Can I Leave My Irish Setter Home Alone? 

Living in a house with a pet makes us have a more complete and happy life. An animal will provide us with many physical and emotional benefits, especially if it is a dog.

Dogs are the most loyal, affectionate, and faithful animals that will always be with you in good and bad times.

They need to receive our full attention and know that we love them unconditionally. As owners of these animals, we must be responsible when it comes to providing them with food, exercise, and companionship.

Keep in mind that these animals tend to suffer from separation anxiety, although at different levels. All of them will feel sad when their owners have left them alone for a long time, but some will be more independent and will not suffer as much as others.

If you have a dog or are thinking of getting one, you can’t ignore this fact since, in the end, most breeds are designed to enjoy human company.

The Irish Setter is one of the most beautiful dog breeds you can find due to the shape of its body. It is usually affectionate and playful with its human family members, including children and the elderly. However, like most dog breeds, separation anxiety is one of the downsides of the Irish Setter.

These dogs can suffer from anxiety, worry, and depression when they feel that their owners have abandoned them. That usually happens when their family members are out of the house for long hours.

Why Can’t Irish Setters Be Left Alone?

It is important to highlight the origin of this breed to understand this. Irish Setters were bred to be hunting dogs that accompanied their owners on hunting days. However, they were not only used to hunting but also carrying out other tasks together with their owners.

Due to this, throughout history, they became excellent companion dogs that spent much of the day attached to their human family members. This caused the breed to experience separation anxiety when they were left alone for many hours by loved ones.

Remember that dogs do not understand the reasons why we leave the house, so it is normal for them to think that they have been abandoned. An Irish Setter will consider its owner the most important thing in its life, and that is why it will want to be his focus of attention all the time.

Does the fact that my Irish Setter suffers from separation anxiety mean that it cannot be left alone for a few hours? No! Actually, all dogs can be left alone for a specific number of hours.

Not all breeds are the same, so that number may vary. For example, an Irish Setter may stay alone at home for 4-5 hours a day, but you should keep in mind that depending on the personality of each one, some may only be alone for 1-2 hours.

How can we know that? The only way is by monitoring our Irish Setters’ body language and behaviour in those situations. That way, we can have an idea of ​​how many hours we can leave our dogs alone.

Note that the number of hours an Irish Setter can stay can only be increased if it has been trained. That means that if we properly train our pet and provide it with everything necessary for its comfort in our absence, it will be able to be alone for approximately 8 hours.

What Can I Do If I Work Many Hours a Day?

This is one of the biggest concerns dog owners have. That is normal, especially for people who live alone with their pets.

Obviously, this situation will not be a problem in households where several people live, since generally, one of them can take care of the Irish Setter.

If you live alone or with few people who also work, the best thing you can do is hire a dog sitter. These professionals are trained to provide your pet with everything it needs. 

That includes feeding it, exercising it, entertaining it, socialising it, training it, etc. Therefore, you will not have to worry about your Irish Setter feeling lonely and suffering from separation anxiety.

Obviously, it is important that you take the time to choose the best dog sitter as there are many scammers who pose as professional dog sitters but really are not.

Perhaps you are worried that your Irish Setter will form a strong bond with the dog sitter and stop loving you, but that will not happen as long as you give it a lot of attention before leaving the house and when you return.

Hiring a dog sitter is not the only thing we can do to control these situations:

Exercise Your Irish Setter

One reason Irish Setters can develop destructive behaviours is a lack of physical stimulation. Remember that these are dogs with a high level of physical activity which require exercise every day.

If they are not exercised, they will get bored and try to release their energy through inappropriate behaviours.

To avoid that, give it plenty of exercise 1-2 hours before going to work. That will not only satisfy its exercise needs but also make it happy to spend time with you.

Stimulate Your Irish Setter Mentally

This is similar to the previous point. We have already said that Irish Setters can get bored easily. They will not only need to exercise every day but also receive mental stimulation.

For example, this dog loves to play with its owner, so several games a day before leaving the house and when he returns will make it feel happier and more satisfied, and the chances that it will suffer from anxiety will be minimal.

In fact, one of the best ideas is to leave some toys in its resting space so that it can play for hours while you are not at home.

Leave a Garment with Your Smell

This may sound silly, but it is an efficient method to make it feel comfortable. Irish Setters, like other dog breeds, are capable of recognizing the scent of their owners anywhere. You can leave a shirt, pants, or socks near the space where your Irish Setter usually rests.

Your smell will make it feel safer and calmer, and it will subconsciously think you are there.

Make Their Space a Pleasant Place

Reducing the separation anxiety of a dog of this type consists of making it feel more comfortable and happy.

Placing your Irish Setter’s favourite things in its resting space will make it feel happier. If you let your pet wander around the house, it will feel more anxious and sad about your absence, and that will lead it to show inappropriate behaviours.

Place your bed in a warm place free from noise. Some things you can leave in that place are:

  • Treats
  • Toys
  • Sleeping blanket
  • Water bowl
  • Food bowl
  • A garment with your smell

Buy a Camera to Monitor It

This is an excellent investment. While it won’t directly calm your Irish Setter, it will help you know the right time to take action.

How? Installing a camera in your home will allow you to monitor your pet’s body language and behaviour. If you notice that it is restless and nervous, then you can call a neighbour or member of your family to go and accompany it.

If you do everything we have said in the previous points, you will not have to use the camera often.

What Will Happen to My Irish Setter If I Leave It Alone for a Long Time?

Leaving our Irish Setter alone brings certain negative consequences that you will surely want to avoid. The main one of all is separation anxiety, which in turn is the cause of destructive behaviour in these dogs.

Some of the negative effects of your Irish Setter being left alone are:

Temperament Changes

Irish Setters are dogs known for the kindness and love they show towards their human family members and even strangers. However, the anxiety and frustration generated by loneliness could cause problems in their temperament.

Your dog could become more aggressive and distant not only from strangers but also from loved ones. It will start to act differently than it usually does.

Destructive Behaviour

When an Irish Setter suffers from separation anxiety, destructive behaviours often come to the fore. Anxiety can lead a dog to bark excessively, scratch doors, chew furniture, bite objects, urinate and defecate everywhere, etc.

Irritating Sounds

Barking is a form of communication for dogs. When left home alone, Irish Setters will sit near the door and begin to bark and whimper loudly because they think their owners will hear them and return immediately.

If you live near other people or in an apartment, these sounds will annoy and irritate your neighbours, getting you in trouble with them.

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