What's the best way to control mud in a yard used by a large dog?
I live in western Oregon, where it rains about 8 months of the year. I have a small urban lot, with a 40 x 30 backyard. 2/3 of that is set aside for my active, 70# dog. I'm sure you can imagine what happens to the yard once the rain starts. I'm tempted to put down yard cloth and aggregate and call it done, but she seems to enjoy the grass. I don't irrigate or fertilize, and have a manual mower, so there's really little ecological investment when it comes to maintaining the turf. But I don't much want her bringing the entire yard into the house on her feet for several months a year. What do you suggest to get the mud under control?
There really isn't a way to prevent mud without going over it all with brick, gravel, or a ton of mulch.
I would possibly consider shrinking the grassy area so your dog can still enjoy it, has an area for business, etc. The thicker and more healthy the grass is, the less mud she will be able to get to unless she is digging.
Another good trick is to make sure it is slightly mounded and the water that does fall on it can quickly drain away. Along with that, you need to eliminate any ponding in the backyard. especially areas that border the grass area.