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Discussion Starter #1
I'm planning on joining the USAF very soon and I need some advice on getting a dog. Growing up, my parents never let me get a dog because they just didn't want that extra hassle of maintaining one. The only pet's I've ever had were birds and fish.

I'll be getting my own apartment once I am finally stationed at a base. Can someone give me some advice on what to expect? I will be living alone, and this is why I'd like a dog for company. Right now I have my mind set on getting a German Shepherd... such a beautiful dog. Is it possible to go to work every morning and come back in the afternoon and leave the dog at my place? I also heard that German Shepherds shed a lot. Is this the case for the white and black ones too? Too much shedding will drive me nuts... but it might be work it, not sure. I want a dog to match my personality... a disciplined intelligent being :)
 

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I think if you are to get a dog you need to think about the long run. Is there a chance you may be deployed? If you have never owned a dog I do not think a German Sheph is the right breed if you work a lot. (Thanks Crio :p you beat me to it)
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
If I get deployed I can let my brother or cousin hang on to it for a while. My specific career choice has shorter deployments. Second Lieutenants (starting rank of officers) USUALLY don't deploy until they gain higher rank. I will have plenty of time to bond with it. If anyone knows anything about the USAF, it's in Tempo Band A. I don't get assigned my work hours until I finish boot camp, but from what I heard, my specialty should be shorter hours compared to most jobs.

I really want a German Shepherd.
 

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If I get deployed I can let my brother or cousin hang on to it for a while. My specific career choice has shorter deployments. If anyone knows anything about the USAF, it's in Tempo Band A.
How long are your work shifts? If they are long and demanding I would recommend rescuing an older dog.
 

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How long are your work shifts? If they are long and demanding I would recommend rescuing an older dog.
Work shifts are not assigned until I commission. They aren't that long. Most likely a typical 9-5 type work shift. Do you think rescuing an older German Shepherd is a good idea? I could do that.
 

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Work shifts are not assigned until I commission. They aren't that long. Most likely a typical 9-5 type work shift. Do you think rescuing an older German Shepherd is a good idea? I could do that.
That actually may not be a bad idea. Have you done research on the breed? The only reason I suggested an older dog is due to potty training and training in general. Its easier if they are older :) I would make sure to research the breed and everything it comes with first :)
 

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Sorry that sounded like I was not for the idea of a Germ Sheph...I think they are amazing dogs, I do not know about the shedding (every dog sheds but I don't know how bad they shed) :)
 

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No problem. Thanks for your advice. I have a question about potty and pee training... If I'm at work, and the dog needs to go, what happens? Will it go on my carpet?
 

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I'm sure I cannot be the only person who thinks that this is a bad idea. I live near an air base and work at the local animal shelter. We are over run with unwanted dogs from the base. People being deployed and family members not willing to take in the dog, People being moved from base-to-base and not being able to take the dog with them.

I'm sorry if you do not like my reply, but it is my opinion and you are more than welcome to totally disregard this post. Just had to air my personal views.

And yes, if your dog is not potty trained and needs to 'relieve' itself - it will go to the toilet in your house.
 

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You definelty need to scratch any dog under a year old off your list. A puppy is going to need more attention than you can provide with that schedual.

I also think that a GSD is a bad idea. Unless you adopt an elderly induvidual. They are not for the faint of heart..I don't mean that in a bad way...they just are not a good first (or even second) dog.

Also what Boxlove said...i know that family members back out of these arrangements all the time. If you have alot of $$ you could board the dog...but thats not fair to the dog.

Yes the dog would probably pee in the house. It also might destroy the house....separation anxiety is common in GSD as they always want to be with their people, working.

I suggest you get a dog from a rescue that is already crate trained and accustomed to being alone (putting an unprepared dog in that situation is a baaaad idea) and consider other breeds...what draws you to a GSD? We can maybe give you som' alternatives that are easier.



Dog | Forum | Rocks!
 

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thank you everyone for the responses. I do understand that the fact that I will be in the military might cause some turmoil but I want to assure you that I have a cousin who loves dogs and would definitely accept dogsitting it if I were to deploy. If worst comes to worst, I could hire someone, but I don't think that would happen.

You definelty need to scratch any dog under a year old off your list. A puppy is going to need more attention than you can provide with that schedual.

I also think that a GSD is a bad idea. Unless you adopt an elderly induvidual. They are not for the faint of heart..I don't mean that in a bad way...they just are not a good first (or even second) dog.

Also what Boxlove said...i know that family members back out of these arrangements all the time. If you have alot of $$ you could board the dog...but thats not fair to the dog.

Yes the dog would probably pee in the house. It also might destroy the house....separation anxiety is common in GSD as they always want to be with their people, working.

I suggest you get a dog from a rescue that is already crate trained and accustomed to being alone (putting an unprepared dog in that situation is a baaaad idea) and consider other breeds...what draws you to a GSD? We can maybe give you som' alternatives that are easier.

what draws me to the GSD is the obedience, intelligence, and loyalty. They are often used by law enforcement and what not. They just seem so strong and military like to me, like canine soldiers. Not to mention, I also like the noble yet assured appearance of it.

Can you suggest me another breed? I'm looking for a tall dog, around the same coat of hair like a GSD (not too long). I really need a smart, obedient dog. And god I'd feel so bad putting the dog in a crate.. they look so sad in there. Perhaps I can get a really big one. I have a question... When I leave to work and put the dog in its crate, if they poop and pee and there, will it get really messy? Meaning feces and urine all over the dog?
 

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what draws me to the GSD is the obedience, intelligence, and loyalty. They are often used by law enforcement and what not. They just seem so strong and military like to me, like canine soldiers. Not to mention, I also like the noble yet assured appearance of it.

heres the thing...they don't come that way. All breeds are obediant if you train them correctly...this is why police dogs are worth about $40,000 after training...its alot of training. :) Also police dogs are a different bloodline than pet german shepards...the temprament is different, so if you want a drivey police dog (honestly you don't )be prepared to fork over alot of money...lol

Can you suggest me another breed? I'm looking for a tall dog, around the same coat of hair like a GSD (not too long). I really need a smart, obedient dog. And god I'd feel so bad putting the dog in a crate.. they look so sad in there. Perhaps I can get a really big one. I have a question... When I leave to work and put the dog in its crate, if they poop and pee and there, will it get really messy? Meaning feces and urine all over the dog?

heres the thing...you can't just get a dog and put it in a crate...it has to be trained...at the dogs pace...its their instinct not to soil the crate (only if the space is small, thats why crates are snug and a big one is a bad idea) but if your dog can't hold it 8 hours he will soil the crate and it will become an almost unbreakable habit. And yes, he will cover himself in pee and poop.


Honestly I think a greyhound is suited for your lifestyle...they are already crate trained...wont have separation anxiety, are clean...and are large and impressive to look at.

just to give you an idea of size..and if you don't like this breed, tell us why and we can keep giving suggestions.




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I actually agree with Crio. I did not think of the separation anxiety in GSD and this could be a problem on base if he destroys the house and barks a lot annoying others, plus its hard on their systems to be so stressed out. TY Crio for bringing that up!

I also think a greyhound is a wonderful idea! I have always wanted one. I have never met an aggressive greyhound especially towards children! They have amazing personalities and are very very smart.

As far as crate training, I have 1 dog who still soils her crate sometimes but this has subsided with taking her blanket out. My big boy LOVES his crate and sometimes during the day sits at the door where the crates are and waits till someone lets him in then he goes and takes a nap. Some dogs find this closed area comfort I believe and gives him time to relax and not have to worry about the house :)

Whichever route you take, I still recommend adopting an older dog who is already potty trained :)
 

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thanks crisp. i like the idea of getting a greyhound. they are nice dogs. can you throw some more suggestions? do you know anything smaller (not too small, i dont like lap dogs) that has a more robust build?

i will definitely use your advice and get an older trained dog.
 

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thanks crisp. i like the idea of getting a greyhound. they are nice dogs. can you throw some more suggestions? do you know anything smaller (not too small, i dont like lap dogs) that has a more robust build?

i will definitely use your advice and get an older trained dog.

Dobermans are good dogs if you get one that has been "screened" already. Important to look for a stable temprament with this breed.


They are clean, very trainable, and decent size. They are a energetic dog, but I don't think a dobe will become destructive if its exercised ALOT. It is about the same size as the greyhound tho. If you want a smaller greyhound, whippets are nice dogs. I used to own a whippet mix.


But even the dobe suggestion is iffy, I looked at every dog breed with your criteria in mind and this was the only close one...unless you want a smaller dog, lots of smallers dogs would do good with your lifestyle.

Whats small too you? 30lbs too small?



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Dobermans are good dogs if you get one that has been "screened" already. Important to look for a stable temprament with this breed.


They are clean, very trainable, and decent size. They are a energetic dog, but I don't think a dobe will become destructive if its exercised ALOT. It is about the same size as the greyhound tho. If you want a smaller greyhound, whippets are nice dogs. I used to own a whippet mix.


But even the dobe suggestion is iffy, I looked at every dog breed with your criteria in mind and this was the only close one...unless you want a smaller dog, lots of smallers dogs would do good with your lifestyle.

Whats small too you? 30lbs too small?

wow thank you for your speedy response. i really like the picture of the doberman! :D when i asked for a smaller dog i meant to say that i wouldnt mind if the dog was medium size. i prefer big tall dogs but if im open to medium size dogs then i have a broader choice of selection. i will look into the doberman. if you have anything else in mind i'll research them too. im not sure what would be too small i dont know what size a certain weight would be...
 

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Dobies like GShepherds are great dogs. They are one of my favorites too. We have had Dobies. They don't shed a lot. They are good companions and guardians. They are beautiful .They do need a lot of exercise too. They are good house dogs once they are trained. Be sure they come from blood lines that aren't agressive. Some bloodlines are smaller than others. You can get medium size too. Our female was medium size. But her father was from bloodlines that had big sizes. Her puppies were very big. Her male puppy that we kept was the biggest Dobie we have ever seen. He was the biggest one of the litter. He was just a big sweet baby. He loved to sit on my lap. He lived to be 17 yrs old. His mother was my constant companion. She went almost every where I went. They were both very loving companions.
 
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