What to do when gates don't work.

Grrrrrrr. Lola has finally learned that baby gates are fun obstacles to clear on her way to getting to the yummiest trash & the cat food.
Currently, we have a gate up to keep the dogs out of the laundry room, which houses the litter boxes. We have another gate up to the master bathroom/closet/dressing area to keep the dogs out of the cat food & to allow the cats a small area of the house that is all theirs.
For the past week, Lola has been allowed free rein of the house just like Booger has while we are out of the house. So far, so good.
Today, I came home to find my bathroom trash knocked over & chewed up, as well as the cat food bowls empty. Okay, so Lola got bored & found mischief. Experiment failed. Back to the crate.
However, I was just sitting here when I heard something go over the baby gate & noticed Lola wasn't around. I found her eating cat food. Yelled at her, removed her from the room, and no less than 5 minutes later she was back in there.
What to do now? I don't want to use closed doors as the cats will be trapped in one area, and I don't like the idea of having their litter boxes & food very close together. Obviously crating Lola while I'm out of the house is a must, but how to keep her out & allow the cats free access while I'm home? We have a two bedroom apartment… no blocking off upstairs/downstairs or certain areas of the house are options.

I think I've mentioned that I finally got a Scat Mat for Keoki to keep him from going upstairs to get the cats. It is the only thing that worked for him, and it worked after one experience!

I got a large; it was about $60. It doesn't deliver much of a shock - in fact my kids like to stand on it for laughs. But the dogs won't cross it.

I highly recommend them now.

I have never had a B that respected baby gates…ggg... we have always built our own and made them part of the furniture, attached to the walls....

When we lived in an apartment and needed to give our cats a "safe room" what we did is put two gates across the doorway. We would leave a small gap between them that the cats could easily jump through but the dog could not. You can even do it with the gates that have doors in them so you can open them to walk through though the opening would probably be a little narrow for getting you laundry through.

Now that we live in our own house, the best solution was putting a cat door in the door so the cats can get into the room but the dogs don't fit through the opening so are stuck on the other side.

Yes, kitty doors work well.

Just wait. We were at a friends house this weekend, and Indi figured out how to knock the gate over!!! Don't know how but he repeated the process multiple times.

Sugar just jumps over them as if they weren't there.

When I first acquired EL D I used a plexiglass gate instead of one with the cross bars. Because it was a solid sheet of plexiglass there was nothing for him to climb on (he wasn't a jumper thank goodness).

I ended up doing the two gates stacked on top with a small gap in between yesterday while I was out. It worked well, but Lola's so tiny I'm afraid she'll figure out how to get between some day. Its funny… when we got Booger he's just always been so laid back, not terribly destructive or mischevious aside from puppy shoe chewing & ocassional trash getting into.
Lola is just so much more clever & naughty... we figured we wouldn't end up with a second basenji as well behaved as Booger is when he's alone, but its a challenge sometimes trying to outsmart her. And of course, don't tell Booger, but Lola is my favorite & that's one of the reasons why 😃

Another idea for you is to keep the cat litter and cat food in the cat safe area up high where a cat can jump to get it but a b can't. Then you could try to go back to 1 gate for a cat roaming area. Maybe once Lola realizes that even if she jumps the gate, there's nothing yummy that she can reach, she may stop trying to get over the gate at all.

I don't know about your cats but a cat door wouldn't work for my girl as her butt is bigger than Beegin's! (Hey she is 13 so she is allowed to be a lazy girl now.):p

Ok… I need to find a solution for my B. I decided that it may not be the best idea to crate him during the day after he learned how to eject the plastic pan from underneath the crate, leaving the carpet exposed (and that was a fun surprise to come home to).

He's got crate phobia like a lot of the other B's and I personally just cannot leave him in there like that.

I have a section in my condo where I can leave him a good 80 sq ft or so to roam around with nothing that he can get into. The floors are all granite in that area, no chance of him destroying those unless his teeth are diamond tipped.

So reading the failure of gates, any recommendations for blocking off an opening of a little over 3' wide?

And for reference, this is the area I am blocking off:

It's probably closer to 90-100sqft.

LOL, floor to ceiling wall!… Seriously... you could have a gate built, that is what we did for two places in our home. One by the entry to the front door and the other at the bottom of the stairs to the dog room (which goes into the laundry room with doggy door outside.

I would suggest at least 4ft high

Seriously, I suggest scat mats.

After stepping on ours one time, Keoki doesn't even attempt to get up the stairs. He stands near the mat and just whines up the stairs – and he is our "difficult" dog, the one that broke three gates trying to get to the cats up there! One could easily be used to block a door way.
And they do not hurt the dog in any way.

@JazzysMom:

Seriously, I suggest scat mats.

After stepping on ours one time, Keoki doesn't even attempt to get up the stairs. He stands near the mat and just whines up the stairs – and he is our "difficult" dog, the one that broke three gates trying to get to the cats up there! One could easily be used to block a door way.
And they do not hurt the dog in any way.

Interesting….. I just googled this and it seems like a very intriguing concept.

Thanks for the tip. This should work perfectly if it is indeed effective. 😃

@JazzysMom:

And they do not hurt the dog in any way.

I will disagree with this statement. Scat Mats work by delivering a static shock as an aversive. I build up a lot static electricity and end up getting shocked by many things, I do think that getting zapped hurts.

@lvoss:

I will disagree with this statement. Scat Mats work by delivering a static shock as an aversive. I build up a lot static electricity and end up getting shocked by many things, I do think that getting zapped hurts.

Considering a 9V battery powers it, I doubt it's anything remotely close to causing damage.

I'm going to give this a try.

Though the shock delivered may not cause physical damage, it does cause pain and there can be mental consequences.

In my car, I use plastic Vari-Kennel crates, for whatever reason they began building a static charge and would zap my dogs when getting in or out. I did realize right away what was going but my boy's reaction very dramatic. He would cringe and act as if he was going to be hit when asked to get in the car. I now make sure that the crates are all well sprayed with static spray periodically. Though my boy was not physcially damaged, it most definitely had a negative impact on him.

It is important to be aware of how these devices work and watch closely for signs that it is effecting the mental health of the animal not just to worry about physical consequences.

@lvoss:

I will disagree with this statement. Scat Mats work by delivering a static shock as an aversive. I build up a lot static electricity and end up getting shocked by many things, I do think that getting zapped hurts.

Well, let me put it this way – my kids and the little girl I babysit who is 6 yrs old, like to stand on it in their sock feet for fun; they giggle and say it has a tickle. And before I placed it on the floor, I touched it with my bare hand and it wasn't at all painful.

It's more a startle effect than a hurt.

@lvoss:

Though the shock delivered may not cause physical damage, it does cause pain and there can be mental consequences.

In my car, I use plastic Vari-Kennel crates, for whatever reason they began building a static charge and would zap my dogs when getting in or out. I did realize right away what was going but my boy's reaction very dramatic. He would cringe and act as if he was going to be hit when asked to get in the car. I now make sure that the crates are all well sprayed with static spray periodically. Though my boy was not physcially damaged, it most definitely had a negative impact on him.

It is important to be aware of how these devices work and watch closely for signs that it is effecting the mental health of the animal not just to worry about physical consequences.

But you were trying to make him jump into the thing that was uncomfortable to him. I mean, if I were trying to make Keoki stand on the mat, I'm sure it would do some psychological damage.
But, having been startled by it the one time, he simply avoids the mat; we encourage him to avoid that area, so there's no mental health issue, IMO.

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