So you can calm your barking puppy when you’re not home
Amazon’s new Sound Detection feature lets you to set routines not just to voice signals, but to 4 distinct sounds: a barking dog, crying baby, snoring or a cough.
New baby? Of course you have a baby monitor, but nervous parents always want a backup. You can set Alexa to message you when your baby is crying. If for some reason you don’t hear the monitor, you’ll get a backup notice on the Alexa app on your phone.
New puppy? You can set up a Routine to play calming music when he or she starts barking, and to alert you by text so you know how much barking he’s doing while you’re away.
Here’s how to set it up in the Alexa app:
- Tap More in bottom right, then tap Routines.
- Tap the + sign in the upper right to create a new Routine.
- Enter routine name, like “Bark Stopper,” then tap Next.
- Tap “When this happens,” then scroll down and tap Sound Detection. Choose from Dog Barking, Baby Crying, Snoring and Cough. Tap Continue.
- Choose the device you’d like to detect the sound and tap Next.
- Choose the times you’d like the sound detection to be active. The default is weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm, but you can tap Change to reset it for specific days and times.
- Tap Add action. For my dog, I tapped Music & Podcasts and directed Alexa to play Calming Music for 10 minutes. Then I hit the + sign and added a Messaging option, so I will receive a message via the Alexa app when she hears him barking.
Pro Tip: The default setting puts 5 minutes between signals before Alexa responds again. So if your dog barks, then barks again in a minute, it won’t trigger a response. You can also customize this, at the same panel where you set dates and times (step #6 above). I have mine set to suppress for 15 minutes before Alexa responds to the signal again.