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I don't think they are programmed to lead you places. I think if you followed them long enough you're bound to run into something though. Just because there's a lot out there. If you followed a deer the same might happen lol.
I only followed one twice, it stopped and sniffed at a piece of paper on the ground, a treasure map, then the second time it led me to this cave-like thing with overhanging rocks and there was a dead mage with a bunch of gold and a staff, and a chest with more gold and 2 enchanted weapons.