I work in the security business, and because I am often doing webinars and meetings online from my home office, I only had one problem — barking beagles in the background. Not howling, not make the tracking noise, just noisy barking as only a beagle can do.
At first, I made a sign for the front door that said, “Conference in session, DO NOT KNOCK OR RING DOOR BELL!
And that almost worked, except that sometimes a door slammed in the wind, or a book fell off the table, and the beagles are off and barking again.
Finally, I thought, how to turn this into an advantage? And I came up with the beagles announcing the start of each session with “security” barking. All I have to do to trigger the barks is to knock on a table, or door, and I get a rousing security bark. And I remind the participants that dogs make great watch dogs. We all get a good laugh.
I find that it relaxes people and makes them laugh, so the meetings are better and less stressful for everyone. I also get emails from the dog lovers on the call later, saying how much they enjoyed hearing the dogs. No acccounting for taste, I guess!