Dogs are usually sweet, lovable, and man's best friend - we're so close to our pups we forget how easily they can hurt us. Word on the street has us misinformed about their power, so we're debunking the misperceptions to give you the truth about the real bite strength of a dog.
Dogs were our very first non-human friends - these descendants of fox and wolf families began domestication fifteen thousand years ago, and our bonds are closer than ever.
These sweet creatures treat us so gently that we feel comfortable and trusting enough to have our children and even newborn babies around them.
It's easy to forget that a dog is still an animal with a powerful strong bite that can be downright dangerous in the wrong social situation.
We know that dogs possess a healthy bite, but what's the strongest bite force they can use?
There's an uninformed rumor floating around the internet that a dog's bite force is almost half as strong as a crocodile. It's simply not true, even for the largest and most intimidating dog breeds.
Responsible dog owners should educate themselves on the risks of dog breeds with the strongest bite, so they can learn how to keep themselves, the people around them, and their dogs comfortable, safe, and secure.
We're debunking dog bite myths below, laying out the levels of bite severity, and giving you the lowdown on absolutely everything you need to know about the dog breeds with the strongest bite force so you can learn how to take care of your dog safely.
What is a Dog's Bite Force?
Dog bites happen a whole lot, with 4.7 million people reporting a dog bite each year, half of whom are young children under the age of 10.
It's important to us, then, to know the dangers of a dog's bite and the extent of damage they can do.
A dog's bite force is the total strength they can apply when they bite their jaws around an object.
We can measure this force in all sorts of animals - researchers have placed a human's bite force at 126 PSI, while a dog is significantly higher.
What is PSI?
PSI is the essential measurement of pounds or pound-force per square inch, that measures the total pressure a dog's jaw can put on an object.
The PSI varies depending on the situation, which we have felt when a playful dog gets a little too excited and chomps a little harder than usual.
For the sake of safety, we care most about the maximum PSI a dog bite can carry in only the most aggressive situations. This is the bite a dog uses when he feels seriously endangered, as his natural instincts kick in to protect him.
2000 PSI Dog Bite
The rumor that a dog has a 2000 PSI bite really has us shaking our heads.
For comparison's sake, a crocodile has a max PSI of 5000, and they eat large animals in three bites.
Though a dog's bite can cause severe damage, their maximum PSI is about twice that of a human's, at around 240-250 PSI in most American breeds, with a few unique exceptions.
The Top 10 Breeds: What Dog Has the Strongest Bite?
Here are the breeds with the strongest bite force, and therefore the most significant capacity to cause harm.
These pups' bite force is much higher than the average dog's bite, which sits just over 200 PSI. Here are the strongest dog bites by breed.
These massive dogs are bred in Turkey to guard livestock, having the strength and capacity to ward off and harm predators as the need arises.
A Kangal's bite force is roughly three times that of the average dog; it's enough to do some severe damage.
Kangals are part of the mastiff family that lives for 15 years - far longer than a larger breed's average lifespan.
When trained well, they're a sweet and friendly dog that enjoys being around kids.
Kangal's Bite Force: 743 PSI
Bandogs are big-headed descendants of the Bulldog and Mastiff that are thick-bodied and incredibly strong.
Breeders bred these pups as protective guard dogs, and they do their job very well. But, they are prone to anti-social behavior and naturally tend to be suspicious of others.
Bandogs require rigorous social training routines throughout their lives to maintain a good nature around others.
Bandog's Bite Force: 730 PSI
#3: Cane Corso
A Cane Corso is quite the sight to behold - these massive dogs resemble a much thicker black panther.
These dogs were bred from the Mastiff dog breeds to protect farm livestock from predators. Cane Corsos are usually very quiet and need some social training to get along well with other animals.
Cane Corso's Bite Force: 700 PSI
#4: Tosa Inu
This Japanese dog breed is a sweet and loyal guard dog much better socially than some others on the list. This may be because they too descend from Mastiffs, but this is tempered by the addition of friendly, gentle giant Great Danes.
They're a great companion for you and your family that can still manage to be a very protective, powerful guard dog.
Tosa Inu Bite Force: 556 PSI
#5: English Mastiff
The English Mastiff is another sweet, friendly dog that can make an excellent guard dog with proper training.
They're full of energy and need rigorous exercise each day to stay happy, calm, and well-behaved.
English Mastiff Bite Force: 552 PSI
Despite their intimidating size, these pups are gentle giants, which look even more prominent with their thick, fluffy coats.
Though not a very popular breed, the Leonberger dog is sweet and loves to be a part of the action. They need a decent amount of exercise to prevent destructive tendencies.
Leonberger Bite Force: 399 PSI
These thick-bodied dogs have a massive head and understandably big bite.
A Rottweiler's size makes it more suitable for an expert owner who won't struggle to handle it. They're highly-intelligent, attentive, loving, and thrive in a family household with the proper training.
Rottweiler Bite Force: 328 PSI
#8: German Shepherd
The German Shepherd breed is popular in police work because they may be the very best all-round dog - they're athletic, highly-intelligent, and respond well to training.
They're not as heavy as some of the other breeds, making them a powerful combination of speed and strength.
German Shepherd Bite Force: 238 PSI
The Pitbull breed has a bad reputation, and we don't think it's all that fair. These healthy, sweet, and very trainable dogs love to be around children.
In the wrong hands with improper training, they can be aggressive, but so can most dogs. Training is everything when it comes to keeping dogs from becoming aggressive around others.
Pitbull Bite Force: 235 PSI
These dogs are long, thin, and as graceful as a dancer. They're well-suited guard dogs that are very sweet around the people they love.
While they do well within their own families, Dobermans do not do particularly well around strange children they don't know.
Doberman Bite Force: 229 PSI
Final Notes: Which Dog Has the Strongest Bite?
The average dog's bite measures up somewhere around 200 PSI, almost double the force of a human's bite.
The top breeds on our list weigh in much higher than that, with the top dog, the Kangal, at almost 750 PSI.
These strong and powerful dog breeds aren't something you need to avoid altogether. Owners of these types of dog breeds need to be aware of their dog's massive strength and potential for damage - with a proper training and socialization regimen, these dogs can be happy, healthy, and present very little danger!