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 breeds of dog. This becomes very clear when you take a 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 actually 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’, which is shortened to the unit of measurement ‘psi’. In a square inch of one pound, this is the amount of pressure that is 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 really surprising to most, is just what kind of variance there is 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 do need regular exercise and adore playing, making them ideal companions in active homes. Despite their short coat, they are very prone to shedding and can be quite a sensitive dog breed.
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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 right training. Despite being quite imposing in appearance, they are friendly, affectionate, and are wonderful additions to any household, being 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.
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Pitbull – 235 psi
Pitbulls are quite a notorious dog breed, well-known seemingly for all the wrong reasons. 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.
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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 very intelligent and easy to train. Their skills are utilized in the police, army, and as guide dogs, making them one of the top working dog breeds.
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Their affinity for an active life means that owning a German Shepherd comes with some hefty exercise requirements. 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.
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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. A stocky build of dog, that is fairly agile, the American Bulldog has relatively low grooming requirements due to its short coat… but they’re known to drool!
To keep an American Bulldog entertained, plenty of exercise and play is required, preferably exercise that is highly intensive. The breed is wonderful around its family but needs significant socialization to fit in with other dogs and new people.
Rottweiler – 328 psi
Alongside the German Shepard, the Rottweiler is another dog breed recognizable as a guard dog, but 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. A Rottweiler loves company, and while friendly towards new people, can struggle with the presence of other dogs.
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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 dog. 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 require a lot of training, but make for a fantastic loyal companion – especially in colder temperatures!
Dogo Argentino – 500 psi
The first of many Mastiffs to make the 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. Known for its game hunting abilities, the Dogo Argentino has an exceptional prey drive, and a high energy level. However, it is not as playful as some other breeds.
The Dogo Argentino is not the easiest of dogs to train, despite being fairly intelligent, but can be very affectionate to family members. Socialization is crucial when raising a Dogo Argentino, both with other dogs and humans.
Dogo Canario – 540 psi
Another member of the Mastiff family, the Dogo Canario is an ancient breed of dog, once used to fight in wars. Despite a slightly aggressive nature, they can fit in well in active homes where they are given 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
The English Mastiff, with a bite strength of 552 psi, is another large but lovable breed of dog. An incredibly gentle dog breed, who take well to children and adults alike, the English Mastiff is an affectionate but energetic breed.
Training an English Mastiff can be difficult, as the dog is exceptionally strong-willed; which coupled with its size, can be quite a challenge. 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.
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Dogue de Bordeaux – 556 psi
Strong and suspicious, Dogue de Bordeaux are 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 are generally considered pretty lazy dogs, neither being overly playful or requiring much in the way of exercise. One big thing to watch out for with this unique dog breed is the 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 be 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. When trained properly, 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 larger animals… forget pheasants and think boars! The very large dog breed can be surprisingly affectionate, both to humans and dogs, but does need 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 exercise to stay entertained, but aren’t prone to much playfulness, making long walks essential to keeping this breed of dog happy.
Bandog – 730 psi
A breed of dog that’s not largely well-known, but that packs a punch, the Bandog breed is a cross between a bulldog and a mastiff. A Bandog is strong, and incredibly brave, proving to be one of the most loyal breeds of dog.
For proper training of this strong and potentially dangerous dog breed, an assertive and equally as strong, if not stronger, owner is required. Despite the intense training requirements, the Bandog is otherwise very easy to look after, with very little in the way of grooming requirements.
Kangal – 743 psi
Coming in at the number one spot is the Kangal, 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, are very protective and defensive of the people they consider their family. You need to have a very strong will to take on the challenge of raising a Kangal, as becoming the pack leader is essential.
Surprisingly, with the right training, a Kangal does make a good family pet, and is great around children. If you can curve the territorial nature of a Kangal with the right 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 of the dogs 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 a vital part of raising any dog breed.