Dog Detector rule

Can someone help me figure out the logic of how I'd make this work? I have a motion sensor I embedded into the step (I can take pics of it later if folks are interested in how; let's see how long it actually lasts before people go doing this...). I want to use this to detect when the dog is ready to come in. This is what I'm thinking.

Back Door contact Open
Motion her her walking down the steps to go out will trigger motion - so want to exclude this - perhaps an if-cancel rule?
Back Door contact Close
Back Door Lock

If motion on back step when door is locked == dog is ready to come in.

I'm just trying to figure out how to configure this rule so that it "arms" after a certain period of time after the door is opened, closed then locked. If the door is open/closed and never locked, I don't want to trigger for any motion (i.e. people going in and out). I'm ok if there is a false alert if the door is locked and it's a person walking up to a locked door.

Any pointers to get me going in the right direction?

It sounds like you want the rule to trigger off the door becoming locked. How about this logic:

Trigger Event:  Door-lock changed
   IF (Door is locked) THEN
      Delay Actions (arming delay)
      Wait for Event:  Back steps motion active
      Notify: Dog wants in

A possibly unintended side effect of this would be that after you let the dog in and lock the door, a stray comes up to the door -- you would get notified. Also this needs a little more refinement:

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Thanks. Have to move my sensor as the location didn’t work. The rule makes sense, though. Thanks!

NO WAY am I thinking I'm smarter than Bruce about this, but my first thought was to use a private boolean to set a basic "she's outside and the door is locked" condition that would allow the rule to start checking for her at the door. That way, once she's let in and the door is locked again, the private boolean could reset, and you wouldn't have any stray positives...

[Here I tried to write out a rule, but I don't think I quite had it...]

The idea is to use the PB to "Cascade" through different phases of the rule...

if you don't lock the door within a certain time period of opening or closing it, the rule stops trying to evaluate. But if you DO lock the door within that time period, the boolean flips and therule says, ah, he let the dog out...let's watch for her and let him know when she's back. And after it notifies and you let her in, it's done, and it would all have to start over again. Flip the boolean back at the end of the action, and no guests or strays at the door would be able to trigger it.

I'd LOVE to see someone flesh that out. Like I said, I tried, but it had a couple of holes in it, and it's too late for me to theoretically debug an imaginary rule, so I thought it best to just leave it in general terms. :slight_smile:

What about Spaniels? German Shepherds? Why just Pointers?


I wonder if he will get that !

I suspect that making the rule is going to be easier than finding the best area for motion detector placement. I use motion detectors outside but there are times when they become totally useless. If the sun is shining at it, or the sun is shining where its pointed you end up with many false triggers. If they are kept in a shady area they seem to work pretty good. High wind can sometime cause false triggers. The best luck I have is when the motion detector is mounted on a soffit pointing straight down. Some motion detectors can be adjusted for sensitivity. I have several SmartThings - SmartThings Motion Sensor mounted outside and they work great except for the sun issue/

Dogs are pretty trainable. Consider just putting a button low to the ground and teach them to push it when they want in.

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I've got this, but for going out. Grabbed some of the call buttons from a ShopKo that closed by us. They're Adafruit LoRa Feather boards and a nice, big, dog-friendly button in a project box. Got them at a few bucks a pop. Just need to work on the training :dog:

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There are actually commercially available dog doorbells! Here is one example, but they have ones that look like an "Easy Button too.

I think my dogs would be messing with the button (got to play fetch every 5 minutes all day long) more than using for its intended purpose.

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Ha. This dog is not trainable. She’s so dumb. We have the doorbell. I will give it another shot.

So do you have a ZigBee or Z-Wave dog? I suspect it could make a difference especially with range and possibly battery life. :wink:

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I dunno about “she’s so dumb”.
She’s got you doing a whole lot of work while she is doing, what ? Sleeping maybe.
Or are you shopping for her and serving her meals.
He he he.
They got US trained and we don’t even know it.


It took a few weeks, but we trained both dogs to ring a bell such as this if they want to come in or out the back door:

there is a bell on both sides of the door. The training was to always hit the bell ourselves, then open the door. Then we showed to dog to hit the bell, then we'd open the door. Then finally we would only open the door after the dog would hit the bell. Now both dogs know to signal for us to open the door by hitting the bell. I zip-tied a vibration sensor on both bells, so my phone notifies when the dogs want in/out.

It may be worth trying this approach, the utility really makes dog management easier if nobody is home.