If you are planning to buy or rescue a dog do be honest with yourself. You wouldn’t choose a life partner who loved cycling, swimming, running and rock climbing if your passion was watching TV but many new dog owners do just that.
Border Collies are the most intelligent dogs on the planet but unless you work them or take part in some high-energy activity calling for serious brainpower they can be very difficult to handle. Labradors are more laid back and provided they have plenty of retrieving and swimming generally fit in with any family.
Spaniels love to hunt and will happily make use of a large garden.
When you buy a puppy all you have to go on is breed but choosing a rescue dog is a lot easier. His/her personality is already formed and you can select the dog that fits your lifestyle.
Low-energy dogs are great companions for the elderly and a ten-year-old dog of any breed has usually slowed down enough to be handled easily by anyone. If, on the other hand, you’re a young couple looking for a hiking companion then a young, energetic dog is what you need.
Try and match the energy of the dog to your own. A small yappy high-charging terrier could drive an elderly person insane while an old German Shepherd happy to sit by the fire or wander down to the village shop or the pub would make a perfect companion.
If you already have one dog and intend to acquire another the selection process is even more important.
Their energy levels must be compatible unless you plan to keep them separate.