English Setters are dogs that bond closely with those they love. Their need for a physical connection is important to their health and well-being. That doesn’t mean you can’t leave them alone, just not for long amounts of time. If you must leave them alone, you should have a plan so they don’t get too lonely or behave badly. When you do, as a parent, you will find that life goes much smoother.
Can English Setters Be Left Alone?
English Setters can be left alone but not for long periods of time. Their breed background is that of a hunting companion, which requires that they bond closely and be close to the action. English Setters can be left alone for short periods if someone comes to attend to their needs, like bathroom breaks.
Ideally, the English Setter will love nothing more than to be right by their owner’s side at all times. This close contact helps them thrive and be the best dog they can be at all times. When they were part of a hunting party, they bonded closely with those around them.
The English Setter often bond closely with one human, their hunting companion, and leader. They would stay close by their side to be of assistance. Today this trait may not be as important as in history unless its owner is a hunter.
That doesn’t mean that the English Setter doesn’t still need that close connection. In a family, they will bond closely with everyone living in the household and likely assume the role of alert watchdog and companion.
Aside from that, they will probably bond closely with one person more than the others. This behavior is typical of most dogs of various breeds. If that person or the family leaves the English Setter alone for too long, it can be difficult for them to handle.
If or when this happens, the English Setter might suffer anxiety and other issues that cause them to display bad behaviors like chewing and digging. It is better to leave them alone for short amounts of time or find someone to be there when the parent can’t be there.
The same can be said for outside time. Since the English Setter is a closely bonded dog that enjoys being with their loved ones, they do not want to be outside alone. If the parent or family is inside, the English Setter will want to be inside; if they are outside, the English Setter will want to be too.
Quick trips outside for a few minutes to use the bathroom, or when mom is downstairs doing laundry, the English Setter will be fine. However, if they are left alone outside for a long period to roam around and amuse themselves, the English Setter may get upset.
Parents need to realize that not all English Setters are alone, and some will be fine with longer time apart. It truly depends on the dog. Historically this breed was a sporting dog with a close connection with their human companions.
Other factors can affect how the English Setter feels about being alone and how long is possible.
Why can’t I leave my senior English Setter alone for more than a few minutes?
You can’t leave your senior English Setter alone for more than a few minutes because of their age.
Of course, their breed background and temperament are that of a closely bonded sporting dog breed, but that’s not the only reason your dog behaves this way.
When they get older, some dogs get clingier and need to be close to mom or dad. It can be similar to the sick, tired, achy, or weary child. Your English Setter’s body might hurt, and they might feel physically old, tired, or sick.
When we don’t feel well, we naturally lean on those who love us for comfort and care. Your English Setter will likely do that during this advanced stage of their life, and it’s usually a normal and natural process that occurs with age and nothing to be concerned about.
The best way to handle it if your life is busy and you can’t stop every few minutes to attend to your dog’s needs is to enlist the help of others.
Family members, friends, neighbors, or anyone with time can help care for your aging English Setter. This help can allow you, as the parent, to get things done and remove some of the stress you might feel, which can make for a healthier bond between you and your English Setter.
Taking care of an aging dog can be tiresome for a parent, particularly if they have other responsibilities.
If you believe this is the issue, it can be easily fixed with a few lifestyle changes like getting help from others. It could be a short-term problem if you don’t think this is the issue. If your English Setter hasn’t been behaving this way most of the time, and now they are, it might be a good idea to visit the veterinarian.
It can also be helpful to think back to what’s happened in your home life over the last few weeks. You will want to think about things that happened in the home. Questions concerning what might have changed, like someone scaring them, an injury, a loud argument, or other problem that disrupted their happiness, might point to the issue.
Sometimes an event occurs that we as parents don’t even realize. It causes the dog stress, and our English Setter is clingy like when they were a puppy again, but they’re older.
How long can I leave my English Setter alone for work?
You can leave your English Setter alone when you have to work, however long you need to do that. Work responsibilities are a part of life, and with that will come some lifestyle adjustments. The English Setter should be fine if you have to be away from home for less than 4 hours.
If you have to be gone for longer than 4 hours, it’s a good idea to make sure that there is someone who can stay with them, or a place for them to go, like a trusted friend’s house.
Having a plan for both cases is a good idea when you are a pet parent, as various life emergencies and situations can crop up in life.
In either case, you should have an exit and return home routine the English Setter can learn. This routine is something they will come to understand and accept as part of their life with you. Repeatedly, they will know what to expect each time you leave and return. It can bring peace of mind to dogs that suffer separation anxiety.