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Discussion Starter #1
Once upon a time my back yard used to have green grass, flowers, birds, and squirrels. Well, the dogs have long ago chased the critters away (to my mom's dismay, I don't really mind), but just recently-ish the dogs have destroyed the grass.

It started when Landen was a puppy. We have an elementary school and park behind our house and Landen wore out a path from the back door to the gate where he could watch the kids play.

Now that we have Mia, the two dogs literally run and play all day, all over the yard. They are not really outside dogs, but a lot of times they will ask to be let out and stay out for several hours only stopping their play to get a drink of water every now and then.

Our yard is not tiny, but it is not huge by any stretch of the imagination. It is also almost all dirt/mud. I know may of you have multiple big dogs (although mine aren't all that big), how do you keep your yards from turning to muck? The dogs get walked and played with inside, so the yard is not their only energy outlet (I am going to make a flirt pole soon, I am excited!). What else can I do? They have also killed my sister's flowers, which used to surround the deck, by running under the deck and trampling them. But that I am not too worried about. Thanks!!
 

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Two recommendations:

1) seed your backyard with Tall Fescue grass seed. It will grow well in Ohio (not a southern seed), but you'll need to get it down soon so it has plenty of spring time to grow before the summer heat. It's what they use on football and baseball fields. You still won't have a perfect lawn but it will stand up to the dogs better than other grasses.

2) While you're at the garden center or Home Depot, get some big planters, potting soil and your sister's favorite kinds of flowers. Pot them up and put them on the deck. Destruction of favorite objects can really turn a person off to dogs...and dogs don't need an enemy in the house. Keep her happy.
 

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I have 3 large dogs and had pathways created where they run the most. I also use large stepping stones in the flower beds where they're most likely to walk/run. I'm having to redo areas in my yard where they are trampling my shrubs & flowers. I'm going to transplant everything in one of my flower beds and plant monkey (mondo) grass. It spreads and is pretty resilant, not sure what zone you are in, but you might check out what's good for your area. Ornamental grasses are good to give them something to run through, just make sure it doesn't have sharp blades. I've read a couple books that might be helpful for you too, Dog Friendly Gardens/Garden Friendly Dogs and Pawfriendly Landscapes. http://www.pawfriendlylandscapes.com/

Hope this helps. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
about planting hardier grass... Would I need to keep the dogs off of it for a while to let it grow? How would that work? I feel like they would destroy any baby grass.
 

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we were starting to have a nice back yard after our other dog passed away [4 yrs. ago this July] until the new one came and I have never come across such a digger before:eek: so our yard is looking like crap again too and muddy so we decided to get a chain link fence blocking half the yard so she can have half and we can have the rest. We have a fairly big yard so she can dig all she wants on her side but she can only come on our side when supervised:)
 

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We have a mud/dirt path on the corner of the house where my lab comes sprinting around the corner, use to be all grass. Also another path in the back, my husband wants to get grass growing befor my baby shower, hopefully it will work cuz it doesnt look very pretty.
 
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