In this episode of management techniques, I am going to talk about baby gates. Baby gates are another of my favorite ways to manage a dog. You can spend either a lot on fancy gates or very little on the basic baby gates that are sold just about anywhere. You can buy ones to fit the size of a door frame, or you can purchase ones that extend the length of a room. There are so many options!
So, how do you put these gates to use, you ask? Well, let me tell you.
- Blocking off areas of the house: The number one way to use a baby gate is to block off areas of the house that you don’t want your dog getting to. If you just put down new carpet in the living room and don’t want your dog messing it up, put up a baby gate so your dog can’t get in there. If you don’t want your dog in the nursery while the baby is sleeping, put up a baby gate. It allows your dog to see you and doesn’t make them feel like they are being left out the way a closed door can.
- Potty training: Once your dog is starting to get the hang of potty training, but isn’t ready to have full freedom of the house, it is smart idea to allow them to hang out in the room you are in. One way to make sure they don’t go in another room and pee in a corner somewhere is to use a baby gate to keep them in sight.
- Cooking: Block off the kitchen with a baby gate and allow your dog to hang out with you while you are cooking. It gives you freedom of mind that Bowser isn’t doing something he isn’t supposed to.
- Alternative to crate training: If you decide not to crate train your dog or have a dog that doesn’t like his crate, baby gates can be very helpful. It’s nice to pick a small room in your house that you can use as your dog’s room. Put your dog’s bed in there and block it off with a baby gate. It allows you to confine your dog when needed and also gives him a room that he can call his own.
- A place to get away from it all: If you have young children, you can teach your dog to go behind the baby gate to get away from the kids. (Make sure that you also teach the kids that when the dog is behind the gate, he isn’t to be messed with.) Your dog will enjoy knowing that when he is behind the gate, he won’t be bothered.
How do you incorporate gates into your dog’s everyday life? Let us know in the comments!
Read Management Techniques, Part 1: Tethering here.
Erin Schneider, CPDT-KA and owner of Touch Dog Training, is a certified professional dog trainer who employs positive reinforcement behavior modification techniques intended to deliver results while building stronger bonds between dogs and their owners. Erin practiced her craft in Chicago for many years as a Senior Trainer for AnimalSense Canine Training & Behavior. There she taught dog training classes and also conducted private, in-home lessons with pets and their owners. In March 2015, Erin relocated to Colorado and is excited to share her knowledge and expertise with dog owners in the Denver/Boulder metro area.
This post was originally published on the AnimalSense Canine Training & Behavior blog.