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My Pet World: A pet gate

By Cathy M. Rosenthal, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Cathy,

I have two Japanese Chin brothers that have just turned 2. I have French doors to my patio that are off my family room, giving full view to the outside, which includes a long driveway to my unattached garage.

The problem starts when I pull into the driveway as I return home. I can see them going crazy jumping on the glass and scratching it. By the time I walk from the garage to the house, they are still jumping and scratching on the glass. These doors are not the doors I take them out to go potty. Because I'm not in the house, I cannot make a correction to this behavior. Any suggestions?

- Colby, Manchester, Connecticut

Dear Colby,

It's difficult to train a dog when you're not near them, and certainly a challenge to train away enthusiasm. But I have a suggestion on how to solve the problem. Buy a free-standing baby or pet gate with side panels. There are wide ones available, but you might need two to cover both doors.


Place them in front of the door on the inside of the house so each edge of the side panels touches the doors. The dogs will still be able to see you approaching, but they can't scratch the doors and can't tip over the gates. The gates can be easily moved when you need to access the French doors.

You also might try to reduce the excitement of your greetings by not engaging your dogs the moment you walk in the door. Say hi, but drop the mail, your keys and wait for about a minute until the dogs settle down a bit before petting them. This may never remove their enthusiasm altogether -- you are their favorite person and you are home, but it can help them settle down much quicker.

The pet gates with the side panels are the best bet, however.

Dear Cathy,


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