Why Does My Irish Setter Follow Me Everywhere?

It may be adorable at times and irritating at other times. The age-old question, “Why does my Irish Setter follow me everywhere?” is difficult to respond to adequately. This article outlines several potential explanations for why your Irish Setter buddies incessantly stick by your side. While group mentality and basic animal instinct are undoubtedly present in the circumstance, they may not be the sole reasons why your dog follows you like a personal second shadow.

Dogs are sensitive, clever creatures who may follow you for various reasons, from separation anxiety to having consumed too many dog goodies. It’s crucial to remember that friendship was one of the primary reasons people initially bred dogs. Your dogs’ DNA is programmed to love you, so it seems sensible that they want to be at your side.

While certain breeds are more friendly than others, even the most reserved dogs may sometimes show their love for a devoted owner. After all, let’s look at a few explanations for why Irish setters follow you.

Characteristics of Irish Setters

why does my irish setter follow me everywhere

The dog breed known as the Irish Setter, commonly referred to as the Red Setter, originated in Ireland. These are some characteristics that Irish Setters often exhibit:

🐶Appearance

Irish Setters range in size from modest to giant. With a deep chest and a slightly sloping topline, they have an elegant and athletic physique. They are well-known for their stunning, long, silky, feathered mahogany or chestnut-red coat.

🐶Temperament

Irish Setters are often pleasant, amiable, and outgoing dogs. They are renowned for being vivacious and energetic. They like social interactions and generally get along well with kids and other animals. Irish Setters are often loving and like interacting with family members.

🐶Energy Level

Irish Setters need frequent exercise to maintain their happiness and health since they are active dogs. They like activities that let them run and explore since they have a lot of stamina. The right amount of exercise helps keep negative behavior and boredom at bay.

🐶Intelligence

Irish Setters are smart dogs who respond well to positive reinforcement training techniques. They respond to training with consistency and patience nicely. To keep this species from becoming bored, they need constant mental stimulation.

🐶Hunting Sense

Initially, Irish Setters were bred as hunting dogs, especially for bird hunting. They are renowned for their ability to find game birds and have a keen sense of smell. However, many Irish Setters are maintained mainly as family pets and companions.

🐶Grooming

Irish Setters’ long, silky coats need frequent maintenance to maintain excellent shape. Two to three times a week, brushing keeps the coat from matting and looks its finest. To avoid infections, their ears should also be periodically examined and cleaned.

🐶Socialization

Irish Setters must be socialized early to develop into well-rounded, well-mannered adults. It helps children become self-assured and amiable when you expose them to various situations, people, and animals.

🐶Family Compatibility

Irish Setters often make terrific family pets and love being active family members. They flourish in settings where they get care, affection, and exercise. They have a reputation for being devoted and can form close relationships with their family.

Remember that although these traits are typical of the breed, particular Irish Setters may display differences in temperament and behavior. Before deciding to adopt a dog into your house, it is usually a good idea to spend time with the dog in question or talk to the breeder or owner to better understand the dog’s personality.

Reasons Why Your Irish Setter Follows You Everywhere

why does my irish setter follow me everywhere
Photo by Camylla Battani

If your Irish Setter follows you, they love, trust, and feel comfortable with you. When anyone follows you intently, it might be a sign of boredom, a desire, fear, or simple curiosity. To establish a positive connection with you, it is also a normal component of their social behavior for them to observe and follow what you do.

Dogs naturally like to stay near their owners, but some may be overly attached or even nervous when their owner departs. You may make your Irish Setter feel more self-assured in many ways, but you should always speak with your veterinarian or a behaviorist if you have any concerns. Here are some reasons why Irish setters follow you everywhere.

➢Pack Mentality and Leadership

Dogs were pack animals before they were domesticated, which happened around 15 000 years ago. Although one or more two-legged people now make up their new groups, the animal instinct still holds. Irish Setter may prefer a certain person to others. Typically, this individual is in charge of feeding and serves as the main caretaker. Your Irish Setter sees the person who provides the food and enjoys thrilling tug-of-war games as the pack’s leader and only supplier. Thus, it is no surprise that they sometimes emphasize pursuing this pillar of stability.

While developing a close attachment with your Irish Setter in this manner is good and natural, it’s crucial to ensure that this doesn’t completely restrict their ability to engage with other people or dogs. It’s beneficial to teach your dog to get used to brief separations from you. Dogs may remain loyal to their “master” for safety and comfort. Although it is a respectable position, it should not be given too much consideration should your Irish Setter become the defendant.

➢Velcro Dogs and Separation Anxiety

Although, on paper, it would seem that separation anxiety and the idea of Velcro dogs are the same things, there is a significant distinction between the two. While Velcro dogs like to be by their owners’ sides at all times, this is not a result of the intense terror that comes with separation anxiety.

Certain Velcro dogs may indeed be more likely to experience separation anxiety, but this is not true of all Velcro dogs. It’s crucial to look closely for signs of separation anxiety because once this fear is ingrained, it may be extremely challenging for Irish Setter to operate without you. As their name would imply, Velcro dogs are dogs who always want to keep close to your side. You probably have a clingy dog on your hands if you regularly question, “Why is my Irish Setter so clingy?”

Some Irish Setters have been bred to rely more on their human partners. Lapdogs and breeds created to work beside people all day are examples of this kind of dog. Some Irish Setters will have Velcro dog syndrome as a result of your treatment of them. This includes compliments, tickles, and goodies that foster the notion that being close to someone has benefits.

On the other hand, separation anxiety in dogs is a far more concerning problem. Some dogs will get too fixated on you, which may be very dysfunctional and crippling for your beloved canine. Dogs often experience separation anxiety when apart from their owners for extended or brief periods. When left alone, your dog may become quite disruptive, even making dangerous efforts to escape or be hurt while trying to locate you.

➢Imprinting

Your dog follows you everywhere for various reasons, including the age at which you initially brought your Irish Setters home. Puppies under 12 weeks old are more prone to form emotional attachments to their caregiver and see you as a motherly or parental figure. The likelihood is that your Irish Setters puppy has adopted you as their unofficial two-legged father if you think, “Why does my Irish Setters puppy follow me everywhere?”

Irish Setters Because they are still developing and learning, puppies will instinctively seek comfort and safety from their moms by remaining near them. Puppies that have taken an impression of their caregiver will desire to imitate them. While most dogs gradually lose this relationship as they develop, the frequency of their future shadowing behavior will depend on how you respond.

➢To Protect You

You may also have seen your Irish Setters accompanying you to the restroom if you notice they prefer to follow you everywhere. When your adorable Irish Setter is seated before you, conducting private affairs might be somewhat awkward. Why does your Irish Setter accompany you everywhere, even to the bathroom?

There are other causes at work, even though conditions like severe separation anxiety & Velcro dog syndrome might explain this intrusive tendency. Certain breeds will chase you for the reasons mentioned above, whereas working breeds such as Boxers & Dobermans are there to protect you.

In a dog’s eyes, going to the bathroom is sensitive, especially when a person is most exposed. Some dogs may insist on following you when you go to the bathroom so they can keep an eye out for any potential dangers. This relates to the group mentality idea and explains why your Irish Setter follows you into the toilet or scratches at the door.

➢They’re Aging and Becoming More Vulnerable

For the same reasons as previously, elderly Irish Setters are also prone to following you about. Depending on the breed, an Irish Setter’s vision may decline as it matures and has other issues. Additionally, cognitive dysfunction syndrome, basically canine dementia, may occur in older canines.

Disorientation, worried behavior, and a change in sleeping habits are all symptoms of cognitive dysfunction syndrome or CDS. Irish Setters become more frightened and dependent on you for leadership, following you more than they did when they were young. Older dogs should be watched carefully for behavioral changes, which might indicate CDS or other disorders.

Why, then, do Irish Setters hound you everywhere? It’s advisable to exercise patience and consider the difficulties of aging if you have a senior Irish Setter that has recently shown signs of clinging more than normal. There are a few more factors, besides age, different breeds, & instinct, that contribute to your dog following you everywhere.

➢Dinner Time

The cherished “Dinner Time” is one of the most blatant and frequent instances of dogs following their humans around the home. If you fill their bowls for them and you’ve had your Irish Setter for a long, they undoubtedly know when feeding time is. Irish Setters will stick about you around the time of day whenever they know they’ll be fed, much like hungry kids crowding the kitchen before dinner is about to be served. As intelligent animals, dogs often recall their everyday lives better than their owners.

If you feed your dog at the same time every day, they’ll likely get more excitable and attached around this time as they anticipate supper. While this may be controlled with little training, it’s generally beneficial for your dog to follow you in anticipation of a satisfying meal. Your dog may only need more caution when bouncing around you to prevent you from dropping the food dish. Examine what time of day your Irish Setter follows you around the home if you’re wondering why. Here is your response if it occurs mostly after meals.

➢Fear

Your Irish Setter could sometimes huddle around your ankles during thunderstorms and fireworks. Both of these tremendous sounds often startle most dogs, who frequently seek the safety of their master. Even though trying to do daily activities while your dog is always at your feet might be annoying, showing consideration and kindness in these situations is crucial.

You are the guardian of your Irish Setters, just as they are of you, so a little extra care and affection may go a long way. Certain drugs for dogs may be used to treat anxiety brought on by thunderstorms and pyrotechnics. These circumstances may be very stressful for certain canine breeds and dogs that have experienced maltreatment in the past.

Your dog could interpret these loud sounds as a threat since they are unpredictable. Their worry and adrenaline may increase even more since they cannot pinpoint the specific source of the danger. These sounds may also lead your Irish Setter to flee, which might hurt itself. Maintaining your composure during these times is essential, and giving your Irish Setter a secure area can help it remain less clinging.

➢Bored and Seeking Attention

Your dog may just be bored & underestimated, which is another frequent cause. Your dog could focus all its attention on you if given nothing to chew on or chase or has no room to do anything except lounge about.

Even though certain dog breeds have more docile & can survive without much exercise or care, other dogs need both. You shouldn’t be offended if your dog starts pestering you for playing and attention if there isn’t much for them to occupy themselves with.

Dogs want activity and attention; if they don’t receive it, they may become quite agitated and intrusive if you’re in the same room. Some dogs, though, will follow you no matter how much care you give them, while others may be content with routine exercise and the odd generous head pat.

➢Transfer Information 

Last but not least, if you’re wondering “why my Irish Setter is following me around all of a sudden,” read on. Keep in mind that they may be attempting to communicate with you. Despite their intelligence, dogs cannot communicate verbally. Thus, your responsibility as the owner is to interpret what they may be trying to say.

It’s important to pay attention to your Irish Setter if it begins following you around or generally being like a nuisance when it normally doesn’t. Following your Irish Setter wherever it may help you solve the puzzle and see what your dog is trying to tell you.

Everything from an empty water dish to a snake in the yard might be the culprit. If these actions appear out of personality for your Irish Setter, it’s best to take them seriously. If the shadowing continues, your hound may also attempt to notify you that it is ill or injured and may need special observation.

Does my Irish Setter Have Separation Anxiety?

A dog who appreciates your company and an Irish Setter with separation anxiety is quite different. When their owners are not around, dogs that suffer from separation anxiety often crumble, impacting their emotional and physical health.

Irish Setters often struggle with separation anxiety, which is only going to become worse as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic. Dogs with separation anxiety often exhibit the following symptoms, typically following their owners about the home and becoming more worried shortly before they leave and particularly after they have gone:

▸Barking

▸Having Mishaps in the Home

▸Being damaging in general, particularly around windows or the front entrance or chewing on furniture or shoes

▸While some dogs may ultimately calm down, others can act this way until you return.

Regular stress may result in long-term physical & mental health problems, so it’s crucial to see your veterinarian or an animal behaviorist as soon as you suspect your Irish Setter may be experiencing separation anxiety.

Helping Your Irish Setter Stop Following You Everywhere

why does my irish setter follow me everywhere

Your Irish Setter and you have a close relationship, so give them the positive attention they need. However, it’s also crucial to help them gain confidence and learn how to function without you. Here are some pointers and advice on making your Irish Setter more content in their own company while giving you the area you sometimes feel like you need.

👉Keep Your Irish Setter Busy

If they don’t have much to do, attempt to divert their attention by offering them a chew toy, toy, or puzzle that contains food. Try using a toy rotation method if your Irish Setter has a lot of toys. To keep them engaging and fresh, you may save some and pull them out later.

👉Consider Installing Baby Gates

These may aid with your Irish Setter’s adjustment to being by themselves and allow them to see via the gates. If they seem worried, try distracting them with a toy or food puzzle, or start close to the gate before moving further and out of their line of sight.

👉Pay them Close Attention

Encourage them often and let them know they’re following your instructions as they stop following you around and quiet down or begin doing something else.

👉Consider Your Actions

When your Irish Setter follows you around, are you paying them any attention? If so, you could push them to do so without realizing it. If they begin to relax or engage in other activities, try paying them less attention or encouraging them.

👉Don’t punish your Irish Setter When They Follow You Around

This might make them worry more and worsen the issue if they follow you out of anxiety.

👉Give Your Irish Setter a Lot of Exercises Every Day

Consider how much exercise your Irish Setter now receives and how much you believe they need. Take your dog for longer or more frequent walks. Playing a game or hurling a ball around might make them feel more enriched.

👉Don’t Be Silent

Leave radio or television on for your Irish Setter when you leave home to make it seem cozier and less empty.

👉Educate them to “Stay.”

Encourage your Irish Setter to remain in place, gradually increasing the space between you. Start by being a little distance away and work your way up to become in a different room. Take your time and really encourage them.

👉Make them Less Sensitive to Your Leaving the room

When you get up, if your Irish Setter gets up as well, alternate between sitting and standing until they remain still. Try standing up and leaving the room after that. If they begin to follow you, circle the room until they’ve stopped and lost interest. Then attempt to leave the room. If they continue to follow you, keep entering and exiting the room until they stop. Instead of making it a game, ignore it until they get bored.

Training your Irish Setter to enjoy their company might take a lot of time and effort, but doing so can boost their self-esteem. Always see a behaviorist for further guidance if you’ve tried many of these methods but need to progress.

Developing a Healthy Balance

Owners of dogs that display these tendencies may assist them in numerous ways. The ideal dog enjoys your company and being near to you but is content on its own. The benefits of bonding with your Irish Setter are many. Just be careful not to restrict the Irish Setter’s social connections with other dogs and humans.

Exercise on both the physical and mental levels may help a dog relax. An energetic dog is more prone to get bored and restless and to follow you. Your Irish Setter will have a place to relax if you provide toys and goodies close to the dog bed. Teach your dog to “stay” and “put,” and praise him for staying on his dog bed.

If you live with other adults, ask them to take the dog for frequent walks. Your Irish Setter can lack self-assurance and cling to you for safety. Encourage him to move about the room, into another room, etc., for brief periods. Establish guidelines and follow them. Train your Irish Setter to do these things if you want him to avoid the dinner table and sleep on his mattress every night. And if you’re experiencing issues with your dog’s overly attached behavior, think about hiring a qualified dog trainer.

Many of us buy dogs, so we’ll always have someone to hang out with. Your Irish Setter needs your love and care, and it’s up to you to strike a good balance between your time spent with and without them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my dog suddenly behaving afraid and clingy?

Strong storms, loud sounds, or visitors within the house are examples of environmental stressors that might temporarily make your dog uneasy. Avoid adding to their fear while reassuring your dog that everything is OK. When hazardous substances poison dogs, they may indicate fear and trembling.

Why has my dog suddenly become so close to me?

Dogs with anxiety problems may exhibit clinging behavior. It’s interesting to note that dogs might exhibit clinginess if they detect tension or stress. Dogs may get too attached if you alter their daily routine or make stressful changes to the house or family.

Which Dog Breeds Follow People More Often?

Whether or not a dog accompanies their owners is often a personal choice. But certain breeds, like Chihuahuas, are known as “Velcro dogs” and have been designed to be companions.

How can I tell whether my dog regards me as the pack leader?

If your dog regards you as the pack leader, they will let you eat first and not steal or grab food from you. This is a display of deference. You determine your dog’s feeding routine at home. If your dog perceives you as the pack leader, they will wait patiently for food or obliquely request leftovers off the table.

Why does my old dog keep coming after me?

Older dogs may want more assurance that you’ll care for them as they age. They could become even more reliant on you due to arthritic pain and diminished senses of smell, hearing, and sight. A kind of canine dementia that affects senior dogs may also affect their desire for assurance. Always see your veterinarian if you have health concerns regarding your dog.

Final Thoughts

The Irish Setter differs from other dog breeds in that they have a lovely and lovable tendency to follow their owners everywhere. They are the perfect companion for people or families looking for a dependable and loving presence in their life because of their dedicated loyalty. Their innate propensity to remain by their owners’ sides demonstrates their abiding devotion, companionship, and desire to be vital family members. Aside from providing happiness and security, the Irish Setter’s ability to follow you everywhere is evidence of their unshakable loyalty and lifelong connection.