There are a number of dogs known for their ability to act as guardians for their owners and their property. Among them are Rottweilers, Dobermans, German Shepherds and Bull Mastiffs. These dogs have specific temperaments that include a protective instinct that is vital for a guard dog.
There are many types of terriers, from small to medium-size with differing temperaments as well. The smaller terriers tend to be rather yappy, which could ward off a potential intruder. However, Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers only bark if something strange was happening, such as a break-in. The bad news is that once an intruder gets inside your home, your Wheaten Terrier will likely greet the person by jumping up playfully and giving kisses.
Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers came to the United States and Canada from Ireland, where they were farm dogs used for herding animals, protecting their owners and property, and even hunting foxes and badgers. It is in a Wheaten Terrier's innate character to give chase when it comes to other animals but over the years, they have developed a more gentle temperament that has made them less aggressive and not as suitable as guard dogs.
However, the good news is that Wheaten Terriers are fairly intelligent dogs and can be trained to behave more aggressively under specific circumstances. It is best to begin this training when your pet is still a puppy, so he has time to learn that unwanted intruders must be dealt with differently.
Your pet must learn that you are the master of the house and certain behaviors are expected of him. Motivational obedience training would be your best bet, as Wheatens are sensitive dogs and don't respond well to intimidation, threats or other severe treatment.
It is best to begin with more simple commands such as sit, lie down, stay and come. Then work your way up to more involved commands, such as barking only when an intruder is present. This type of command can be given with sternness and patience. This can be tricky, but professional trainers can help you accomplish this goal.
You will need to find an obedience trainer you can trust to treat your dog the way you would treat him. There are trainers who are very familiar with and love dogs. The person you choose must also understand different types of dogs and their particular behaviors. And a good trainer will teach you how to understand and respond to your pet as well.
You should also check with the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors and/or The Association of Pet Dog Trainers to ensure that the person training your pet is a certified member. If you still don't feel comfortable with the way the trainer teaches your Wheaten Terrier, find someone else.