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Hello all,
This is my first post on dogforums, and I'm looking for some help. I am currently a 23 year old flight student in the Navy and am looking for my first dog. I don't want to rush into getting a dog before I know exactly what I'm getting into. Here is what I'm looking for:
-A medium to large sized (45-60 lbs), active and friendly dog
-One that can stand to be alone at home for a little while when I'm at work or flying
-One that likes activity like running or swimming or playing fetch
-One that can handle moving around with me when I change duty stations

Those are my top priorities. I initially landed on a Vizla because I liked the way they looked and I liked that they were active dogs, but I also saw that they were a bit temperamental and can be destructive when left alone. Has anyone ever been in this situation or have some advice? I'm open to any and all suggestions, thanks!

-Mike
 

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My boss has a vizsla... she can't leave him alone... ever. They are called velcro dogs for a reason! He has terrible separation anxiety that she has been trying to manage (she used to not be able to go into the shower without him screaming and freaking out).

I would suggest pitbulls but if you move to an area with BSL that would be problematic... How about a lab? Everyone likes labs :D
 

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I'd suggest avoiding all the typically "blacklisted" breeds because while some areas and bases seem to be fine with them, others aren't and renting apartments is horribly difficult with a banned breed. So it is probably not a great idea to get a pit bull/mix, german shepherd, doberman, rottweiler, cane corso, or mix of one that looks mainly like those breeds

I'd also suggest avoiding the snub-nosed breeds because of climate limitations, in general they do not do well in very hot or very cold temperatures and airlines have major seasonal/temperature restrictions on when they can transport them. Boxers, Bostons, etc.

How about a hound type? Redbone coonhound, treeing walking, beagle, something along those lines. Generally friendly, medium sized, generally good with other dogs, bred to work somewhat independently so not usually prone to separation anxiety, active, short coated but usually fine in hot or cold weather. Not uncommon in shelters in the south so you could likely find a nice 1-3 year old dog that you can meet and see his/her temperament and size and skip the major hassle and time drain that is the puppy months and get right to the fun of running, hiking, swimming and all that.
 

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yeah, Vizslas definitely have a tendency towards separation/confinement issues. They are also not just energetic but borderline hyper for their first few years (at least) IME. I actually quite like the breed but I'm not sure they fit what you need right now.

Honestly, are you open to a mixed breed rescue? There are many dogs that fit that description and if adopted as older puppies/young adults would already be crate trained and capable of holding it while you work during the day.
 

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Others can give you good ideas on the breeds you are looking for, but I just wanted to mention one thing in regards to your future career in the Navy.

My ex (we were together for 8 years) was in the Navy for 5 of those years. He deployed all the time. He was basically gone half if not more of each year. Granted, he was stationed on a ship and was on sea duty, and I'm sure it can be different someone who will be with a flight squadron. But isn't there still a good chance that you would be deploying overseas or on missions, even for shorter periods of time?

Just make sure you are ready for the commitment that having a dog brings with this career. It's a difficult life....and I just want to bring this up so you think about how your dog would be taken care of and who would be responsible for it if you had to leave/deploy/whatever. Good luck!
 

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I don't know if I'd recommend a single Navy guy get any dog. My dad was in the Navy and was never home. Will you ever go out to sea, maybe on an aircraft carrier, etc.? I know that pilots don't get sent to sea as often, but is it a possibility? What will you do with the dog if you are stationed on a ship? Bachelor's quarters rarely allows dogs (I did know a single woman who lived in BAQ with her Great Dane :p, but I think they made an exception for her), and you may not be able to afford an off-base apartment that allows pets.

Anyway, if you do decide that your lifestyle will work out for a dog, I agree that an adult medium-sized mixed-breed would be best, from a shelter or private adoption. Make sure it doesn't look like any of the banned breeds, and not too large because it's REALLY hard to find apartments that allow large dogs.
 

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Oh most definitely have a plan for long term care for a dog for deployments and such. I see SOOOO many dogs on craigslist around here being given up because their single owners are deploying OR because the spouse or partner decides he or she cannot care for the dog when the military owner goes overseas.

But if you have family members that are willing and able to care for a dog for as long as needed or you are in a committed relationship maybe with someone that can take the dog, then it becomes more do-able.

I wouldn't suggest planning to rely on the foster care programs that try to care for military pets and I wouldn't suggest long-term boarding as a solution either. However, if it is extremely likely that you won't be gone for more than say, 2 weeks at a time and not gone a significant amount of time total, then boarding might be an option depending on the dog and your finances.

EDIT TO ADD:

If you live someplace that easily allows dogs but you think the long-term commitment might be an issue due to your military career demands, consider fostering! Fostering can be just a few days, to a few weeks to months for a long term foster but without the problem of what to do with a dog if you deploy. Some groups just need fosters for a week or two until a space opens up in an adoption facility or until there is a transport north. Others want fosters through adoption but that might just be 1-2 months. Other times it can take several months for a dog to find a home, but the upside is that generally if you couldn't continue to care for the dog they can shift the dog to another foster home or boarding (with sufficient notice)
 

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I live near 2 different bases and there is a big problem with military members and pets here. It can be heartbreaking all around.

Some bases have BSL and won't allow certain breeds. We see dogs needing new homes because the servicemember is being deployed to one of those bases. If you live off-base, you have the usual restrictions that renters run into, particularly as a bachelor likely renting a small apartment (renting a house is often a little more flexible). Then there's the need for a plan if/when you are deployed. We see dogs rehomed for that all the time. Some rescues and breeders simply won't adopt a dog out to a military member for these reasons.

I would recommend a medium to small sized dog of a breed or mix that does not contain any banned breeds, if possible. A nice lab or retriever mix would likely be a good fit for an active lifestyle while not being a banned breed, but you may run into size limits in rentals there.

We also have ads all the time for military members looking for a long term foster arrangement for a dog while they are deployed. They rarely find someone and then the dog often ends up being surrendered, heartbreaking for both the dog and the military member.

It's hard for these military families, too, on the flip side. They often have so much stress already and having to give up a beloved pet on top of that? I can only imagine. If you have family members who would be willing to take your dog in if you are deployed, then a dog might be a welcome companion, though.
 

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I would agree not having a blacklisted breed or breed with too high an energy.

High energy when you do not have the time to persistently walk due to time management or bad weather can become destructive too due to boredom.

A potentially aggressive breed would be made more aggressive when left alone too long and without enough time committed to bond, socialize and train can leave owner with more liabilities and heart aches.

Still saying that, any pets without proper time committed is still quite unfair to the pet. Time and also especially in this economy money.
Just an eye out for the frivolous lawsuits for people thinking to make that quick buck.
 

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How about a hound type? Redbone coonhound, treeing walking, beagle, something along those lines. Generally friendly, medium sized, generally good with other dogs, bred to work somewhat independently so not usually prone to separation anxiety, active, short coated but usually fine in hot or cold weather. Not uncommon in shelters in the south so you could likely find a nice 1-3 year old dog that you can meet and see his/her temperament and size and skip the major hassle and time drain that is the puppy months and get right to the fun of running, hiking, swimming and all that.
I agree with Shell here.
Currently there's a Redtick -maybe a mix- in my local shelter and she is a BLAST to be around. She's somewhat independent but is content to sit with you, listens well, is quiet and polite but still very active. She's also a n acrobat!
A lot of hounds enjoy water, are active but not overly, have short -but shedding coats-, are independent yet enjoy quiet time with people and as far as I know you can pretty much have them anywhere.
 

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My boss has a vizsla... she can't leave him alone... ever. They are called velcro dogs for a reason! He has terrible separation anxiety that she has been trying to manage (she used to not be able to go into the shower without him screaming and freaking out).

I would suggest pitbulls but if you move to an area with BSL that would be problematic... How about a lab? Everyone likes labs :D
Most military bases have bans on Pits among other breeds (Dobermans, Rottweilers, GSDs) so probably not a good match...
 

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Lab or Lab mix fits everything. get one 2+ years old and skip the awful puppy stage and go straight to a great dog. Like everyone else said, have a plan in place for when you get deployed.
 

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I agree.
1. Get a 2 - 5 yo adult, rescue Lab, asking for the traits that you're looking for. Should not be difficult to find.
2. Labs are adaptable, intelligent, satisfied to sleep most of the day with adequate exercise, and will swim, fetch, jog.
3. And, to address concerns ... if you are deployed, a Lab is comparatively easy to rehome.
 

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having been in the military, and currently living near a base, where the Craigslist ads are deluged with military people giving away dogs because they are PCSing overseas, or deploying, and where the animal control kills 25000 pets a year because there aren't enough homes, I BEG you not to get a pet.
Please consider fostering once you get assigned to a base. That way, you get to enjoy a dog, yet if you deploy, the dog has a place to go. You would be really helping out a rescue/the dog and benefiting as well.
 

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having been in the military, and currently living near a base, where the Craigslist ads are deluged with military people giving away dogs because they are PCSing overseas, or deploying, and where the animal control kills 25000 pets a year because there aren't enough homes, I BEG you not to get a pet.
Please consider fostering once you get assigned to a base. That way, you get to enjoy a dog, yet if you deploy, the dog has a place to go. You would be really helping out a rescue/the dog and benefiting as well.
Quoting this for emphasis. It's a very good idea.
 

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I think fostering does sound like a great solution. You get a companion that will be so glad to be out of the kennel, you get to help an animal in need, AND you have no worries if you do get deployed or move! :)
 
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