turfgrass

best grass for someone with dogs

best grass for someone with dogs

ceenspots – posted 04 April 2002 15:07

I do rescue and all of my dogs are inside dogs, however, we do play outside. The area around my deck is now just dirt and the walkway from gate to gate is the same way. Also, part of my yard is yellow (maybe burnt from urine?) I believe I have St Augustine right now and I have seen places that they sell the squares of sod. I’m just scared it will be the same way. Someone told me to seed with Bermuda. Is this a good idea? I want to do whatever will hold up the best.

thanks

Josh – posted 11 April 2002 08:22

Yes, bermuda would be a better grass than St.Augustine as far a pet urine damage is concerned. I have had a lot of customers with your same problem. The best solution to that problem is to water that area regularly to help prevent the buildup of residue on the leaves that causes the damage.Be careful not to overwater because you will run into more problem with fungus.

To address the traffic part of your problem, it is best if you can keep the dogs from traveling the same habitual walking path from day to day. Some have had success by placing obstruction in the paths of dogs that keep them from using the same trail time after time.

There are a lot of bermudas on the market. I would recomend a courser type of bermuda because of their incresed wear tolerance. GN-1 bermuda grass is a great grass that is very aggressive and recovers very well from damage. It cannot be planted from seed. Only sprigs or sod. Make sure you have plenty of sun. Minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight is required for all bermudas.

If shade is a problem you might try zoysia. It is very wear tolerant as well.

josh

ceenspot – posted 11 April 2002 21:51

Josh, Thanks for the reply! The only thing I am worried about is the time in between when the seeds are planted and it is growing. I will make sure that in the mean time I water enough.

TextronSaudi – posted 14 April 2002 23:47

My daughter has the same problem – 2 Rottweillers – in PA. I suspect that her only answer for a green back yard is green paint- on concrete Good luck

KONI – posted 29 April 2002 11:33

I have 2 dogs I have adopted from the streets also and have a grass problem. For the past 4 years we have tilled the back yard and put new grass in, nice green lawn yard til winter. During the winter months, when grass has died back, you can walk on grass and it just comes up with nothing but dirt under for the new yard. Come spring we start over again. There has to be a better way to maintain and keep grass from year to year without starting over each year. You would think a sod farm or research would come up with new grass. If a football field can be used with all the practice and games you would think they could come up with a grass for family with pets. Maybe we can both get answer since we have the same problem. Don’t know where you live but I live in Oklahoma.

Josh – posted 29 April 2002 13:13

KONI,

What type of grass do you have. There are plenty of grasses on the market that will perform very well under pet traffic with ADEQUATE maintenance. The problem you are having is generally due to some other factor(grub or insect damage; too much shade; too much water; not enough water; fungus;etc.)

Let me know a little more about your situation and I will do my best to help with your problem. You can contact me directly at research@turfgrassamerica.com.

josh

quote:Originally posted by KONI:I have 2 dogs I have adopted from the streets also and have a grass problem. For the past 4 years we have tilled the back yard and put new grass in, nice green lawn yard til winter. During the winter months, when grass has died back, you can walk on grass and it just comes up with nothing but dirt under for the new yard. Come spring we start over again. There has to be a better way to maintain and keep grass from year to year without starting over each year. You would think a sod farm or research would come up with new grass. If a football field can be used with all the practice and games you would think they could come up with a grass for family with pets. Maybe we can both get answer since we have the same problem. Don’t know where you live but I live in Oklahoma.

Hunter – posted 05 June 2002 08:25

Josh,You suggested someone use Bermuda grass in their yard if they have dogs. I was wondering if that would be your same suggestion for a backyard in Minnesota, zone 4, with an outside dog.

ajbosco – posted 04 November 2003 13:12

I am also experiencing this lawn problem. I live in NH. I have two dogs that are indoor dogs, but play a lot outside. Our so called lawn is becoming completely dirt. I try so hard to maintain the grass that we have, but I fear that eventually the dirt will just take over. They have paths that are now just dirt. And from a certain part in the lawn, the grass just stops and the dirt takes over. Please Help. Any suggestions.

ted – posted 05 November 2003 12:34

holy moly. first of all the post about whether it’s better to have st. aug or bermuda is best answered by where you live! generally bermuda does not do well if it’s overseeded. generally nothing wrong with the concept, it just takes so long to develop. second, bermuda is not going to do well anywhere other than the south or the desert southwest, so seeding it in Minnesota would definitely not work! the best way to co-exist with dogs in your yard, is to have the correct grass for your area maintained properly! if it’s watered and fertilized and mowed correctly you shouldn’t have much of a problem. I had a fescue lawn with a 130 pound german shepherd, a 110 pound golden retriever, and a smaller 80 pound rottweiler mix! i never had any problems because i maintained correctly. what you’re seeing are lawn problems that are being highlighted by the animals, not necessarily caused by the animals. I never like to hear stories where animals are blamed for poor landscape design or maintenance. it really can lead to animal abuse or neglect. as the dog rescuer knows, there’s literally millions of homeless animals in shelters out there, because of a “poor fit” with the homeowners. Come on, it’s not the animals fault.

LaVerda – posted 27 February 2005 21:13

I live in Maryland and I have the same problem with my backyard. No grass! We play with our golden retreiver all the time winter through summer and our green backyard is now a mud bowl. I am not blaming my dog, I just want to know what grass I can get to grow in my backyard

jennmanski – posted 07 March 2005 07:35

I live in Michigan and have Great Danes who jump and run, and whenever they do, clumps of grass go flying. My whole backyard is now mud, since the snow is melting. I really need to know what type of grass I can plant, and how to keep it up, so that I can keep it green and loose the mud! I also have a huge maple tree in the backyard that I have tons of problems with the roots and the driveway, so I have a lot of flooding. What is a really strong/tough grass that can be used in Michigan?

Mr. Orr – posted 08 March 2005 09:49

Ted I dont think they/we are trying to set ourselves up for animal abuse or anything like that. I am a new home owner that has 2 boxers that pretty much tear our backyard apart. Last year we planted St. Augustine in our backyard and it was doing great until winter hit and now it is nothing but mud. I will never give my dogs up and would prefer to have a backyard to admire. I would also like to know what I could do to have a nice backyard. By the way I do live in Arlington, TX. We have a slight draining problem when it rains, but the water does not stand. There is some shade, but we also have 5 pine trees in the back that drop large amounts of pine needles on the grass. We clean those up as much as possible and still cannot keep grass growing.

I am at a total loss on what to do.

ted – posted 08 March 2005 19:36

thanks for a thoughtful question and response from someone that sounds like they actually care about animals. first of all, i wouldn’t recommend st. aug. in arlington. i think you’re looking more at bermuda. sounds like you have a drainage/sunlight problem, might try pruning. try also overseeding with rye in the winter. you can always let or walk the dogs to another area in the neighborhood. what’s important is finding the right type of landscape design, maintaining it properly, and being responsibile to animals. what always happens is that homeowners don’t think about how the animals will fit into their situation, and the only ones that suffer are the animals. they’ve become way too disposible in our society. i’ve seen posts on this board that recommended shooting and poisoning animals because the homeowner was too lazy to maintain his/her lawn! hope that helps. i feel better….

Grifftech – posted 28 March 2005 07:15

My wife and I are in the same situation as alot of the posters here. We have 2 Golden Retrievers and a Doberman with a small backyard (45 x 70) Our dogs are indoor dogs but they still tend to tear up the yard. The main problem is in the fall early winter. So what we did this year was put down a layer of straw that has helped considerably. But this spring we are having the landscape redone and putting in a flagstone running path for the dogs and having the yard comepletely redone with sod. We live in central Illinois and I am curious as to what is the most resilent and self-repairing sod type for our lawn.

Thanks,Chris

ted – posted 28 March 2005 09:43

i’m assuming bluegrass in your market- might try tall fescue but you may be too far north- tall fescue easy to reseed and repair. again, if the grass is healthy you won’t have too many traffic related issues.

charlotte – posted 29 March 2005 10:28

We live in Atlanta and have 2 very active dogs. Our entire backyard has been reduced to weeds, clover and bare dirt (it’s our first year in the house). We are tempted to sod the entire back yard since the dogs would negatively impact any seeds we lay down.

Can you recommend the best type of grass to sod in Atlanta? The area we’d like to sod has several hours of direct sunlight a day.

Toto68 – posted 03 April 2005 11:09

I live in Iowa and my backyard is also a dirtbowl/mudbowl. We moved our fencing to another part of the yard for two years so that the backyard could grow grass. Kind of like moving the herd to a new pasture! It is much more convenient to have them right out the backdoor, so we moved them back again last spring. We can’t keep moving the fence every two years. I am wondering about using something besides grass for their yard. How about woodchips or mulch? Has anyone tried either one, or does anyone have another suggestion? I don’t have much money to spend and chips or mulch seem economical

Buck – posted 04 April 2005 09:28

Charlotte – I have two labs and a Giant Schnauzer, very active and produce a remarkable amount of by-product daily. We have hybrid bermuda and they have not worn it down. Further it is very easy to maintain as it is so low that a bull-nose shovel slides right under the waste that kind of sits on top like a golf ball. If you have a lot of sun, I’d give this a try.

ted – posted 04 April 2005 09:46

we’re kind of wearing this subject out, but i’m sure buck’s lawn is maintained on a high level- you just don’t get that kind of damage on a well maintained lawn. if it’s healthy, you won’t have as much traffic damage.

Jusdky – posted 18 July 2005 11:41

I have 3 German Shorthair Pointers in West Tennessee, I have zoysia and bermuda which do well in the sunny area’s – What can I put in the shady (mud bowl) area ? Thanks Jusdky

ashley – posted 06 August 2005 21:47

I live in studio city california, I have one huge dog (mastiff) and a shar pei…st. aug or bermuda?

Keeknrox – posted 10 August 2005 23:48

Ted, you sound like a true animal lover, good man! This is a bit off the subject, but who gives a rat’s rump what the lawn looks like as long as the animals are happy. At least that’s what I keep telling myself every time I get out the garden tools to repair the urine spots from my two dachshunds. After a hard day’s work in the yard, the pups are right there to greet me with all that unconditional love…it can’t be beat! ANIMALS RULE!!!

lovemydoghatemyyard – posted 09 April 2011 10:39

I live in Missouri, which has very hot, long, humid summers and it turns 80 degrees in April and stays there and above through October. I have an 85 pound dog who loves to play in the yard, but has left it almost grass free. We’ve been trying to plant the fescue grass, blocking off areas to protect it, he just hops the fence. After he does his business, he scuffs his back legs, which further rips up the lawn. What type of grass do you suggest for these conditions? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Sunrise – posted 15 April 2011 11:24

We have four labs who are crated at night and when we leave the house. However, during the day, they are either in the house with me or outside playing. We have bermuda grass, which is properly maintained (mowed weekly, edged, fertilized 3 times a year, weed killer, quarterly bug treatment service, etc.) and the dogs waste is picked up several times each week. Our grass has dead spots where they routinely go potty and there are paths worn into the lawn between the deck and the gate, and around the kids playground where they chase each other like it’s a racetrack. We have repaired with sod and within a short time, it’s mud again. I really need to pull out the bermuda and get a more resilient grass that will withstand four active dogs who are either swimming in our pool or chasing each other around the yard. Would appreciate any suggestions. Frisco, TX (20 miles north of Dallas)

[This message has been edited by Sunrise (edited 15 April 2011).]

Lination – posted 25 April 2011 19:27

Hello Ted,

I live in Connecticut and need help with my grass. I have a small yard, but I am an avid gardener and would love to have a nice grass this year. I have two beautiful girls (dogs) who live inside, but love to play outside. Every year they pee and run around, to the point where just a few patches remain and everything else becomes mud when it rains. Another reason I would love to have grass is to avoid the diry / muddy paws and dogs when it rains… when should I seed the grass? Or what type of grass is the best one for my area? Cheapest?

Lady Author – posted 06 September 2011 08:53

I live in West Virginia with a Doberman, a large Pit Bull, a large Lab, and a small mixed breed. My fenced back yard is now a dust or mud bowl. The yard has two large shade trees. What grass should I plant that will stand up to my four dogs?

Raven’s Dad – posted 18 October 2011 16:32

We have lived in the same place the last five years. From reading earlier posts, we have been lucky as our lawn has remained pretty decent with our two dogs (who have access to the yard whenever we’re home).

What is frustrating to me is that … for some reason … something is causing them to literally tear up (and eat) about a one-third section of the lawn. They have never done this in previous years.

Any ideas of what would cause this?

whistler – posted 28 October 2011 12:25

Did you use a mulch on the lawn, or a different kind of fertilizer? Many dogs will try to eat mulch (i mean real mulch, not bark), because it’s wonderfully stinky to them, and full of tempting tastes.

From a behavioral standpoint, did something change in the dogs’ lives this year, such as less exercise or attention? New family member, maybe? Less walks?Boredom and lack of stimulation will cause dogs to seek activity (chewing, digging) that they haven’t previously engaged in.

quote:Originally posted by Raven’s Dad:We have lived in the same place the last five years. From reading earlier posts, we have been lucky as our lawn has remained pretty decent with our two dogs (who have access to the yard whenever we’re home).

What is frustrating to me is that … for some reason … something is causing them to literally tear up (and eat) about a one-third section of the lawn. They have never done this in previous years.

Any ideas of what would cause this?

socrmom11 – posted 31 October 2011 15:50

quote:Originally posted by ceenspots:I do rescue and all of my dogs are inside dogs, however, we do play outside. The area around my deck is now just dirt and the walkway from gate to gate is the same way. Also, part of my yard is yellow (maybe burnt from urine?) I believe I have St Augustine right now and I have seen places that they sell the squares of sod. I’m just scared it will be the same way. Someone told me to seed with Bermuda. Is this a good idea? I want to do whatever will hold up the best.

thanks

I am replacing the dirt in my backyard with Palisades Zoysia. We are in Austin, TX. Of the info I’ve gathered it is best to plug this grass not to plant it from seed. It is drought tolerant, high traffic tolerant and is super slow growing so no need to mow often either. We were told to water daily for 2 weeks so the roots can take hold then as needed after that. It will brown if not watered but this is a dormant state not a dead state. It’s a beautiful grass that is thick and has a relatively wide blade.

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