From their friendly nature to their loyalty, there are endless reasons why dogs are one of the world’s most beloved household pets. But behind all that affection and companionship, there is still something of a hunter inside most dog breeds. This becomes very clear when you look at how much bite really lies behind your dog’s bark.
Most dogs are packing a pretty powerful bite that’s a lot stronger than you might expect. While it’s incredibly rare that dogs have to use one of their best defensive mechanisms, it’s still handy to know just what kind of power your dog can unleash. So, how exactly do you measure the bite behind the bark?
How Is a Dog’s Bite Strength Calculated?
Bite strength is measured in “pounds per square inch”, shortened to the measurement ‘psi’ unit. In a square inch of one pound, this is the amount of pressure applied. The measurement isn’t exclusive to dog bite strength; it’s used to measure everything from the pressure in a bike tire to the atmospheric sea level pressure.
As you would expect, for the most part, the larger the dog, the bigger the bite. The strength of a bite comes from the size of a dog’s body, the size of their skull, and what kind of jaw shape they have. Depending on the type of material they’re biting, the pressure that a dog can exert can change considerably. However, what is surprising to most is just the kind of variance between the strength of bite in dogs of a relatively similar size.
It’s time to take a look at the fiercest dogs in the pack, those 15 with the strongest bite, ranked from lowest to highest:
Doberman – 228 psi
First up, and lowest amongst the top 15, is the Doberman with a bite strength of 228 psi. This stunning dog is highly intelligent, incredibly affectionate, and makes for a wonderful family pet. They are very quick to learn new things but need considerable socialization to get used to other dogs and become comfortable around new people.
Dobermans are not the most energetic of dogs, but they need regular exercise and adore playing, making them ideal companions in active homes. Despite their short coat, they are prone to shedding and can be quite a sensitive dog breed.
Related Post: Best Dog Food for Dobermans
Boxer – 230 psi
Second on our list, with a bite strength of 230 psi, is the Boxer. While packing a considerable bite strength, Boxers can be one of the friendliest dog breeds with the proper training. Despite being quite imposing in appearance, they are friendly, affectionate, and are wonderful additions to any household, especially great with kids.
Boxers are a highly energetic dog breed, favoring very regular intense exercise with plenty of play included. Their playful nature, combined with their willingness to adjust to new people and dogs, makes them a great companion that is very easy to train.
Our guide on the best food for boxers might come in handy if you think about getting one of these amazing dogs.
Pitbull – 235 psi
Pitbulls are quite a notorious dog breed, well-known seemingly for all the wrong reasons. However, despite the bad name the dog breed has picked up, they can be a friendly, loyal, and playful dog breed, making ideal companions for children and adults alike – but only when trained right!
With a bite strength of 235 psi, it’s not too surprising that they are commonly thought of and bred as fighting dogs. With the right training and socialization, though, they make beautiful additions to the family, are very easy to train, and don’t need much grooming.
Related Post: Best Dog Food for Pitbulls
German Shepherd – 238 psi
German Shepherds are the classic guard dog, a highly popular and beloved dog breed, and a staple part of most police forces. With a bite that comes in at 238 psi, they can make an intimidating adversary, especially since they’re brilliant and easy to train. Their skills are utilized in the police, army, and guide dogs, making them one of the top working dog breeds.
Their affinity for an active life means that owning a German Shepherd requires some hefty exercise requirements. On the other hand, they’re highly energetic and incredibly playful, with energy that never seems to run out. The breed is friendly, affectionate, intelligent, and easy to train, though socialization is often needed to get them used to other dogs at an early age.
American Bulldog – 305 psi
Despite having a bite strength of 305 psi, the American Bulldog is a highly sensitive and very affectionate dog breed. They make for great family pets with young and old children alike and respond very well to training. The American Bulldog is a stocky dog that is fairly agile and has relatively low grooming requirements due to its short coat… but they’re known to drool!
Plenty of exercise and play is required to keep an American Bulldog entertained, preferably highly intensive. The breed is wonderful around its family but needs significant socialization to fit in with other dogs and new people.
Siberian Husky – 320 PSI
Looking like exceptionally fluffy wolves, the Siberian Husky has long been a favorite of many an American household. However, you should note that these pups have an impressive bite force of 320 PSI.
Better known for their ability to sing along or become extremely vocal about how they’re feeling, these pups are always popular online. However, they need a good level of training, lest your happy family dog gets carried away and causes damage!
Rottweiler – 328 psi
Alongside the German Shepard, the Rottweiler is another dog breed recognizable as a guard dog, with a significantly higher bite strength at 328 psi. They are utilized in the military and police force due to their high intelligence, ease of training, and calm manner. The good and laid-back nature also makes them well-attuned to family life, with or without children.
This stunning dog breed is well-suited to active families, where it can get plenty of exercise and unleash its very playful side. However, a Rottweiler loves company and, while friendly towards new people, can struggle with the presence of other dogs.
Related Post: Dog Food for Rottweilers
Leonberger – 399 psi
A Leonberger is a gentle giant, despite a registered bite strength at an impressive 399 psi. The breed is a mixture of Great Pyrenees, Newfoundland, and Saint Bernard and is one of the largest breeds of dogs. If you have the room in your home for this large friendly dog, then you’ll be surprised at just how sensitive and affectionate the breed can be. They do well with other dogs but struggle with meeting new people.
The breed comes with intense exercise requirements grooming needs and requires a lot of training, but it makes for a fantastic loyal companion – especially in colder temperatures!
Akita Inu – 400 PSI
Better known as the “bonk” dog, or the “doge” meme, the Akita Inu has risen massively in popularity over the past few years. Unfortunately, this is usually down to their looks rather than their personality, as the Akita Inu is a working breed. This means they constantly need to be physically and mentally stimulated to remain happy.
However, the innocent face of this dog breed belies its naturally strong bite. With a massive 400 PSI, this is one pup you’ll need to remain the master of if you don’t want to be on the receiving end of its powerful jaws.
Wolf Dog – 406 PSI
Generally, you would expect nothing less from a dog who is the closest species to the wolf. But, overall, these aren’t dogs that most family households keep due to their stubborn, vocal, and sometimes challenging behavior. While different variations of the wolf-dog exist, their average PSI comes in at an incredible 406.
Dogo Argentino – 500 psi
The first of many Mastiffs to make a list, the Dogo Argentino registers a 500 psi bite strength. This is considerably higher than the Leonberger but still a long way off the top dog spot. The Dogo Argentino has an exceptional prey drive and a high energy level known for its game hunting abilities. However, it is not as playful as some other breeds.
Despite being fairly intelligent, the Dogo Argentino is not the easiest dog to train but can be very affectionate to family members. Socialization is crucial when raising a Dogo Argentino with other dogs and humans.
Dogo Canario – 540 psi
Another member of the Mastiff family, the Dogo Canario, is an ancient dog breed once used to fight in wars. Despite a slightly aggressive nature, they can fit in well in active homes with plenty of exercise.
Their strong bite strength of 540 psi is matched with a strong temperament, meaning that it takes an experienced dog owner to bring out the best in this dog breed. From an early age, a Dogo Canario needs socialization and can be friendly and affectionate when raised alongside children or other pets.
English Mastiff – 552 psi
With a bite strength of 552 psi, the English Mastiff is another large but lovable breed of dog. The English Mastiff is affectionate but energetic, an incredibly gentle dog breed that takes well to children and adults alike.
Training an English Mastiff can be difficult, as the dog is exceptionally strong-willed, which can be quite a challenge coupled with its size. Plenty of room is needed for the English Mastiff to run and play, and careful attention is required to ensure the dog doesn’t get bored, mentally or physically.
Related Post: Best Dog Food for Mastiffs
Dogue de Bordeaux – 556 psi
Strong and suspicious, Dogue de Bordeaux is an interesting dog breed with a high bite strength of 556 psi. They’re highly affectionate but only with people they know, normally showing instant suspicion towards any other dog or human.
Despite their size and high prey drive, Dogue de Bordeaux is generally considered pretty lazy dogs, neither being overly playful nor requiring much in the way of exercise. With this unique dog breed, one big thing to watch out for is drooling. What the Dogue de Bordeaux lacks in energy, it makes up for in drool!
Tosa Inu – 556 psi
Matching the Dogue de Bordeaux at 556 psi is the Tosu Inu, a Japanese dog breed. The Tosu Inu is a mixture of Bulldog, Great Dane, and Mastiff and is quite considerable in size, as you would expect it to match the bite strength.
Careful training is needed to integrate a Tosu Inu into family life, and if they aren’t socialized early, there is the risk that they will become aggressive. However, when appropriately trained, they are wonderful with children and adults alike, showing affection to those they care about.
Cane Corso – 700 psi
The first of our top 3 strongest dogs, and with a substantial jump in bite strength to 700 psi, is the Cane Corso. An old breed of dog, the Cane Corso, was originally used as a hunting dog for a larger animal. Forget pheasants and think boars! The gigantic dog breed can be surprisingly affectionate, both to humans and dogs, but does need the training to get used to strangers.
The Cane Corso is highly intelligent, easy to train, and has a high energy level. They need plenty of exercises to stay entertained but aren’t prone to much playfulness, making long walks essential to keeping this breed of dog happy.
Kangal – 743 psi
The Kangal is coming in at the number one spot, with an outstanding bite strength of 743 psi, more than 3x stronger than the Doberman! The Kangal is a Turkish dog breed that, as you would imagine, is very protective and defensive of the people they consider their family. You need to have a powerful will to take on the challenge of raising a Kangal, as becoming the pack leader is essential.
Surprisingly, a Kangal makes a good family pet and is great around children with the right training. If you can curve the territorial nature of a Kangal with the proper training and socialization, you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful and incredibly strong companion.
What Other Dogs Rank Highly for Bite Strength?
From common and highly popular family pets to some of the most notorious and least well-known dog breeds, there is an exceptional mix of dogs amongst the list of top 15 dog breeds with the strongest bite. However, there are some very notable runners-up, such as one of the army and police top dogs, the Belgium Malinois with a bite strength of 195 psi, and the incredibly furry Chow Chow with a psi of 220.
Each dog that made our list may have a substantial bite, but it doesn’t mean that they can’t make wonderful loving, loyal, and affectionate family pets. While some dogs may have a bigger bite than bark, proper training should still be vital for raising any dog breed.
- Tony McReynolds, New Study Identifies Most Damaging Dog Bites By Breed, American Animal Hospital Association