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Cleo is 7 months old and very agile. :D
We have her in the kitchen, which is gated, if we're not home or if i need to be in another room or upstairs. It's her safe space and it's where her crate lives and all her toys, etc. If she's in another room, someone is with her.

I had to go out of town for a couple days, and she jumped over the gate while i was gone, greeting the dog sitters (my parents) in the foyer. Since then, if she is left home on her own for a half hour or more, it is starting to happen more frequently. And, today, she did it when i was in the house but had gone upstairs for a few minutes.

Whenever i leave the room, i calmly say "i'll be back"--(i try not to sound like the terminator) so that coming and going isn't a huge deal. She's generally not destructive. I close doors to other rooms when i go out so she can't get into anything. She went for her own bag of stuff in the hall, found and tore up a sandwich bag, but that was it. So, i don't know if i should keep the gates closed and just make sure there's nothing else she can get into if she goes over the gate, OR should i just leave the gate open when i leave so she can go in and out and get her toys and water if she wants without jumping back into the kitchen (which so far has not occurred to her to do!)?

I did have one trainer tell me to make the gate taller by putting a 6-inch-high garden type fence across the top with duct tape! But that seems problematic.

Any advice welcome!
 

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Ah yes, the struggles of spring-loaded spoos...
While my spoon is my first and younger than yours- and not jumping the baby gate yet- I have used different things for different dogs.
All my dogs are/were crated once they were old enough to hold their bladder, so being gone was not an issue. I'm lucky enough that with mine and my husband's schedule, and the rare assistance from family/friends, we never had to leave them too long (4 months and under get/got a larger space with potty area).
I often have my young dog on an umbilical. I really love this option for almost-house trained dogs, as well as for encouraging correct interactions with my kids. The other benefit is that any inappropriate behaviour is either impossible or can be quickly redirected so that good habits are being established for when they are loose. Tires them out mentally too- added bonus!
Some of my dogs have been fine for short times by themselves with a reasonable level of puppy proofing (no upstairs and my downstairs is baby gated- never had a dog try to jump that). For times when I don't want them attached to me though, I also have a tether spot- an o-ring screwed into a stud in the wall a few inches off the ground with their bed right beside. Depending on the dog I may or may not use a light chain leash here that can't be chewed. A couch leg can work but I had a furniture chewer...
Lastly, in the occasional circumstance where I can't/don't want to crate my dog, I fully puppy proof a room (with easy to clean floors lol) and just close the regular door.
 

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Oh, and my gut instinct is to leave the gate open- don't want her practicing on jumping barriers if/when they are needed in the future. Use the gate when you want her somewhat contained but will be able to prevent her from trying to jump.
 

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If she's not destructive why not just leave the gate down and leave her be in the house with the other doors closed. My dogs have always been loose in the house when I'm not home. I have had one who was trustworthy at six months, others not until 2.5 years.
 

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I think 8 months my be a bit to young to expect her to stay out of trouble when your gone. My dogs all have had a gate fall, from unintentionally just lying it across a entrance. It scared them enough that they respect the gate, even the spring loaded one I keep in my foyer/dining area. You could for now get a tension rod, like one uses in a shower and place it above the top of the gate several inches. I probably would deer her enough to to try to leap over and possibly later you won't need to use it any longer once the habit is broken.
 

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Once they learn the gate doesn't hold them...You could try to add something to the top that tickles or makes a sound - something on a string that just adds a little height....but be careful that it is not removable or edible...
But also that is more or less the age I give my dogs run of the house (have to add I have been very lucky and nobody has ever been a chewer in my house). Limited basis of course, but it could be tried...at that age. But you are right every single time she successfully sails over that gate it reenforces the gate leaping.
 

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I agree with Mufar. I think you should still use the gate but add something for height. Or pull the gate up on the door to where is taller but can't be crawled under?

I thought Norman was ready to be allowed by himself in our living room and after 4 leather couches and 2 antique tables ruined (im talking massive holes), I was wrong. I regret it BUT I learned my lesson. I would give your pup more time to be confined to one room.
 

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How tall is your gate, they make them extra tall. I have one room I gate my girls in when I want them out of the way for any reason, and my gate is 42" high.
 
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For myself, it was important that my dog respect the gate as well as fences and her crate- anything that I used to keep her secure and safe. When we saw our dog could squeeze under the gate (we thought the cats could squeeze underneath to escape the dog when they wanted but didn’t realize a determined minipoo would follow) we immediately lowered the gates and developed another escape route for the cats. I didn’t want my dog thinking she could get around gates by going under, or over or pushing them down.

It maybe too late for you to do much because it sounds like Cleo has jumped the gate several times when you were out of town and several times since you returned. She has learned not to respect gates and possibly fences.

I have a concern that she might hurt herself while jumping with no one home to respond. I see plenty of dogs jumping in agility and I also see those dogs sometimes catching their foot and dropping a bar on the jump. Cleo could easily catch a foot on the gate with a poor jump and injure herself. I don’t think your current gates are safe when no one is home, and they clearly aren’t effective at containing Cleo. She’s a poodle and poodles have springs in their legs; they can jump very high.

I think you have several choices, either remove the gates and allow her to run free, beef up the gates so she can’t possibly escape and hope she learns to respect gates, crate her when you go out or lock her in a safe room when you go out.

If Cleo was my dog, I’d look into buying taller gates. You could also install them a little higher off the floor but not high enough she could squeeze under. I’m not sure how high she is jumping but you may need to be creative to keep her from jumping over a gate.

Probably the easiest solution is to crate her when no one is home. I feel she’s too young to have the run of a large space - when she has matured, settled down and shown she reliably doesn’t get into mischief then she can be left free.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you all for the advice and sharing your experiences! One good thing is that if i close doors to a couple of rooms, Cleo only has access to the hallway, which is a stone floor, not the run of the house. Not much there she can damage as long as i remember to put away coats and shoes. :) Yesterday she got my hat but was just mouthing it, not chewing or trying to tear it. She does that with a lot of soft things.

Although she sleeps in her crate at night, she does not like to nap in there, so unfortunately crating her during the day is not an option. (That's what we used to do when we went out, but she stopped willingly going in during the day a few months ago.)

I don't think she's actually jumped over the gate many times, maybe 5 times total, but I don't want her to get hurt, etc. so i'm trying leaving it open while i'm home but upstairs to see whether she gets into anything if she has that little extra freedom. In fact this morning i left it open while i went to the store, and when i came home, she was asleep inside the kitchen in her usual spot, next to the open gate! Another time when she got out, i came downstairs and ignored her, walked into the kitchen and closed the gate behind me so she was stuck in the hall. She stood and watched me make breakfast, waiting for me to let her in...
 

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I have several dogs but only one standard poodle who still in her senior years can't be left loose when we are out. She is simply too curious and destructive to be safe on her own, so we use a large x-pen in the dining room if everyone is out at the same time. It keeps her contained, she has a comfy bed, toys, chews and water in there and she is completely happy to nap until we return, which is never longer than a couple of hours at a time.

Sent from my VOG-L04 using Tapatalk
 

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My mini went up and over a gate as a pup, so I blocked the doorway with her crate and then stacked the baby gate on top of that.

It worked not only because of the extra height, but because the open crate at the bottom gave her no way to climb up to the baby gate. A spoo's a different matter, of course. But it might be sufficiently weird looking and deter her.

Maybe also work on getting to not WANT to leave so badly.

You mentioned she had a bag of stuff in the hall. Can that stuff safely be in her enclosure with her?
 

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(Should add: That solution was for when I was out for extended periods. Otherwise she was crated when I was out or tethered to me when I was at home. That resulted in a Velcro dog who also felt very comfortable in the crate. I even started using the crate again in her senior years when her cognitive function declined.)
 

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Thank you all for the advice and sharing your experiences! One good thing is that if i close doors to a couple of rooms, Cleo only has access to the hallway, which is a stone floor, not the run of the house. Not much there she can damage as long as i remember to put away coats and shoes.
Yesterday she got my hat but was just mouthing it, not chewing or trying to tear it. She does that with a lot of soft things.

Although she sleeps in her crate at night, she does not like to nap in there, so unfortunately crating her during the day is not an option. (That's what we used to do when we went out, but she stopped willingly going in during the day a few months ago.)

I don't think she's actually jumped over the gate many times, maybe 5 times total, but I don't want her to get hurt, etc. so i'm trying leaving it open while i'm home but upstairs to see whether she gets into anything if she has that little extra freedom. In fact this morning i left it open while i went to the store, and when i came home, she was asleep inside the kitchen in her usual spot, next to the open gate! Another time when she got out, i came downstairs and ignored her, walked into the kitchen and closed the gate behind me so she was stuck in the hall. She stood and watched me make breakfast, waiting for me to let her in...
Sounds like you have a pretty good alternative here. Slowly increasing the amount of space she gets is a good step on the way to giving her more freedom in the house.
Just as a side note though, if you would like to be able to crate her during the day, there are things you can do to change her unwillingness to go in. My one dog also didn't like going in during the day either, but once he realized that his favorite edible chews were only available in the crate, he was willing to stay in on his own and started choosing to enter the crate.
The first step took only about 5 minutes. I showed him a chicken foot which he loves, and threw it in the crate. He went in to grab it and brang it back out. As soon as he came out I took it and threw it back on again. Repeated a couple times, and he settled down to chew it, inside his crate. I left the door open, the key is that he is choosing to be in the crate. He is just not allowed to bring the chew out. After some time of that, I started closing the door but not latching it. I tried to pay attention and open the door when he sat up and looked out like he was done (but he could just push the door open himself if I didn't notice). Once he got the idea that sitting at the door made me open it, then I started latching it for short times. Progressing to longer times and being able to 'ask' to be let out have made him much more comfortable in the crate.
Pizzle sticks are another favorite, or raw meaty bones. Now he sometimes will bring one of his chew toys into the crate and settle down with it there for a chew session.
 
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