Saturday, May 7, 2011

Baby Gates

Baby gates are a huge FAIL in this house, at least in regards to keeping animals in certain rooms and out of others.

Does anybody actually have good luck with them?  Maybe they work with smaller dogs?

They certainly don't work with cats, and they don't work with our particular greyhound either.

Someone told us, when we got Argos, that greyhounds don't jump, and that a baby gate should be sufficient to keep him in a room.  (We wanted to restrict his movement in the beginning to keep him out of the kitchen, and to give the cats areas of the house to flee to if necessary.)

Well, whoever told us that didn't know Argos.  Jeff was working from home one day, and Argos was baby-gated into the living room downstairs, as we were "baby-stepping" him towards being able to be left at home alone.  Jeff kept hearing Argos pacing around, and whining, but tried to ignore him, figuring that he just wanted to come upstairs.  Then he heard a series of thumps, and then a large THUMP and a crash.  He ran downstairs, and Argos was standing on the wrong side of the baby-gate, panting with a big grin on his face, tail wagging.  The baby-gate was still up, so he had obviously jumped it.  I don't know what the thumps were... him getting a running start and maybe clipping the top of the gate with his feet as he leapt?  The big crash was obviously 80 lbs of greyhound coming down onto the hardwood floor.

Later, we attempted to put the gate up a little higher, giving the cats room to go underneath, but thinking, there's no WAY that Argos will jump THAT high.  Well, we were right.  I was sitting in the living room this time, and Argos was gated into the dining room to hopefully encourage him to eat, with fewer distractions.  I heard a muffled thump as his chest hit the floor, and then slide slide slide, then whimpering.  When I walked over to see what in the world was going on, Mr. Argos had attempted to do the limbo under the gate.  He made it about halfway under and realized that he wasn't going to be able to get his hindquarters through.  *face palm*

We gave up on the baby gates with Argos.

After we got Romeo, we kept him isolated in the guest room behind a real door.  Eventually, we opened the door, and put TWO baby gates, one on top of the other, across the doorway, to keep the other cats out of his room, but to allow them all to see one another.  This was about as tall as a human being, by the way.

Bit didn't jump it, no.  But she did climb up the entire thing and then dropped over onto the other side.

So this is what we DO use them for, and with some success.  They are "crash bars" to keep the fosters from running out of the guest room as soon as you try to go in.  I put the gate in front of me like a barrier, and keep angling it as I move in to prevent them from darting out into the hall.  I'm fairly certain that Patches hates that gate with all of his heart.

It works pretty well.  So we finally do have a use for them.


  1. I just found my way over here from the Blog Hop! I love the name of your blog. :)

    I can't believe your greyhound jumped the gate! He must be pretty impressed by his prowess! Tee-hee.

  2. BOL -- well, at least they aren't a TOTAL fail!

  3. I've used double baby gates with our jumping hounds, or just closed certain doors. I've only had one who was a chronic jumper, though, and that dog was a foster. Ironically, Bunny can jump the gates. I've seen her jump over the back of our couch from a stand still. When we first got her, she jumped over the gate that was up to keep her in the bedroom at night when we were asleep for a few weeks, but then just stopped. I think her desire to be with the pack is stronger than her desire to be in the "forbidden" areas that the gates block off. lol

  4. I got a 42" tall babygate with a cat door in it to try to keep my dogs out of the cat boxes. Nobody's tried to go over it but, of course, one of the dogs can make it through the cat door. Jerk. Thankfully she's not the worst offender in the quest for "special cookies".

    Interestingly, the Border Collie is the only one around here who respects a low babygate, and he's both the tallest and the most athletic.

  5. A picture! I insist on a picture!

    Take your pick. Argos limbo-ing --

    Or you, deploying the BabyGate Shield.

  6. Haha, I WISH I'd thought to get a picture of him under the baby gate. And you can imagine that he will never cooperate with me by doing it on command... that's just the rules.

    I will have to consider the BabyGate Shield pic. Maybe to get the full "value" I need to make it a video clip...

  7. Sheba doesn't do anything past head level, so thankfully I don't have issues with baby gates. She doesn't seem to want to touch the gate if she sees it. So win on the gates for me! I fear for the gate should she ever challenge it, as I doubt any gate can handle 95 lbs of rottie.

  8. Baby gates worked with the Shelties. They resented them, but never broke out.

  9. We've been lucky with Bella. She just accepts the baby gate and finds something else to do. However, I used to have a dog that would try to jump them all the time!

  10. Funny how a couple years and a couple kids changes everything - now I've got two toddlers myself who are in to everything. The time came when I needed safety gates too - not only to keep them safe but to protect my vintage LP collection from becoming scratched up Frisbees (can anyone relate here?) And so the search began for a safety gate which was tall enough to stop my little Visigoths from pillaging, yet not so tall that I'd end up with a head injury. It was a little more difficult than I thought, but I discovered a few tips which might be of benefit to you when you're out shopping, too.

  11. These safety accessories can be found in a couple of types and models. Manufacturers have come up with several designs to make them easier to install and operate. This is a welcome creativity since these also block a high traffic area which adults and older children often use. You should be distrustful of the old baby gates of the past made of flimsy materials and especially the accordion types. These are not safe at for your baby. A child's head could get caught between the slots. While these types are not sold, they may still be available at a garage sale or handed on from family and friends.

  12. The just designed baby gates are designed sturdier and can be operated safely and simply by adults. If you intend to install a baby gate in a high traffic area, a retractable gate is excellent. Make sure that it isn't simply moved by your babe and simply controlled by the adults of the household at the same time.