We don't have a fenced in yard. That is going to be remedied shortly: tomorrow I will call the fencing company that gave us a quote and tell them that we want to hire them. I know that they're really busy, so might not be able to get to us for a few weeks. Fine. (I've mentioned it before on this blog, but had to wait until we got a tree cut down as well as have a residential land surveyor come out and show us exactly what our property lines are. Both of those things have happened, so we're ready to start! )
I'm really looking forward to having the yard for Argos.
Since we haven't had that, it means that we HAVE to take him for walks every day - once in the morning and once in the evening (this is in addition to potty breaks in the yard.) There have been times that I haven't been too keen on it, but it doesn't matter... he needs exercise, and he needs to move, and he needs to be able to do his business outdoors. And it's been good for us - good exercise, and honestly, very good bonding time with Argos. It's how we've learned his quirks, his fears, and his interests, and it's how we've gotten him to trust us.
All of that being said, I'm sure that there will be times that we will let him into the yard instead of walking with him. We'll be outside WITH him, just doing unstructured activities instead of walking on the leash. What I don't want to happen is a reduction in bonding time with him.
What is a good mix of leash walking and yard playing? I'm such a newbie at having a dog (yes, I had them as a kid, but that was a long time ago, and we did things much differently then) and don't really know. What works for other people?