This weekend I received the following comment …
dog owner says:
I own a dog and love dogs. However, we just bought a house with an expansive front lawn that all the neighborhood dogs use as a toilet.
This is NOT OK.
Our neighbor has two huge dogs and walks them straight out from her front door to our lawn that is now lime and yellow green. Her lawn is pristine, not even a trace of yellow patch or bald spot.
Also, it is not ok to let your dog walk three to four feet onto someone”s property. I think you are severely deranged to think people need to get over other people’s dogs using their front lawns as toilets. USE YOUR OWN!
After I got over my initial annoyance, I started to consider the issue from the commenter’s perspective. Both sides make some good points.
Don’t Pee –
Landscaping a yard can be a very expensive enterprise. I would be more than a little bit peeved as well if my newly landscaped yard was destroyed by dog urine.
Do Pee –
On the other hand, peeing, or marking is what dogs naturally do.
Yes we do train them not to potty inside the house, but that is a relatively easy task compared to getting them not to mark at all during walks.
When exploring in the great outdoors, there are a lot of scents left by other dogs, cats, squirrels, and other critters. These other scents make it extremely tempting for your dog to mark over it.
Someone else has left their calling card there, so your dog would want to leave his as well.
That is why houses that are already popular mark spots, tend to get even more popular because the existing smells will draw more visitors to leave their scent. I suppose everyone wants to visit the best restaurants or the best clubs.
Corner houses get the most foot traffic, thus they frequently exude the best smells, which will in turn draw even more visitors.
I used to live in a corner house, and had my share of dog visitors. In general, I am free with both types of potty usage on my lawn as long as people pick up after their dog.
My lawn did get a bit yellow during the summer, but I was able to bring it back simply by watering it more. I suppose the added watering helped to make the grass more healthy and also helped to dilute the urine.
In addition, there may be other causes for the lawn-burn look, and dogs are just one of them.
Why do I allow dogs to potty on my lawn?
Dogs already have a lot of restrictions on their freedoms.
I feel it is unnecessary to so strongly restrict their natural instinct to mark in this fashion.
It seems strange to me that the same proponents of dominance theory and treating dogs like wolves, are also the same people who are the most vocal against letting dogs do what they naturally do during walks.
Get Your Stupid Dog Off My Lawn
Even though you may get irritated with the state of your lawn and want to lash out indiscriminately at people with dogs, that is generally the least effective way for dealing with the problem.
Just the other day some guy ran out and shouted at my three legged dog for resting on the pavement during a hot day.
Running out and shouting indiscriminately at people with dogs will quickly make you unpopular with your neighbors. If anything should happen, don’t count on them lifting a finger to help you.
It will also be uncomfortable to live in a neighborhood where you are persona non-grata.
Remember that your ability to do lawn guard duty will be very limited.
Alienating people with dogs, may only cause them to leave you even more surprises when you are not home.
Effective Ways to Protect Your Lawn
- Build a short fence around it. Dog owners are not diabolical lawn destroyers and will be happy to leave your lawn alone.
- Plant bushes on the perimeter of your lawn. You may need to protect your young bushes initially with a make-shift fence, but once they are mature, they will provide a buffer zone between the dogs and your lawn.
- Get to know the people with dogs, and chat with them. If you are nice to someone, they will return the favor and be nice to you. Tell them about your lawn problems, and I am sure they will be more than happy to leave your lawn alone so that it may recover.
Nice works a lot better than crazy angry shouting.
I am sure there are many more effective ways for grass, dogs, and people to co-exist together in harmony, so let me know what you think.