He is a former world heavyweight champion, having held the NWA World Heavyweight Championship once. To date, he was the fifth-longest reigning NWA World Heavyweight Champion of all time, holding it for over four years. He also held the major heavyweight titles WWC Universal Heavyweight Championship once, the CWA World Heavyweight Championship once. He is also a 2009 WWE Hall of Fame Inductee. He is working for All Japan Pro Wrestling as the Pacific Wrestling Federation (PWF) chairman.
Funk's career in professional wrestling began in 1963 just after a college football career with West Texas State University (now West Texas A&M University), culminating in a 15 to 14 victory over Ohio University in the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. Funk's first match was a victory over Don Fargo in Amarillo, Texas. West Texas State University All American Jerry Logan was in Funk's corner and Fargo's brother, Jim, was in his corner. Dory was supported by the whole West Texas State University football team and the Tascosa High School amateur wrestling team. He was doing his student teaching as coach of the Tascosa High wrestling team under Coach James Kyle.
Funk started in his father's Amarillo, Texas-based Western States Sports promotion and fought Harley Race, Iron Mike DiBiase and Wild Bull Curry. He demonstrated a rugged hard-hitting style that gained attention. He would eventually move on to Florida, Missouri and Japan where his skills improved as he used uppercut forearm smashes, a variety of suplexes and leglocks. Funk won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship from Gene Kiniski on February 11, 1969  in Tampa, Florida with a spinning toe hold and remained NWA World Champion for the next four and a half years, which is the second-longest uninterrupted reign of any NWA World Champion (Lou Thesz held the NWA world title from November 27, 1949, to March 15, 1956). Dory and Terry are the only brothers in history to each hold the title. Funk finally lost the NWA World Championship on May 24, 1973 after a hurried recovery from a pickup truck accident on his father's Flying Mare Ranch in West Texas. Dory was forced into the ring in Kansas City, losing the belt to Harley Race. Race held the title only a few months before dropping it to Brisco. In truth his father told the NWA board of directors that he didn't want Dory Jr. to lose to fellow face Jack Brisco, so Race was given the nod instead. He performed regularly throughout the NWA, particularly in the Mid-Atlantic and Ontario as a heel, Georgia, Florida and Central States regions, through the 1970s and early 1980s. In Toronto he fought Ric Flair for the NWA championship. In 1984, he and his brother Terry competed in a tag team match against Bruiser Brody and Stan Hansen that later received a 5-star rating by Dave Meltzer. As well they had a series of matches against Abdullah the Butcher and The Sheik. In Tokyo they were placed against each other in a tournament and Dory won the match.
In 1986, Dory (given the nickname "Hoss") made his WWF debut in a team alongside his brother Terry. The brothers performed at WrestleMania 2 defeating the Junkyard Dog and Tito Santana. Terry left the WWF shortly after WrestleMania, but Dory remained, mostly tagging with storyline brother Jimmy Jack Funk, who in truth had no relation to the Funk family. He made an appearance for WCW at the Slamboree 1993: A Legends Reunion Pay-Per-View, wrestling Nick Bockwinkel to a time limit draw. He also made a single appearance with the WWF as a participant in the 1996 Royal Rumble.
Funk is now the Coach of the Funking Conservatory Professional Wrestling School in Ocala, Florida and teaches the Dory Funk Method of Professional Wrestling. Dory's students included Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy, Christian Cage, Lita, Kurt Angle, Mickie James, Edge, Ted DiBiase and Test. His wife Marti runs BANG TV in which Dory`s matches are featured. On March 1, 2008, Funk and Nishimura defeated Genichiro Tenryu and Masanobu Fuchi in Funk's retirement match via spinning toe hold.
On the February 16, 2009 episode of Raw, it was announced that Dory along with his brother Terry would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2009 by Dusty Rhodes. On the April 1, 2010 edition of TNA Today, Funk appeared on the show to have an interview with Jeremy Borash.
On October 27, 2013, Funk returned to All Japan Pro Wrestling, teaming with Terry in a tag team match, where they wrestled Masanobu Fuchi and Osamu Nishimura to a twenty-minute time limit draw. Funk was then announced as the new Pacific Wrestling Federation (PWF) chairman. Funk returned to All Japan on July 27, 2014, teaming with Osamu Nishimura and Yutaka Yoshie in a six-man tag team match, where they defeated Masanobu Fuchi, Takao Omori and Último Dragón, with Funk submitting Fuchi for the win. Funk's next match with All Japan took place on May 31, 2015, when he and Nishimura wrestled Fuchi and Yoshiaki Fujiwara to a twenty-minute time limit draw. The day before at age 74 he teamed with old student Tenryu and Nosawa Rongai for Tenryu Project to beat Kohei Suwama, Hikaru Sato and Atsushi Aoki. He returned to All Japan the next month to team with Fuchi and Ultimo Dragon to beat his student Nishimura, Masao Inoue and Soma Takao.