Are German Shorthaired Pointers Diggers? [Vet Advice]

Are german shorthaired pointers diggers

If you’re an avid gardener and a German Shorthaired Pointer owner, you may be wondering about your furry friend’s digging behavior. Is it normal? Are German Shorthaired Pointers really diggers? In this article, we’ll explore this question and provide you with the information you need to understand your dog’s behavior.

So, are German Shorthaired Pointers really diggers?

The answer is yes! German Shorthaired Pointers dig for several reasons, including burying something, getting minerals lacking from their diet, cooling off, looking for prey when they get bored, experiencing stress, or trying to escape. While this behavior can be frustrating for gardeners, it’s a natural behavior for dogs.

However, there are ways to prevent this behavior, such as relieving their stress, providing special training, and giving them toys to play with. Keeping them company can also help deter them from digging. Bed scratching is also a common behavior that German Shorthaired Pointers exhibit for similar reasons.

In this article, we’ll explore why German Shorthaired Pointers dig and how to prevent this behavior. We’ll also discuss bed scratching and how to protect your garden from your furry friend’s digging. By following the right approach and taking the necessary precautions, you can ensure that both you and your German Shorthaired Pointer have a happy and healthy life together. So, let’s dive into the world of German Shorthaired Pointers and digging!

What makes german shorthaired pointers dig so much?

Everyone loves their garden, don’t they? But what you going to do when you see it is getting spots every day, and the cause is your favorite friend on earth? First, let’s find out why your german shorthaired pointers dig so much.

German Shorthair Pointer is a medium to large size breed. Usually, they were bred for hunting in the early ages, but they are well suited for family life.

The temperament of these ex-hunters is dependent on heredity, training, and socialization.

GSP is an intelligent, friendly, and active breed. They are also good with children. They need enough exercise and also socialization.

It is necessary to have exercises for them cus they are a hunting breed, and unused energy can cause many problems. Now you can figure out the reason for the origin of your miner.

But wait there. There are more reasons.

  1. Digging for the smells.
  2. Cooldown.
  3. Imitate their owners.
  4. Escape from the boredom.
  5. Eat the Dirt.
  6. Treasure hunters.
  7. Digging for a mate.
  8. Due to the Anxiety

Digging for the smells

Sometimes they can be digging for the smell of the moles underground. Just because these hunters are mastered in smells, they can be digging to find something buried under the ground.


Sometimes they dig to make themself some cool ground to lie down. This digging can be increased with the warm environment.

A pretty simple way to cool down, eh? Not until those skin problems pop out.

Imitate their owners

Sometimes they like to imitate their owners. Pretty cool, eh? Yes, until they watch you planting flowers. They see you planting flowers and think, why didn’t I try that before? And the rest is the destruction.

Recommended reading: Are German shorthaired pointers good for first time owners?

Escape from the boredom

GSPs are a highly energetic breed, and they need intensive exercises for like an hour. And they also don’t like being left alone for long periods without keeping them busy.

So they will get busy doing something they want. ( SOmetimes they become escape artists cus of bored to death)

Eat the Dirt

Sometimes these german shorthaired pointers(GSP) tend to dig and eat the dirt. This is because they have to cover up the mineral deficiencies and sometimes have an upset stomach.

So if your GSP keeps doing that, make sure if they get a balanced diet and take them to the vet as this can be a sign of a health problem sometimes.

Treasure hunters

Another purpose of this digging is to bury some things to retake later. Usually, they hide food and bones under the soil.

Digging for a mate

Doggos use some pathetic way to get ladies. So if your GSP has not neutered, he can be doing the digging to escape so he can get to their love.

Due to the anxiety

GSP is a sensitive kind of breed, and they often suffer from separation anxiety if the attention they receive is not enough. Digging holes can be considered as an act of getting away from the separation anxiety of GSPs.

How to stop your German shorthaired pointers from digging?

There was a time it was hard to find one day without multiple holes in our garden, so I know how stressful it is for you to see your GSP drilling your garden every day.

No need to worry. This is a behavior that can be eliminated step by step.

  1. Don’t let your GSP go outside unsupervised
  2. Make a fenced area
  3. Let them do the digging!
  4. Make them active
  5. Pay attention
  6. Here chew it!    
  7. Protect from extreme climates.

Don’t let your GSP go outside unsupervised

This is the most obvious solution to this digging problem. But you have to make sure that your german shorthaired pointer is not gonna dig a hole even when he’s with you.

Because these miners can dig super fast than you think.

Leaving your german shorthaired pointer outdoors for prolonged periods of time can lead to more significant problems, more destructive than digging just several holes in the ground.

Make a fenced area

You can make a fenced-off area when they need to go outside, so he’s totally under your watch even though your GSP has left the house.

You can set the floor on a  rigid surface so they can not do the digging. And make sure you clean the fenced area so Your GSP won’t bring dirt into the house.

Let them do the digging!

If you cannot give them a fenced-off area, you can provide your German shorthaired pointer an area to do the digging as they pleased.

But this needs some training. You have to bury some treats in this area to encourage your GSP to only dig in this area.

Recommended Reading: Do German shorthaired pointers like to cuddle?

Make them active

When there are not enough exercises, GSPs tend to dig because there is positive energy left in their body. At least 30 min walk a day is enough for a day.

Pay attention

Make sure that your GSP gets enough nutrition through their diet and enough attention.

You should always think about their comfort that it can sometimes be your fault that they developed some unnecessary behaviors.

Here chew it!

Though your GSP is a grown-up sometimes, they don’t leave behind their chewing behavior.

So you can give them a toy or a bone as it helps to good health. No chewing can lead them to boredom that makes them do digging.

Protect from extreme climates.

In short, take your GSP to the dog park, on runs with you, or have a dog play date so he can focus his energy elsewhere to spare your yard!

Remember never to punish your dog AFTER you find holes in your garden. Catch your german shorthaired pointer in the act of digging and correct them then.

This intelligent breed is easily trained and only requires a consistent, authoritative pack leader to follow

Now we gonna see how we can stop this digging behavior of your German shorthaired pointer step by step.

Step 1

Take a deep look into above mention facts and make sure if your GSP gets enough exercise, shelter, and attention.

Step 2

Don’t let him go out. This is until you are pretty sure that your doggo will not do the digging while he’s not watched.

Step 3

You can spend time outside the places where your GSP does the digging. The rest must be done carefully. Observe your doggo, and you can see the signs of sniffing, circling, or whining before they start digging.

Step 4

For the moment when you see those signs, call them to you, and when they respond, reward them with some treats. You can also play with them for a little while as a reward.

You can make a sandbox and convince them it’s the only place they can dig. You can hide their toys and bones there and praise them when they dig them up.

Step 5

When German shorthaired pointers dig other places than the sandbox, you have to redirect their behavior. Don’t panic or try to punish your dog. Calmly fill the hole while ignoring him. And repeat the practice again.

Understood? This might take some time, and your patience is something very important that needs in this process. But in the end, you can have a peaceful garden.

Make sure you follow the below tips when you do the training.

Okay, I’m gonna repeat this again. Watch your dog when they are outside.

This is pretty important as if the german shorthaired pointer got a chance to dig again, your training process will be prolonged because you have to start over again.

And you have to be patient. Behavior modification costs time and also energy.

It’s okay to feel like this is not gonna work or think he’ll learn nothing and discourage.

But trust me, if you stick to the correct method, it’s gonna work out, and you don’t have to worry about your garden for the rest of your life.

You can also get the help of professionals when you think something is wrong with your training process.

Why is your german shorthaired pointer` digging at his bed?

Yes, I can imagine how much you love your dog. And you must have spend hours in the supermarket choosing a comfy bed for your doggo.

So it is normal for you to piss off when they destroy their bed doing bed scratching. So you might be seeing this as a mental problem for your dog.

But it is wrong. Most dog owners face this problem as they develop this in early life or in old ages. Let’s see why they are doing this.

Bed scratching is a behavior that your dog intends to pawing, scratching, and rolling in the area where he usually rests.

They also scratch their resting area even if there is no bedding. Pretty interesting, eh? So these are the reasons.

  1. From Genes.
  2. Making the territory.
  3. Learned habit
  4. For the kiddos!

From Genes!

No need to worry as Bed scratching is a natural instinct.  It comes from the ancestors of your dog as they scratched at leaves, dirt, and pine needles to make a comfortable bed.

They used to circle sticks and rocks around them by rotating before they sleep.

This nest gave them protection against predators. So manipulating the materials around them could help conceal their position against predators.

And also, burrowing under leaves could make them adapt to harsh weather by cooling down or warming up their bodies. Most dogs still have got this behavior. Now you can see why they build a fort in their blankets?

So, if your german shorthaired pointer always tries to dig the ground, the genes can be a reason.

Marking the territory

Yes. Urinating isn’t the only way they mark their territory. So how do they mark their territory by bed scratching? It’s like this.

They have glands in their paws that leave a distinctive scent on bedding when they scratch. So they are like, “Okay, Caron, you own the house, but I own this.”

Your GSP’s this scratching behavior can increase when a new pet or person has moved into the house. Like he’s saying, “Hey, new fella, just know your limits,” and also if there is a significant change in the household.

Learned habit

GSP is an intelligent breed, and they can learn and mimic the behaviors of others. If there’s a new dog in your house, your GSP tends to copy their behavior.

For the kiddos!

Bed scratching is also a maternal instinct. If your German shorthaired pointer is going to be a mother, their bed scratching behavior can be increased.

This is a natural thing called nesting, and this is a hormonal response. It’s like making a nest for her new pups to keep them warm and safe.

You can try out these things to reduce the damage of this bed scratching behavior.

  • Add more blankets to the bed
  • Place a heavy blanket on the bed.
  • Place your doggo’s bed in a more private area.

Things to be aware of.

Don’t PUNISH your dog. Digging is sometimes an attention-seeking behavior, so when you do punish, you are giving attention. So neglect your GSP’s behavior and fill the hole when you see them digging.


The digging behavior and the bed scratching behavior are not an effect of the mental problem of german shorthaired pointers. Those are natural behaviors, and learned behaviors sometimes can be due to the lack of attention. You can easily train your dog to get rid of these problems.

Care about the diet and attention your pet receives. Supervise them when going outside until they are learned. Train them patiently. Do not rush them to the end. Don’t punish them when they aren’t following the training.

Give them their freedom while limiting their destructive behavior. So you will be able to wake up to a peaceful garden every day!.