I have two dogs on a small farm in the city. They grew up on 120 acres, and in 2 years still will bark way more than I am comfortable with if I leave them out all night. Way too many noises in the city.. So, I bring one in every night - problem solved. I rotate who gets to come in. The one left outside sleeps on the porch and is quiet. It's a dog thing... So, if you have room for one kennel, you may be able to do it.
Hmm, I'll check about building those in-out kennels or maybe putting one in our house. I'm still not totally sure where it would fit, but I'll see if my roommates can we flexible about it. (The big problem is that they bark on one side of the house where two of us live, but since we're the two new hires, we don't get so much say.)
By "go get them" I mean she'll go outside and call them, they come running, she tells them to stop (ya, that goes exactly like it sounds), then she goes inside and off they go again. Right now the dogs are NEVER allowed in the house. (For the reason mentioned before. We already live in the jungle so the house is already challenging to keep clean.)
What do we have? Food. And pets. They really do love us and love to be around us. If you call them, they come running happily. At night they stay up by the house mainly and come sit at the front door as soon as someone is awake.
As for what they bark at: everything. Mainly people and dogs. This only became a big problem in the last few days because we have students on base. Every time they see someone they don't know walking around they start to bark. We also share a really long fence line with the neighboring property, and those dogs will come down the mountain at night to pick fence fights with our dogs. It's possible that they're barking at other animals, but I haven't heard of anything substantial that lives on/near base, so I don't know if that's correct or not.
One roommate is still out of town. I'll bring it up to everyone as a group this week.
I am having a hard time picturing your set up.
Are these pets on purpose, or wild dogs that have been 'tamed'?
Are they loose to run around wherever or confined behind a fence?
Who do they belong to?
I'm afraid that your options are pretty limited after reading the posts you have made. I guess you either get collars to try to stop the barking or build them a kennel that they cannot see out of on three sides and leave the open side facing the house to put them in at night.
My family has properties in Costa Rica so I have experienced and understand the dog situation. Sorta a neat life, sorta a hard life. As you explained in your last post (#22), the pups ARE barking at something, not nothing. That is appropriate barking. When I first opened your thread, I assumed the dogs were obtained for that purpose (alarm/deterrent barking).
I would suggest teaching them what to bark at -critters!- and what to ignore. Or the two bark rule.
For fence fighting, plant dense foliage -easy to do in Costa Rica! =), along the fence to block the view and physically make teeth to teeth fighting through the fence difficult if not impossible.
I know you said you have little room inside, and it's a bit of a hassle, but most crates do break down or come apart, so you could set them up each night at bedtime, bring the dogs in, then let them out and break down the crates in the morning. I think bringing them in and crating them would bring a huge and immediate decrease in the barking.
However, if you do go with a containment option like crating, do train the dogs to like their crates/fence/dog box/whatever -- don't just suddenly pen them up or you may cause additonal problems. There's plenty of advice on crate training if you don't already know how -- quick google should do it.
Great idea mentioned upthread about trying to reduce the stimulation they get -- the visual barriers are a good start. Even if you decide to go with crates, the plant "fence" should help keep them quieter when they are out.
Give them plenty of things to do -- the exercise before bed like someone said, and what about filled kongs or safe chew toys to have for the overnight hours? I don't really know what your options are to obtain such things in Costa Rica, of course, but the idea is to use any of the toys that are meant to be longlasting or distribute rewards slowly as the dog works/chews on the object. (You'd have to make sure they wouldn't fight over these things if they are out together, though.)
Truthfully I think management is usually the best option in these cases -- reduce the environment stimuli by changing the environment (the plant screens, etc.) and crating the dogs. Unless they are really, really big dogs, crates can be stacked, as well, which would take up half the floor space of two.
Think ahead to the dogs' future if you can -- whatever you set up, will it be feasible for the next folks in the house, or will you be taking the dogs with you when you are stationed somewhere else? If you are taking them, being crate trained is a wonderful skill for them to have!
"However complicated and remarkable the rest of his life was going to be, it was here now, come to claim him."- JoAnn Mapson