How Strong Is A Pitbull? Pitbull Bite Force, Facts

The Pit Bull is a serial biter with many bans to its name. Its notoriety increases each time it appears on the news after a dog bite incident.

It is unarguably the most controversial dog breed in the United States and other countries. Some people dread it, others defend it.

Besides the stereotype and bans, what makes people fear this dog breed is its physique.

A strong Pitbull’s muscular body and strong head are enough to give you weak knees.

Its bite is also assumed to have a strong force. Given the number of times it has bit humans, that is enough to put anyone on edge.

But, how strong is a Pitbull, really? Is the Pitbull bite force the strongest out there? What makes this breed so dangerous?

These and more will be the focus of this article. Read on.

Bull Baiting & Pitbull Fighting History

The bad rep of this dog breed has a lot to do with its violent past. When the Pit was bred, it bore the name Bull and Terrier.

The name alone hinted at what it was developed for. 

In 19th century England, bull-baiting was a common entertainment.

It was a form of blood sport that involved setting up a bull against a dog.

The Old English Bulldog, now extinct, was also bred for this sport. The Bull and Terrier became a part of the game.

In 1800, legislators began passing bills for the suppression of this sport.

The bills were unsuccessful till 1835 when the subject of animal cruelty came to the surface.

The Cruelty to Animals Act of 1835 finally put a stop to this game, but not to the fighting career of this breed.

Dogfighting took the place of bull-baiting, and the Bull and Terrier participated in it. 

It was in America they became farm dogs and put their strength to good use.

The United Kennel Club first gave them the name ‘American Pit Bull Terrier‘.

The American Kennel Club sought to separate them from their fighting past and named them the American Staffordshire Terrier.

Unfortunately, this led to more confusion as the American Staffordshire Terrier became distinct from the American Pit Bull Terrier.

What is the Strongest Pitbull Bite Force (PSI Measure)?

Close Up of Pitbull Dog Face with Strong Jaws

Because of its reputation, rumors have it that the Pitbull has the strongest dog bite out there.

That, however, is a fallacy.

This isn’t to say this breed doesn’t have a strong bite force, but it is superseded by some other dog breeds.

According to studies, the average bite force of a dog is 320 PSI.

It is higher than the 120 PSI of humans but lesser than white sharks’ (600 PSI), crocodiles (2,500 PSI), and hyenas (1,000 PSI).

Those aren’t animals you should mess around with, by the way.

In comparison to the average dog bite force, a strong Pitbull’s bite force falls short with 235 PSI.

It is lesser than the German Shepherd whose bite force is at 238 PSI and the Rottweiler which goes up to 328 PSI.

The dog breed that is believed to have the strongest bite force is the Kangal Dog.

The Kangal’s bite force is at 743 PSI, higher than that of a white shark, making it the strongest dog breed in the world!

How Strong is a Pitbull?

A Strong PitBull Wearing Harness Restrained

With the bite force in mind, we can agree that the Pitbull is strong, though not the strongest breed out there.

Its strong jaws add more pressure to its bite, making the bite have more impact.

It is also trained to not let go once it bites into something, a trait that brought about the myth of this breed having a lockjaw. 

Other breeds like the German Shepherd and Rottweiler can easily take on a Pitbull, though, and win the fight.

What Makes a Pitbull So Strong?

The Pitbull’s physical structure and inbred fighting instincts all contribute to its strength.

It is athletic, muscular with a square head and strong jaws.

Its limbs are solid, giving it the demeanor of a wrestler. 

When these dogs bite, they also shake, increasing the damage. Like we’ve seen, it is hard to get them to let go.

These two behaviors can lead to broken bones and damaged tissues.

It is best to not let this dog bite you as that is dangerous.

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What Percentage of Dog Bites are From Pit Bulls?

Close Up of Black Pit Bull Wearing Torn Mouth Guard

What is also as concerning as the bite force and jaw strength of this breed is the rate at which it does.

Compared to other dog breeds, dog attacks in the United States have had Pits as the main culprit.

Statistics confirm this.

Since 2016, there have been 46 breeds responsible for dog bites, a good number of which were fatal.

These breeds include the Akita, Chow Chow, Rottweiler, German Shepherd, and you guessed right, the Pitbull.

Of all these dog breeds, the Pit led to 284 deaths from 2005 to 2017.

In percentages, that is a large 65.6%.

If you’ve ever wondered why the Pit, you’re not alone.

Ironically, this breed wasn’t developed to be aggressive towards humans, nor does it make a good guard dog because of its nice disposition.

We, therefore, suggest that poor breeding and bad training led to this.

Also, the intimidating appearance of this breed made it a good target for crime lords who deliberately train it to be aggressive.

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Related Questions

American Pit Bull Terrier

Can a Pitbull beat a Wolf?

While the Pitbull is strong and muscular, it is no match for a wolf.

The wolf has a bite force of 400 PSI which means it can easily defeat a Pit Bull in a fight. 

Is a German Shepherd bite stronger than a Pitbull?

The German Shepherd is not often considered as strong as the Pit, which is a common mistake.

While the Pitbull’s bite force is at 235 PSI, the German Shepherd tops at 238 PSI.

What breed is the muscular Pitbull?

The term ‘Pit Bull’ or ‘Pitbull’ is controversial as it could refer to both a type and a breed.

In its popular use, it designates the American Pit Bull Terrier.

Are Pitbulls the strongest dog?

The Pit is often considered the strongest dog, but this is a myth.

Many other dog breeds are stronger than the Pitbull, including the Rottweiler and the Cane Corso.

Why are Pit Bulls banned?

The Pit Bull is responsible for most dog bites in the United States and other parts of the world.

Due to this, it is considered dangerous and was banned by some countries.

Can a Pit Bull kill?

Though this isn’t always the case, the Pit Bull’s bite can be deadly and fatal.

Many people have died after a fierce encounter with this breed.

Can a Pit Bull bite break bones?

What makes the Pit Bull’s bite dangerous is the fact that it clamps down hard and refuses to let go.

It also shakes its head, increasing the pain. A bite from this dog can break bones.

Are Pit Bulls naturally aggressive?

Pit Bulls might be considered dangerous, but aggression towards humans is undesirable behavior.

It is often a consequence of poor breeding and neglectful or abusive pet parenting. 

Are Pitbulls Good Guard Dogs?

Despite their intimidating looks, Pitbulls aren’t good guard dogs.

It loves humans and is too social towards strangers to be considered a guardian.

What dog is stronger than a Pitbull?

The Pitbull might be strong, but it would suffer defeat if it gets paired against a Rottweiler, a Cane Corso, and even a German Shepherd.

What countries are Pitbulls illegal in?

Pitbulls are considered illegal in countries like the United Kingdom, New Zealand, France, Poland, Finland, and Norway. 

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Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, the negative stereotype against the Pitbull is not completely unfounded.

With the high rate of biting incidents and the danger of its bites, the fear remains unchanged. 

Nonetheless, the Pit Bull isn’t the most ‘dangerous’ dog breed, nor should any breed be considered inherently dangerous.

Expert training can shape up these dogs and curb bad habits.

It is up to you as an owner to make your Pit more of man’s best friend than his greatest foe.

You May Also Like:
15 Dogs That Look Like Pit Bulls But Are Not

References: Dog Bite Statistics
PMC: Bite Forces and Their Measurement in Dogs and Cats
American Temperament Test Society: Temperament Statistics
AVMA: Dogs Involved in Fatal Human Attacks in the US (1979–1998)

Authored By

Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is a canine behavioral and nutritional specialist, professional dog trainer, and the CEO of Puplore. A former military working dog handler, Ben founded Puplore to provide owners with breed-specific information and to act as a go-to guide to health, nutrition, care, and to help them find the confidence they need to step up to the plate and become the best pup parents they can possibly be. A firm believer in treating all animals with kindness and compassion, and that positive discipline is paramount in achieving a harmonious canine-human relationship, Ben’s former and present careers have enabled him to become a leading light in his chosen profession and business.

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