Getting bitten by a dog is always frightening and of course, can also cause a much greater impact than simply scaring you, and regardless of the type of dog involved, a dog bite will often be very painful.
Even very small dog breeds like the Chihuahua can do a lot of damage with those petite, needle-sharp teeth if they want to, and anyone who has ever been nipped by a puppy who was only playing will know that even very young dogs have sharp teeth with plenty of force behind them too.
However, as everyone knows, there is a huge amount of variance in terms of the different shapes and sizes of individual dog breeds, including the size of their teeth and the strength of their jaws.
It is in fact the strength of a dog’s jaw that dictates how strongly they are capable of biting, and how much pressure that they can apply with their teeth, and not the teeth itself!
Much like size, the jaw strength of dogs and so, the strength of their bite can vary hugely from breed to breed too and as you might expect, large dogs can deliver a more powerful bite than small ones.
However, there is a lot of variance from breed to breed in terms of bite strength even across dog breeds of very similar sizes, which comes down to the shape, structure and strength of their jaws once more.
Additionally, just because any given dog could theoretically bite hard enough to cause a huge amount of damage to a person or object doesn’t in any way mean that they are likely to.
Many people with a lifetime of experience around dogs in both a personal and a professional capacity will tell you anecdotally that it is often very small dogs that tend to be more likely to be free with their teeth than most large ones!
However, it can be very interesting to know what dog breeds have the strongest biting strength, and how dogs of different breeds compare to each other. Based on the maximum amount of PSI (pounds of force exerted per square inch) any given dog breed can exert with their jaw, we’ve drawn up a list of the five dog breeds with the strongest bite, which are legal to own in the UK.
However, don’t cross the street to avoid them; just because they can bite hard doesn’t mean they’re any more likely than any other dog to bite at all!
Maximum bite force: 399
The Leonberger is a large, fluffy dog breed from the working grouping, and one that has a reputation as a gentle giant. This is just as well, given that the Leonberger can exert up to 399lb of force with their jaw if they bite as hard as they can!
This is a breed that was historically used for livestock guarding and even water rescue, and as such, dogs of the breed have a real affinity for water and love to swim. They’re also reputed to be good with children.
Maximum bite force: 556 PSI
The Mastiff is sometimes known as the English mastiff outside of the UK, and is the only breed from our own shores to make the list of dog breeds with the strongest biting force.
The Mastiff’s bite strength is 556lb per square inch, which is quite a jump up from the Leonberger in fifth place. This is a breed that was historically used for guarding both people and properties.
Maximum bite force: 556 PSI
The Dogue de Bordeaux hails from France, but is also quite a popular breed right here in the UK. The Dogue is another breed of the mastiff type, and has exactly the same recorded biting force as our own home-grown English mastiff.
All dogs of the mastiff type in fact tend to have very strong, powerful jaws, as well as a long documented history of working in guarding roles.
Maximum bite force: 700 PSI
The Cane Corso is another mastiff breed, also known as the Italian mastiff. However, the Cane Corso’s biting force is much stronger than either of the other two mentioned mastiff breeds, at 700 PSI, which means they really are incredibly strong-jawed dogs that can exert a considerable amount of bite force.
Maximum bite force: 743 PSI
The Turkish Kangal is the dog breed with the strongest jaw strength overall and so, potential bite. The Turkish Kangal can exert a maximum of 743lb of pressure with their jaws, and they are large, powerful dogs in general that are hugely loyal to their families.
The Kangal is the national dog of Turkey, and whilst they’re not hugely common here in the UK, have a long recorded history in their home country of being excellent guard dogs, particularly for livestock; and once more, the Kangal is yet another mastiff dog type too!