Our neighbor has two dogs, I’m not sure what kinds, I think one is a Sheltie (small collie looking) and one is short and long and hairy like a hairy wiener dog. Anyway, they put them in a fenced area near our house and they bark all day starting at 6:15 am. When we complained they said that’s what we should expect in the country – dogs bark. We put up an electronic, silent beeper thing, but it doesn’t seem to faze them. They are not very thoughtful people and reasoning has not worked. Any suggestions?
When you have already determined that the people are not thoughtful and won't accept reasoning, you can make another assumption: their dogs aren't getting what they need either.
At this juncture, you have justification to call your county animal control officer. It can't hurt! An ACO may be able to come out and cite the people for creating a noise nuisance. Or perhaps he'll just show up to assess the situation. He may offer you and the neighbor other options. To protect your credibility, make a log of when the dogs are actually barking. Heck, make a recording of it too. Sometimes owners aren't even aware their dogs bark while they are away, or they think you're complaining about a couple minor barks.
As you've discovered, those beeper gadgets don't work too well. No-bark collars, however, work quite well. The problem is convincing your neighbors to purchase them and use them. Their only incentive for that might be monetary--i.e., the threat of a fine or lawsuit.
I would continue to try to be as diplomatic and helpful as possible in your tone with them. Present them with some possible solutions--anything from putting the dogs inside to taking them for more leash walks or even taking them through some training classes because the dogs would love it so much. Their dogs are barking from boredom, and a better exercised dog won't have as much energy to bark. PERHAPS you could even volunteer to walk their dogs for them???? There's nothing like a good three-mile jog to wear out most dogs!
Frankly I'm not optimistic any of these things will help, but they're worth trying. The best thing you can do is to avoid creating animosity with these people, since they may take out their anger with you on their dogs. Try hard to keep your dealings as friendly as you can. This, ultimately, will give you more clout as an adviser on dog matters.