This Instructable shows you how I built a "dog-proof" gate latch for our double-gate chain link fence.
We have been having problems for years with our dogs escaping from our double-gate latched fence. The dogs knew how to lift the latch and escape, and then when we locked the latch, they managed to push through the bottom of the chain link fence to escape. I had patched the chain link gates with wood a couple of times, but they still would occasionally figure out a way to break out.
There had to be a better way - and there was.
I purchased a commercial double gate latch off of Amazon. But a few modifications were needed to make sure that dogs did not get out.
Step 1: Materials and Equipment
o Commercial Double-Gate Latch - $50
o Wire ties
o Replacement gates (if needed)
o Scrap wood
o Scrap rod or dowell
o Table saw
o Hacksaw or bandsaw
Step 2: Wire Tie Bottoms of Gates
Since our dogs had managed to break through the bottoms of the chain link fences, I wire tired the bottom links of each gate to make sure the dogs would not be able to easily push through.
It a little hard to see in the photo, but I've wired tied and clipped each of the bottom links.
Step 3: Attach Commercial Gate Latch Using Wooden Spacers Cut to Size
Follow the vendor's instructions for installing the commercial gate latch.
Since the gate latch is designed for up to a 2" diameter gate, there was a gap (I used a standard double gate available from Lowes). Measure the gap and cut wood spacers to fill the gap (I used a piece of scrap 2 x 12 wood to cut my spacers).
Attach the latch to gate sections and use a hacksaw or bandsaw to trim the excess length off of the U-bolts.
Step 4: Add Rod to Secure One Side
The vendor's instructions stated that the latch should be secure by itself, but I found that with the smaller diameter fence that I could push the gate open by hand even with it latched.
So, I secured one side of the gate using an extra piece of metal rod that I had in my scrap bin. I used the hardware from the gate that I removed to hold the rod in place. The rod goes into the ground about 1" or so.
The left gate is held in place by the rod, and we only use the right side to go in and out.
If we need to open both gates, I just lift up on the the left gate a little and the rod will come out of the ground and both gates will open.
The dogs have not yet escaped with this new latch arrangement - and the gate is so much easier to use!