PAAG - Pet Advertising Advisory GroupPreloved, in partnership with the Pet Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG).

Working Dog Definition

A working dog, as defined by the Pet Advertising Advisory Group, is a dog being specifically sold for its capacity to perform a working duty as its primary role; for example a security dog, assistance dog, search dog etc.

Although these dogs may, in some circumstances, also live as pets, PAAG does not see general pet advertising sites as an appropriate platform to rehome dogs for such specific working purposes and feels that this should be undertaken in a more specialised environment.


Working dogs in a capacity of traditional working breeds (Hunt, Point and Retrieve (HPR) breeds and terriers) who may undertake seasonal outdoor social activities with their owners as a hobby are not included in this definition. Similarly, puppies of working breeds or “working lines” that are being advertised as suitable family pets are not included.

Adverts for retired greyhounds and other retired working dogs described as looked for a family home where they can live out their remaining years as pets are acceptable.

Guard Dog/Security Dog Definition

A General Purpose Security Dog, as defined by the Pet Advertising Advisory Group and the National Association of Security Dog Users, is a dog with specialised training used for security services. Such dogs need to be handled by a specialised dog handler, defined as a “security officer with specialised training in handling dogs when working as a team with a dog”. Such dogs should never be advertised in a pet section, and these adverts should be removed immediately.

In a letter to websites dated 12 February 2014, Animal Welfare Minister Lord de Mauley noted:

“Advertisements using the term ‘guard dog’ may not always be referring to what we understand as per the definition above. In many cases, owners are simply indicating that a dog is a good ‘watchdog’ and may bark when visitors approach the home. However, there will be some adverts that are using the term in a way that is inappropriate for advertisement in a pet section, or at all.”

In cases where a dog is described as a guard dog in an advert, websites should refer to the key word/term list supplied by Defra in February 2014. The presence of any of these key words/terms in an advert where the words ‘guarding’ or ‘guard dog’ are also included justify its removal. 

Solutions for Sites

Security dogs (including search dogs) should not be advertised for sale on online classified sites, as per the recommendation of the National Association of Security Dog Users.

Dogs advertised specifically for working should either be removed completely from the site, or published on a separate working dog section in order to distinguish them from family pets. 

Solutions for Sellers on Preloved

Preloved does not allow the advertisement of dogs where work is their primary role - as described above. If the dog you are selling fits the guard dog/security dog defintion above, then please refer to National Assocaition of Security Dog Users for more advice.