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Discussion Starter #1
We have two large-ish (8olb) dogs that are overjoyed that we recently completely fenced in our yard (it was originally only fenced on three sides) so now they can go out and chase each other around the bushes to their hearts content- but we are amazed that although they run allover the yard- there are a few places where the grass (*ahem* weeds) has completely vanished! Is there anything that can be planted that will hold up under their paws or is our yard doomed to become a dust bowl? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!
Thanks!
 

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LOL! How big is your yard? We are having a serious drought issue in CA so many lawns around are dead or near gone. Many oeople are hardscaping. A friend , who has 4 Shelties that run all over, recently redid her back yard. Wish I could post a photo. She used pavers and gravel. She put in a pretty large raised bed, held with blocks. That she planted a nice tree in surrounded by flowers. The dogs love to run around this round flower bed on the gravel. I am not sure if she used small river rock or gravel. She put in a smaller grassed area at one end. It really looks nice. She had it professionally done but something you could certainly do on your own.
 

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There are some hardier types of grass you can buy, but I'd look into hardscaping as Margot49 suggested. It's easier to maintain, costs less long term (water, fertilizer, mowing, etc.) and is better for the environment.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Our yard is about 120 sq feet of space- they def. have enough room to chase each other, play Frisbee, etc. The thing is that my family is dead set on having grass out there- they don't want to do hardscaping if possible... hence my- what kind of grass/weed/ground cover can be planted question :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
.... It's easier to maintain, costs less long term (water, fertilizer, mowing, etc.) and is better for the environment.
We actually just got an electric mower so that might be part of the reason my family members are anxious to keep grass out there- they want to be able to use it!
 

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Our yard is about 120 sq feet of space- they def. have enough room to chase each other, play Frisbee, etc. The thing is that my family is dead set on having grass out there- they don't want to do hardscaping if possible... hence my- what kind of grass/weed/ground cover can be planted question :)
120 SF is say, 10 feet by 12 feet, which is pretty small for two big dogs running aroud. You're likely to have a hard time keeping ground cover alive.

Now, if you meant 1200 SF, you're in a better spot for ground cover. If you don't want to hard scape, talk to your local agricultural extension office or the local university's ag dept for suggestions of location specific ground cover that is hardy, nitrogen resistant and easy to maintain. They have no profit motive to sell you stuff so that helps in getting the best recommendations. Good plant nurseries or landscapers will tell you straight up too, but I like to start with the local ag office.

Another source of info is your local roads/highway dept. They have to maintain a lot of roadside and want minimal upkeep and sturdy ground over.
 

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In addition, you might get some landscaping or lawn furniture to block or discourage some paths and encourage perimeter wear and tear. You might also move furniture periodically for more even wear?
 

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Oh how I feel your pain. Since getting our second dog the back yard has 2 rather large sections of dirt that used to be grass. They're dusty in the summer and muddy in the winter. We tried re-planting the grass this summer and keeping the dogs off those sections, but I can already see the grass fading away and the dirt taking over now that the dogs are allowed there again.

Blocking the bad sections is an idea if you can do that. It will re-direct them at least.
 

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I made up a PVC pipe/plastic hardware cloth exercise pen 16 years ago. Didn't work well as I intended but separated into its 30x20" panels I find lots of uses for it. One is dropping on problem spots on the lawn. If a dog MUST step there it protects the area a little but usually they will avoid stepping on it. Putting furniture out there is good too.

It would be costly but you could keep grass if you put down a drivable lawn/grass driveway type product. You'd have to really research this to find something suitable for dogs running as you don't want to hurt their feet. Rehoming the new lawn mower would be more cost effective!

I doubt there is any living grass or ground cover that can survive dogs playing. Ginger puts a hole in the lawn where she leaps from patio to lawn to the corner where she starts her critter hunts and she is all of 15 pounds!
 

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Not sure if it would work, you'd have to do more research on it, but how about zoysia grass? I actually hate it, but it's thick and holds up well around here. It doesn't grow well in the shade though. It's never watered, unless by accident while watering the veggie garden or fertilized. It does die back in winter and turn brown. I was told that my boyfriends father tried to kill it many years ago with roundup(ugg, nasty stuff) but it only turned it orange. Someone even knocked on the door to ask why the lawn was orange.
 
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