How to Stop Your Dog From Destroying Your Stuff – Pet Gates

My weimaraner pup Remy challenges me in many ways, but he’s never destroyed anything valuable.

Remy hasn’t chewed our couch, ruined any shoes or shredded any pillows. He doesn’t “counter surf” or get into the trash. He doesn’t even try to hop onto our bed.

The main reason for this is simple: PREVENTION.

We use a pet gate to keep Remy in the main living room of our apartment most of the time. At night or when we’re not home, we put Remy in his crate.

The gate and crate we use are from Carlson Pet Products, the sponsor of this post.

This post is about how to prevent a puppy or dog from destroying your stuff.

Please leave your comments in the discussion below because your suggestions are helpful for anyone dealing with this problem.

How to stop your dog from destroying your stuff:

Stop your dog from destroying your stuff

It’s really all about prevention.

When you decrease a dog’s options, he’s going to make better choices and be successful. It’s MUCH easier to prevent bad habits to begin with vs. trying to change a habit.

For example, because we’ve used a pet gate to block Remy from our kitchen, it’s never crossed his mind to put his paws on the counter or to stick his nose in the trash.

These bad habits never had a chance to form.

Now that our dog is a year old, we’re able to take the gate down more often and he’s well behaved.

6 tips to stop your dog from destroying your stuff:

Stop your dog from destroying stuff

1. Use a crate when you can’t supervise your dog.

Don’t look at crates or kennels as a “punishment.” Instead, look at them as tools that will allow your dog future FREEDOM.

Because you’re preventing bad habits now, you’ll have a better behaved dog in the near future. Good dogs get more freedom. See my post: Is it mean to use a crate?

Tip: Sometimes my dog is on his worst behavior when he’s overly tired. The crate is helpful because I can put him in his crate with something to chew and he’ll just fall asleep.

2. Use a pet gate to block off certain areas.

Use pet gates to block off areas of your home so your dog is in a smaller space. We keep a small extendable pet gate up in our hall to keep Remy out of our bedrooms and bathrooms. You can view a variety of affordable styles and sizes of pet gates from Carlson Pet Products HERE.

3. Provide lots of daily exercise.

Dogs with less pent-up energy have an easier time relaxing and doing nothing, but most young dogs don’t get enough exercise.

Go for a long walk every single day appropriate for your puppy’s age. See my post: How far can I walk my puppy?

For more exercise, play tug of war with your dog, consider a dog backpack and try to get some off-leash play or running in once a week.

4. Work on training every day.

One of the benefits of training your dog is to keep his mind engaged. If his mind has something to work on every day, he’s less likely to look for “work” elsewhere such as “organizing” your shoes!

Work on some basic obedience or simple tricks for a few minutes every day. Going to any type of training class is also helpful for tiring your dog out.

5. Give your dog toys to chew.

Rotate 2 or 3 toys at a time to keep things interesting. Every dog is different. My dog is a tough chewer and destroys most toys except Nylabones and Kongs, so that’s what we use. He also gets bully sticks and cow ears.

6. Re-direct unwanted behavior.

When you catch your dog sniffing or chewing something that’s not his, distract him and get him interested in something more appropriate.

For some dogs, you might be able to give a firm “NO” to teach him which objects are off-limits.

But with dogs like Remy, telling him “No” just makes him more interested in the pillow or the shoe or whatever because he knows he’ll get my attention. Re-directing him is usually more effective.

Other reasons to use a pet gate

Beamer showing off the puppy barrier

I recommend all puppy owners have a crate and a gate because these tools make life so much easier!

In addition to preventing our puppy from chewing, the gate helped us in many ways.

Other ways the gate helped us:

  • Preventing Remy from chasing our cats. They always had a safe area to get to.
  • Potty training: The gate kept our puppy to a smaller area
  • Preventing counter surfing
  • Preventing him from getting into the trash
  • Giving our senior dog a much-needed “puppy-free zone”
  • Separating foster pets from my own pets

More info on gates from Carlson Pet Products

You can browse the company’s pet gates HERE.

I chose an extendable gate for our hallway because I wanted something sturdy to block Remy from our kitchen and bedrooms. I also wanted a gate that can easily be moved or taken up or down. No assembly required!

Our gate is made of steel and stands at 24″ tall so it’s easy to step over. It’s chew proof and fits openings between 26″ and 42″. It also has an adorable 9″ by 9″ pet door for cats to pass through. I was surprised how much our cats appreciate this door vs. having to jump over!

Carlson Pet Products gate

There are taller gates available if you need that option and some come with a handle lift so you can easily walk through instead of stepping over it or taking it down every time.

View all of Carlson’s pet gates HERE.

Win a gate for your pets!

*Update: This giveaway has ended.

Carlson Pet Products is giving away a FREE gate to one reader of That Mutt! Just leave a comment below to enter.

The winner will receive their choice of either:

Just leave a comment below to enter. Let me know why your pets could benefit from a gate.

Must have a U.S. mailing address to win. I’ll choose the winner at random on Wed Sept 6 and notify the winner by email.

Everyone signed up for the $7 reward or higher on That Mutt’s Patreon page receives automatic entries into ALL giveaways + a FREE product from Mighty Paw every month. There are 10 spots remaining. Click here.

Carlson Pet Products pet gate

Do you use a gate for your dog?

Let us know in the comments! Please share this post with anyone who might benefit from a pet gate.

55 thoughts on “How to Stop Your Dog From Destroying Your Stuff – Pet Gates”

    1. I can really use a gate I have 3 cats and 1 mutt I have to lock the mutt up stairs bc he still goes into the litterbox. The crate i have is way too small so I use it to keep him out but now. he has learned to move the crate.

  1. Emily Wuenschell

    My 60-pound boxer lab has officially taken down every gate I can find! It’s still the best thing to keep her out of the bedroom though since she has a tendency to eat socks to the point of needing surgery! Love your blog so much! The tips and trainings have really helped with my first rescue puppy!

  2. Zoe, my 8-pound terrier mutt, would love to have a gate so she can roam freely in our kitchen and living room while avoiding the temptation of chewing our shoes and socks in the bedrooms! Thanks for the great advice and tips for how to keep our pup out of trouble 🙂

  3. I definitely could use another pet gate! I have one but need to now block of the room where the litter box is. My girl loves some cat treats!

  4. I have a busy weimaraner too. This gate seems solid enough to keep her from going upstairs where she gets into the bedrooms. We have handle door knobs so keeping the doors closed won’t keep her out. She has learned how to open them if not locked.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      I’ve heard of other weims learning to do this too. Thankfully Remy hasn’t tried this, and the gate is one reason for that since it blocks him from our bedroom doors.

  5. My new pup is a boxer mix and he’s living up to the breed in every way. Our current gates, he’s jumping clean over at under 5 months old. So a new gate would do wonders for him and me LOL. I know I’ll definitely be using the tips in this post tho!

  6. such a great idea! we have yet to find a nice sturdy gate – we had a plastic baby gate style and our pup could easily knock it over and chase the cats.

  7. I keep my pups only in certain areas of the house unless it is a special doggie occasion. That way, it is easier to keep things puppy proofed. Also, all their toys and bones are there for them to access whenever they want.

  8. We have 2 gates – one blocks off the foyer so that dogs cant bolt out the front door when the kids are coming/going. The other gates off the kitchen. Aside from counter surfing etc, when I’m doing things like draining pasta, I keep the dogs out of the kitchen for their safety.

  9. These are great for keeping puppies out of trouble! I used a baby gate when my dog was a puppy but she found a way to escape through the middle! Would love one of these for my next puppy!

  10. Gate, how do you keep them in? Izzi just jumps over gates, She is 11 lbs , datsun/ palm and never misses a trick!when she was little it worked, now if she wants, she just jumps it. She is 6 an a red head, like her mom?
    Shes sush a moms girl too!

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Haha, some dogs can get over anything. In our case, Remy doesn’t know he can jump over and he respects the gate because our cheaper plastic gate came crashing down and scared him when he was little! Carlson has gates of various heights so you might be able to find one that works for your dog. There are some dogs that will climb over anything though.

  11. I dog sit often and I am always looking for a gate to keep the dogs and cats safe. It is also very helpful when you are training one dog. The dogs on the other side watch so they know what is expected

  12. Morgan Breeding Caudill

    Remy sounds like a great dog! We normally just use the baby gate for Molly but it’s getting old.

  13. Debbie McGreevy

    Pet gates are a godsend! Especially the moveable ones, you can decide where you want the dogs and where you don’t want them! You can keep them safe and know that the gate is secure and strong enough for my staffie cross to not break!

  14. Maryanna Moskal

    Using pet gates is very important with my young pit mix. She is an energizer bunny and it’s vital to limit her access to things I don’t want her chewing. Exercise sometimes just gets her more wound up. One thing I have found helpful is nose work. We do class once a week and she is TIRED afterward.

  15. I crate both my dogs, for the night and when we are not home. We have been seriously looking into getting a gate recently, just so we can work around the house with out my mastiff, Pitt, Dane mix helping.

  16. I bring a new foster dog into the house about once a month. So its like ALWAYS having a new puppy (i take fosters under a year usually). I crate them when not at home/sleeping or ANY time I can’t keep eyes on them and we block off rooms we don’t want them in. To date, I’ve only had a foster chew on one piece of furniture and it was totally my fault for leaving them in the room unattended. I also try to always provide lots of toys for all the dogs (ours and fosters) to chew on so they are less tempted to chew on other things.

  17. Holly Rockefeller

    Love your blog! It’s so helpful with our 9 week weimaraner! Our other one is 12.5 and we don’t remember anything! Thanks!

  18. I have to say out of all the bad habits Emma Lou has she as never tore up anything.She a yellow lab and I am very lucky I guess.I have heard and seen what a lab can do when it comes to ripping stuff up.I would still like having the gate because I have other dogs once in a while spend the night with us.Little Jaxx the other day wondered upstairs and the cats damn-near killed him.Well, I don`t think they would have killed him but give`em the what-for real good.

  19. Cooper is an 11 year old pit who is very loving but VERY high engery. Cooper loves to counter surf and at times has eaten our dinners. A gate would help us keep himself out of trouble and allow him more freedom than always needing to be in the cage

  20. We recently moved and sadly our pet gate didn’t survive the movers :c We’re adjusting our pup to our new home, and so far so good! Though there is still an issue when left alone she will eat someones shoes….even when i place them in hidden spots…shes a great sniffer and finder of things haha :p

  21. We’ve been there in terms of our dog, Carmella (patterdale terrier) doing major damage to an apartment while she was a puppy!!! Puppies have sharp teeth! Carmella ripped up a 4 foot section of carpet down to the sponge padding – down goes my security deposit . We are definitely looking in the market for an extra long gate that fits wide door openings between rooms or on an outside patio. Carmella is an active dog who will go after anything moving, so it would be nice to keep her away from the road when she’s hanging out with us on the porch! She’s family to us, but sometimes we also have to separate her from guests that don’t like pets. (I know.. how can anyone hate pets?) Follow us on Instagram! @carmellaohbella Nice to meet you in advance!

  22. Ollie, my two year old golden doodle, LOVES to get into any laundry he can find! Towels, socks, undies, t shirts, blankets, literally ANYTHING that may smell like us to snuggle and chomp on. Usually he just goes in his crate when we are not home or we shut the doors to our bedroom and laundry room so he has more free space and is unable to get to those items.

  23. We’re trying everything you just suggested! You should see our home… toys ALL OVER the place!!!
    I also wanted to thank you for all of your advice, stories and puppy training suggestions, it’s funny…..seems like with every new email I get, that’s the very thing I’m going through with my 1yr old Boxer Pup!!!!! I look forward everyday to reading the next email from you!!!
    God Bless You!!!
    ~Misty Lett

  24. It is hard to find a good dog gate and they are so needed.
    This one is good looking and appears to be strong.
    Need another gate to block the deck off.

  25. sandy weinstein

    I definitely need this gate. I have been looking for a gate that I like. I have tried some but they were not very stable. I need to keep the 2 girls from getting around the dining room area. they try to pee and poo when I am not home. right now I have it blocked off with bundles of paper towels.

  26. We could definitely benefit from a gate to keep by pup upstairs while we are hosting parties in the basement. He tries to steal the food from the party tables!

  27. Cooper is a 7 year old golden retriever with idiopathic seizures :(. He is such a trooper at taking 18 pills a day, however, the meds cause him to be hungry 24/7. Everything, including toilet paper, must be kept out of his reach so gates are a must in our house. I move the gates to block off stair cases after his seizures to prevent him falling down the stairs.

  28. Peggy kilpatrick

    I use a regular baby gate in the doorway to a spare bedroom so my two cats can have privacy to use their litter box or just to have a space away from my greyhound. She does well with them but sometimes gets a little rambunctious and it startles them. It’s also where their food is so miss Hoover doesn’t steal their food.

  29. I would love this gate! We are combining households and will have 2 cats and 3 dogs. My plan is to keep the cats in a bedroom with a gate like this. That way they can all see and smell each other in a safe way until they are ready to live in the same space.

  30. We could definitely take advantage of the puppy gate. My pup Enzo definitely is a “counter surfer” like you mentioned Remy wasn’t. He loves to get papers off the counter and then wants you to chase him and then tries to tear it into a million pieces. I have been trying to figure out how I can stop him from doing so other than following him from room to room and this could be a great option for us.

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