Are German Shorthaired Pointers Diggers?

Are German Shorthaired Pointers diggers?

If you’ve ever owned one of these energetic and intelligent dogs, you may have wondered about their digging tendencies.

Well, we’ll be going over three key questions to help you understand why German Shorthaired Pointers dig, how to manage their digging behavior, and whether it’s possible to prevent them from digging altogether.

Let’s dive in and explore the fascinating world of German Shorthaired Pointers and their digging habits.

Why Do German Shorthaired Pointers Dig?

German Shorthaired Pointers are known for their digging tendencies. Understanding why they dig is the first step in managing their behavior.

Here are a few reasons why German Shorthaired Pointers may have a strong drive to dig:

1. Instinctual Behavior: Digging is a natural behavior for dogs, and German Shorthaired Pointers are no exception.

Their ancestors were bred for hunting, and digging was an essential part of their job. Even today, these dogs may have a strong instinct to dig and explore their surroundings.

2. Boredom: German Shorthaired Pointers are highly active dogs that require mental and physical stimulation.

When they don’t get enough exercise or mental stimulation, they may resort to digging as a way to release pent-up energy or alleviate boredom.

3. Curiosity: German Shorthaired Pointers are intelligent and inquisitive dogs. They may dig out of curiosity to investigate sounds, scents, or small creatures that they come across in the yard.

It’s their way of exploring the world around them.

4. Escape or Seek Comfort: Some German Shorthaired Pointers may dig because they are trying to escape an enclosed area or seek comfort by creating a cool spot to lay in.

They may dig under fences or in shaded areas to find relief from hot weather.

It’s important to remember that digging is a natural behavior for German Shorthaired Pointers, and trying to completely eliminate it may be challenging.

Instead, focus on managing their behavior and providing them with appropriate outlets for their digging instincts.

Let’s explore some strategies for managing and redirecting their digging behavior.

How to Manage Your German Shorthaired Pointer’s Digging Behavior

When it comes to managing your German Shorthaired Pointer’s digging behavior, there are some effective strategies you can implement.

By understanding the underlying reasons for their digging and providing appropriate outlets for their energy and instincts, you can minimize the frequency and impact of this behavior.

1. Provide mental and physical stimulation: One of the main reasons German Shorthaired Pointers dig is boredom or excess energy. Engage your furry friend in activities that challenge their minds and tire them out physically.

Games like fetch, puzzle toys, and obedience training can keep them mentally stimulated, while long walks or runs provide the exercise they need.

2. Create a designated digging area: Rather than trying to stop your German Shorthaired Pointer from digging altogether, provide them with a designated digging spot.

This could be a specific corner of your yard or a sandbox filled with soft soil. Encourage them to dig in that area by burying toys or treats.

Remember to reward them when they choose to dig in the designated spot, reinforcing positive behavior.

3. Supervise and redirect: If you catch your German Shorthaired Pointer in the act of digging in an inappropriate area, calmly interrupt their behavior.

Redirect their attention towards an alternative activity, such as playing with a toy or going for a walk. Offering a suitable substitute will help them redirect their energy and focus onto something more desirable.

4. Provide plenty of exercise: Along with mental stimulation, German Shorthaired Pointers require regular exercise to maintain their overall well-being.

A tired dog is less likely to engage in destructive behaviors like digging. Aim for at least an hour of exercise each day, which could include walks, runs, or other activities that get them moving.

Remember that managing your German Shorthaired Pointer’s digging behavior is an ongoing process. Consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement are key.

By providing outlets for their natural instincts, redirecting their behavior, and keeping them mentally and physically stimulated, you can effectively manage their digging tendencies without resorting to punishment.

Activity Time
Walk 30 min
Run 30 min
Play 1 hour
Total 2 hours

Can You Prevent German Shorthaired Pointers from Digging?

While it may be challenging to completely prevent German Shorthaired Pointers from digging, there are several strategies you can use to manage and redirect their digging behavior.

By implementing these strategies consistently, you can help discourage your dog from turning your backyard into a construction site. Here are a few tips to consider:

1. Provide mental and physical stimulation: One of the main reasons why German Shorthaired Pointers dig is due to boredom or excess energy. Ensuring that your dog receives enough mental and physical stimulation can help alleviate their need to dig.

Engage in regular playtime, provide puzzle toys, and consider obedience training or agility exercises to keep their minds and bodies busy.

2. Create a designated digging area: Instead of trying to completely eliminate your dog’s digging behavior, it can be helpful to create a specific area where they are allowed to dig.

Direct their attention and encourage digging in that specific spot by burying toys or treats. This way, your yard stays intact while still allowing your dog to fulfill their digging instincts.

3. Supervise and redirect: When you catch your German Shorthaired Pointer in the act of digging elsewhere in your yard, it’s important to interrupt their behavior without punishment.

Redirect their attention to a more appropriate activity like playing with a toy or engaging in a game of fetch.

Consistently redirecting their focus will help reinforce that digging in the designated area is preferable.

4. Ensure plenty of exercise: A tired dog is less likely to engage in destructive behaviors like digging.

Make sure your German Shorthaired Pointer is getting enough exercise, including regular walks, runs, or play sessions. This will not only tire them out physically but mentally as well.

Remember, managing your German Shorthaired Pointer’s digging behavior is an ongoing process that requires consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement.

By implementing these strategies and understanding your dog’s needs, you can help prevent excessive digging and maintain a beautiful backyard.


Managing and redirecting the digging behavior of German Shorthaired Pointers requires a proactive approach.

By providing mental and physical stimulation, creating a designated digging area, supervising and redirecting their attention, and ensuring they receive plenty of exercise, you can effectively address this behavior.

Consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement are key in managing your dog’s digging habits. Remember that it’s an ongoing process that requires your commitment.

By creating a specific area where your dog is allowed to dig and redirecting their attention when they dig elsewhere, you can minimize the impact on your garden or yard.

Additionally, ensuring your German Shorthaired Pointer receives enough exercise is crucial. Regular exercise helps prevent boredom and excess energy, reducing the likelihood of them resorting to digging.

By implementing these strategies, you can successfully manage your German Shorthaired Pointer’s digging behavior and create a harmonious environment for both you and your furry friend.


An Owner and a huge fan of GSP's! I have owned my GSP for 7 years now and learned so many things along the way to share with you all about German Shorthaired Pointers!

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