The best dog gates for the house will vary from home to home–and from dog to dog as well. The best dog gate for your home will depend on the size of the space you want to block off, the breed and energy level of your dog and the style or look that you prefer in a gate. The best gate for a little Chihuahua will be very different than the best gate for a 150lb Great Dane. Dog gates for the house can be made from nylon mesh, plastic, wood or metal and will vary in height and price.
- Nylon mesh dog gates are designed to be more of a visual deterrent than an actual obstacle. This type of gate usually has plastic fittings and hardware and will be bowled over by a medium sized dog, or even an enthusiastic large breed puppy. Choose this type of gate if you are on a fixed budget (or totally stingy), if you have a very small, toy breed or if you need a gate for temporary purposes. You'll be wasting your money if your dog goes over it–or through it.
- Plastic and wood gates are slightly better than nylon mesh gates; they are usually tensioned so that they can be positioned inside a doorway. These are also often used as baby gates. These work well, though the plastic may warp over time. A medium sized dog at a good run will knock one of these out of the doorway, but they will need a runway to do so. As long as you don't put this at the end of a long hallway, you should be fine. Plastic and wood dog gates often top out at about 20 inches (again, used for toddlers, who aren't very tall), so a jumpy breed like a Jack Russell will soar right over a short gate of any material. The gate can be positioned a few inches off the ground if extra height is needed. Consider this to be the basic, no-frills big box store sort of gate.
- The best quality dog gates are metal, and install directly to the wall with included hardware. Most of these gates feature a door that opens and latches, allowing you to pass through without climbing or taking down the gate. These are generally taller than their wood or plastic counterparts, and since they are mounted to the wall offer a more permanent and secure installation. These work well for staircases and doorways, and extender pieces are sold to cover wider openings. A very determined, very large dog could break down one of these–but if the dog is really that nuts, you may not want him in your house at all!