How Strong Is A Pit Bull? (Bite Stength + 14 Other Facts)

Have you ever wondered how strong a pit bull dog is? We have done a ton of research on pit bulldogs and here are some interesting facts about this special breed.

How strong is a pit bull? The pit bull is actually not that strong. It’s will bite with around 300 pounds of pressure. They are one of the most aggressive dog breeds but the strongest dog bite is delivered from the German Shepherd dog.

Let’s look at some of the other facts (and misconceptions) about this great little guy.

Please note that there are several different types of pit bulls so the facts below might not apply to your specific pit bull breed.

That being said, the different breeds are actually quite similar and they are all from the same small family of terriers mixed with bulldogs. They are impressive and a very special dog breed. Let’s take a close look at some of the amazing facts about these dogs.

How strong is the bite of a pit bull?

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agressive pit bull dog

Pit bulls do not have stronger bites than other dogs. Rumors will say they have the strongest bite but these are only rumors.

A pit bull will bite with around 300 pounds of pressure, which is a little less than your average dog bite.

Pit bull dogs are surrounded by many rumors and one of those is the ability to bite with extreme force. However, this rumor is only a myth. We have found no data to back up these facts and they are just good stories.

How strong is a bite from dogs on average?

According to a study from National Geographic, a dog will bite around 320 pounds of pressure. For the sake of comparison, the human bite will come in around 120 pounds and the great white shark will bite with around 600 pounds pressure.

The bite of a German Shepherd dog or the Rottweiler is stronger. These are the strongest dogs

You absolutely don’t want these dogs to bite your arm because they will bite with around 320 pounds of pressure, which is the record for dogs.

This is also the reason people mostly use these types of dogs as guard dogs and watchdogs.

Do Pit bulls Have Strong Jaws With a Locking Mechanism?

Many people believe that pit bulls have a special locking mechanism built into their jaws. But do the pit bull jaws have a locking mechanism?

The answer is yes and no.

It does not have a special built-in locking mechanism. But the pit bull will hold its bite for a very long time, and you cannot open its jaws. It’s simply because this dog breed is trained to do so.

The reason people are making up the stories are just that the pit bull dogs are very aggressive and it may seem like it has stronger jaws than other dog breeds.

Actually, the pit bull dogs are not that big so you will find stronger jaws on bigger dogs like the German Shepherd dogs, Dobermanns, or the Rottweiler.

So why then did we say “yes and no” to the question?

Because they will hold their bite much longer than other dogs because they were bred to do so.

You will find several stories in the media about pit bulls who were not willing to let go. Sometimes you will have to put it down (permanently!) in order to let go of the bite. That’s pretty terrier-fying (get it?) and also the reason why you should make a run for it if this type of dog is after you.

But you need a good distance to the pit bull in order to escape it because it will run as fast as 45 miles per hour!

How to make it let go of the bite

You might not be able to make it open its jaws even with pepper spray, hitting, kicking etc.

In Alton, IL a pit bull was eventually shot after it was attacked a police officer. Its jaws would still not open AFTER it was killed. This is not something you will find with other dog breeds.

So how DO you get the pit bull off your leg once you get bitten?

The best way to make a pit bull let go is by inserting a break stick between the teeth.

It sounds harsh but that’s your only option. It will not let go unless you force it too by pulling its teeth apart. You cannot do so with your bare hands and you don’t want to because you might loose a hand in the process.

Watch this video to see what we talking about:

But you might not be able to.

Remember that a pit dog will bite with 300 pounds of pressure!

So you need to be a pretty big guy yourself to be able to drive in the wedge between its teeth. And even if you get it in there, the dog will probably try to shake it’s head so you will have also have to keep it still.

So, if you own a pit bull you should always bring a device like a break stick in the video to be able to release the dog bite.

It’s your responsibility as a dog owner to control with your dog and you need to be able to do so at all times. Of course, you will be in serious trouble if your dog will attack another dog are human beings like in the video. So always keep it in a leach when you’re out of the park.

Do Pit Bulls Attack More Than Other Breeds?

Yes.

Why? Because the pit bull breed is a very special and dangerous breed. It was “designed” to be as aggressive as possible. Again, that’s the “Terrier-part” of it genes kicking in at full speed.

As we will explain in more detail (in the next section), the pit bull is a half bulldog and a half terrier. The terrier part of it is what makes it aggressive. The Bulldog is not as active and fast as the terrier, and that’s what makes the difference.

So why will it attack instead of just burn its energy by running?

That’s a good question.

And maybe they actually don’t attack people more than other dog breeds. It might just be that the media offers more coverage to the pit bull than other dogs. There’s a reason for that too.

Pit bulls will often cause more harm than other dogs because they won’t let go once they bite, as we looked at above. So you can have a pit bull hanging from your leg for half an hour (or more) before someone comes around who is able to open its jaws (or put it down)!

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

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

Are Pit Bulls The Most Dangerous Breed?

Yes, you could say so.

The pit bull breed, in particular, is responsible for around 82% of all deaths from dog attacks in the United States, according to hg.org.

But because it’s actually not a very big dog you can also argue that it’s not. Bigger dogs like the German Shepherd dog or the Rottweilers are much more dangerous. But they are not as common as the pit bulls.

The pit bull pulled bite you and hold the bite. But it might not continue to attack you and create new bite marks. However, it is a very aggressive dog breed so you definitely don’t want to mess around with it unless it’s your good friend.

Never approach at pit bull unless you know it well. It might switch to defense or attack mode at any time to try to defend its owner. Even though you are only trying to talk to it or cuddle it. It’s simply not a cuddle-dog, it’s a fighting dog.

How Were Pit Bulls Made?

The pitbull is across over between the bulldog and a terrier. It has the strength of the bulldog while it also has the aggressive behavior from the terrier.

There’s a reason why we say: “Angry as a terrier”, and that’s because the terrier breed is a very aggressive and special breed.

If you ask me, these two types of dog should never have been mixed.

When we say “pit bull”, what we really mean is “the American pit bull Terrier”. This is also what you mean in the U.K. when people talk about the pit bull. The “American Staffordshire terrier” is maybe a more precise name for the American pit bull.

Where Are Pit Bulls Banned?

We are talking about “Breed Specific Legislation” (BSL). Some breeds are considered too dangerous to have around people and children. Pit bulls are banned in several areas because there aren’t too many stories of people and kids being bitten.

Pit bulls are banned in these countries:

  • United Kingdom
  • Australia

These are the states in the U.S where pit bulls are banned:

  • Ontario
  • Colorado
  • Florida

Please note that even though a state is not listed above it doesn’t mean that you can always have a pit bull in your house. There can be specific laws per city which will put restrictions on special dog breeds.

In Houston, Texas, for example, you are not allowed to sell them on the street and you can only have one pit bull per household. Unless you live in the rural districts surrounding the city.

Typically these countries and states also have a ban on the dogs:

  • Bulldogs
  • Rottweilers
  • Dobermans

The problem with the pit bull terrier is that it won’t let go of the bite once it has set its mind on the target.

If you live in a state which does allow you to have a pit bull dog you should expect to pay a higher insurance fee. That insurance companies know that pit bulls often tend to cost problems and can be a costly affair for the owner.

pit bull mouth

Why Are Pit Bulls not good guard Dogs?

Yes and no. You can use a pit bull as a guard dog but people normally use German shepherds or rottweilers for guard jobs.

These are some of the characteristics you would look for in a good guard dog:

  • How easy is it to train?
  • How big is it? (does it look scary?)
  • Will it do what you tell it to?
  • How smart is it?
  • How fast is it?
  • How strong is it?

As you can see in the rest of this article your bulldog is not the strongest or the smartest dog. There are many bigger and stronger dogs and the pit bull might be too hasty to attack.

That being said, if you’re willing to put in the hard work of training your pit bull carefully you will probably have one of the best guard dogs.

It’s not a very territorial breed but it does protect well and will wake up in an instant when someone tries to enter your house.

Simply because we want a guard dog to look as vicious as possible you should probably go for Dobermans or Rottweilers.

It’s a good idea to look for a dog breed that will scare people away as soon as they see the size of the dog.

But if you’re looking for a good combination of a family dog and a guard dog your pitbull would be a very good choice. According to ATTS.org, the pit bull breed has a more positive temperament than many other dogs we normally keep as pets.

Out of 931 tested pit bulls (American pit bull terriers), the test showed that 86% of the dogs were a good fit for your average family pet. That’s a higher number than you find with Shepherd dogs, Beagles, Poodles, and Chihuahuas.

The test will see if the dog will have unprovoked aggression or panic without recovery. They try to test how stable and friendly the dog is towards friends and strangers.

Why Are Pit Bulls Not Used As Police Dogs?

They are actually.

And there’s a very good reason for this. Police dogs are trained very carefully and they are always well-behaved. Otherwise, they wouldn’t make it through all the testing it takes to become a police dog.

One of the great features of the pitbull this how trustworthy and loyal it is to its owner when properly trained.

In many countries, the police force preferred the Belgian Malinois dogs or the German Shephard dogs as K-9 dogs. These two dog breeds look alike, but the Belgian Malinois is smaller and more aggressive.

This is true for many countries in Europe as well as several states in the U.S. These dogs are bigger and will often create more respect.

Your job as a K-9 dog is also to create an atmosphere of respect around the police officer so it’s a good thing to be a big dog.

They are not as aggressive and agile as the Bulldogs but they are very great with people and will know when to attack. It’s probably one of the smartest dog breeds around.

Why Are Pit Bulls Called Bullies, Hippos, Nanny Dogs & Pibbles?

The pit bull is a very famous dog breed so it has gotten many different names over the years. Let’s take a look at the different nicknames people have for this dog.

Bullies
The term “Bullies” does not derive from the term “Bully” as you would think. It’s simply called that because it belongs to the “Bull” family. This family includes The American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire Terriers, Boxers, Boston Terriers, and Bulldogs.

Nanny Dog
Pit bulls were not originally only used for fighting and guarding. They are also great with kids and they will be as patient as yourself around your kids. There are countless stories of pit bull dogs being used as family pets even though they have a bad reputation in the media.

But you want to make sure the former owner didn’t train it to attack strangers before you invite this dog into your family.

Pibbles
This term is sometimes used by pit bull lovers to try and change their bad reputation. “Pibble” just sounds a lot cuter than “pit bull”. The “bull” word just has a negative and aggressive ring to it and by changing the name to “pibble” people tend to think about cute family dogs rather than aggressive bulls.

Apparently, the rebranding of the pit bull is becoming a big thing on the Internet. The little guys even have their own fan page now where you can support the cause and get the latest pit bull merch.

Hippos
Some people think the face form of the pitbull looks like a tiny hippo. We will let you be the judge of that:

Hippo similarities with pit bull
Some people also refer to pit bulls as “velvet hippos” or “velcro dogs” which would refer to the velvet-like skin.

How High Can The Average Pit Bull Jump?

This is a good thing to know if you are on the lookout for a fence around your garden to keep your pit bull inside. Or maybe you are afraid it’s going to bite your neck (as it’s often trained to).

So how tall should you be in order to avoid the pitbull grabbing your neck?

Here we have to make a distinction between jumping up in free air versus jumping up a fence/wall. When the dog jumps up in free air without any assistance it can jump around 6,5 feet (2 meters). When you let it run up vertically (against a wall/fence) it will be able to “jump” as high as 10 feet (3 meters)!

That’s very impressive and it’s just another good example of how athletic and quick this little guy is.

So you better run for it if you see this little guy coming at you with full speed!

Related questions

What’s the difference between a Bulldog and a Bit Bull? A Pit bull is a half Bulldog and half Terrier, so the difference here is the Terrier part of its genes.  The terrier is more aggressive than the Bulldog, and that’s where the Pit bull gets its temper and speed.

Sources: dogtime.com, aspca.org.

Morten Storgaard

I love pets and I've had several pets including hamsters, reptiles, birds, and fish. I have written extensively about pets and educational content about wild animals.

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