shaded back yard with dogs | should we use decomposed granite?

by Jamie Wallace
(Culver City, CA)

Here's a question about a shaded backyard for dogs and if decomposed granite is a good solution.

We have three large breed dogs who have their own yard. It is partially shaded and somewhat compacted part clay soil. The dogs have worn or peed away all of the grass and it is 99% dirt, mud in the wet. The yard is flat, with two sections on either side of a concrete walk way. The dimensions are 30' x 8' and 12' x 11'

What can we put down as a surface that the dogs will be comfortable on, that we can clean up, and will keep them from tracking mud into the house?

We live in west side of Los Angeles. We are thinking of decomposed granite with some grass areas. Please let us know if you think this will work.

And unfortunately, we need to do this on a budget.

Thank you,
Jamie Wallace


Hi Jamie,
I think the decomposed granite will work, especially if you use the Loose DG. Due to heavy dog use and elimination, it will have to be replenished periodically, but it is relatively inexpensive. See my page on Decomposed Granite.

Since the areas are flat, there is no runoff, so you might as well go with the least costly. You can add a grassy area to the larger section, but it will be relatively small, will get a lot of use, and therefore you will probably end up in the same situation you are now in...a poor, muddy lawn. I would use the DG in the entire area.

This method will also have the best percolation.

Comments for shaded back yard with dogs | should we use decomposed granite?

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Dec 26, 2020
Make it pretty
by: Eileen

DG can look so pretty with small side borders or just a few potted trees. We love the look of it w a small table and chairs. We sealed ours but don’t know how that willl hold up under dog urine. We didn’t miss the grass at all in our small garden.

May 24, 2016
Decomposed Granite for dog use
by: Hazel

My city recently used DG for dog park. I have looked on-line, but have not seen anything regarding the temperature of this surface in HOT weather. Most dogs do not wear protective booties to go to the park.

Feb 08, 2012
Did you do it and what are the results?
by: Carolyn

Hi Jamie,
Dealing with the same issues you went through and was wondering if you went ahead with the DG and if it's working out for you? I live in the LA area as well and have a small area i can't get to look nice because of my darling dogs and thought DG might be the least expensive yet most organic look for my back yard and for my dogs to do their business on. Two things i'm still concerned about are the pool the area is up against and debris going into it, and whether or not the DG is hard enough to deter a dog from digging in it?
Thank you, or anyone else for the information you can provide.

Apr 02, 2011
Dogs and DG
by: Anonymous

I too am in the LA area Jamie, two big dogs,,,lovely Marathon a thing of the past, mainly due to trees getting larger and the shade issue but the fur girls don't help!

I actually in the middle of the same dilemma,,,,DG with flagstone in between as stepping stones in pathways. Since I could not afford 100% flagstone,,,#10K for a small yard! we are going with the DG, existing flag and bringing the already planted perimeter into the yard further.

With our water situation and the cost of it.....I'm SO looking forward to lower maintenance and more use of our backyard space.

Good luck!

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