DIY - Supermarket door theft detection alarm (EAS system)

Premise : Due to family reasons, we need Cisco (the family dog) to stay downstairs and not climb the stairs to the second floor. Cisco is a good dog and normally does not do this - but occasionally he will sneak up to the second floor and then hide somewhere.

I would like to put a RF or Magneto Acoustic tag like this, which is commonly put on store items, on his collar and install an alarm on the stairs which goes off when Cisco climbs the stairs.

I am fairly well at soldering circuit boards and have done small “projects” like this before. My first preference will be to buy a ready made solution, if it exists, the second option will be to mod an used system bought on ebay and the third option will be solder something from scratch like Aarduino.

All help on making this alarm appreciated.

Please do not post other methods of restraining Cisco downstairs in this thread - please start a new thread if you would like to do so. Please keep this thread dedicated to designing or hacking a system that does the same job as a supermarket store EAS system

Why not use existing systems?

I don’t know their product line in the market, but these folks do know how to stop barking:

Specifically, this one
Put the collar on him and the receiver in the stairwell or at the top of the steps and it should work just like you need it to.

Tried that and similar items - the collar is too heavy for Cisco (he is a small dog) and the receiver is not very reliable.

Well, here is a link to a (way more complicated system) that someone hacked together:

Active RFID Tracking System

which might give you some ideas. The kicker is that this system uses active (battery powered) tags rather than the passive tags used in theft detection systems. I think the problem with passive tags is that to get a range of more than a few inches you need the large antennae which you pass between when you leave the store, which would look pretty out of place in a home.

Your dog must be pretty small for the collar-based systems to be too heavy. We have used an Invisible Fence brand system for years with two dogs, one fairly small (Shetland Sheepdog). I know they make a collar for cats…

Or maybe something like this:

Sofa Scram

Probably would only have to use it a little while before the dog is trained to sstay off the stairs…

Do you absolutely need to use the RF technology?

A inexpensive, off-the-shelf solution could be as easy as a motion senor light switch, such as this, mounted low enough on the wall of the stairway (2nd or 3rd step to avoid Cisco from tripping it by walking past the stairs). Hook up the switch to a doorbell or some other device that would let you know that he is trying to come up the stairs.

Yeah, it would be triggered by anyone walking up the steps, but it’s cheap and self-contained. All the RF reader solutions I could find generally require connecting to a PC or some other microprocessor to process the signal. These have the benefit of being able to differentiate between tags, but if you only have one Cisco, that feature wouldn’t be of much help. You would probably need a reader that could read at least 3 feet, which would be pretty expensive.

Maybe play with one of those invisible fences? Don’t know if it would alert you to him climbing the stairs, but it could condition him to not climb them.