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Small yard with a big dog

I have a too small yard for a rather rambunctious active border collie mix. After a very snowy winter and heavy rains, my little plot is a mess. I'm looking for suggestions on how to deal with the situation. Getting rid of the dog really is not an option. Making the yard bigger is an option, but I'm not sure where the new fence would go. I have been considering putting in some kind of artificial grass, or taking the fence down and buying a wireless containment system of some kind, either totally wireless, or buried. Before I do either, I'd like everybody else to weigh in to make sure there aren't better options that I'm not aware of. He has made a pretty muddy mess along the fence where he likes to run and bark. Thanks in advance everybody.

Re: Small yard with a big dog

He'll likely run down the fence line where ever you put it, even it's 'invisible'. Make a gravel path with proper drainage along the fence at least.

A. Spruce
Re: Small yard with a big dog

Good looking yards and dogs don't mix, especially small yards. Your best bet is to maintain a run area for the dog to do his business and get general exercise, and only let him in the yard occasionally. For the run you can do any combination of things that best suit your needs, concrete, gravel, dirt/grass.

Re: Small yard with a big dog

Dogs are babies that never grow up.

Re: Small yard with a big dog

We too have a Border Collie (mix) and know how active they like to be :)

Here in South Carolina we can have times where it can rain for several days in a row at times so we came up with a solution to put a canopy over an 80 foot x 16 foot fenced in area.

That way that area will stay pretty much dry and it has the added benefit of providing shade during hot summer days. (for both me and our dog :)

Now it may not be the easiest solution, but it is something to consider.

You may have already seen my message thread and saw some pictures, but in case you haven't here it is -


(I have heard pros and cons on the wireless system on a dog forum before, and according to some others you can not always count on a wireless system keeping the dog in for sure and that could be very unsafe)

Originally I made a 80x16 fenced in area with a roll of wire fencing and metal posts before later on working on covering it with a canopy, so you might start with just that part for now before deciding on covering it or not.

Also, (and I am not an expert in this area) there might be a type of grass you can grow that is highly resistant to wearing down and making muddy spots. (of course if you planted grass seed it would have to grow well before allowing the dog on it)

Re: Small yard with a big dog

It may be the type of grass. We have big dog who loves to run as fast as she can then skid to a stop on our lawn as she chases her ball around. In our back yard where the lawn was less established and poorer quality grass was used it is a muddy mess. In our front yard where the grass is well established the dog doesn't have much of an impact.

We looked into a few options for fixing our back yard. All of them were expensive. Options were laying down sod, adding loam and reseeding, ripping out existing grass, adding loam then reseeding. The last two options would mean keeping the dog off the lawn for the entire season while the grass establishes itself. We realized that where the dog did the most damage was where the crab grass had started to take over. Then we figured that the dog would probably rip up the new lawn as well. So we're going to try to rebuild the lawn with an aggressive campaign of weeding, fertilizing and seeding.

One thing we try to do with our dog is to make sure that she is not just running in the same area constantly. Would it make sense for you to put something like a chair or two by the fence to block her running path a bit to get her to run in other parts of your yard while the grass recovers?

Re: Small yard with a big dog

Or consider giving this dog a workout elsewhere, so he's only outside to do his business in the winter. A border collie needs a job. Agility class. Train the dog to go get your . Whatever fenced yard you give a border collie won't be enough, they're bored in average dog space confinement. Could be worse, you could have a Jack Russell Terrier!

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