The UK government's environment department Defra has designated the area under the EU habitats directive. Germany and the Netherlands have already made similar designations but until now the UK had chosen not to do so.
The designation is aimed primarily at protecting the harbour porpoise, which, in recent years, has declined in numbers in North Sea waters.
WWF spokesman Ali Champion said: "WWF urges the UK government to conduct survey work at Dogger Bank to establish more detailed information about the harbour porpoise."
But WWF added: "This does not mean all activities and development at Dogger Bank will be restricted."
Dogger Bank is being developed by the Forewind consortium.