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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! We have two big dogs (70-90 pounds) who, whenever provoked by our neighbors' dogs, like to run the perimeter of our fence. Consequently, there is a big mud path about three feet wide just inside the fenceline. We can't leave the dogs out for more than a few minutes at a time anymore for fear they'll run in it and get muddy, at which point we have to bathe them before they come inside.

This mud path has standing water in some places (at the bottom of the yard which has a slight slope to it) and just thick, nasty mud in others. So we're trying to figure out how to solve this problem.

We don't think growing grass is possible there because the dogs will just run over the seed and kill it.

Someone suggested gravel or crushed limestone, but 1) I don't really want a bunch of little rocks in my yard where I have to mow right next to them and have it throw a rock up at me and 2) I think the dogs could slip on it or, perhaps worse, run another mud path right before the limestone.

The only other option (besides getting rid of the dogs, ha) I can see is laying down a bed of something else, something absorbent. I was thinking straw, but everyone in my area (northern Kentucky/Cincinnati) is out -- is there some sort of run on the straw market that I'm unaware of? We have lots of pine straw around here, but I've never worked with that before so I don't know how effective it would be. Some people have told me to put more topsoil down, but then others say that would just create more mud.

Any suggestions would be most welcomed. Please keep in mind that this path is about three feet wide, at least six inches deep in some spots, and about 75 feet long, so extremely expensive options are, well, not really options. :)

Thanks for any help you can provide!
 

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the Musigician
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I can think of a few different ways that might work, but none are free.
What materials do you have/have access to that cost you the least amount? Let's start there.

DM
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh, I'm certainly not looking for free. The few options I mentioned in my post -- topsoil, straw, pine straw, gravel, limestone -- we could afford. Someone also mentioned mulch, which we could do. I'm just trying to come up with the most effective way to fix this. As long as you don't say something like "pave the path with concrete," I should be good, price-wise.
 

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the Musigician
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One possibility could be wood if you have tools and woods? (woods + work = free wood)

DM
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
New construction, so no woods. :(

Like I said, I'm more than willing to spend money on this, just not a zillion dollars. So I'm only immediately ruling out things like covering the whole yard in a slab of marble.
 

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Well, I had a similar problem. I used 14' oak rough cut planks that I got free that had spalted a bit and was "no good" to the guy. They made a perfect pathway and I could mow over them too. If you have any mills where you are, you could ask if he/they have a crap pile you could look through for cheap. My pathway through the berries is still going strong after 5 years. Straw would not work.... we have goats.... take my word for it... lol

Perhaps some edging for mowing and then river rock? Heavy enough (hopefully) not to get kicked over the edging and moisture problem will cease.

DM
 

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Put up a solid wood fence so the dogs cant see each other (maybe split with the nieghbor he probably has the same problem) then get this area leveled and filled back in then put down sod. Build a temp fence inside of that until the sod takes. If that dosen't work buy an underground electric fence and place it 6' from the fence.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We can't put up a solid fence, or we would have done that in the first place -- our subdivision requires a fence that's at least 50% open.

I think we would run into the same issue with an electric fence -- the dogs would just run inside of that perimeter, creating another muddy path. We need something the dogs can run on but won't create mud (or other problems).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
DangerMouse: I'm not sure what you mean when you say that straw wouldn't work. Could you please elaborate? That seems to be the most popular answer my friends have given me.

Well, I had a similar problem. I used 14' oak rough cut planks that I got free that had spalted a bit and was "no good" to the guy. They made a perfect pathway and I could mow over them too. If you have any mills where you are, you could ask if he/they have a crap pile you could look through for cheap. My pathway through the berries is still going strong after 5 years. Straw would not work.... we have goats.... take my word for it... lol

Perhaps some edging for mowing and then river rock? Heavy enough (hopefully) not to get kicked over the edging and moisture problem will cease.

DM
 

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How about mulch made from recycled tires? It's great stuff, it doesn't degrade, and it's soft underfoot and for falls. I've used it before for children's play areas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Do you think the recycled tire mulch would do anything for the high moisture content, though, or would I be better off using wood mulch?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
How do I do that? If I bring the level of the yard up in the back, there's nothing to keep it there. My fence is open and it leads into my neighbor's front yard.
 

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you say that the dogs have run a trench sort of....rather than filling in the trench and the fixing the problem it maybe be wise to widen the trench add some patio paver and some paver rocks along the line they run this way it will be kinda recessed so that you can just mow over it normally and the paver base would actually act as a filter to help the excess water drain. i would stay away from he mulching idea only because if your dogs are like mine they will dig in it and drag it all over your yard and you will ave the same problem in a few weeks and have wasted your money...i would like to see them drag some patio pavers around...lol you couls also add a diversion by putting small flower beds in between the walk path and the fence to detour them from being near the fence at all. then the pavers would serve 2 purposed 1 being giving the dogs something solid to walk on and 2 like a walkway to look at your flowers kind of create an oasis
 

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Do you think the recycled tire mulch would do anything for the high moisture content, though, or would I be better off using wood mulch?
Without seeing the property, I'd dig down 6-8", level the "trench" with a slight slope to runaway as appropriate and compact it. I'd add weed mat on top of the soil then fill the bottom 4-5" with gravel for drainage and compact that (probably would add some edging separating the grass from this little project). Then, add the recycled tire mulch. Tada??!
 

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Your main problem is that the dogs do a lot of running laterally along the fence. Running is what big dogs do, and it's more fun for them with the excitement of the dogs next door.

Do the following:

1. Erect barricades of 8 -10 ft perpendicular to the fence at intervals of 15 - 20 along the border fence. The dogs will tend to hold in the closest section to the neighbors dogs, cutting down the lateral running. Once they can't do a lengthy full speed run along the fence, it won't be near as much fun for them.

2. Only let one dog out at a time. That running is a lot more fun with a buddy.

3. Once the running is diminished, fill in the trench and adjust the grade so that water does not stand near the fence.

4. Plant the best high traffic grass adaptable to your area.
 

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When letting out one dog at a time, put him on a leash attached to the side of the house or to a tree. Have the leash a different length each time so when he reaches the end of the leash he is not always on the same stretch of lawn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Okay, here's what I think we're going to do. We're going to erect a temporary fence along the bottom of the yard so the dogs can't run in it while we put something absorbent down and it dries out. When it's mostly dry, we're going to put down some weedblock fabric, then put down gravel (or crushed limestone or something) for a permanent fix.

What do you suggest we use under the gravel to absorb some of the water? Wood mulch? Sand? Or just lots and lots of gravel and hope that the water eventually drains away?
 

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Hi! We have two big dogs (70-90 pounds) who, whenever provoked by our neighbors' dogs, like to run the perimeter of our fence. Consequently, there is a big mud path about three feet wide just inside the fenceline. We can't leave the dogs out for more than a few minutes at a time anymore for fear they'll run in it and get muddy, at which point we have to bathe them before they come inside.

This mud path has standing water in some places (at the bottom of the yard which has a slight slope to it) and just thick, nasty mud in others. So we're trying to figure out how to solve this problem.

We don't think growing grass is possible there because the dogs will just run over the seed and kill it.

Someone suggested gravel or crushed limestone, but 1) I don't really want a bunch of little rocks in my yard where I have to mow right next to them and have it throw a rock up at me and 2) I think the dogs could slip on it or, perhaps worse, run another mud path right before the limestone.

The only other option (besides getting rid of the dogs, ha) I can see is laying down a bed of something else, something absorbent. I was thinking straw, but everyone in my area (northern Kentucky/Cincinnati) is out -- is there some sort of run on the straw market that I'm unaware of? We have lots of pine straw around here, but I've never worked with that before so I don't know how effective it would be. Some people have told me to put more topsoil down, but then others say that would just create more mud.

Any suggestions would be most welcomed. Please keep in mind that this path is about three feet wide, at least six inches deep in some spots, and about 75 feet long, so extremely expensive options are, well, not really options. :)

Thanks for any help you can provide!
I have a very similar problem. HELP!
 
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