My wife and I are going on vacation next month, and will be out of town for about 10 days. As I've said before on this forum, we'd like to leave our dog with a trainer during that time rather than a plain old boarder.
Here's my dilemma: I have two main options for trainers, and they're on completely different ends of the spectrum.
One is an unlicensed, small-time guy who comes highly recommended by two trusted co-workers who are very particular about how their dogs are trained and cared for. At their advice, my wife and I met with him recently to check out his place, get a feel for him, have him meet the dog, etc. We found out that he's an extremely nice guy, and seems to care deeply about his client's dogs and doing a good job. It's also obvious that he's a talented trainer, and that he'd spend a lot more time working with our dog than would a larger-scale trainer.
On the other hand, he and his "facility" are a little rough around the edges. The place is a working farm, with all the typical farm junk lying all over the place. A litter of 10-week old puppies were roaming around unattended when we pulled in the drive (they were his personal dogs, but still...), and the kennels were kind of rickety cobbled together things in one half of a damp, dirty pole shed--the other side of the shed was filled with junk of various kinds.... And as we toured the place he let one of his clients dogs out of its kennel and it wandered around out of his sight while we talked. All red flags for me, but maybe I'm being too sensitive.....
The other place is a more "commercial" training/boarding operation. Lots of kennels, lots of dogs, etc. From what I know of it, the place is very clean, very professional, and it's been recommended to me by someone on RTF.
On the other hand, I'm quite sure that my dog will receive much less actual training, excersize and attention while there, and I'll pay a lot more for it. Plus, I worry that he'll be exposed to all that barking from all those dogs while there and that he'll pick up that bad habit.
What are your thoughts, advice, personal experience with similar situations??