Ask Valli of ‘Oh My Dog’: Where to Leave My Dog While We’re Away?


By Valli Aman,
Certified Dog trainer, ABCBDT

Valli Aman is a local certified dog trainer based in Valley Glen.

Valli Aman is a local certified dog trainer based in Valley Glen.

Question: Our family is going away for ten days.  We have a seven year old Golden Retriever; he is fixed and a good boy. We are getting confused over options for boarding and thought we’d ask your opinion.

Answer: Golden Retrievers are a wonderful breed and very sensitive and do need actual care and attention. First, begin by making a list of what you’d like for your dog while you are gone. If you are “fresh out” of relatives and friends who will care for your dog, try getting a recommendation from a friend.

There are storefront boarding facilities. Stop into one and see what they offer. Take note: are dogs playing with each other or just hanging out? Are there toys? Is it clean? Does it have a big screen TV so you can see your dog (although when you are on vacation that may not be needed)?

There are backyard home kennels which are just what they sound like. Dogs remain in their kennels until it’s time to come out a few times a day.

There is also cage-free home boarding, such as I offer at Camp Aunt Valli, where dogs are guided to socialization and behavior is reinforced. They are watched, played with and loved. We supply daily photos, email and texts.

Do your homework and call around until you speak to someone that is “speaking your language.” Make sure the owner of the home or facility makes you feel comfortable, that the choice is not cosmetic and that the services they provide sound like something you and your dog will like.

If you want tips, further explanation or to request a meeting, please contact me at (818) 785-0377, or by email: Learn more at

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