I have four dogs, three of which attended your leadership class when you lived in Yakima. My conundrum is that three of the four bark incessantly when I let them out, or when I first get home from work. The whole neighborhood knows when I get home. The pet sitter recommended a shock collar. I am seriously considering it. I have tried several methods to stop this, one a spray bottle (water), two letting them out one at a time, three, curb them all until they appear calm, then giving them the okay command. (all heck breaks lose). I go in the house and change my clothes until they calm down, then let them out. Still no luck. They do not have this behavior when my husband comes home, unless we arrive at the same time. I know it is most likely me, or something I am doing. They are well behaved otherwise. Help, I'm looking forward to going deaf!
It sounds like you're doing almost everything sensible and humanly possible to stop the barking. Don't blame yourself if it's not working. If I recall, you have some miniature Schnauzers, which are hard-wired to bark. It's one thing to teach ONE dog not to bark, but with three or four dogs, you have "mob rule" and they listen to no one but each other.
Yes, dogs do have different reactions to the return of certain pack leaders. "Moms" like us tend to elicit the most emotional and vocal response....much more so than "dads." So there's nothing abnormal there either.
I'm thinking the cost of debarking several dogs will come close to the cost of investing in three no-bark collars (good ones). Your results will be more consistent with debarking, and nothing unpleasant will happen to them when they DO "bark." The shock collars are effective, but you always run the risk of melting down (emotionally) some poor dog who is ultrasensitive. This can cause even more strange behavior problems down the line.
I am proud of you for what you have already tried with them, even if it hasn't worked. You were always a good student and a good dog mom!