• Dogs can be hard on grass. If you have 4 dogs in a fairly small area, starting grass will be tough. You could try tilling the dirt up in the spring and planting aggressive grass such as perennial rye or the weed like tall fescue. The rye will do much better than the fescue in a shady area. It would be expensive, but you could sod the lawn. Even there, you need to dig up the dirt underneath for it to take. If you want both dogs and grass, you may have to resod every few years. I regraded my lawn before putting up a fence 6 years ago, and still don't have grass in the high wear areas.
  • i have 3 pretty good size dogs (one is 85lbs) in a fairly small yard. they love to romp around and play and yes they do stomp the grass. some grows, but there is like 3 clearly visible paths the seem to frequent the most. i have even a hard time planting things in the ground as they tear them up to. i have lots of plants in pots those are ok.
  • Have you considered a non-grass alternative? Like white dutch clover? It is hardier than grass, needs less mowing, and can take a beating more than grass. It may also survive winter better than the grass. If your grass is dying every winter, you may need to find a different grass variety to reseed with. It could be the grass you use now is not hardy over the winter. Fertilize in the spring and in the fall, I'd use a good compost or all natural fertilizer [safe for pets]. Good luck!

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