What Dog Breeds Have the Strongest Bite?

Our personal injury firm has handled countless dog bite cases over the years. This has given us first-hand experience with just how much damage the more powerful dog breeds can inflict in just a few seconds. Our experience getting compensation for dog bite injuries has also allowed our attorneys to develop specialized knowledge about which types of dogs have the strongest bite force which makes them capable of causing the most harm when they bite.

Although our lawyers are based in Maryland, we handle and accept dog bite cases involving very serious injuries around the country through a network of local partner firms.

What is Bite Force?

Bite force is simply a way of measuring or quantifying the maximum amount of crushing pressure that is exerted when the jaw muscles of a dog (or any other animal with jaws) bite down. Bite force is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI), which is the force in pounds that is applied in a one inch square area during the bite.

Bite force strength is dependent on a number of factors, with the most significant being the size of the jaw bone and the strength of the jaw muscles. Both of these factors are a product of evolution in various species. Certain animal species, such as predators, evolved to have stronger jaw muscles and biting force because it was advantageous to their survival. Some plant eaters also evolved to have strong biting force for the same reason. For example, Panda Bears developed powerful jaws to enable them to survive by eating bamboo.

Animals with the Strongest Bite Force

Before we get into the bite force of various dog breeds, let’s take a quick look at the strongest bite forces across the animal kingdom. The animals with the strongest biting force are crocodiles and alligators. The Nile Crocodile ranks at the very top of the list with a bite force of 5,000 psi (double the bite force of its cousin the American Alligator). After crocodiles and alligators, the next strongest bite force belongs to the Hippopotamus (1,800 psi), followed by the Jaguar (1,500).

Bite Force in Dog Breeds

Dogs are highly unique in the animal world because their physical characteristics are a combination of both natural evolution (which gave us the wolf) and human tampering with the evolutionary process (which gave us hundreds of different breeds). The common genetic ancestor of all dog breeds is the wolf. Wolves evolved to have very strong biting force because it enabled them to crush and consume the large pack animals that they hunted.

From the starting point of the wolf, humans have developed various different dog breeds with unique physical characteristics. Bite force in dog breeds correlates to the size and shape of the dog’s head (craniofacial morphology) and jaws bone, as well as the strength of the jaw muscles. Bigger dogs, with large jaws and large heads generally have stronger bite force.

Dog Breeds With the Strongest Bite Force

The list below ranks common dog breeds with the strongest known bite force. We have only included in this list dog breeds that are common in the United States. This list does not include many exotic breeds that are very rarely seen in the U.S. (such as the Tosa Inu).

#1 Kangal (740 PSI)

The Kangal is a large dog bred in the Anatolian mountains of Turkey to protect sheep from predators. The Kangal typically weighs between 100 to 130 pounds and it is basically all muscle. The Kangal is universally recognized as having the most powerful bite of any dog breed. The strength of the Kangal’s bite is due to a combination of size, strength and the shape of its jaw and head.

#2 Mastiff (700 PSI)

There are a number of different breeds of Mastiff, which we have combined together for purposes of this list. The Italian Mastiff and the French Mastiff are recognized as having the strongest bite forces. Mastiffs are descendants of large war dogs originally used by the ancient Greeks and Romans.


#3 Akita (400 PSI)

The Akita Inu is a large dog breed native to Japan. Akita’s were originally bred as hunting and fighting dogs and tends to be somewhat aggressive in nature. The Akita’s size and jaw strength give a bite force that is much stronger than the typical dog breed. The Akita is a not a very common breed in the U.S., so you don’t see them involved in many dog bite cases simply for that reason.

#4 Rottweiler (330 PSI)

The Rottweiler is a big, bulky working dog breed from Germany. Rottweilers are like the linebackers of the dog world and they are one of the strongest of all breeds pound for pound. Not surprisingly, the Rottweiler has one of the strongest bite forces which comes from their large head and powerful jaw muscles. In our experience, Rottweilers are not nearly as temperamental or aggressive as other breeds, but when they do attack they can inflict a lot of damage.

#5 Siberian Husky (320 PSI)

The Siberian Husky is a medium-sized working dog bred in the Siberia region of Russia. Husky’s were bred to pull sleds and they are generally known for their high energy and friendly temperament. The Husky has powerful jaws capable of exerting strong force, but they are not aggressive and rarely involved in attacks.

#6 Pit Bull (310 PSI)

The term Pit Bull is generally used to refer to either American Bulldogs or Staffordshire Terriers, both of which are very similar breeds. Pit Bulls are medium-sized, very muscular dogs that were bred for fighting and hunting. Pit Bulls are extremely temperamental and many of them are highly aggressive. Pit Bulls account for more dog bite attacks than any other breed. They have a strong bite force for a dog of their size, but it is their quickness and aggression that makes them so dangerous.

#7 German Shepard (250 PSI)

German Shepards are big herding dogs that were originally bred in Germany to guard and manage sheep and livestock. German Shepherds are known for their intelligence as well as their physical prowess, including a very strong bit force. They are often used as police dogs. They can be temperamental and overly protective of their home and families, which sometimes causes them to attack.

#8 Labrador Retriever (230 PSI)

Labrador Retrievers are the most popular dog breed in the U.S. today. They are medium sized, muscular dogs bred for water work. Their size and strength give them a solid bite force strength, but they are one of the least dangerous breeds because of their gentle and friendly temperament. Like most retrievers, Labs are bred to softly hold things in their mouths rather than bite or attack.

Contact Our Dog Lawyers Today

Our firm handles serious injury dog bite injury cases involving serious injuries around the country. If you or your child have been injured from a dog bite, call our personal injury lawyers at 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.

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