Benefits of barrier training. Dogs can chill out of the painter's way. twitter.com/caninestein/st…
— Stephanie Colman (@caninestein) August 14, 2012
Watching my dogs lie calmly behind the gate reminded me of what a great skill this is. Yes, I could've crated them, but my apartment is small so I only keep one crate set up, and using the gate gives them the freedom to mill around in the hallway, bathroom and bedroom. That's got to be more interesting than sitting in a crate.
Taking the time to teach various life skills (such as the ability to be confined) really helps make life less stressful for everyone. When it comes to confinement, I think it's good to have options. If you've already crate trained your dog, look around at where else you might be able to create dog-safe zones that provide a bit more space, or at the very least, an alternative to crating.