Guard dog control


Active Member
Has anyone seen a home automation system that works with dogs?

I am working on using multiple food bowls with servo lids. The home automation says when it is food time and which bowl is open. the dog should learn the locations announced by the automation system and will run there to eat.

Hopefully after some conditioning, when there is a secuity alert, the house will call the dog to the nearest location and issue guard/attack commands.

Hi Vaughn,

I grew up in the midwestern US with many animals around. I thought of most of these dogs from my youth, and just could not picture training them to run somewhere on a command issued from a collar mounted speaker. Walk, maybe, if they were in the mood. I always thought that a good guard dog was supposed to be smart enough to protect property without too much training, and the good ones will. The idea of electronically dispatched and tracked dogs just struck my funny bone the wrong way.

I know dogs are trainable, I would not envy anyone taking on that project. I was happy when I could train mine not to eat the chickens and chase off after rabbits.

Good luck.

Vaughn, perhaps training the dogs to respond to a zoned alarm of some sort - ultrasonic maybe??? You could have the system sound a different alarm dependant upon the violated zone. The dogs will be trained to go towards a stimuli, be it a regular horn/siren, and ultrasonic whistle-type alarm, etc. Then, all you'd have to do is place a stimuli-producing device in each zone.

For example:

You have a square shaped perimeter with four zones, one each in the Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, and Northwest. In each of these zones are various sensors connected to a central panel/computer/etc. The panel, in response to violation of a zone, sounds an alarm in that zone, drawing the dogs to that zone.

The larger the perimier, the more zones you could add. You could even add interior zones, so if the bad guys get deep into a very large perimeter, you can have them move to the appropriate area.

The beauty of this type of system, is you only have to train the dogs to repond to a single stimuli, rather thana unique stimuli for each location. They'll run towards the stimuli wherever it is. Kind of like a master calling for his dog... the master does not have to be in the same place everytime - the dog will go to his voice.
My second demo video for vCrib will be released before this weekend (presenting to a corporate interest) so I will include what I have so far. Basically as it works now, I simply play a wav file of me calling the dog from the nearest speaker to the problem. So similar to the above suggestion.

I am working towards an earbud system for the dogs, but that is insipired by my remote controlled dog patent I am working on =). I thought I could utilize the HA system to send the dog commands, verses the remote control and get a dual use to help sell the technology.

My last patent (6,789,215) took 5 years even with the help of our corporate lawyers though and was very expensive. So now I am reluctant to pursue any patents until I have a full prototype complete. It seems to be the only way to make the lawyers understand what you are even talking about =)

I know I am a little crazy. If it was not for $$ I would have been a dog trainer, not a programmer. Hell, my cats are even trained (partially) for those of you that think dogs are hard to train. I am sitting on 5 patent ideas for dogs alone. I need a lot more money to live in my fantasy world.

Anyways, watch for my video later this week and I will show the most basic of HA dog systems...

And let me plug Ceasar Millan if anyone has not seen his show (Dog Whisperer on National Geographic channel). He knows one thing for sure, if the dog has a problem, it is because the owner has a problem. Dogs adapt to systems like they were created for it, it is the owners that don't have systems that confuse dogs. I believe the consistency of an automated system will be very easy for a dog to adapt to.

The servo based food bowl is real important and I have not started on it yet, except to order the parts from though. There are internet feeders already, but I think I will still make my own to be sure I can interface to it.

I love gadgets, and like the idea, but...aren't the dog supposed to detect an intruder better than most mechanical sensors? I mean, in a residential environment small enough for them.

This is good for a big property (upstatemike's?) with perimeter intruder detection at the border of the property. If the system identify the zone properly, then you can dispatch the dogs to that area.

What happened to the remote controlled surveilance car? Hmm...first it was a car, then a dog, the next one is Robodog? :D
I'll second the thought on how much you teach a dog (or how much the dog will teach itself). When visiting Tinks house for the MD HS group, we noticed the dog running up the stairs whenever the Cartell sensor in the driveway triggered. That by itself isn't much, but Tink has 7 different random announcments for the driveway sensor. The dog figured out the different driveway messages and heads to the front door whenever he hears one, while ignoring all the other messages ("time for school", "Mail has arrived", "take the garbage out" etc.)

On the counterpoint though, I've never noticed a dog having trouble guarding an entire house. Unless you're in upstatemike's mansion, I would think the dog would up to the job without direction.
Depending on how big your property is, what the dogs are doing at the time, and how loud the ambient noise from the environment is, dogs might not be able to hear eveything going on around the house. I have a fairly large property in the middle of the city where there is a lot of noise. If the dogs are barking, or even just playing in one section of the yard, they couldn't hear someone walking up to the front porch. I put
a motion detector in the driveway and a speaker in the backyard. Now they interupt whatever they are doing and rush to the gate or front door when they hear the chime. The only bad thing is that they have become dependent on it, and it was down recently while I was recently tinkering with it, they missed the mailman coming up to the porch.

I didn't have to train them at all to respond to the alerts. They just learned to do it on ther own. Barking at a visitor is their own reward. There is this device from the sharper image that I guess you could adapt to automatically provide a treat.
But it seems counterintuitive for security: you don't want your dogs rushing to an area ready to accept treats from anyone or anything.

I know the feeling about patents. I tried to get a patent once before and was shocked at how expensive they were. I then figured out that if I want to be an inventor, it will be cheaper for me to patent my own stuff. So now I am about to take the US patent bar in a week...

I do like the idea of the doggie earbuds though.. If you get some dark sunglasses for them too, it will look like you've got Secret Service Agents working for you!
elcano said:
What happened to the remote controlled surveilance car? Hmm...first it was a car, then a dog, the next one is Robodog?  ;)
That project is still on the top 5 list. However the Tank's PDA got its screen cracked and I don't want to get another PDA until I can find a CE 5.0 one that has a USB port...

Here are some pics so you don't think I am 100% full of it ;-)

If anyone is curious, my tank beats the crap out of that robot! Robosapien is a chump, so much so I would not even look at the second version. My next robot will be a Robo-One J class, like Hi-Tech's Robonova.



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Here is the 2nd pic with the video ran through my DigiNet system...

BTW I only play with new stuff, they already have a couple Robodogs =)



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That is some cool stuff. I have seen those pages before, but I am sure other readers will find them interesting, thanks.

It is my vision that with PDAs as powerful, small and programmable as they are will replace many of the mini-ITX/laptop projects. I also think that in many cases Pic boards and projects like Red-radio (whatever it is called) will be replaced by cheap CE5.0 pdas too.

Here is some more links that I follow:

My favorite laptop robot:

Linux autonomous RC cars, pretty neat...

Open Source robotics project

Cnet article on making a laptop into a robot:

Happy surfing =)