You lead an energetic, busy, outdoors life. You want a clever, obedient dog with bags of energy, to help you out and keep you company.
• An obvious choice here is a border collie. It is intelligent, energetic, with plenty of stamina and it loves to be involved with its owner at all times. Border collies learn fast, are responsive, loyal and want to please owners. They are bred to work sheep, so the eye, stalk and chase part of the hunting sequence has been accentuated and they enjoy chasing anything that moves. Great control and training is needed early so they learn to chase acceptably.
You like long walks over the moors or mountains, and have time for a daily walk across the fields or in the park. Your dog is affectionate, fit, and won’t make too much mess in your car.
• A Weimaraner may suit this owner nicely. It is active and loves to run but, being a gundog, it’s bred to work with people and to be affectionate and responsive, which is essential if you are going to keep control while out on walks. Its short coat means that mud stays outside and a quick rub down with a towel is all that is needed, even on the wettest of days.
You’re out of your home often in the daytime, so long walks are best left to weekends. You want a placid dog that will be happy at home, but loves to stretch its legs at weekends.
• Border terriers can be an ideal choice as they cope easily with variation in activity levels. They are very affectionate and love to be with people. Even with little legs they can keep up, especially with an owner who likes long walks at weekends. They are also small enough to be carried over any obstacle you come across on a blocked footpath.
You love to get out when you can; short walks suit you best. You need a friendly dog that gets on well with children and neighbours.
• A Labrador may suit this owner. Labradors have been the most popular breed of dogs for years for good reason. They are playful and friendly with children and adults if socialised well when young. A well-raised Labrador will be friendly, biddable and easy to train even for novice owners. Teaching them to play games with toys enables you to exercise them in the garden or on short walks.
Cavalier King Charles spaniel
You love the countryside, but spending hours outdoors is not practical. You’d like a small, affectionate dog to keep you company by the fireside and join you on occasional ambles.
• A poodle crossed with a companion breed such as a Cavalier King Charles spaniel (cavapoo) or a bichon frisé (poochon) could be ideal as they have all the intelligence of a poodle with the sweet nature of the companion dog. Dogs like this will be loving and affectionate to owners and it’s unlikely they will be too demanding in terms of exercise.
Image: Getty, Chris McLoughlin
Thanks to the need for dogs to do different types of work for humans in the past, selective breeding has produced an abundance of dogs of distinct breeds, all with different personalities and behaviour traits, as well as with various looks, coats, exercise requirements and physical abilities. So it is worth doing your homework when choosing a dog to suit your family’s needs and personality.
Internationally renowned animal trainer and behaviourist, Gwen Bailey, who runs the Puppy School, suggests five dogs dogs suitable for different types of owner.
Subscribe to BBC Countryfile Magazine today and you can enjoy generous savings from the shop price plus, free UK delivery and discounts off special editions and back issues.