I have a fairly large backyard....as far as backyards go. Enough room for Truman to run and chase a tennis ball from end to end or herd a soccer ball around. But I was never able to use my backyard for these fun things because I never had a fence. Our playtime in the backyard consisted of him pushing a ball around with his nose and then spying a rabbit in the neighbor's yard and running off all over the neighborhood chasing that rabbit. I have the type of dog who requires tons of exercise and that exercise was me walking him up to eight miles every! single! day! Obviously, I found out this isn't always a safe option in the winter and since I won't be walking up to eight miles a day anytime soon I needed to put in a fence.
The funny thing about the newly fenced in yard is that Truman isn't sure what to do. I let him out there to "do his business" but I don't know if he understands it is ok for him to "do his business". He just sits there and stares at me like..."um...aren't we going for a walk?" So, then I have to walk around the yard with him so he understands it's ok. I don't get it. No fence = he runs off. Fence = he just sits there and stares at me. Maybe it's because he hasn't been with me for three whole months and he's getting used to his home environment again. Maybe he truly is the best dog ever waiting for my instruction. (But if that were the case he wouldn't have run out of the yard in the first place.)
He is getting more comfortable with the fence. It's only been a few days. Sometimes when I let him out there he'll trot off to find his favorite tree and go exploring. But he still loves his walk. It's a great bonding experience for us both and even more so now that I have to walk slowly. He just walks right beside me going at my pace and doesn't even bother with the rabbits and squirrels. He gets me out there walking again which is exactly what I am supposed to be doing AND he encourages me along the way....which I guess is what HE is supposed to be doing. That's a dog's job. He does it very, very well. Good boy.