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Old 05-30-2012, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Haymarket, Va
621 posts, read 2,970,969 times
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I would really love some suggestions. As most of you all know, dogs are not kind to grassy backyards, especially if you have 3 like me. I want to do something so it doesn't turn in to a dirt pit like our last yard. I'm sick of the dogs being covered in dirt from playing in it and the yard itself not looking good. I'm thinking of pavers or pebbles or mulch?? I'm curious as to what others have done to their backyards so they look somewhat nice but also aren't destroyed by dogs?? Not sure if there are any tough ground covers? Thanks for any help!
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Old 05-30-2012, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Old Town Alexandria
14,495 posts, read 24,252,215 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msjack View Post
I would really love some suggestions. As most of you all know, dogs are not kind to grassy backyards, especially if you have 3 like me. I want to do something so it doesn't turn in to a dirt pit like our last yard. I'm sick of the dogs being covered in dirt from playing in it and the yard itself not looking good. I'm thinking of pavers or pebbles or mulch?? I'm curious as to what others have done to their backyards so they look somewhat nice but also aren't destroyed by dogs?? Not sure if there are any tough ground covers? Thanks for any help!
We sectioned a large area off, and have a dog door off the back deck with a ramp.

They love it and only part of the yard is used. Chocolate mulch is toxic for dogs. My guys like to play with rocks and pine cones, so putting pebbles and mulch in is not good.
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Old 05-30-2012, 04:59 PM
 
29,986 posts, read 38,304,160 times
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Three dogs is much to ask of any lawn. Grass should be of a heavy traffic turf type and it helps to be constantly seeding the worn thin/bare spots. Making certain the yard drains well by filling in any low spots or adding drainage so that water doesn't sit in any area long enough for the pups to make it a mud-wallow (been there done that with a lab).

If your dogs run specific patterns, like the fence perimeter, yes, I would suggest putting down some type of cover there (landscaping material placed first) be it pea gravel, rounded rock (I chose this), or even wood chips (wood absorbs water). Keep in mind that rock will retain heat and wood mulch will help cool the soil. This is an important consideration depending upon yhour location, amount of shade in the yard, and other landscaping concerns. Make certain it is wide enough for the dogs to run comfortably so they choose this over the grass. My rock perimeter on two sides of my fence is about 3' in width with heavy metal landscaping border frame to help hold the rocks in place.

As noted by the previous poster, do you homework so you don't buy anything toxic (including your landscaping plants) and use your dogs' behavior as your guide as to what will work best.

Giving the yard a break by walking the dogs instead of leaving them to run the yard exclusively will help more than you might think. Walking the dogs after it rains instead of letting them tear around a soft and muddy backyard will do wonders for the longevity of your lawn.
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:11 PM
 
Location: Aiken, South Carolina, US of A
1,776 posts, read 4,048,634 times
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Lifelong is absolutely right!
Walk your dogs.
Birds fly, Fish swim, Dogs walk.
It's not only goreat for your lawn, it's super for your dogs.
they will behave for you better.
You will get exercise, which is good for you too!
i have a nice fenced area for my 3 dogs out back,
and they are walked twice a day also.
My yard looks nice, i also clean up after them ALWAYS.
Be it my yard, or someone elses.
Walk them and watch your grass grow!
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:18 PM
 
Location: ๏̯͡๏﴿ Gwinnett-That's a Civil Matter-County
2,117 posts, read 5,501,953 times
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I would recommend mulch and planting trees to restore natural habitat.
The forest floor is never muddy. It's always covered in debris (free mulch).

Then again, if you have a long haired breed like one of mine they will be bringing in tree litter in their coat. Same happens with grass clippings though.

The concept of a lawn originated in a country that never gets above 75 degrees and rains almost every day. But in Haymarket Virginia, the ritual of annual reseeding plus the use of hazardous fertilizer and weed control products is a waste of money and I never like my pets to be playing in the yard full of chems.
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Old 05-30-2012, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Haymarket, Va
621 posts, read 2,970,969 times
Reputation: 390
Thanks all for the suggestions! I'm really thinking about pebbles/rocks/hardscape with some grass here and there and some small trees and bushes. Just need to get a plan. I also love the wood chip idea.

I do walk my dogs, but not as often as I should. They are quite hard to handle as they pull and are very strong, so I can only take one at a time. I've had them pull me down before! They are very high energy breeds, so walking doesn't tire them out the way running and playing in a dog park/back yard does. We walk them more often when my husband is here, but he won't be back until November so until then, it's the back yard the majority of the time for play and exercise, which they love, it's just that the yard then suffers. They love to run, so they love the freedom a yard gives them. Thanks again for the tips!
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Old 05-30-2012, 09:15 PM
 
578 posts, read 934,746 times
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I walk my dogs twice daily but I also let them hang out in the fresh air in my backyard. I have a very small yard as I'm in the city but it's like a giant concrete patio with areas on each side to plant flowers and such. It's very pretty and the dogs love it!!
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Land of Free Johnson-Weld-2016
6,473 posts, read 14,362,446 times
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A poster in another thread suggest "training" dogs could keep them from being destructive. Hmmmm I am still skeptical. Dogs appear to enjoy playing and digging and munching on things too much.

Hardscaping sounds like the most suitable option. And maybe having a few unfriendly plants or barriers/fencing in areas where you don't want the dogs to go.

I definitely wouldn't hardscape the entire yard. Although the OP may not be a gardener now, he/she may like to designate an area or two for at least a future vegetable or herb garden.
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Old 06-01-2012, 01:45 PM
 
5,065 posts, read 14,123,475 times
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I'd go with wood chips; stone/pebbles etc. might get too hot for their feet during hot summers.
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Old 06-01-2012, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
106 posts, read 325,984 times
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I think what other said about training your dogs is a good idea. My neighbor last year had a backyard dirt pile, and 3 big dogs in the household. Recently he covered it all over with pebbles. Not sure if he lets the dogs do their business there (He might). But the dogs are well trained and usually just walk around the backyard from what I've seen.
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