If you’re regularly stocking up on the best durable dog toys, then you may have a dog with a particularly strong bite.
Several dog breeds are known for the power that is found within their jaw, with some breeds even being banned in certain countries because of the risk for those coming into contact with them.
There have been relatively few reliable scientific studies into the force of a dog’s bite. You’ll often see various websites listing “pounds per square inch” (psi) bite force. This can be somewhat useful in ranking the power of the dog you’re interested in - but remember, getting them to bite down at their absolute hardest on command so it can be measured is not an easy task.
It’s also true that it’s not necessarily the bite that does the most damage, but actions such as shaking afterwards - and that can be cause damage even for dogs with relatively weak jaws.
Depending on where you get the information, some suggest that the dog with the strongest bite is the Kangal, which apparently boasts a bite force of 734psi. The cane corso also comes pretty high up the list too (see below).
With that in mind, here are some dog breeds which are widely regarded as having the strongest bites, along with how strong their bites are claimed to be in psi…
Cane Corso ( 700psi)
Originally found in Greece, the Cane Corso is a sub-category of dog breeds known as mollosers. Thanks to their large imposing size they are known as the “ultimate guard dog” and have been used to protect farms and livestock.
Despite their arguably dominant and imposing appearance, they make devoted and loyal companions. These are dogs that are suited best to experienced owners who are willing to put in the work to train them and set clear boundaries.
It is not known as an aggressive dog, but due to its guard-dog like characteristics, it can be less friendly towards strangers. As such, training and socialization from an early age is required.
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Thanks to their protective and dominant tendencies, this dog was once known as the Gamekeeper’s Night Dog as they were originally bred to help large-estate owners tackle poachers.
These days, the bullmastiff is far less aggressive, and has become a popular pet. They are known to be patient around children, though again, thanks to their size and build, they should never be left alone with very young children.
Tibetan mastiff (550psi)
A mountain dog breed, the Tibetan Mastiff is technically not a mastiff at all. First bred to guard flocks in the Himalayas, today it’s a fairly rare breed but one which has a fairly strong bite.
Inexperienced dog owners may find the Tibetan Mastiff difficult to train, but they are very intelligent and can learn quickly with the right regime.
This kind of dog will likely act as a guard dog around kids within its own family, but can be a bit less trusting of strangers. Good socialization should help, but again, young children and babies shouldn’t be left alone with a Tibetan mastiff.
Very well known for their fierce reputation, the rottweiler may have a strong bite - but they also make extremely loyal companions.
Again, you’ll need to be willing to put in the effort to properly train and socialize a Rottweiler, but if you do, you’ll usually find that they are calm, fun and obedient.
Children can have a good relationship with Rottweilers, but there has been some tragic, well-publicised accidents. Indeed, the breed was shown to be responsible for 8% of dog-related deaths in the US in 2019. As with all dogs, you should never leave young children unsupervised when they're around.
German Shepherd (238psi)
One of the most popular dog breeds both for pets and as working dogs, the German Shepherd is often used by the police, military or as guard dogs. They have one of the strongest bites, but rarely use it in inappropriate contexts.
They are quick to respond to training and are fiercely loyal to their owners, making them incredibly well-behaved in the right hands. When introduced to children and other animals from a young age, they get along well - but as always, with strong dogs such as this, it’s wise never to leave them alone together.
Pit Bull (235psi)
Without doubt a very controversial dog breed, the pit bull is popular in some countries, while banned in others.
If you are going to get a pit bull, it is absolutely crucial that it is trained properly and well. They should be socialized from the earliest possible opportunity, while strict discipline should be used.
Pit Bulls that have been raised with children are usually great with them. However, it’s extremely important to be hyper-vigilant around this strong-bite breed, and teach any children how best to behave around the dogs too.
Doberman Pinscher (228psi)
Originally bred to be a protector around a tax-collector, the doberman pinscher is one of the most common types of guard dog.
It’s not surprising to discover this dog has a strong bite, considering its lineage - a mix between the black and tan terrier, German pinscher and the Rottweiler.
These days, however, aggressive tendencies have become a lot gentler, especially with careful training and socialization.
Once again, this is a dog that can cope well around children so long as they have been socialized with them from an early age
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Amy Davies is a freelance writer and photographer with over 15 years experience. She has a degree in journalism from Cardiff University and has written about a huge variety of topics over the years. These days she mostly specialises in technology and pets, writing across a number of different titles including TechRadar, Stuff, Expert Reviews, T3, Digital Camera World, and of course PetsRadar. She lives in Cardiff with her dog, Lola, a rescue miniature dachshund.