The bite force of a dog is measured when a dog bites into a transducer which measures the pressure of the bite. The bite force is measured in pounds per square inch (psi). The stronger a dog bites down, the higher the psi will be.
How strongly a dog can bite is dependent on the shape of their skull, jaw muscles and body size.
One study found that dogs with the strongest bite are often brachycephalic. Brachycephalic breeds have a bigger head, wider upper jaw and larger check muscles. These qualities all help to increase bite strength.
Dogs with larger bodies also tended to have more powerful bites. Smaller dogs with small cheeks, longer muzzles and smaller heads had a weaker bite.
Want to know exactly which dogs have the most powerful bite? Keep on reading to find out which breeds bite the hardest.
10 Dogs With The Strongest Bite Force
The most powerful dog bite chart below shows breeds ranked by psi for the highest bite force:
- Kangal – 743 psi
- Cane Corso – 700 psi
- English Mastiff – 552 psi
- Dogo Argentino – 500 psi
- Rottweiler – 328 psi
- American Bulldog – 305 psi
- German Shepherd – 238 psi
- Pitbull – 235 psi
- Boxer – 230 psi
- Belgian Malinois – 195 psi
Keep on reading to find out more about the 10 dog breeds with the highest bite force. We also share what makes their bites powerful and how they compare to the bite force of other strong animals.
1. Kangal (743 psi)
Topping the strongest bite force list is the Kangal. With a bite force of 743 psi, their bite is even stronger than a wolf’s, which is about 406 psi. Their bite is very, very strong, but amazingly not even the strongest dog bite reaches the top 10 animal list. Hyenas actually get the 10th spot with a bite of 1,100 psi.
The Kangal is a large, heavy-boned dog from Turkey that was known for their role as a powerful guardian dog. The Turkish people take so much pride in their Kangal’s strength that it is actually considered their national dog. They were bred to protect flocks of sheep and goats from tough predators like wolves, bears and jackals. The largest Kangal can grow to be as big as 145 pounds and 32 inches tall!
2. Cane Corso (700 psi)
The Cane Corso takes second place with a bite force of 700 psi. This is another really big dog that can grow as tall as 27.5 inches, with males frequently weighing over 100 pounds. Their blocky head is characteristic of the breed and one of the reasons their bite is so powerful.
Cane Corsos date back all the way to Roman times, their name actually means ‘bodyguard dog’ in Latin. They accompanied the Romans when charging into battle to conquer the Greek lands. Eventually they became guardians of farmer’s flocks and the companion of hunters in Italy. Though they have a calm personality, they are fearless dogs that have a very strong bite.
RELATED: How Much Is A Cane Corso? Cane Corso Price By State
3. English Mastiff (552 psi)
The English Mastiff, often simply called the Mastiff, is a very strong gentle giant. This breed can reach heights of 30 inches (or more) and weighs as much as 230 pounds. The English Mastiff needs only its brutal weight and force to be intimidating; however, they also can deliver a bite of 552 psi if need be. The bite of an English Mastiff is still stronger than a wolf.
English Mastiffs were used as big-game hunters, guardians and protectors of property, and as war dogs in Medieval England. Mastiffs fought against the French in 1415 in the Battle of Agincourt. Their rectangular body is very muscular and can take down any man in combat. A Mastiff is a loyal and gentle dog that is a fabulous family pet, but they need a lot of socialization.
4. Dogo Argentino (500 psi)
The Dogo Argentino is a powerful, athletic and brave hunting dog. They can endure long trips, any weather conditions, and fearlessly fight prey in Argentina. It is no surprise that the Dogo Argentino has one of the strongest bites. They were bred specifically to chase after large game like wild boars and pumas. This is the last of the dog breeds to be stronger than a wolf.
Dogo Argentinos are descendants of the aggressive dogs of Cordoba. These street dogs were crossbred with various other breeds including the Great Dane, Boxer, Bulldog, Pyrenean Mastiff and Bull Terrier. After various generations of breeding, the first Dogo Argentinos were bred in Argentina in 1928 by Dr. Nores Martinez.
5. Rottweiler (328 psi)
One of the most popular guard dogs, the Rottweiler is in the top 10 dogs with strongest bite force. Ranking in fifth place, their bite of 328 psi is stronger than a leopard’s at 310. A Rottweiler bite can be very dangerous. Over the last 16 years Rottweilers have caused 9% of all fatal dog bite attacks in the US.
Rottweilers have been bred to protect, ever since Roman times. Back then they guarded cattle, but today they are often used for protecting people. Rottweilers are bred to be large and muscular, and they can be as tall as 27 inches and weigh as much as 135 pounds. Underneath that calm confidence, there is a silly soul that just wants to play and love its family.
SIMILAR: German vs. American Rottweiler: Side-By-Side Comparison
6. American Bulldog (305 psi)
American Bulldogs have a bite force of 305 psi, just less than Rottweilers. The American Bulldog was bred from the English Bulldog that came to the United States in the 1800s. These dogs were used for farm work and could do just about anything, from guarding and protecting flocks to catching feral cattle and pigs. American Bulldogs needed a strong bite to be able to catch and pin down farm animals. They aren’t the biggest dogs on the list, but they can grow to be 25 inches tall and 100 pounds.
7. German Shepherd (238 psi)
German Shepherds are used in the police force as bite dogs and really know how to bite. With a bite force of 238 psi, a German Shepherd can cause serious damage and will not let go of whatever it bites. German Shepherds are specifically trained for their bite grip, so you do not want to underestimate the damage they can do.
Considered the “all-purpose worker”, a German Shepherd is incredibly intelligent and obedient. This breed does not shy away from a challenge and will get the job done. They have been used by the police as bite, search and scent dogs. Whether it is chasing after a bad guy, or searching for a missing person, the German Shepherd does it all.
8. Pitbull (235 psi)
The Pitbull ranked as the number one breed to cause fatal dog bite attacks in America between 2005 and 2020. Pitbulls come from old Bulldogs and were used in England in the late 1800s for dog fighting and ratting. These dogs were bred to be aggressive and have a bite force of 235 psi.
Pitbulls might not have the strongest bite on the list, but when they are not properly socialized they can be very dangerous. Pitbulls are naturally sweet and loving dogs, however, any family should educate themselves on how to properly handle them. With the right family, you would never think that the Pitbull is anything but the biggest and goofiest cuddle buddy.
9. Boxer (230 psi)
Another popular family guard dog, the Boxer is named because of how they spar like boxers. Boxers in general are incredibly patient and loving dogs who are amazing with children. They are lean and athletic dogs with fun personalities and can be quite silly, but are fearless and have plenty of courage when doing their jobs. The Boxer has been used as a cattle dog, police dog, war dog, watchdog, protection dog and guide dog.
In the late 1800s Boxers became the breed we know today by crossing the old Bullenbeissers to smaller English mastiff-type breeds. With a bite force of 230 psi you wouldn’t want to receive a bite from them. Their bite strength comes from their Bullenbeissers ancestors who used to be bull biters.
10. Belgian Malinois (195 psi)
The Belgian Malinois is often confused with the German Shepherd because of their similar appearance. Like the German Shepherd, you will most commonly see them working as a fearless K9 police and military dog. The Belgian Malinois has a bite force of 195 psi, but many people fear them for their speed and agility.
A Belgian Malinois has a small and lean body that is meant for speed and agility. Weighing at most 80 pounds, a high-energy Malinois will explode through a training course as quickly as possible. While they are mostly employed for police work, the Belgian Malinois is not aggressive. In fact, the breed is very attached to people, especially their owner. A Belgian Malinois wants to please their owner with whatever job you give them. This eccentric breed is one that you can never leave without something to do.
Which Dog Has The Strongest Bite Force?
With a bite force of 743 psi, the Kangal has the most powerful dog bite in the world. They are even stronger than a lion, which has a bite force of about 650 psi.
The Kangal dog was bred as a large flock guardian and mainly intimidates predators with their giant size. The largest males can grow to be as big as 145 pounds and 32 inches tall!
Kangals are very wary of strangers as their instinct is always to protect the family. There have been reports of a Kangal protecting their owner against a bear. They are an incredibly fearless, yet devoted dog with power that can cause serious damage.
The bite force of a dog is the pounds per square inch they can generate while biting. Out of the top 10 dogs with the strongest bite, seven are brachycephalic. Brachycephalic dogs have a more powerful bite because of their head, jaw and muscle size.
Cane Corsos, Dogo Argentinos, American Bulldogs, Rottweilers, Pitbulls, Boxers, and English Mastiffs are all brachycephalic, but they do not take the top spot.
The dog breed with the strongest bite force is the Kangal with 743 psi.
Just because a dog has a powerful bite does not mean that it is aggressive. Most of the breeds on this list are very devoted and affectionate dogs. Any dog no matter its breed can bite.
Any dog breed can attack when provoked. It just depends on how we treat them and the environment we expose them to. All dog owners should educate themselves about how to properly train and socialize their pet.