own a breed with its DNA firmly in working dog roots but may or may not be put to work on a daily basis.

The term working dog conjures all sorts of well-known breeds and functions. The border collie as a clever sheep dog, the German shepherd as a fierce guard dog and a springer spaniel as a cunning sniffer dog. The list goes on but is by no means set in stone. There are all kinds of uses for intelligent, biddable and agile canines of all breeds, including mixed breeds.

Care of sporting and gun dogs is similar as these breeds are actively involved in their particular pursuits for many hours at a time - although they generally have an off-season where their days are more leisurely.

The seven main categories of working dogs are:


  1. Service dogs
  2. Therapy dogs (we’d argue all dogs serve this role!)
  3. Police dogs
  4. Military dogs
  5. Detection dogs
  6. Search and rescue dogs
  7. Herding dogs

General care for the working dog

In terms of general care, it’s vital that your working dog is occupied and stimulated. We’d recommend starting training as early as you can. Working dogs have a great reputation for being incredibly rewarding as you take them through their training stages. Don’t be disheartened if your dog doesn’t do everything first time, it always takes lots of practice and this is where the stimulation and engagement comes into play – they are learning all the way through their training.

Once you are happy with their basic training you can take them through further stages such as agility or other interactive play. It’s vital that the sessions are always fun and well rewarded – both using praise and healthy treats.

Hydrating your working dog

So how is the diet of a working dog different to a pet? Hydration is key. As dogs don’t sweat, their water loss is via their tongues and pads of their feet and they can lose huge amounts of water during a typical day – whether they are working or, true to their breed, are outdoors and covering many miles in walks. Making sure clean, fresh water is always available is important.

A working dog diet

In terms of diet, any dog who is working or using up lots of energy should be fed with the following in mind:


  • Feed your dog a high protein diet. For example, we include two sources of protein (beef/chicken and salmon) in the Trophy Surf and Turf product
  • Look for natural ingredients such as good fats (Omega 3 and other natural oils)
  • A diet that supports joints and contains glucosamine is ideal for dogs who are on the go
  • A diet with yukka is a great for easier digestion and minimal output


Feed your dog well after he has cooled down from his day’s exertions for maximum comfort.  You can also add natural, effective supplements such as the Trophy Joint Pack. Our Whole Body supplement includes a range of herbs that offer a wide range of benefits including a natural flea repellent through the addition of garlic. This is particularly useful if your dog spends a lot of time outdoors. Trophy Immune Support is 100% echinacea which is fantastic as a recovery boost or to help with allergies and sensitivities.

Many good quality dog food products will include some or all of the essential ingredients – ask us for more information on how we create the Trophy products. We have online, telephone and in-person advisers available to help.

National days:

“Bring your dog to work day” 24 June 2022

And if your working dog isn’t sure what you do all day, why not take your dog to your place of work so they can see a working human in action! All across the UK, lots of businesses take part in this national, annual day to raise money for animal charities. It’s a great opportunity to raise some money, have some fun (and maybe a little chaos) and meet your colleagues’ dogs. Make sure it’s something your employer operates and be mindful of any workmates who might not share your love of dogs!

Snap your dog hard at work

Send us any photos you have of your own dogs at work – either doing what they are bred to do or lazing about in your office! Email us at


Bring Your Dog To Work Day – Raising Funds for Animal Welfare


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Care for your working dog

Care for a working dog is much the same as caring for any dog but there are some additional considerations in terms of diet and joint care. A dog who is regularly expending lots of energy will need extra calories in and it’s important that these are the right ones. Also the joints and muscles of an energetic, hard-working dog will need extra attention – again in the form of the correct supplements and diet. Trophy has all of this covered of course and our Nutritional Advisers are on hand to help and advise should you need it. 

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The term ‘rescue dog’ covers any number of situations where a dog needs a new home.

Most commonly, family circumstances change and the family pet becomes displaced and ends up in a rehoming centre through no fault of their own. Sometimes owners divorce, emigrate, need care-based accommodation or, sadly, die. There are also instances, all too often, where dog ownership doesn’t meet expectations or a dog/owner match doesn’t work out. They can sometimes be bought as gifts, and land in a household that is simply not ready for the responsibility.

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