It’s easy to forget that dogs started out as wild animals, as predators feared by humans, and rightfully so. We play with them, they sleep in our beds, they help rescue people in need, all over the world. We trust them, and after thousands of years, they’ve definitely earned that trust. It would take a lot for any dog to deliberately harm a human, and they trust us to treat them the same way. But it’s still important to remember that dogs are strong, capable animals, and that some breeds’ bite is stronger than their bark.

The strongest bite force

What, exactly, is bite force? The unit used to calculate bite force is PSI, which means “Pound per Square Inch”, or “Pound-Force per Square Inch”. In other words, it’s the measured result of all the pressure applied over one square inch of a pound. The pressure of an average tire, for example, is generally around 32 PSI. When it comes to dogs, it refers to the force a dog is able to apply through their bite. For comparison, the average human bite force is 120-140 PSI, and that of a grizzly bear is around 1250 PSI, which is way above the strongest bite force of any dog. Even the gray wolf only falls around 406 PSI, and a lion doesn’t get above 691 PSI.

A dog on the list of strongest bite force isn’t necessarily more prone to biting. In fact, there is no difference at all in temperament when it comes to dogs with high PSI and low PSI. It’s simply a matter of being bred for different things, and these breeds can be trained to be gentle, just as any other. But it’s still important to keep in mind that if they were to bite, even as an instinctive response to being startled, i.e. by accident, they could do a lot of damage. In this case, they differ from other dog breeds, which don’t belong on the list of dogs with the strongest bite force.

The Kangal Dog is a Turkish breed, considered the strongest breed in the world, with a bite force of 743 PSI.

Strong guardians

At the top of the list of breeds with the strongest bite force, you’ll find the Kangal Dog. It’s not a particularly well-known breed, and originates in Turkey, where it’s been bred to protect flocks and livestock from predators. With a bite force of a whopping 743 PSI, the Kangal could easily take on bears and wolves, and they’re natural-born guard dogs. In contrast, they’re very gentle with children and other animals, and they’re known for their loyalty. The Kangal is generally agreed to have the strongest bite force of any dog breed in the world.

A dog that looks quite intimidating, compared to the fluffy Kangal, is the Cane Corso. This guard dog breed hails from Italy, and has a bite force of 700 PSI. With the proper training, a Cane Corso is considered friendly and docile, which makes them great companions, but they take protection of their family very seriously. Another breed from the mastiff family that belongs on this list of strongest bite force among dogs, is the Dogue de Bordeaux. Also known as the French Mastiff, this pup has a bite force of 556 PSI, but is still known as something of a gentle giant, when it comes to their family.

Hard workers

Many might expect the Rottweiler to end up on this list, and they’d be right. The Rottweiler is a breed famous for its strong bite and guarding instincts, but while this dog was originally bred to be a bodyguard, they’re happy-go-lucky and friendly. With the proper training, the Rottweiler can make an excellent family dog ― but they still have a bite force of 328 PSI, which should be considered. The American Bulldog is part of the list of strongest bite force, with a bite of 305 PSI, closely followed by the Doberman Pinscher, who boasts a PSI of 245. Both are protective breeds, but incredibly friendly and loyal with the right training, and the Doberman especially has been used for decades by police and military, all over the world. In fact, the Doberman is sometimes considered quite shy, compared to many other dogs.

The German Shepherd is a beloved breed, consistently one of the most popular breeds in the world, and there’s no wonder why. This dog is incredibly versatile, with high intelligence and a strong work ethic, not to mention loyalty and a friendly disposition. They have a bite force of 238 PSI, and are often used by law enforcement for various jobs, as their nose is also quite impressive.

Considering the reputation of the American Pitbull, you might expect this breed to end up closer to the top of the list when it comes to strongest bite force. But the Pittie actually ends up near the bottom, with a bite force of 235 PSI. It’s still powerful, but not nearly enough to justify the prejudice toward this breed and others like it. The Pitbull is a stocky dog, protective and friendly, and with the proper training, they make great, loving companions.

The Malinois – also known as the Belgian Shepherd – makes it into the top ten, with a bite force of 195 PSI.

Soft but strong

It takes some impressive strength to end up on the list of strongest bite force, and making it into the top ten are the Chow Chow and the Malinois. The Chow Chow doesn’t look particularly intimidating ― they’re practically made of thick fluff ― but they’re actually originally bred for hunting. They have a bite force of 220 PSI, and are known for being a little standoffish when it comes to other dogs. With proper training and socializing, though, the Chow can be just as friendly and chill as any other dog.

The Malinois, also known as the Belgian Shepherd, is known for its amazing sense of smell. They’re used all over the world by police agencies, and sniff out drugs and explosives with high accuracy. Their temperament is gentle and friendly, so the chances of them biting aren’t that high, but their bite force is 195 PSI, which is still quite impressive. And while this puts them at the bottom of the list, that bite force is still more than enough to easily break bone with just one try.

Things to consider

Dog breeds that belong on the list of strongest bite force are often misunderstood as being more aggressive, or prone to biting. Why else would they be able to cause so much damage? But in truth, the traits that make them great guard dogs, whether it’s protecting people or livestock, also make them loyal and loving. They tend to adore their family, and while they’ll definitely hold their ground when threatened, they are no more likely to attack than any other breed. Still, it’s good to keep in mind just how strong these breeds can be, if you’re considering getting one, especially when it comes to children. Just make sure to train and socialize your dog properly, and you’ll have a happy life together.