We use a tie-up to put Oreo outside attached to the play set whenever we're working in the yard or just think it's a good day for the dog to be outside. It's strong enough to keep him in place, and he still has a lot of room to explore. Recently we moved the tie-up to the front porch because the backyard is one big mess from the patio project.
It turns out he LOVES being on the front porch. It's his personal playground. The tie-up is long enough that he can wander into the front yard and explore the front garden when the mood strikes. Other times he just hangs out on the concrete watching all the neighborhood action. Now, I wouldn't say there's a lot of neighborhood action, but for Oreo, the squirrels, walkers and cars must be fascinating.
He recently started asking to go outside. Sometimes he sits by the front door and talks to me. Sometimes when we come back from a walk he'll plop down next to the tie-up. He won't move until I attach him to the tie-up so he can roam. Sometimes I'll find him stretched out in front of the screen door. I'll open the door and try to bring him into the house, but he walks away.
I've learned to just leave him on the front porch. It keeps him busy for hours on end. As long as it's not raining, he can spend as much time as he wants on the front porch.