Illustration: Jennifer Stimpson


Before you hit the home store for supplies, take note of a few key design tips for your dog gate:

   • The gate should stand twice as high as the ridge between his shoulder blades (known as the withers).
   • Size the bottom panel so that your dog can just see over the top of it.
   • The spindles should be close enough together so your dog's head can't fit through and get stuck.
   • The taller the gate, the longer the gate's feet should be, to keep it from toppling over.
   • If you've got a chew-happy puppy, make the gate from a cheaper, paint-grade lumber like pine, instead of the furniture-grade oak we used, until he outgrows the gnawing phase - and make sure the finish you use is nontoxic.
   • If you have a strong or large dog that can knock over a gate, consider adding an eyelet screw to each side and hooks to the doorframe so you can secure the gate inconspicuously in the proper spot when needed.

Cut List
Note: The quantities listed are sufficient to build a two-section gate with each section measuring 24 by 26 inches. Adjust the quantities as needed for your design. Download plan here

1. 1x2 legs - 4 @ 26 inches
2. 1x2 Crosspieces - 6 @ 22½ inches
3. 1x2 Spindles - 8 @ 10¼ inches
4. 1x2 Stiles - 8 @ 12 inches
5. 1x2 Rails - 8 @ 19½ inches
6. 1x2 Feet - 4 @ 6 inches
7. ½ inch oak veneer plywood - 2 @ 12 by 22½ inches
8. Panel molding - 8 @ custom cut to size

Plan to make one of these? Show us the finished project and you could be featured in This Old House magazine
Ask TOH users about Pets

Contribute to This Story Below

    Tools List

    • miter saw
      Miter saw
    • circular saw
      Circular saw
      to cut the plywood panel
    • combination square
      Combination square
    • bar clamp
      24- to 36-inch bar clamp
    • pneumatic finish nailer
      Pneumatic pin nailer
    • drill
      fitted with an 11/32-inch drill bit, a 3/32-inch drill bit, and a 1-inch paddle bit for installing the gate's feet
    • paintbrush
      1-inch paintbrush to apply glue
    • allen wrench set
      Allen key or wrench
      sized to the insert nut and hex-head bolt for attaching the feet

    Shopping List

    1. Oak 1x2 Get at least eight 6-footers—enough to make legs, crosspieces, spindles, stiles, rails, and feet for the two-section gate shown

    2. ½-inch oak veneer plywood Get enough to make two 12-by-22½-inch panels

    3. Oak panel molding Get at least two 6-foot pieces to trim the panels

    4. 1½-inch finish screws to assemble the legs, crosspieces, and spindles

    5. 1½-inch pin nails to attach the panel, rails, and stiles to the crosspieces and legs

    6. 1-inch pin nails to attach the trim to the panels7. ¼-20 40 mm threaded insert nuts Get four, or enough to insert one into the bottom of each leg

    8. ¼-20 40 mm hex-head joint connector bolt Get four, or enough to attach one foot to each leg

    9. 1½-by-¾-inch butt hinges Get three per pair of gates

    10. Medium-grit and fine-grit sandpaper

    11. Stainable wood glue

    12. Stainable wood filler

    13. Finish of your choice (could be tung oil; sanding sealer with stain and shellac and acrylic clear-coat; or primer and paint)