How to Make a Dog Gate

Control your dog's range with a simple gate.
Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Gates are a handy tool used to control and contain dogs inside the house. The same gates used for dogs are also effective with infant children. Plastic and wood models are available through retail outlets, but you can build your own with common hardware and lumber. Building the gate is possible in less than a day with a single person. Consider the athletic abilities of the dog while planning the height of the gate.

Step 1

Determine the placement for your gate. Door jams and walls are common and they provide a stable position. Set one of the posts against the wall or jam. Set it in a vertical position and nail the post to the wall with nails spaced every 6 inches. Repeat on the opposite wall.

Step 2

Measure the distance between the two walls. Subtract 2 inches to account for one of the wall posts. This post is used for the latch hardware. Cut two posts to match the measurement. These are used as the top and bottom horizontal rails on the gate.

Step 3

Build the gate with the posts and nails. Hold one of the cut posts horizontally. Place a vertical post under one end to form an "L" shape. Hammer through the horizontal post and into the vertical post to make the connection. Repeat on the opposite end. Add a vertical post at 8-inch intervals.

Step 4

Flip the gate over so the horizontal post is on the ground. Lay the second cut post in a horizontal direction to form the top rail. Hammer nails through the post to connect the vertical rails.

Attaching the Gate and Hardware

Step 1

Set the top hinge 6 inches down on the wall post. Align the hinge so it swings in the desired direction. Screw the hinge to the post with a drill. Set the second hinge 6 inches up from the floor and screw it to the post.

Step 2

Position the gate against the hinges. Use the outer vertical rail as the attachment point. Hold the gate 1 inch off the ground and screw the hinges to the gate. Use scrap wood to prop the gate while you drill the screws.

Step 3

Set the receiving side of the latch 6 inches below the top of the free wall railing. Drill it into the rail with the provided screws. Set the hook side of the latch 6 inches from the top of the gate railing. Screw it into the rail with the provided screws.


  • Wear gloves and eye protection while working with the saw. Always saw on a stable surface for safety.


  • Adjust the height of the gate depending on the agility of your dog. Add several feet for dogs who jump.

Items You Will Need

  • 2-by-2-inch wood posts, 3-feet lengths
  • Finish nails
  • Hammer
  • Skill saw
  • Drill
  • Gate hinge kit
  • Gate latch kit