I agree with Corgitales; dogs are pack animals and need to be part of the family. Very few breeds were meant to live outside with little or no human contact. There is a reason most shelters/rescues won’t adopt to people who intend to leave their dog outside all or most of the time.
Why do the neighbors dogs bark all day long? Because they are stuck in a backyard all day with nothing to do. So they bark to entertain themselves and relieve their stress and boredom. Dogs don’t just need physical exercise, they need mental stimulation, too.
It is believed our current foster was an outside dog before she came in to rescue. The first day or two we had her, she seemed like she wanted to be outside rather than inside, because she thought that’s where she was supposed to be. Now she loves going outside for potty and play, etc. but is actually usually the first to go stand by the gate to go inside.
I’ve had outside dogs all my life. My parents had what I call the “farm mentality” that dogs are meant to be outside; they were both raised in farming communities, and dogs were outside animals. The exception was my dad’s family’s pomeranian. So naturally, when they married and got a dog, she was an outside dog. I grew up thinking that’s how things were supposed to be, too, (then I educated myself about dogs and learned differently). After she died we got two other dogs who were both outside dogs until one died and we brought our then-12 year old dog inside. My current dog is an inside dog. He is laying next to me as I type and prefers to be where I am. I cannot imagine expecting him to be an outside dog, even though he weighs close to 90 pounds. He doesn’t get up on the couch, doesn’t bark, doesn’t have accidents, and doesn’t chew innappropriate things. Yes, he is crate trained, but we do not leave him in there all day. He has the upstairs level of the house to roam while we’re gone, (we would trust him completely with full run of the house, but since we’re living with my parents and my mom does in-home daycare, he needs to stay upstairs while we’re gone). Would I ever have an outside dog again? Perhaps, IF and ONLY IF I get my hobby farm and my LGD (Livestock Guardian Dog).
If you want to continue to have an outside dog, that’s your choice of course. There’s not really anything WRONG with having an outside dog, other than the fact that it really isn’t in the best interest of the dog. Transitioning to a new home, even with a smaller yard, shouldn’t be too difficult for her to adjust to, especially if you try to keep her routine the same as much as possible. Like others have suggested, bringing her familiar toys, bowls, dog bed, etc. should also make the transistion easier. Outside dogs usually get very little excersise; it’s a lot less than people think they would get with even a large yard to run in, (again, back to why neighbor’s dogs bark all day). Having a smaller yard before will mean you’ll need to engage her in more physical activity than before…more walks, or longer walks, etc. Is there a dog park nearby that you can take her to so she can play with other dogs? Or, since you said she tends to be hyper, an agility class would be great! It is both physically and mentally stimulating, not to mention rewarding for both her AND you! Not to mention it’s a great bonding activity.
Also, if you do choose to leave her outside, it is very likely that, as you mentioned yourself, she will soon start barking all day herself. Ask yourself if that is acceptable to you. It may be, and that’s fine so long as your other neighbors aren’t bothered by it. In my own neighborhood, the rotti a few house down barks much of the day and half the night, and if I can hear it sitting on my couch watching tv with the windows closed, I don’t know how her owners can sleep at night with all her racket. I know they’ve had the police called a few times because of the barking, and still nothing changes.
Keep in mind, too, that if you’re moving, it would be the perfect time to transition your dog to an inside dog! You dog is only four…if we could do it with our twelve year old senior citizen, you can do it, too. It really isn’t hard.