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Have you ever wondered how strong a pit bull bite force can be? Pitbulls are more likely to bite in many locations and it is found that they are responsible for 60% of all injuries and 63% of ocular injuries. The attack of a pitbull has high morbidity rates, a high risk of death, and high hospital charges. 

They are also mischaracterized for years with rumors and myths about the strength and severity of the bites. The locking jaws, the strongest bite, and being prone to bite without warning are some characteristics of pit bulls. But how far are they true? 

So we will discuss how strong a pit bull bite force can be, the strength, the damage it can cause, and the misconceptions in this article. 

Are pit bulls dangerous? 

Pit bull dangerous

Yes, Pit bulls can be said to be dangerous. 

It is not a very big dog compared to bigger dogs like the German Shepherd dog or the Rottweilers, which are much more dangerous. But they are not as common as pit bulls. 

Pit Bulls are responsible for around 82% of all deaths from dog attacks in the United States. It is a very aggressive dog breed, and although it doesn’t continue to attack you and create bite marks, it is better if you don’t mess around with it unless it’s your good friend.

Unless you know it well, do not approach it, because at any time it might switch to defense or attack mode. It is a fighting dog, so cuddling with it will not be appropriate. 

The aggressive reputation of this breed has led them to be banned or restricted in more than 20 countries around the world including Great Britain, France, Canada, New Zealand, Italy, Romania, Germany, Switzerland, Portugal, Israel, USA, Turkey, Ireland, Norway, Russia, Singapore, and many more. 

In several countries, there is also legislation intending to promote and establish certain behavioral guidelines for pit bull owners. The Pit bull owner must obtain an administrative license involving another series of requirements. And the legislation specifies that they should only walk with a muzzle, a short leash, and under the responsibility of the owner. 

Pit bulls are often judged by their physical qualities of well-developed musculature and great athletic ability. If they are educated from an early age with positive reinforcement, they can be loving, obedient, and a faithful companion. 

How strong is the pit bull bite force?

Pit bull in winter

Pit bull dogs are described by many rumors and one of those is the ability they have to bite with extreme force. So how do they measure the bite of a dog? The strength of the bite is calculated in  “pounds per square inch” or psi which is the approximation of the pressure of the dog bite when it closes the mouth on something.  

Although it is said that pit bulls have the strongest bite, they are just rumors, and the fact is that Pit bulls do not have stronger bites than other dogs. A pit bull will bite with around 242 pounds of pressure, and this is a little less than your average dog bite. The American pit bull bite force is 240-330 PSI (Pounds per square inch). 

A study from National Geographic says that a dog will bite around 320 pounds of pressure. And if you consider pit bull bite force compared with a human bite, it is around 120 pounds while a great white shark will have a bite force of around 600 pounds of pressure. 

When you consider pitbull bite force vs other dogs, the bite of a German Shepherd and the Rottweiler is stronger than the bite of a pit bull, as they would bite with around 320 pounds of pressure which is the record for dogs. 

Factors that affect a Pitbull bite force

The Pitbull bite force is contributed by many different internal and external factors. 

Body weight 

factors affecting pit bull bite force

Body weight is the first indicator of the strength of the bite of a dog. And so the bite force in other dogs is considered strongly associated with body weight, which makes the pit bull bite force to be stronger. But so far a specific breed and the size are not related in any research. 

The Pitbull dogs can weigh anywhere from around 30 pounds to 90 pounds, and a bit of variation in size and weight can be presented between members of the same breed, especially within the Pitbull family of breeds. 

The pit bull bite force of 240 Psi is indeed an average and not the exact measurement for all pit bull-type dogs. Moreover, an obese pit bull will not have any extra biting power, but it can slightly increase in healthy weight pitbull-type dogs. 

Head, jaws, and teeth

The shape of the skull and jaws are also correlated with pit bull bite force. The American Pitbull has a large and wide head that can measure up to 25 inches. Pitbulls have been bred with an enormous strong jaw. 

Pitbulls are known for their big adorable blockheads and wide smiles, they will generally have a stronger bite than a dog of another breed that’s the same weight but has a smaller head and narrower jaw.

If there is a problem in the jaws and teeth, then the pit bull is less likely to bite hard. As humans, they can also experience issues like tooth decay, misaligned teeth, and TMJ disorders causing the dog to avoid biting at maximum strength. 


Pit bulls originally were bred to guard and watch over livestock. This powerful and agile breed was created by crossbreeding a bulldog with a terrier. They are athletic and muscular and due to their fierce and strong bites, they are featured in sports like bull-baiting and bear-baiting. 


Pitbulls are going to bite with as much force as they deem necessary for the situation and this is why it is hard to measure the bite force accurately in dogs. If the dog feels threatened or is in pain he is much more highly motivated to bite the threat hard, compared to casually chomping on a snack in the lab.

Do Pit bulls have strong jaws with locking mechanisms? 

It is believed that pit bulls have a special kind of locking mechanism built into their jaws. The reason it is believed to be so is that pit bulls are very aggressive and it seems to have stronger jaws than the other breed dogs. 

pit bull bite force

The fact is, it does not have any special built-in locking mechanism in a pit bull that allows its jaws to lock. Moreover, the pit bull’s bite is the same as that of any other dog.

But it has a strong locking mechanism just because it will hold its bite for a very long time, making it hard to open its jaws. It is simply because this dog breed is bred to do so.

If this type of dog is running after people, they need to make a run because if they hold you in their arms, it will not let you go. But to run you need a good distance because the pit bull will run as fast as 45 miles per hour.

How strong can be the bite of a pit bull? Kicking, using pepper spray, hitting, and other actions to let go of the bite will not work out because you might not be able to make it open its jaws. 

There is a fact that its jaws would still not open even after it was killed which is not something you will find with other dog breeds.

How to let go of a pit bull bite? 

Have you heard of the break stick? The best way to make a pit bull let go is by inserting a break stick between the teeth. This should be inserted into the mouth of a pit bull behind its molars to make it easy to release the grip on another dog. 

This is popular among dog fighters and those who train their dogs with cruel punishments instead of using positive reinforcements. Although this is harsh to do so, there are no other options left. 

To some people, break sticks are still considered useful in a multi-dog household. Dog owners should remember that they should not use their hands to take off the hinge of their pet’s jaw, because it would risk them redirecting their bite to your hand, or elsewhere on your body.

Do pit bulls attack more?

Yes, when compared to other dog breeds, Pitbull might attack more. Because the pit bull breed is a very special as well as a dangerous breed bred to be as aggressive as possible. The cross-breeding with the Terrier part is what makes it to be aggressive and attack while the Bulldog is not active and fast. 

More than the other dogs, Pit bulls will often cause more harm because they won’t let go once they bite. You need to have a pit bull hanging from your leg for half an hour or more before someone comes around who can open its jaws. 

It is not that easy to pull two jars apart when the muscles holding them together can put 300 pounds of pressure on the bite. 

More often they might not attack but you will be in big trouble when they do.

Why Pit bulls are not good guard dogs? 

A pit bull is not a very territorial breed but it does protect well and will wake up in an instant when someone tries to enter your house. But German shepherds and Rottweilers are the breeds that are commonly used as guard dogs. Why not pit bull? It is not because they are not the strongest and smartest. Moreover, they can be quick to attack. 

To make your Pitbull one of the best guard dogs, you need to put in the hard work of careful training. Pit bulls are a good choice if used as a combination of a family dog and a guard dog. The pit bull breed has a more positive temperament than many other dogs we normally keep as pets. 

Can Pitbull bite kill a person? 

It is found that Pitbulls were responsible for 66% of the total fatalities, with the Rottweiler and German Shepherd coming in second and third.

In another study, Pitbulls were responsible for either killing or maiming 3,569 people in the USA and Canada. During the attacks, most deaths are a result of intense bleeding and head injuries.

It is no surprise that victims can rarely escape their jaw’s grip since we know how strong a Pitbull’s jaw bite can be. The only way a victim can escape a Pitbull’s grasp is if a third person breaks the jaw grip. If not, the victim can and will die of blood loss.

This is why most fatalities are caused by Pitbulls, even though other dogs attack humans. 

The misconceptions about pit bull

The pit bull needs different training

Pit bulls have strong jaws

Pit Bulls are strong dogs, but they do not need any training different from other dogs. Based on positive reinforcement, you just need to be taught the basic commandments and good manners with methods. 

The training will allow you to develop a beautiful bond with your animal. Methods based on punishment and force should always be avoided.

Final thoughts

It is not easy to measure a dog’s bite force, and so Pit Bull bite force is also hard to measure. But the average pit bull bite force is around 240 PSI, which ranks them as the average dog of this size. 

With so many pounds of pressure and their weight and skull shape, a bite is likely to cause more damage than one from a smaller dog. But they are also playful, protective, and child-loving dogs who do not deserve these bad reputations that describe them to be aggressive and bloodthirsty animals, especially if they are raised by fair, firm, and experienced owners.

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