We have a 7 month old GS puppy who is the cutest little ball of fluff, and who thinks he's a person. From the time we brought him home, when we can't be with him he stays gated in the puppy-proofed area by our front door, about 10x10. He has room for a blanket, room to play a little, and room for food/water.
However, he also has a nice large fenced-in puppy-proof yard, with a brand new 6ft privacy fence and big heavy locks on all the gates. Which he uses for a maximum of 20 minutes at a stretch before he's whining to come in.
This was fine when he was a little puppy, and he hasn't been required to stay in the front door area for more than two hours in the past month and a half, since my husband's been laid off.
I have a suspicion that the 10x10 area by the front door won't work anymore when hubby goes back to work, and as much as I would love to give him the run of the house, he's not quite ready. So he's going to get the run of the back yard instead. (I don't feel this is a bad thing since 1. We live in a nice neighborhood in a nice small town and 2. We have nosy neighbors across and beside us who are home all day and love a chance to let you know something's up, so slim chance of random poisoners/thieves. I've never heard of malicious things happening to dogs in our town at all.)
Are there any tricks or techniques to make him LOVE the back yard for extended periods? He's always ready to go out, and sometimes refuses to come in. He has FUN out there; he digs, he runs, he jumps, he hunts moles and leaves big trenches in the yard...but then he's done and asks to come in. I don't want him whining all pitiful at the door for five hours every day. How do we teach him it's okay?