Pros:Strong hold, no damage to walls.
Cons:Learning curve with operating tension mechanism.
The Bottom Line: I like this confinement gate. While the operation can be clumsy at first, it does have strength and serves its purpose. It's never failed me.
Ladies and gentlemen! In this corner. Hailing from the SPCA. In the tan and black. Weighing in at forty pounds. The chaotic canine of the household. Undefeated against other barrier systems. Jazzy!
Recommend this product?
(Hisses from the cats)
And in the far corner. Stalwart and sturdy at only a mere thirty-two inches tall. The master blocker. The champion: Evenflo Position & Lock Plus Gate!
(Appreciative yowls from the cats)
Thats the way it seems at my house, anyway. Though this gate is primarily advertised as a baby confinement gate, it works well for dogs. This Evenflo gate successfully confines my one-year-old, recently adopted German shepherd mix. While shes learning her house manners, shes restricted to certain areas of the house, and the Evenflo Position & Lock Plus is the best of the 3 different gates Ive tried.
Not that its perfect. However, the imperfections involve setup more than actual confinement issues.
Design and Operation
The gate is in two overlapping sections that expand sideways from 29 inches to 50 inches. The height is 32 inches, which adequately confines a non-jumper. Each section has a 1-inch square wooden frame. Metal brackets on the top and bottom hold the sections together, but allow horizontal movement for expansion.
A single wooden crossbar is attached to each section. When the gate is in its 29-inch wide mode, the crossbars sit on top of one another. As the unit expands, the crossbars separate.
The main section of the gate consists of vinyl covered wire that forms a flexible but fairly sturdy mesh at least sturdy enough to deter a 40-pound dog.
Connectors on the each crossbar provide the locking mechanism to set the gate firmly in place. A metal piece on one crossbar fits into one of more than 40 grooves on the other. When the gate is firmly in place between two walls, inserting the metal piece into the appropriate groove locks the gate in place by pushing it against the wall. Changing the position of this metal connector by moving it to another groove extends or contracts the width.
On either side are two rubberized grips. These serve two purposes that I can see. The first is to assist in the gripping action against the wall. The second is to protect the wall from marks or dents.
The grooves in the crossbar are about a quarter-inch apart, making the dimensions of the width rather flexible. The metal connector, once firmly in the appropriate groove and providing maximum tension, remains firm. Jazzy has proven this many times by jumping on the gate. Even if she tries to rock it toward her to knock it down, it wont budge.
The mesh is strong. Jazzy has leaned against it during rest and frenzy. Because its flexible, it moves, thereby preventing any injury to the dog. However, it doesnt seem to lose its shape.
Theres no need to make holes in walls to hold the gate. Ive never had any damage from the gate, either. This is the second dog thats tested it, and I find no marks on the walls and no dents or dings.
Its portable. I even use it outside on my deck. I once used it in my backyard when the gate to my fence was working improperly. In addition, I provide petsitting services through my business, and the gate is lightweight enough to carry with me in the event that I have a confinement issue. Because of its maneuverability, I've also used it as a safety barrier between myself and a dog that's being protective or aggressive the first time I come into the house on my own.
Easy storage. It lies fairly flat when retracted to its smallest width. It can fit under a bed, behind a couch or in a closet.
Finding the right groove can be frustrating, especially when the dog is right there, anxious to slip through while its being set in place. If you dont hit the right groove, then the tension wont be there. One way to overcome this is to mark each groove, and label where it fits (e.g., red mark = basement stairs; blue mark = kitchen/dining room door, etc.) In this way, you can quickly hit the right mark each time.
Stretched to its maximum width of 50 inches, the crossbars appear to lose some of their strength. They are no longer overlapping, so the firmness is not ideal. Id say the gate is at maximum strength when extended no further than 42-44 inches.
The gate works best on even walls or doorways. If there are angles involved, it's hard to adjust the tension to an appropriate level.
A stronger or taller dog might not be deterred by this gate. Nor would a jumper. A larger version or two on top of each other might be more appropriate.
If the locking mechanism is placed on the side opposite the dog, the chances of the gate coming undone seem low once the tension is correct. However, a smart and nimble toddler might be able to figure out how to lift the bar out of the groove. Along those lines, if a toddler were able to maneuver the mechanism, fingers might be pinched and slight injury might occur.
As with any confinement gate, its not a good idea to use this right at the top of a flight of stairs. A toddler or dog could sustain serious injury if the gate were to fail.
I like this gate better than the solid wooden ones Ive tried, or those that need to be bolted into the walls. Im impressed by its strength against the onslaught of a medium-sized dog. Overall the Evenflo gives a solid performance. Once the gate settles in, a Jazzie-sized opponent has a hard time beating it. Id sure bet my money on it again!
I paid $29.95 for the gate. It can be purchased in the baby department of any major store, can be ordered online through many outlets, or can be ordered directly from the manufacturer.
P.S. the cats love the gate it keeps the overly rambunctious Jazzy in her place!
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