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Question about the yard!

August 31st, 2004, 01:00 PM
I didn't know what to title this!

We are selling our house and right now with the puppy there is a part of the yard that has been dug up (Willy and Charlie think that this is great) Anyway we want to put sod down so that it does not look so crappy and to keep the mud outside and not on their paws and my floor.

Does anyone have any ideas how we can keep them off of this area while the sod takes? They are usually left outside first thing in the morning for about 10 minutes while I shower and then they go for a walk and then they are out for about 20 minutes while my husband gets ready after I have left. So it would be hard to watch them all the time.

Ideas would be great!

August 31st, 2004, 01:03 PM
I would build up a "cage" around the area out of wood sticks and then cover it with chicken wire. Remember that you need to water the area thoroughly for about 2 days after you lay the sod (Hey! Maybe the sprinkler will keep them away!). Good luck! :D

August 31st, 2004, 01:04 PM
Is there any reason to leave the puppy outside alone and unwatched?

Puppies learn by positive reinforcement, but you have to be present with them in order to properly teach them what to do, and what not to do. Marking off an area isn't going to prevent them from starting on a new spot.

If left unattended for any period of time, any habits they form will stick... both good and bad ones. If your puppy has developed a taste for digging, the only way to teach the puppy not to dig is to be present when they start so you can give a firm "NO!", combined with not giving them any opportunity to dig while you're not watching.

August 31st, 2004, 01:14 PM
We leave them outside in the morning while we are getting ready so that they have a chance to run off their energy before going back into the house while we are at work. It would be completely unfair for the little guy to be stuck inside because I have to get ready.

They aren't digging so much right now, it is more the mud that we have the issue with. I think that the sod will become a game for them.

After we put it down tonight we will make sure we watch him carefully and let him know that it is not a play area! We will have to water it tonight so maybe you are right and it will help keep him off!

August 31st, 2004, 01:20 PM
I must have misunderstood, I thought you mentioned they went out for 10 minutes before their morning walk. If they're getting walked, I wouldn't think it's unfair. These are pack animals and they normally (and should) view their owners as Alphas of the pack, or their pack leaders. As a result, they want to be around you as much as possible.

One possibility believe it or not is that the puppy is doing this out of frustration because it has been separated from you, by you, who it views as its Alpha. Many dogs misbehave in some way when the owner is out, and it is generally because they are upset to be left behind.

Have you thought about crate training? I assume the older dogs don't misbehave like the puppy does.

August 31st, 2004, 01:28 PM
This is just for the times that they are outside, they don't stay outside all day.

He is crate trained, he is in crate during the day and at night, not only to train him for his safety as well. They do get a walk in the morning, but since they are so active, they like to play while we are getting ready, unless it is raining they go outside to do this.

The older one is fine, he was trained a long time ago, but he thinks that it is great that the puppy is doing this, because then he doesn't get in trouble. I have watched them from the window (the first time he was doing it) and Willy was sitting there looking at the puppy and then looking towards the house, so I went right out.

Dogs dig, especially beagles, but this is not the issue at hand, I was just looking for some ideas on how to keep them off of the sod so that it takes properly.

August 31st, 2004, 01:29 PM
He is crate trained, he is in crate during the day and at night, not only to train him for his safety as well. They do get a walk in the morning, but since they are so active, they like to play while we are getting ready, unless it is raining they go outside to do this.

I can only suggest that your walks last longer and when you're getting ready keep them occupied in their crates with a kong of chew toys....

August 31st, 2004, 01:39 PM
The older beagle does not go in his crate anymore. He is left to do as he pleases when we are away from home.

I don't feel right putting Charlie in his crate sooner than I have to, because in the mornings he doesn't have much time out of it before he goes back in. I have to leave for work at 5:30 am and my husband leaves at 6:30 am, we both get up earlier than we used to to spend time with them.

Any other suggestions besides depriving my dogs of their outside time would be great.

August 31st, 2004, 01:42 PM
Any other suggestions besides depriving my dogs of their outside time would be great.

Apparently you think I was saying that to be harsh. That was not my intentions. I too leave for work early and deal with a very active dog, I was just suggesting what has worked for me while getting ready...

August 31st, 2004, 01:50 PM
Sorry, I am a little stressed today (put an offer in on a new house last night) so I think that I am reading too far into the answers!

I think that we are going to try and stake it off and be firm if he goes near it. That should work for tonight and maybe in the morning while we are getting ready one of us can be outside (ha ha ha, this means that Noah has to get up earlier!) because by the time they get back from the walk they are happy to play upstairs in the spare room which apparently is now their room!

August 31st, 2004, 01:56 PM
Any other suggestions besides depriving my dogs of their outside time would be great.

I don't think that's what we're suggesting. If you want to let your dogs have some morning yard time, perhaps share a cup of coffee with them for the moments while they are outside.

I too once had a beagle, (ironically, named Charlie!). While all dogs have the potential to do many things, including digging, they can be trained not to do so. All dogs have the potential to bite, but if you stick your hand in their mouths and cry out "Yipe!" when they are babies, they will associate a person's hands in their mouth with something negative and won't do it.

My parents have a Llasa Apso that was paper trained when they bought him as a puppy. They too, as part of their morning routine would let him out in the backyard for a while while they got ready, then brought him inside where he was left for the day. He got his walks, as well. The evening routine is very similar. They get home and he goes outside. They assume he loves it out there.

There's one major problem though.

At 5 years of age, he's still paper trained. He has no association or connection with doing his business outside. If you remove the paper, he will do it where the papers are normally placed.

When the dog is let outside, nobody goes out with him. Nobody knows what he is doing out there, or even if he is going #1 or #2 at all outside.

Only recently have they worked it into their routine to take him for a walk every morning, with treats so they can catch him every time he does something and reinforce it with a resounding "GOOD BOY!"

He stays with us quite often, and not once in a good couple of months has he had an "accident". He goes out regularly, but he's a walker when it comes to doing his business outside. That's the way that he learned it. If my parents would go with him into the yard and catch him doing it there, he'd probably become a yard business dog.

So while you may not feel this relates much to your grass story, try to think of it from the perspective of how often are your dogs left alone outside to do as they will? If you aren't there to tell them NO, they aren't going to know what they can, or cannot do.

August 31st, 2004, 02:13 PM
We go outside with Charlie when he has to go to the bathroom and if he does not have to go to the bathroom we still take him outside so he knows that is where he goes.

This is not an issue of me training my dog, they are both very well behaved and yes Charlie has dug a little bit but nothing that would freak me completely out.

As I said before, I just wanted some feedback on how to keep them off that part of the grass. Even if just to sit on, because they love sitting there because they can look out and over into others back yards because it is a hill.

August 31st, 2004, 02:23 PM
Oh! Just thought of this ... while at PetSmart looking for a chewing repellant (*sigh*, oh Phoebe!), I saw that there were several that were for outdoor use. I believe some were "natural" repellants that could be used to keep pups away from a specific area (made by the Nature's Miracle people). Maybe you could give one of them a try. Good luck! :D

August 31st, 2004, 02:26 PM
That is a good idea. I will have to stop at the pet store on the way home and have a look.

On a side note, Charlie wasn't let out today during the day because my mom didn't make it over on her lunch and the regular girl had to work at her other job today, so it will be interesting to see if he has had an accident.

Poor little guy, his little legs are probably crossed.

August 31st, 2004, 05:56 PM
funny that , my charlie (GSD) loves to dig, she enjoys licking all the blood and bones out of the garden, such a fool (she also loves grass roots, i think they may be sweet).
charlie had a problem of going on the garden, i made a barrier type fence around it and covered it in shade cloth (chicken wire would do). i sat out the back with her initially and every time she went on the garden i said firmly 'no, off the garden' it did work, occassionally she goes on the garden but that is mainly when she is obsessed with a lizard and is so focused doesnt know where she is going.
BUT i would use really small chicken wire like snake wire (snake wire plastic), you dont want any legs getting stuck or anything if they decide to be cheaky. but that is unlikely since they are not out there all day.
hope it works out and you get a good price for your house, dont worry the stress will end soon and you will look back and smile :D :D

August 31st, 2004, 06:22 PM
Couldnt you put a pen up around that area/??

August 31st, 2004, 10:37 PM
I'd just buy seed it's cheaper and we've been getting a lot of rain so it'll germinate faster.

Wet the lawn so the seed sticks to the ground and seed heavily on a 'non' windy day then lightly sprinkle water on it again.

Hopefully if you do it the day before a big rain (any day lately) it will work much better.

August 31st, 2004, 11:00 PM
We had to kill the lawn of our new home this year because it was completely overrun with weeds. I found these grass-growing tips to be very useful... I now have a lawn that grows as if it were on steroids!

1) Rake the area thoroughly to remove any excess thatch, releasing the top few centimeters of soil. Flatten the area if necessary with a lawn roller.

2) Apply topsoil, and use a seed spreader to properly apply the seed in 2 directions, 90% in rotation of each other.

3) Wet the area thoroughly, and apply Peat Moss. The moss not only protects the seeds from being eaten by birds and rodents, it also acts as a moisture insulator.

In total, I seeded 3 times within one month, applying fresh peat moss each time. The grass grew in thicker than any lawn I've ever had! Not only is it less expensive than sod, it doesn't brown and die the way sod will when not applied correctly or watered thoroughly.

According to the information I looked up, the fall is actually the best time to seed, using the same method as outlined above, but using a winter seed. In the case of established lawns you are trying to thicken up, you should make the last cut of the season as low as your mower will set, then give the lawn a very firm raking (after all leaves have fallen), then seed and moss. In the spring, the grass should grow in beautifully.

September 1st, 2004, 07:50 AM
I wish we had time to seed, but our offer was accepted last night and we have only three weeks to sell our house.

So putting down sod is a fast solution to make the back yard look better. It is only area so about 2 rolls of sod. I was watching them this morning and they love to go and just sit there and look around. We will just have to watch it until we sell!

September 1st, 2004, 04:36 PM
i know you would like the sod to settle, but is it possible to do it say a week before the sale or similar, can you leave it as long as possible?? :)

Cactus Flower
September 1st, 2004, 10:05 PM
I think having the sprinkler on in that area is a great idea, and it will help the sod, anyway.

I used to put coffee grounds in certain areas of my yard that my neighbor's cats thought was a litterbox. After I had my morning coffee, I just dumped the used grounds in that area. The cats stayed away from them, I assume because they did not like the smell. But I noticed that my dogs also stayed away. Sounds silly, but might be worth a shot?

September 1st, 2004, 10:08 PM
That's weird CF, I read in a magazine that putting coffee grounds in a litter box helps with the smell and the cats don't mind it.
We actually tried it and it did not help with the smell of things, but the cats still used the litter box.

September 1st, 2004, 10:13 PM
Hmmm.. Maybe it's the combination of coffee grounds and soil (or the litter neutralized something in the grounds)? CF, was that instant coffee or brewed?

Cactus Flower
September 1st, 2004, 10:15 PM
Hmmm, maybe because they had no other choice? Or were they dry, unused grounds? (If that makes a difference, I don't know..)

All I know is that it worked for the cats that used to go in my son's litterbox and up against the house. But then again, maybe they just got the message around the same time as I tried the grounds, because I was actively shooing them away the whole time. Who knows?

I'm trying to think of something you might have in your house that dogs don't like the smell of, but that won't hurt your sod, either. Something you can sprinkle or spray out there. Anyone have any ideas?

Cactus Flower
September 1st, 2004, 10:18 PM
Writing4Fun, our opening lines were identical. "Hmmmmm..." And we posted at the same time :) .
It was brewed coffee. Makes sense that the litter would absorb the odor of the coffee. You're a sharp one!

September 2nd, 2004, 07:16 AM
The house went up for sale yesterday, so we have to get it done asap for potential buyers!
Our closing date would be November 12th so by that time it won't matter what the yard looks like!

September 2nd, 2004, 08:07 AM
The easiest possible solution is a small ornamental fence that's just big enough they can't jump over. That way your sod will take and you can take the little fence with you when you move.