Canine blood typing has become an established and essential laboratory test due to the rising demand for safe and efficient blood transfusions. The most immunogenic and clinically important blood type is DEA 1.1. Little is known about DEA 1.1 frequencies or special characteristics among different canine breeds. 304 dogs were tested for DEA 1.1. DEA 1.1-typing was performed using a commercial gel column technique (ID-Gel Test Canine DEA 1.1, DiaMed, Cressier, Switzerland). Fifty-three percent of all tested dogs reacted positive for DEA 1.1, whereas 49 % of the mixed breeds tested DEA 1.1-positive. All Bernese mountain dogs (n = 22) and Rottweilers (n = 9) tested positive for DEA 1.1, while all Boxers (n = 8), Flat-Coated Retrievers (n = 9), and Border Collies (6) tested negative for DEA 1.1. The prevalence of DEA 1.1 in dogs in Switzerland was found to be comparable to that reported from other countries. The tested breeds were found to differ considerably in the frequency of DEA 1.1. This knowledge is useful for selection of blood donors. However, DEA 1.1 blood typing of donor and recipient prior to transfusion and cross matching in sensitized dogs is unavoidable.