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I have two adult dogs who love to dig, climb, bark, and run in my backyard. They have completly destroyed any form of grass that has grown in my yard. It is now a mud pitt.

As I attempt to re-landscape areas of my backyard, is there anything I set in place to keep them from walking onto my grass-growing areas?

i.e. is there something they hate stepping on or walking over that annoys the crap out of their paws but doesn't cause real harm?

Thanks for any advice

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I do not think such a material exists.

Many people have a tough time keeping their grass healthy with dogs. As you said, dogs like to dig, run, and urinate on grass. Heavy rain can make it easier for dogs to damage grass, and your dogs may enjoy digging and playing in a muddy yard even more than a dry yard. ;)

Some suggestions:

  1. Your dogs obviously need a yard to play in. If you have enough space, you could consider designating part of the yard specifically for your dogs. This part of the yard could be covered in mulch instead of grass. This would prevent mud from forming, and your dogs' urine would not kill the grass. You could fence this part of your yard off, essentially making a "dog park" within your yard.

  2. If you want your entire yard to have grass, you could split your yard in half using a fence. One week you let your dogs play on the left side, the next week you let them play on the right side. This would allow the grass to recover from any damage your dogs cause. (This practice of dividing up land and only keeping animals in one section at a time is common with farmers, because it allows grass to grow back after getting eaten.)

  3. Consider planting a more "hardy" type of grass in your yard. I have very little experience with grass, but I know some types are stronger than others.

  4. Try to train your dogs not to dig holes. This would take some time, but I think it can be done.

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  • @klewis Additionally, you could try out a digging box for your dogs, as described in this answer. With some luck, they will prefer digging in the box instead of the rest of your backyard. – Elmy Feb 24 '20 at 7:38
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I would agree with Sam. If you are looking for a natural solution, I am not aware of any. (I have had various breeds over the period of 50 years). There is a solution that I do not recommend - artificial turf. The kind used by some professional sports teams. - You have some issues that you may not be able to control. Intelligence is a factor of the breed. A similar issue to your current one would be training your dogs to stay of certain furniture but allowed on others. Move the furniture and see if the dogs follow. Most dogs are trained all or nothing. - Another issue is that certain breeds are natural diggers. And other breeds are natural followers. From your question, it appears that you have at least one natural digger. - Most dogs if kept out side often outside but unsupervised,treat in the house as yours and the yard is ours.If they have not been specifically trained what to do outside, in their mind you are the invader and they are the boss (except when they are trained for specific things). - dividing your yard will partially solve your situation, but only on your side. - your dogs can be trained the way you want with a capable trainer and time.

The question you need to ask, is it worth paying a capable trainer (who might be expensive) and the time necessary to change their behavior.

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