Dogs are often loyal, friendly, and protective – but they also have powerful jaws and can cause serious damage to anything they sink their teeth into. Which leads to a common point of interest for many people, “How strong is a dog’s bite?”
So we set out to look for the strongest of the strong. Not all of these dogs are massive behemoths, but the one thing they do have in common is you definitely don’t want to get bit by one.
But first, to understand how bite force is measured, we have to understand PSI.
What is PSI?
PSI stands for pounds per square inch, a unit of pressure that measures how much force is applied over one square inch, in this case of a dog’s bite. PSI measures how much force their jaws can exert when they bite down on something. The higher the PSI, the stronger the bite.
PSI is not the only factor determining how powerful a dog’s bite can be. Other factors include the shape and size of the dog’s head, the structure and alignment of the teeth, the speed and duration of the bite, and the temperament and training of the dog. However, PSI is a valuable and objective way to compare the bite force of different dog breeds.
10 dog breeds with the strongest jaws
According to various sources, these are the 10 dog breeds that have the highest average PSI among all dog breeds:
The Caucasian Ovcharka, also known as the Ovcharka Shepherd, Caucasian Shepherd, or the Caucasian Mountain Dog, is a large and muscular breed that originated in the Caucasus region. They were bred to guard livestock and property from predators and intruders and are loyal and exceptionally fearless – never backing down from a fight. Their bite force is estimated to be between 700 – 1000+ PSI, which is slightly higher than a lion.
The Kangal, or Turkish Kangal, is a giant and powerful breed that originated in Turkey. They were bred to protect sheep and other livestock from wolves, bears, and other predators, and they are very intelligent and independent. Their bite force is estimated to be around 743 PSI, which is the second highest of all dog breeds. They can easily break through thick animal skins and even car tires.
A lesser-known dog, the American Bandogge, also known as the American Mastiff, is a crossbreed between a mastiff and a bulldog. They are large and powerful dogs that are bred for protection and companionship. They are very loyal and affectionate, but they can also be very aggressive and dominant. Their bite force is estimated to be around 730 PSI, landing them in the top 3 for strongest dogs.
German Shepherds are one of the few breeds to have had their bite force extensively studied, most likely because of their wide use as police, military, and service dogs. The average German Shepherd bite force is roughly 238 PSI, which is high enough to inflict serious wounds and damage. But they are capable of significantly higher numbers. For example, many military-trained German Shepherds have an estimated bite force of 700 PSI or higher.
The Cane Corso, also known as the Italian Mastiff, is a large and muscular breed from Italy. They were bred to hunt big game and guard property and are now often used as guard dogs because of their loyal and protective nature. Their bite force is estimated to be around 700 PSI, similar to the Caucasian Ovcharka.
The Tosa Inu, also known as the Japanese Mastiff, is a large and rare breed that originated in Japan. Sadly they were initially bred to participate in dog fighting, and are known for being silent when they attack. They are very loyal and obedient to their masters, but they can also be very fierce and territorial. Their bite force is estimated to be around 556 PSI, which is enough to kill smaller animals and severely injure humans.
The English Mastiff is a giant and ancient breed from England. They were bred to guard and fight but are often very calm and dignified. Their bite force is estimated to be around 556 PSI, placing them right with the Tosa Inu.
The Dogo Argentino, also known as the Argentine Mastiff, is a large, athletic breed that originated in Argentina. They were bred to hunt big game like wild boars and pumas. Their bite force is estimated to be around 500 PSI, which is enough to tear flesh and muscle.
The Leonberger is a giant and fluffy breed that originated in Germany and remains quite rare to this day. The original goal was to create a breed for royalty that resembled a lion. They are very loyal and gentle, but they can also be very alert and protective. Despite their impressive look, their bite force is estimated to be around 399 PSI. While still a very strong bite, it’s not quite up to snuff with a lion.
Rottweilers were bred in Germany to herd and guard cattle as well as pull carts of butchered meat to the market, as such they had to be strong and robust. Their bite force is estimated to be around 328 PSI, making them one of the strongest dogs in the world.
Strong – Not Dangerous
These are the 10 dog breeds with some of the strongest bite forces in the world. But this does not mean that they are dangerous or vicious dogs.
Any dog can be a good or bad dog depending on how they are raised, trained, treated, and socialized. Even the dog with the strongest bite in the world can be a gentle, loving family companion.