Pitbull Bite Force: How Strong Is A Pitbull’s Force Bite?

Last Updated on: 28th November 2023, 08:55 am

The average bite force of a pitbull can range from 200 to 250 pounds per square inch (psi), though some exceptional individuals might exert slightly more force.

However, this is not the strongest dog bite force in the world and when it comes to the canine world, a pitbull bite force comes 5th.

So if you are worried about dog bite attacks or in particular, a pitbull force bite, then you are in the right place.

In the rest of this article, we will look at the bite force of a pitbull compared to other strong breeds, how to measure it, and how to teach your pitbull to release things from its jaws.

Top Popular Breed With the Strongest Force Bite

Here is a list of the top powerful breeds of dogs with the strongest bite force strength in the canine world.

  1. Kangal

Topping the list for the strongest bite force in the canine world is the Kangal, a breed originating in Turkey. With a powerful bite force that can reach around 743 psi, the Kangal’s jaws are designed to guard livestock against formidable predators such as wolves and bears. This breed’s bite strength is a testament to its historical role as a protector and its ability to deter potential threats.

  1. Mastiff

The English Mastiff, known for its imposing size and gentle demeanor, also boasts an impressive bite force. With an estimated bite force of about 556 psi, Mastiff breed strength is believed to have historical ties to guarding estates and fending off intruders. While its bite is powerful, the Mastiff’s temperament makes it a beloved companion in modern times.

  1. Rottweiler

Renowned for their loyalty and versatility and enormous head, Rottweilers are another breed with a substantial bite force. They exert an approximate bite force of 328 psi, showcasing their historical roles in herding and guarding. Today, Rottweilers often serve as working dogs, excelling in tasks such as search and rescue, police work, and therapy.

  1. German Shepherds

German Shepherds are celebrated for their intelligence, trainability, and varied skill set. Their bite force, measuring around 238-291 psi, reflects their diverse roles as police and military working dogs, search and rescue companions, and loyal family pets. This breed’s bite strength aligns with its protective instincts and a strong sense of duty.

  1. American Pit Bull Terrier

Though widely discussed for their bite force, American Pit Bull Terriers exhibit a bite strength of approximately 240-330 psi. Despite misconceptions, their bite force is not the highest among dog breeds. These dogs’ historical background in bull-baiting and later as loyal companions has led to their muscular build and determination.

Understanding the bite forces of different dog breeds sheds light on their evolutionary and historical purposes. While bite strength is an interesting aspect, it’s important to remember that a dog’s behavior and temperament are influenced by a multitude of factors beyond physical attributes.

What is a Pitbull Bite Force

When discussing canine bite strength, the pitbull often finds itself at the center of attention due to its reputation and physical attributes.

The pitbull, a term used to encompass several breeds including the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier, is frequently associated with both controversy and admiration.

A key aspect of this breed’s profile is its bite force – a factor that has garnered significant interest and scrutiny over the years.

The bite force of a pit bull varies depending on the specific breed and individual characteristics. On average, a pitbull’s bite force can range from 200 to 250 pounds of pressure, though some exceptional individuals might exert slightly more force.

This number compares to a human bite force of 120-160 pounds PSI. While these numbers may seem impressive, it’s essential to contextualize them within the broader landscape of canine bite strength.

Contrary to popular belief, a pitbull’s bite force is not the highest among all dog breeds. Breeds like the Kangal, Mastiff, and Rottweiler, as previously discussed, boast stronger bite forces.

The relatively lower bite force of pit bulls can be attributed to their historical roles as working dogs rather than specialized guardians or hunters. Pitbulls were originally bred for bull-baiting and later developed into loyal and versatile companions.

It’s crucial to understand that bite force isn’t the sole determinant of a dog’s behavior or capabilities.

A pitbull’s temperament, training, socialization, and upbringing play pivotal roles in shaping its behavior.

Responsible ownership, proper obedience training, and positive reinforcement can significantly influence a pitbull’s behavior, making them loving and gentle companions when raised in a supportive environment.

In recent years, there has been growing interest in dispelling misconceptions surrounding pit bulls, highlighting their potential as family pets when treated with care and respect.

While a pitbull’s bite force is a notable characteristic, it’s only a small part of the complex mosaic that defines these dogs.

Responsible ownership practices, early socialization, and consistent training are far more impactful factors in determining a pitbull’s behavior than its bite strength alone.

How To Measure A Dog’s PSI Bite Force

Determining a dog’s bite force is a complex process that requires specialized equipment, careful methodology, and an understanding of the factors that influence a dog’s ability to exert pressure with its jaws.

Bite force measures aren’t just a matter of curiosity; they serve as a valuable tool for understanding the capabilities of different breeds and canines in various roles.

Here’s an overview of the steps involved in measuring a dog’s bite force:

  1. Bite Force Measuring Devices:

To accurately measure a dog’s bite force, specialized equipment is essential. Bite force measuring devices typically consist of a bite sleeve or bite pad equipped with pressure sensors. These sensors record the amount of force exerted by the dog’s jaws. The device should be designed to ensure the safety of both the dog and the handler during the testing process.

  1. Calibration:

Before testing a dog’s bite force, the measuring device must be properly calibrated. This involves calibrating the pressure sensors to ensure accurate readings. Calibration ensures that the device accurately translates the force applied by the dog’s bite into measurable data.

  1. Controlled Testing Environment:

Testing bite force requires a controlled and safe environment. The dog should be comfortable and relaxed to ensure that the readings reflect its natural bite strength. Stress or discomfort can affect the dog’s willingness to bite and consequently impact the results.

  1. Positive Reinforcement:

Positive reinforcement is crucial during bite force testing. Encouraging the dog to bite the measuring device through play, toys, or treats helps create a positive experience. This ensures that the dog’s natural behavior is captured without causing distress.

  1. Multiple Trials:

To obtain accurate and reliable results, multiple trials are necessary. Dogs may vary their bite strength from one trial to another due to factors such as motivation, fatigue, or excitement. Conducting several trials and averaging the results provides a more comprehensive understanding of the dog’s bite force.

  1. Breed and Size Considerations:

Bite force can vary significantly based on factors such as breed and size. Larger breeds generally have a stronger bite due to the size of their jaws and muscles.

Understanding the breed’s natural tendencies and historical roles can provide context for the measured bite force.

  1. Professional Supervision:

Measuring a dog’s bite force should always be conducted under the supervision of professionals who understand canine behavior and handling.

This ensures the safety of both the dog and the individuals involved in the testing process.

Measuring a dog’s bite force requires precision, caution, and a deep understanding of canine behavior. It’s important to note that bite force measurements alone do not define a dog’s behavior or temperament.

A dog’s upbringing, training, and socialization play significant roles in shaping its behavior and interactions with people and other animals.

Are Pit Bulls More Dangerous? Debunking The Misconception

The question of whether pit bulls are more dangerous animals has sparked a heated debate within the realm of canine behavior and ownership.

Pitbulls, encompassing various breeds like the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier, have garnered both notoriety and admiration.

However, it’s essential to separate fact from fiction and address the misconceptions surrounding these breeds.

Understanding Misconceptions:

Pitbulls have been unfairly labeled as inherently dangerous due to their historical association with activities like bull-baiting and dog fighting.

Such activities emphasized aggression and selective breeding for specific traits, often leading to the perception that these traits are characteristic of the entire breed.

It’s important to note that these activities were the result of human influence and do not reflect the innate nature of pit bulls.

The Role of Responsible Ownership:

Like any dog breed, a pitbull’s behavior is largely shaped by factors such as genetics, upbringing, training, and socialization.

Responsible ownership plays a pivotal role in determining a dog’s temperament.

When raised in a loving, structured environment with proper training and socialization, pit bulls can exhibit gentle, friendly, and loyal behavior.

Conversely, neglect, abuse, or lack of training can lead to behavioral issues in any breed.

Statistics and Context:

Statistics regarding dog bites and attacks often attract attention, but they should be interpreted with caution.

Reporting biases, media sensationalism, and misidentification of breeds can distort the true picture.

Studies have shown that breed-specific legislation (BSL) targeting pit bulls has not significantly reduced dog-related incidents, as factors like socialization and responsible ownership are more impactful in preventing issues.

Variability Within Breeds:

It’s crucial to recognize that pit bulls, like all breeds, exhibit a wide range of individual temperaments.

Generalizing about an entire breed based on the behavior of a few individuals is both inaccurate and unfair.

Each pitbull is unique, and focusing on breed-wide characteristics can overlook important variations in behavior and personality.

Positive Traits and Contributions:

Pitbulls, when given the right environment, thrive as affectionate, intelligent, and versatile companions.

They have excelled in roles such as therapy dogs, service dogs, search and rescue animals, and loving family pets.

Their loyalty and eagerness to please are traits that responsible owners often celebrate.

7 Factors Affects A Pitbull Bite Force

A pitbull’s bite force is influenced by a combination of physiological, anatomical, and genetic factors.

While it’s important to acknowledge that individual variations exist within the breed, understanding the key factors that affect a pitbull’s bite force provides insights into its capabilities.

Here are some factors that contribute to a pitbull’s bite force:

  1. Jaw Anatomy:

The anatomy of a pitbull’s jaw significantly impacts its bite force. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments play a crucial role in the strength of the bite. Pitbulls possess well-developed jaw muscles and sharp teeth, particularly the masseter and temporalis muscles, which provide the force needed to close their jaws with power.

  1. Breed-Specific Traits:

Different breeds of pit bulls possess distinct traits that influence their bite force. For instance, the American Pit Bull Terrier is known for its tenacity and determination, which may contribute to a strong bite. These traits are often a result of selective breeding for specific purposes over generations.

  1. Body Size and Weight:

The size and weight of a pitbull play a significant role in determining its bite force. Larger dogs tend to have stronger bites due to the increased leverage and muscle mass in their jaws. While pit bulls are of medium size, their muscular build and compact bodies contribute to their bite force.

  1. Muscle Conditioning:

Muscle conditioning and overall physical fitness impact a pitbull’s bite strength. Dogs that engage in activities that strengthen their jaw muscles, such as chewing on sturdy toys or participating in bite training, are likely to have stronger bites than those with less muscle development.

  1. Genetics and Lineage:

Genetics plays a vital role in shaping a pitbull’s bite force. The genetic makeup of the breed and the lineage of individual dogs influence their physical traits, including jaw strength. Responsible breeding practices can impact bite force by selecting desirable traits while minimizing undesirable characteristics.

  1. Health and Dental Condition:

A pitbull’s overall health and dental condition also affect its bite force. Dental issues such as worn teeth, gum disease, or misalignment can hinder a dog’s ability to exert maximum bite force. Regular veterinary care and maintaining good dental hygiene are essential for optimal bite strength.

  1. Motivation and Aggression:

A dog’s motivation and aggression level can influence its bite force during specific circumstances. A highly motivated dog, whether due to fear, protection, or prey drive, might exert more force in response to the situation at hand.

  1. Training and Behavior:

Training can affect how a pitbull uses its bite force. Well-trained dogs can learn to control the force of their bites, while dogs lacking proper training may unintentionally exert more force than necessary.

How Strong Is A Pitbull Jaw?

The strength of a pitbull’s jaw is a captivating subject that has garnered attention and curiosity. Pitbulls, known for their tenacity and historical roles in various activities, possess jaws that pack a punch.

To understand the strength of a pitbull’s jaw, it’s essential to delve into the intricate mechanics that make it possible.

Anatomical Marvel:

At the heart of a pitbull’s formidable bite lies an intricate network of muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones. The jaw’s mechanics are optimized for strength and efficiency, allowing pitbulls to perform tasks that range from play to protection.

Muscular Power:

The jaw muscles responsible for a pitbull’s bite force are the masseter and temporalis muscles. These muscles are among the strongest in a dog’s body. When a pitbull bites down, these muscles contract with remarkable force, generating pressure that can surpass 200 pounds per square inch (psi) in some cases.

Leverage and Design:

The structure of a pitbull’s skull contributes to its biting strength. The arrangement of the jawbones, particularly the mandible (lower jaw), provides optimal leverage for generating force. The joint connecting the mandible to the skull, known as the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), enables efficient movement and powerful bites.

Bite Force vs. Endurance:

While pit bulls are undoubtedly equipped with strong jaws, it’s important to distinguish between bite force and endurance. Pitbulls are not known for having the highest bite force in the canine world. Their bite force generally ranges from 200 to 250 psi. However, their muscular endurance and determination are what set them apart in activities that require sustained effort. This ability to hold on to something for a long time also makes them excellent guard dogs.

Evolutionary Adaptations:

The strength of a pitbull’s jaw can be traced back to its evolutionary history. The breed’s ancestors were selected for traits that suited tasks like bull-baiting, where a strong bite was advantageous. Over generations, these traits were refined and passed down, contributing to the pitbull’s robust jaw strength.

Temperament and Training:

It’s important to note that a pitbull’s jaw strength is not synonymous with aggression or danger. A pitbull’s behavior, including how it uses its jaw strength, is shaped by factors such as temperament, careful training, socialization, and responsible ownership. Pitbulls can be loving, loyal companions when raised in a positive environment.

How to Safely Get a Pitbull to Release an Object from Its Jaw

Getting a pitbull to release an object from its jaw is an essential skill for pet owners. Whether it’s a toy, a household item, or a potentially dangerous object, teaching your pitbull the “drop it” or “release” command can prevent accidents and ensure the safety of both your pet and your surroundings.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to accomplish this task effectively:

  1. Establish Trust and Positive Association:

Build a strong foundation of trust and positive association with your pitbull. Establish yourself as a source of treats, praise, regular exercises, and fun activities. This creates a favorable environment for training and encourages your dog to willingly comply with your commands.

  1. Choose High-Value Treats:

Select treats that your pitbull finds particularly enticing. Soft treats, pieces of cooked meat, or small bits of cheese can work well. These treats should be more appealing than the objects they have in their mouth.

  1. Begin with Play:

Engage in playful interaction with your pitbull using a toy or an object that is safe for them to hold. Play tug-of-war or fetch, allowing them to grasp the object. This sets the stage for teaching them to release it willingly.

  1. Use the “Drop It” Command:

As you play, use a calm yet firm voice to command “drop it” or “release.” Simultaneously, show them a treat to capture their attention. Hold the treat close to their nose but out of their reach.

  1. Offer an Exchange:

When your pitbull shows interest in the treat, gently touch the object in their mouth with your hand, encouraging them to release it. As soon as they do, immediately give them the treat and offer praise. Positive reinforcement reinforces the desired behavior.

  1. Repeat and Practice:

Engage in short training sessions several times a day. Repetition is key to reinforcing the command. Over time, you can gradually reduce the treats and rely more on verbal praise and physical affection.

  1. Gradually Introduce Difficulty:

As your pitbull becomes more adept at releasing objects, gradually introduce items of varying appeal. Start with their toys, then progress to less appealing items. This helps them generalize the command to different situations.

  1. Be Patient and Consistent:

Training takes time and patience. Remain consistent in your approach, and avoid using force or punishment. Encourage good behavior and reward compliance. Remember to implement positive reinforcement together with exercises and mental stimulation. 

  1. Prevent Resource Guarding:

Resource guarding, where a dog becomes possessive of objects, can sometimes occur. To prevent this behavior, practice trading objects for treats regularly, so your pitbull learns that giving up something leads to something positive.

  1. Seek Professional Help if Needed:

If you encounter difficulties in training your pitbull to release objects, consider seeking assistance from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. They can offer personalized guidance based on your pitbull’s specific needs.

Teaching your pitbull to release objects from its jaw is not only a practical skill but also enhances your bond and communication.

By using positive reinforcement and understanding your dog’s needs, you can effectively train them to respond to the “drop it” or “release” command, ensuring a safe and harmonious living environment.

Can a Pitbull Bite Break Bones? Unveiling Their Bite Strength

The bite strength of a pitbull is a topic that often sparks curiosity and concern. While pit bulls possess a strong bite, the question of whether their bite can break bones requires a closer examination of their anatomy and capabilities.

Here, we explore the factors that contribute to a pitbull’s bite force and its potential impact on bones:

Anatomy and Bite Force:

Pitbulls are equipped with a robust set of jaws that can generate a considerable amount of force. Their bite strength is influenced by muscular power, jaw structure, and other physiological factors. On average, a pitbull’s bite force ranges from 200 to 250 pounds per square inch (psi), though it’s important to note that this is not the highest among all dog breeds.

Breaking Bones:

While pit bulls possess a strong bite, the ability to break bones depends on various factors, including the specific bone in question, the angle of the bite, and the force applied. Bones differ in density and strength, and larger bones tend to be more resilient. Pitbulls might be more likely to break smaller or more fragile bones than larger ones if they apply absolute maximum pressure.

Angle and Pressure:

The angle at which a pitbull bites and the amount of pressure it exerts play a crucial role in determining the potential for bone breakage. A direct bite on a vulnerable area with significant force might have a greater chance of causing bone damage compared to a less forceful or glancing bite.

Size and Weight:

The size and body weight of a pitbull also influences its potential to break bones. Larger pitbulls with more mass might have a greater impact due to their overall weight and muscle power. However, it’s important to remember that pit bulls are medium-sized, muscular dogs size and their ability to break bones would still be influenced by other factors.

Intention and Behavior:

It’s essential to differentiate between a pitbull’s ability to break bones and its behavior. While a pitbull might possess the physical capability to cause bone damage, their behavior, training, and socialization play a significant role in determining whether they would engage in such actions. Responsible ownership, positive training, and proper socialization can help prevent aggressive behavior.

Preventing Incidents:

Preventing situations where a pitbull might bite or cause harm is crucial. Proper training, early socialization, and teaching commands like “drop it” or “leave it” can help prevent potential incidents. Always supervise interactions between your pitbull and other animals or people, especially if there’s a risk of aggressive behavior.

Can A Pitbull Bite Kill A Person?

The question of whether a pit bull bite can be lethal is a topic that stirs strong emotions and debates. It’s important to address this topic with a balanced perspective, acknowledging both the capabilities of pit bulls and the broader context of dog behavior.

Here, we explore the factors that contribute to the potential for fatal outcomes from a pitbull bite:

Bite Force and Physical Capability:

Pitbulls possess a strong bite force, with an average ranging from 200 to 250 pounds per square inch (psi). While this bite force is powerful, it’s crucial to note that it’s not the highest among all dog breeds. Other breeds, such as mastiffs or large working dogs, have comparable or even greater bite forces.

Bite Intention and Behavior:

A pitbull’s behavior and intentions play a significant role in determining the potential for lethal outcomes. Dogs, including pit bulls, usually bite for a variety of reasons, including fear, protection, defense of resources, or aggression. The circumstances surrounding a bite and the dog’s state of mind are key factors in whether a bite is severe or not.

Rare Incidents and Media Perception:

While pitbull attacks that result in fatalities have occurred, it’s important to understand that these instances are relatively rare compared to the overall population of pitbulls. Media coverage of such incidents can create a skewed perception, leading to an exaggerated sense of danger associated with pit bulls.

Breed-Specific Legislation (BSL):

In response to concerns about dog attacks, some areas have implemented breed-specific legislation (BSL) targeting pit bulls. However, studies have shown that BSL does not necessarily reduce the occurrence of dog-related incidents. Effective dog bite prevention relies on a comprehensive approach that addresses responsible ownership, education, and training.

Prevention and Responsibility:

Preventing dog-related incidents, regardless of breed, involves responsible ownership, early socialization, proper training, and understanding canine behavior. Pitbulls, like any other breed, are affected by their upbringing and environment. Responsible ownership practices significantly contribute to the behavior and temperament of these dogs.

Education and Awareness:

Raising awareness about dog behavior, responsible ownership, and the importance of positive interactions is crucial. Understanding a dog’s body language, recognizing signs of stress or discomfort, and knowing how to respond appropriately can help prevent situations from escalating.


So is a pitbull a dangerous dog breed? The simple answer is NO.

Pitbulls have been known to become great family dogs when well-trained and raised and fatal attacks are no more common in pitbulls than in other breeds of dogs.

Studies that analyzed aggressions in different breeds of canine concluded: “Comparing the results of non-legislated breeds and breeds affected by legislation (such as pitbull-type dogs), no significant difference in aggression was found – a scientific basis for breed-specific lists does not exist.”

While a pitbull’s bite has the potential to cause damage due to its average bite strength and anatomy, whether it can break bones depends on several factors. Experienced owners understand that responsible ownership is essential in preventing any situations that might lead to harm and make them excellent family dogs. It’s important to approach pitbull ownership with knowledge, respect, and a commitment to nurturing a well-behaved and balanced companion.

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