Sarah Wilson

Dog Expert

Best Dog Gates


Golden pup looking upDog gates help you manage your dog’s access to your house as well as protect them from risks such as steep stairs. They are particularly useful during puppyhood, recovery from injury and in your dog senior years but can be a big plus during any time of life.

For basic doorway blocking I use a metal, vertical-bar, pressure-mount, easy-open gate because those cannot be chewed (by most dogs) nor can they be easily climbed. They can be readily put up and taken down and the best are simple to operate with one hand. They come both in extra wide and extra tall.

I consider¬†plastic mesh gates¬†“chew-thru gates” and any sort of sturdy mesh is climbable for dogs in the mood to do so. As for the fabric options? No. Those will only hold back a small percentage of dogs and your dog probably isn’t one of that elite (and polite) group.

Wooden free standing gates are good looking and easy to move around. They will restrain dogs who don’t question the barrier. Be sure your dog is large enough that they won’t be seriously harmed if the panels fall over suddenly, which they probably will from time to time.

For stairs, here is a kit to attach a gate to the banister securely. A good idea. I greatly prefer gates at the top of stairs to have no bottom bar that could be tripped over. KidCo has a variety of problem solving options so look here if you need a special sort of gate or gate attachment.

Here are two top tips for safe and secure use of dog gates:

1) NEVER pet or talk to your dog with his paws up on the gate.

This is a tough one, right? It’s so cute; why is this a problem? Here’s why: rewarding him for having his feet up on the gate can quickly become hopping up and down with his feet up on the gate and that can quickly become scrambling against the gate. Many a dog has been inadvertently trained to climb gates by rewarding this innocent looking (and darn cute) behavior.

2) Install on an angle.

If your dog is a climber, use a bar-type gate and install it so it angles in slightly. Even a slight angle in toward the dog will make it very hard for most dogs to climb.

I hope this gives you the info you need to select a gate that will serve you and your dog well.

If you have a question about a gate or use of a gate, ask below. I’m happy to help.

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