There is no debate that a German Shepherd is among the most powerful dog breeds. They possess everything humanity wants in a “man’s best friend”, but at the same time, they also possess traits we fear, such as sheer power and muscle in an animal that can do significant damage if it sets its mind to it.
Just how powerful is a German Shepherd? This is an important fact to know before you welcome one into your home or decide to train one for professional purposes. Before we make snap judgments about this powerful dog breed, let’s get to know it a bit more from its origins to its role in our society today.
The German Shepherd dog breed is an old one, one that traces back to the late 1800s. True to its name, the German Shepherd comes from Germany and took on the role of herding dog. Their main job was to herd and protect the flock. The German Shepherd’s keen sense of smell, hearing, and the German Shepherd’s bite force is one you do not want to contend with.
German Shepherds, or GSDs for short, are large breed dogs that are incredibly strong. In modern day, we associate the German Shepherd breed with courage, loyalty, and intelligence. The German Shepherd is incredibly smart and also easy to train, which is why they are the top breed when it comes to working alongside humans in certain settings.
Now that we know a little bit more about German Shepherds, let’s take a closer look at their bite force.
How Much Bite Force Does a German Shepherd Have?
They are strong and large, so it’s no surprise that German Shepherds have a lot of bite force, but what is bite force exactly?
PSI Bite Force
How is a dog bite force measured? It is measured by pounds per inch or PSI for short. PSI is not unique to measuring the strength of a canine’s jaws. It is the standard used for pressure made on a square inch of a pound. Naturally, the higher the number, the stronger the bite.
Do German Shepherds Have the Strongest Bite?
Let’s take a look at some dog breeds with the strongest bite and how the German Shepherd measures up. For this purpose, we have chosen 20 dogs.
The Kangal Shepherd isn’t a dog breed we see often. They originate from Turkey, and take on similar roles to the German Shepherd; protecting flocks and herds. Their bite force PSI is an amazing 743, giving this dog the strongest jaws in the world.
The Bandog is a mastiff-type of dog and was used to guard against intruders. They are incredibly muscular and have a PSI bite force of 730, just a bit less deadly than the first-ranking Kangal. Bandogs are very protective dogs and can be very dangerous then their instincts take over.
The Cane Corso dog breed also looks incredibly menacing, which is why their PSI bite force is of no surprise either. Their jaws can deliver a biting force of 700, which is why training for the Cane Corso and the other dogs on this list is so important. Socialization at a young age can keep potential aggression at bay.
Dogue de Bordeaux
The Dogue de Bordeaux has a very cute face, and its jaws don’t seem very large, which gives it a very unassuming appearance. Many would think a German Shepherd’s bite is more powerful, but this particular dog’s bite force far exceeds that of a German Shepherd. The Dogue de Bordeaux has a problem keeping its saliva to itself and has a lazier nature, but this dog’s bite is not one to be taken lightly with a PSI bite force of 556.
The Tosa Inu has Japanese origins but experts believe they share ancestry with the Great Dane. They are large dogs that also feature a significant bite force PSI of 556, which rivals the Dogue de Bordeaux.
Mastiffs are among the largest dog breeds in the world, so it’s no wonder that one of them makes it onto the list for dog bite force. The PSI bite force for the English Mastiff ranks at 552. But fear not, these dogs are of good nature, especially if they are well trained.
The Presa Canario originates in Spain, and the sheer size, appearance, and muscle of this breed are enough to indicate a high bite force. The Presa Canario has a PSI bite force of 540. Their place in history doesn’t much help its reputation, as the Presa Canario was a battle dog and guard dog. This dog’s bite is no joke, so make sure not to aggravate a Presa Canario.
To be a hunting dog, the breed needs to pack a lot of bites, which the Dogo Argentino does. It shares a similar appearance to many of the previous dogs before it, except it boasts a beautiful white coat. Its jaw strength stands at 500 per square inch. They are friendly and very active, so it’s important to give them enough stimulation.
We finally get to a more common breed we may see walking around in the neighborhood. The Rottweiler is number 10 on the list and when wearing a spiked collar, this breed is not one to mess with. This animal’s bite force is an astounding 328 per square inch, which is quite significant but surprisingly doesn’t match up to dogs that may look a bit less menacing.
It was surprising to us that the pit bull didn’t rank higher on the list, giving its unfair breed reputation. ven the American Bulldog’s bite force is stronger, at a pressure per square inch rating of 305. These dogs are surprisingly friendly, affectionate, and loving, despite the potentially deadly force their jaws can produce.
We finally reach the star of the show – the German Shepherd. The GSD ranks behind 11 dog breeds before making it on the list. But even so, this dog’s bite force PSI is at 238, which can still be enough to do significant damage to any predator. Among the other breeds that rank before it, the German Shepherd’s bite force is less of a concern because of the breed’s temperament.
They are loving, loyal, brave, and easy to train, which makes the German Shepherd bite force not as intimidating. However, they can still exert a ton of strength when needed.
American Pit Bull
We finally see the appearance of the Pitbull on our list, and they are behind German Shepherds. Next time you are walking on the street and worried about the pittie, remember that this dog’s bite is only 13th on the list. Their jaws are still deadly, but there are more breeds out there that have a deadlier bite. Their PSI is at 235.
The boxer dog also has a friendly-looking face that masks strong jaws and a bite force of 230. They still make good family dogs, but any dog with a bite force that can rank them on this list will need proper training.
We bet when you saw the Rottweiler come up, the Doberman also popped into your head. Of course, the slim and slender counterpart of the Rottie makes it on our list as well, with a PSI bite force of 229. They are beautiful, graceful, and make good guard dogs, as Mr. Burns from the Simpsons will gladly attest to.
The Alano Espanol has had many roles in the past from hunting to guarding. They are attentive dogs that can also be very assertive. They are obedient but may respond to strangers and unknown people with weariness. Make sure you have a good command of your Alano Espanol, which has a bite force of 227 PSI.
We’re noticing a trend on the list where dogs with a strong bite force look similar to each other because they are large of the same breeds. The Dutch Shepherd, cousin to the German Shepherd in terms of looks, and have a bite force of 224.
The one and only cute teddy bear-like fluffy breed to make it on the list is the Chow Chow. This may surprise a lot of people, but the Chow’s blue tongue serves as a warning to its 220 PSI bite force.
The American Bulldog has a much less deadly bite compared to its American counterpart. They are cute, cuddly, lazy and sweet, but they do pack a bite. Their PSI bite force is an amazing 210, which is incredibly surprising due to their sweet nature.
Rounding out the list is a dog breed that resembles the Dutch and German Shepherds. If you have seen John Wick 2, then you will have seen this amazing breed in action. The two dogs that are incredibly well-trained fighting beside Halle Berry are Belgian Malinois. They also have a bite strong enough to make it on our list at 195.
The Dangers of a German Shepherd Bite
You now know that the PSI is key to measuring the force of a dog bite, but it’s hard to picture just what type of destruction it can do without some sort of reference. A German Shepherd’s bite force is enough to brush human bones and even kill a person if the dog bites in the right spot.
Luckily, as we said before, a German Shepherd isn’t a naturally aggressive dog that will bite anything that moves. But even so, they do require proper training. This is because a German Shepherd will not hesitate to protect owners from what they perceive to be a danger.
One more very interesting point is that the German Shepherd is known to assess situations and deliver the same force as its opponent. This means if a tiny bird pecks the German Shepherd, he will most likely not respond with a deadly bite.
Why Do German Shepherds Bite?
Dogs mirror the owner’s personality. The best you can do is train a dog carefully and give it lots of exercise. I don’t have anyone to tell me otherwise. Buying a fully-trained puppy in New York is essential and can help.
Some dogs are naturally more aggressive than others, and this is just a fact. You are more likely to see a German Shepherd deliver a killer bite compared to a Pomeranian, which is almost incapable of killing with just one clamp of its jaws. Why do dogs bite? More specifically, why do German Shepherds bite? Natural aggression is the most common reason, which is also why they make such great partners and protectors.
The sheer size of some breeds, such as the German Shepherd is what contributes to their hard bites. If they feel someone they love is threatened, they will not hesitate to respond with (sometimes deadly) force. Training is the key to ensuring German Shepherds won’t dole out a lethal bite but keep in mind that they are still a sweet-natured and loyal breed despite their strong jaws.
Why Are German Shepherds So Strong?
There are hundreds of dog breeds, so even to make it to number 12 is quite a feat. Surely, it’s not totally appearance-related, since the cute and cuddly chow chow makes it on the list. So what is it?
Firstly, it’s the size. GSDs are anywhere between 50 to 90 pounds, but some can exceed 100. They are quite tall and can reach 26 inches standing and they have a very muscular and athletic frame. To sum up, nature gives German Shepherds a bite force that not even the misunderstood pit bull can match.
How to Prevent German Shepherd Bites
Teaching, training, and lots of love and patience. This is what needs to be done to prevent German Shepherd bites. We won’t say it’s too late to discipline a German Shepherd after they have already bitten, because you can teach an old dog new tricks (even though it’s significantly harder). The best way to save yourself the trouble that stems from a biting dog is to educate it during its early years. To be more specific, it should be done during puppyhood.
Good socialization early on by introducing your German Shepherd puppy to new surroundings, people, things, and animals will do wonders. If your dog has seen it all or is as close to everything as possible, then your GSD will be much less likely to meet foreign things, people and animals with aggression. if you are a first-time owner or are having trouble training the breed, we would suggest looking to a professional for some help. After all, the GSD is a large breed that can demand a lot of effort, which not all dog owners are equipped to do on their own.
Benefits of Having a German Shepherd
With that said, one of the biggest benefits of having a German Shepherd is its unwavering loyalty, unfaltering courage, and everlasting affection. Another amazing thing about these dogs is they are easy to train. What we were concerned about is the strength they have, which not all dog owners know how to control.
The GSD is a working dog, which means they will focus on a task and work well with others. Another very beneficial characteristic of the GSD is its health. Compared to a lot of other dogs, the German Shepherd breed is a relatively healthy one. They have minimal diseases, so there aren’t many dog owners who need to be worried about – other than an untrained dog’s bite force.
A German Shepherd bite is extremely powerful, which is why they make excellent guard dogs. If you are looking for a canine to protect your property, a German Shepherd is a great choice. Since they are also incredibly intelligent dogs, this breed is the top choice for police work. They also make great sniffer dogs thanks to their very acute sense of smell.
In general, a GSD is very good-natured. Because they are obedient, their assertiveness and potential aggression can be curbed. They can also live quite long for a large breed dog, which can make sure German Shepherds remain very loyal companions for a long time.
German Shepherds are the type of dogs that can back up their bark with a serious bite. In fact, a German Shepherd’s bite force is the 12th highest among all dog breeds. More specifically the German Shepherd bite force per square inch is around 238, higher than even the pitbull. Of course, some German Shepherds that are larger or trained to have a deadly bite can deliver much more than a 238 PSI, but not for the German Shepherds that are bred to be companions.
A GSD is largely a very affectionate, loyal, brave, and sweet dog with a good temperament. But because they have innate aggression (which most other dogs do as well), training is very important at an early age. Make sure you socialize your pet and teach him the basic commands early on to avoid any mishaps down the line.
Did You Know?
German Shepherds have different coat types and colorings, not just the beige and black with short coats you often see in the media. The isabella type of German Shepherd sees a dark blueish hue, which is said to be the rarest kind aside from the albino shepherd.
When training, don’t baby your GSD. Instead, treat him like a warrior, an equal, and a friend. You will see much more consistent results by doing so.