If you are close to Madrid, the kennel I posted does a good job of giving them exercise. Very clean and nice kennel
My approach is this: I use a trustworthy boarding kennel, and they feed, air, and clean up after my dogs. My dogs get ample time to air and move around - but they are not being handled, they are not retrieving, they are not playing with others' dogs at all.
I find when I return that my dogs are fine, may smell a bit bad, probably need a bath, and a good run. Within a day or two of my return, we are right back on a reset exactly where we were prior to my vacation. No bad habits, no injuries from a dog play gone wrong, No quirky stuff because someone "taught" them a new standard for "sit", "heel", etc.
The only way I'd consider allowing someone else to handle or train my dog is if that is specifically why they are getting my dog. An entirely different set of selection criiteria and qualification will be used. For vacation, I just want my dogs boarded safely, with no commands and NO TRAINING done while I'm away.
[QUOTE]At my vets office he is indoors in the airconditioned building. The vet has kids who work for him who take my dog out and play with him every day inside a fenced area. They love Scooter because he sits and plays fetch so he gets extra attention. He gets a free bath if he stays more than 3 days and while they have him they go ahead and give him his shots. This saves me a trip. He comes home happier and smelling better. All for $10.00 a day $140.00 for a 2 week vacation. Worth every penny.
I found the vets to be tons better than the trainers. I am not knocking trainers at all. They are busy and don't have a lot of time for a dog that isn't staying is all I'm saying.[QUOTE]
As with everything else in life, it depends. I used to work as a vet tech. One hospital I worked for had what I considered to be a very poor set up for boarding dogs. First, only dogs under 50lbs could be boarded since they were kept in cages, not kennels. For most dogs, this was only enough room to stand up and turn around in the cage, which they spent > 23hours in each day. Second, even though we were instructed to tell clients that we took each dog on 3 ten minute walks a day, truthfully it was only two walks a day and for only as long as it took the dog to pee and poop (which could literally be as short as 1 minute, never more than 5). Very few dogs got individual attention from any of the staff. Only "favorites" really got any special treatment and it was very little at that. There simply was not time to play with the boarding dogs and fulfill tech/secretary duties. Kenneling fees were no cheaper than local boarding facilities. The dogs were in a climate controlled setting, which is important during extreme temps, not so much in moderate temps. I would guess that a dog would be much more stressed in a tiny cage with air conditioning then a full kennel run in 40-80 degree weather.
So obviously, one must do a little research before using any arrangement. Based on my experience working for this particular vet, I would never take what is said as fact. Ask to see the boarding set up and if seperate staff is specifically hired just to take care of the boarding animals. If you can, ask to observe staff while they are walking the dogs to see how long each dog really gets outside. I'm sure many vets have adequate facilities to watch your dog, but not all and not everyone is upfront with their clients.
Agree w/boarding at a vet's or good boarding kennel. Unless of course you're already a client of a trainer that's willing to keep your dog short term. I had to board my big male Chesapeake when all my females including his mother and daughter came in season at the same time. A pro that had already trained a dog for me agreed to board him for a month. I asked if he could maybe get some retrieves while he was there; as the trainer had previously not been much of a fan of the CBR breed. He ended up staying there and getting his SH and MH.
Ask for references and tell people what you want. I found veterinary clinics mostly had better set ups for what I wanted than boarding kennels when researching 2 yrs. ago. I inherited a condo that has a no pets policy and is on a no dog beach in Naples, FL. I like to bring a Chesapeake for the 2-day drive, because I feel safer in the budget motels What I found in the boarding-only places is they seem to cater to foolish rich people with spoiled little drop-kick dogs: "cage free" boarding, group play time (((((shudder))))), fancy dog bed "suites" etc., anything to get doting doggie owners to part with major sums of money, starting at about $30-40 a day. The vet I found had knowledgeable staff, very nice a/c runs separate from where the sick animals are kept, and a big fenced airing yard that was spotless. My dog was well cared for, aired multiple times daily and even though this vet was located in a high rent district, it only cost $10/day. I love my dogs, but they are not children who need to play with others nor do they need fru fru fancy beds and piped in music!