dog path in back yard
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Author:  pfpmod [ Sat Feb 07, 2004 9:11 am ]
Post subject:  dog path in back yard

ok, looking for some creative folks here ...... :-) ..........

have a lab that every winter runs a path from one side of the yard to the other ..... which means I get opportunities to bring mud in the house each day it rains in the winter .............. any ideas for how I can try and keep some grass here ............. have in the past added lava sand, regular sand, mulch from leaves in the grass ............... but uh huh :-)

anybody ovecome this ???? :-) ..thanks

Author:  Tony M* [ Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:28 pm ]
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I doubt you will find anyone who has a dog that big that paces the fence line that can give you a grass solution. Grass just can't stand up to that constant wear. The dog is just doing what is natural, protecting the property line.
Keep the dog in a kennel during the day and let it out when you are available. The dog will not be unhappy in the kennel and you will have a chance to get your grass back.
Once you do, you can alternate days in and out of the kennel to allow the grass to recover on the off days.
Tony M

Author:  GWBartek [ Wed Feb 11, 2004 2:11 pm ]
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Another idea you might try is making your dog's path just that....a path. Since you have problems growing grass, just mulch it or rock it.

Another option to try is planting a groundcover instead of grass. Of course one that can take wear and tear.

Our dogs made a path from the front yard to the back yard where grass wouldn't grow, so we thought we would get smart and place stepping stones along the path to make it look better, but they just made a path right next to the stepping stones.

Author:  dcluck [ Wed Feb 11, 2004 6:22 pm ]
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I can vouch for dogs not taking to man made paths much. Last year I put in a mulched/stepping stone path in our back yard from the gate to our deck and our dog has since created her own path in the lawn right along side it. :roll:

I suppose landscape architect is a better vocation than her last one. She tried out interior design last year. Tearing off offensive wall paper, tearing down curtains, ripping up rugs and carpet. :)


Author:  northwesterner [ Sun May 28, 2006 11:21 am ]
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My dogs had a path all around the back cyclone fence, and one of my dogs was an escape artist. Since she is a pitbull I was worried that she would scare someone (though she is very well-mannered except for the breakout routine) or worse, that someone afraid of her might harm her. In January of this year I put in the Invisible Fence system to keep her in the yard. It works great, and I find a byproduct is that they don't run the perimeter any more. They don't run a path right inside the transmitter zone either, because they don't want to get routinely quite close enough to get zapped by the collars. It does a great job of dispersing their movement around the yard (they have a quarter acre back there, and have lost access only to a space of about three feet inside the fence on all sides). There is one path that goes straight back to a rear gate, though they can't get near the gate either. I simply need to rearrange the piles of rocks at the back of the yard and I think they'll stop running toward the gap they can see through most easily.


Author:  Keeber99 [ Wed May 31, 2006 2:49 pm ]
Post subject:  dog path in back yard

Just wondering if you walk your dog every day? You might be surprised how a nice long walk every day will curtail the pacing. A 'tired dog is a happy dog'....

Just a thought.

Author:  northwesterner [ Wed May 31, 2006 3:21 pm ]
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Even dogs that get good walks every day are still going to check out the perimeters of their space. The amount of time they spend doing it may vary according to their walking or other activities.

I don't know about your dogs, but mine would be very unhappy to spend a day in the kennel. They've had to do it in the past (when we were going through the training phase of the Invisible Fence installation) and they were not happy campers. They're a lot less noisy when they are loose in the yard and look through the fence and check beyond those perimeters than if they're stuck in one place. If you have no other choice but to leave them in a kennel for a long time then do be sure to get that/those dogs long walks (at least 45 minutes) every day or they'll become troublesome.

Last summer and into the winter were pretty bad as far as mud and grass and such being tracked in, because it was so dry. It wasn't a path that was the problem, it was the entire yard. I don't water much in the back, but I have resolved to keep at least the area near the house green this year (the whole back area is about 1/4 acre), because when they have only the dry yard everyone is always dusty and covered with short hay from the dead lawn, and when it does finally rain it's a clingy kind of mud out there. An area of green grass will catch a lot of the dust or mud, depending on the weather. I'm not su worried if a path forms in it as long as there is at least some green grass in the area.

I have an area near the gate that gets so much dog and human traffic that grass doesn't grow much at all. I'm planning to put down either an underlayment of sand and then gravel, or put down some kind of mulch like cedar or baldcypress. I'll just plan to rake it into place every so often when it gets pushed around.


Author:  kgolf [ Thu Aug 17, 2006 10:31 pm ]
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I know this post is a few months old, but I just watched a show where someone hired an landscape architect specializing in animals that helped with this same problem. They basically designed around the dog paths, allowing the dogs several places to run through the plants without destroying what was there.
So... you probably need to just go with the flow and don't fight trying to control their paths and/or what grows there. Design plantings etc AND the paths into an attractive setting.
This house also had mulch leading up to their patio so that it would help with the tracking of mud/dirt etc. Of course, this house had a HUGE backyard and had the space to do this and made it look nice and in proportion.

Author:  northwesterner [ Fri Aug 18, 2006 8:08 am ]
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That makes good sense. It's like on the campus (UTA) where I work. After a while a path has been beaten into the grass that the gardeners can't deflect people away from, so they pave it. In the dog instance you would identify the preferred path and landscape around it.

I have been good to my word about keeping a green area for the dogs, and I can see their enjoyment of the turf. I haven't mowed back there for several weeks--better the grass be a little tall and green than stress it out with mowing right now--but in the evenings when the sun is down and they can finally get out into the yard from under their shady spots I find them lolling around on their grass. And if you touch it, the blades are cool to the touch while the dirt a few feet away is still quite warm.

Anyone flying over my house at 30,000 feet will recognise the dogs' green spot--it looks like one of those agricultural circles that forms around an irrigation system. The rest of the lawn is brown, except right around trees that I'm watering to keep alive.

There was a great cartoon in The New Yorker a couple of weeks back--a guy is standing in his yard in the heat and the balloon showing his thoughts has him with a snow shovel in his yard. That figure's bubble is thinking back to summer, and that one thinking back to winter. . . I'm certainly thinking about winter right now, as are my hot dogs!


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