THINGS I'VE LEARNED.
Rather than giving you hard-edged rules for designing dog-friendly gardens, I instead want to share some things I've learned over the years:
If you can enclose your garden with a fence, do it. We didn't have a fence until two years ago and my entire world changed for the better. I could finally relax when I was outside without constantly worrying about the dogs wandering off. Fences create a beautiful wall/edge for your garden too. Double bonus.
Think about where your dogs spend their time when outside. We realized right away that Sunny liked to run up and down the fence lines (high-impact), while Gunther just moseyed in-between plants (low-impact). We decided to not plant anything along the fence line so Sunny had her space to run. As the plants grow larger, no one will even know about her secret paths (unless you hear her barking).
Be okay with your garden not being perfect. Dogs trample, pee, and dig holes. You will have to think creatively on where to place plants, paths, and other elements so you and your dogs can enjoy a beautiful space together. Honestly, I've loved this challenge and have learned a lot as a designer in the process.