Pit Bull Bite Force and Overall Strength

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Pit bulls are dogs that are highly misunderstood and mistaken, more than any other dog breed. ‘Dangerous’, ‘mean’, ‘aggressive’, and ‘strong’ are a few words synonymous to Pit bulls. Setting everything apart, are Pit bulls really strong and worth the hype? Yes, Pit bulls are a strong dog breed with great agility and athleticism. Either pound to pound or in terms of power and stamina, Pit bulls are the strongest dog in the category of similar dog breeds with about the same strength values. 

However, they aren’t mean and aggressive as people say they are. These rumors are just what they are- rumors and hoax. Let’s learn more about Pit bulls and understand how they are greatly mistaken by humans.

How strong are Pit Bulls (considering every factor)?

If we tell you that Pit bulls aren’t as strong as the ‘powerful breeds’ like the German Shepherd and Rottweiler, we’d be wrong. The strength of a dog depends on its weight, gameness, agility, behavioral patterns, power, and stamina, thus comparing one dog breed to the other with completely different strength factors can be misleading and erroneous. 

When we consider the pound-to-pound factor, the pit bull is probably the strongest dog on earth. It may lack the size of the huge dogs, but never mistake its average size for weakness. In proportion, it could be the strongest dog in the lightest body, weighing nothing more than 35 pounds. What Pit bulls lack in size, make up with the extreme stamina and stubbornness, which sometimes translates to determination.

They are bred to incorporate a lot of strength and power with great athleticism, and that is one reason why they are so muscular. They are probably the best dog breed when you talk of infusing both athleticism and power into one.

They have balanced behavioral patterns that means your dog will behave the way you have trained it to behave. They have a well-balanced physical and mental posture, and Pit bulls with their strong determination and intelligence don’t stop until they have solved a mental challenge which makes them smarter than most other dogs.

Pitbulls have gameness, man. It’s a real thing for them. They don’t quit or stop till the work is done. Sadly, this is one trait that lures dogfighting fanciers to hauling more of them into the pit where a lot of them are injured and sometimes die because they don’t know how to stop.

Many times it depends on the training whether your dog is going to be a fighting dog, a guard dog, or a family dog. However, a few traits remain the same, either a little suppressed or in full form. 

It’s wrong to say that Pit bulls don’t make good family dogs, but it is advised not to keep them around the children and infants. We know there are exceptions, but there are risks too. 

To come to conjecture, a Pit bull is a really powerful and strong dog achieving strength that is unmatched by most other dog breeds.

Do Pit Bulls have a lock jaw mechanism?

Pit bulls have a veil of myth wrapped around them that once they bite their bait, they activate their locking jaw mechanism. We’ll clear this once and for all- Pit Bulls don’t have locking jaws. In fact, no dog breed harnesses a lock jaw mechanism when it comes to letting go of the bite.

Pit bulls don’t have any sort of enzyme or physical mechanism, making them lock their jaws around the bait and this is proven and strongly supported by the structure of their skull. When you compare the skull of a Pit bull and any other dog breed, you’ll notice that both of them have the same skull structure and bone structure. If the Pit bull had a lock jaw mechanism, there would have been visible and significant changes in its skull and bone structure in comparison to other dog breeds.

The strong grip on the bait doesn’t come from some physical trait but a personality trait instead. When we talk of Pit bulls, we generally mean ‘American Pit bull terriers’, and the terrier in the name translates to stubbornness and tenacity.

They’d latch and pull back and forth with quick jutting movements on what they bite down with a great force that makes people think they have a locking jaw. No, it’s just the Pit bulls’ way of saying, “I’ mma not letting this thing go unless I want to. Do whatever you want.”

Why don’t Pit bulls let go of the bite so easily?

The answer’s in their origin and history of Pit bulls in association with dog-fighting and bull-baiting. Pitbulls were produced with the sole motive to have a better and developed species at bull-baiting and bloodsport (instead of bulldogs).

They were trained to buck wildly and be able to hang onto their bait when they were pitted against each other. Later, Pitbulls and terriers were crossbred to retain some characteristics that included hanging onto their prey (when the dog fighting and bull baiting practices were outlawed).

Thus, if you want to go chummy with a pit bull without being in his ‘I know this guy list’, be ready to experience an excruciating amount of pain since they aren’t your regular cuddle-dogs, they had, ever since their origin, trained to be fight dogs.

What’s the bite force of a Pit bull? 

It is obvious for people to think that Pit bulls have the greatest bite force, and their bite is more painful than other dogs’ bites. But that’s not completely true. Let’s first understand the term PSI (because we are going to use a lot of that word here): PSI (Pound/ Pound-force per Square Inch) is a unit that scientifically explains the force with which a Pit bull or any other dog for that matter, can put forth when it bites an object or a person (hopefully not a person).

That explained you’d want to know the bite pressure of a Pit bull, thus, to explain that in terms of PSI, a Pit bull’s bite force is 235 PSI. That probably means nothing to you, yeah? We understand this with certain comparisons- the average bite force of a human is 162 PSI, and that of a dog can range anywhere between 230-250 PSI. The Kangal has the maximum bite force, estimated to be about 700 PSI. 

But, aren’t pit bulls the ones that bite the hardest? No, not really, and you can clearly figure that out with the comparisons done above. In fact, it bites with the average force any other dog would bite, then why is it so ill-framed for the ‘bite-factor’? Because the Pit bull may not be able to put the greatest amount of pressure through its bite, but when it does bite, it doesn’t let go of the person of the object easily. So, if you are annoying a Pit bull or intimidating it, rest assured, it shall be dangling on your leg or your bum for quite some time.

Are Pit Bulls aggressive?

We generally think of Pit bulls as aggressive because of the bad reputation that surrounds them.

When you talk about aggression, you’d have to understand that it isn’t specific to Pit bulls, in fact, it shouldn’t really be a symbol of identity to Pit bulls only. Just like there are people with different behavioral patterns, there are dogs with different behavioral patterns too. 

A Pit bull can be aggressive if it has been bred to turn out like that and so can any other dog. When you see a Pit bull that was trained for dog fights or guarding, it will probably scare the heck out of you, but at the same time, if you encounter a Pit bull that has always mingled with the kids and been a pet to be gentle and friendly, you’d probably second guess if its really a Pit bull.

Even the homebred Pit bulls can be considered aggressive for they are extremely loyal and protective to their family so if you are uninvited or unknown to the Pit bull, it may be show aggression and hostility towards you for a while before he gets to know that you’re here to stay and finally starts accepting you.

How to tame an aggressive Pit Bull?

Taming a Pit bull means raising it right since it’s a puppy. You can do the following to suppress its aggression:

  • Socialize it since a young age.
  • Train it to obey orders.
  • Do not let him be dominant in your house.
  • Provide it with a good amount of exercise.
  • Keep it well fed and behave with it properly.

Are Pit Bulls easy to train?

We know beagles are often strong-willed and hard to train because they have a curiosity of their own and they are easily distracted. It’s kind of the same with Pit bulls- they are determinant and intelligent which are traits that make it hard for you to train a Pit bull.

The difficulty factor also depends on the parents of the Pit bull; if one or both the parents were stubborn and had the habit of having it their way, the puppy might develop those traits. This is true for every dog breed. 

However, when Pit bulls adapt to their training regime, they make the best possible dogs in the whole goddamn planet. Trained pit bulls are obedient and extremely disciplined, so, you may sweat a little, face disappointments and get annoyed when you train a Pit bull, but it all pays off at the end.

How high can Pit Bulls jump?

Pit bulls are highly athletic and energetic creatures and had there been an Olympic for dogs; the Pit bull might bag the gold medal. Pit bulls are great wall-climbers; this makes it naturally easy for them to jump high.

Now, getting to the facts, how high does a Pit bull jump? A Pit bull can easily jump as high as six feet, that means you aren’t safe or escaping a Pit bull even if you are within high fences if you get under his skin. 

A Pit bull’s recorded height that it jumped is 14.2 feet which is well too high and converts to about 6 feet. That doggo got LeBron James’ athleticism and passion!

History of Pit Bulls

The Pit bulls and their origin can be traced back to the early 1900s in Britain in the United Kingdom. It is believed that all currently existing Pit bulls were bred from terriers and British bulls. Let’s dive deeper into their history and origin:

Origin

Earlier in the 1900s Pit bulls weren’t exactly called Pit bulls. Meaning? Well, Pit bulls have evolved over time just like we humans, and the ancestors of Pit bulls were called ‘bull-and terrier’, Bull-and-terrier was named so since, this new line of the breed was developed from mating Bulldogs and Terriers. 

But why were bull-and-terriers created after all? The answer is simple and harsh: Dogfighting was very in the United Kingdom, and the culture gradually shifted to the United States towards the end of the early 19th century. The hosts and visitors wanted a complete blood bath and a dog breed that was more apt at it.

To achieve that, the aggressive English Bulldog that was often forced into bear and bull-baiting, and the local terrier that was more agile and lighter than the bulldog were crossed to produce a dog that was more agile, lighter, and faster. This new breed came to be known as bull-and-terrier that has now evolved into what we know as the Pit bull breed.

Why were Pit Bulls named so?

When the bull and the bear-baiting was outlawed by the British Parliament through the Cruelty to Animals act of 1835, the public developed a new sport named ‘ratting’ where the bull-and-terrier dogs were released in a pit and made to kill the rats.

The dog that killed the most number of rats in the least amount of time was deemed the winner. The ‘pit’ in the Pit bulls is derived from the pit (closed square) where the ‘bull-and-terrier’ were made to kill the rats, thus these dogs came to be known as ‘Pit bulls’ and have held their names ever since.

 

Myths about Pit bulls

Myth: Pit bulls have locking jaws.

Debunked: No Pitbull has a locking jaw; in fact, no dog breed has a locking jaw mechanism. It is just the strong grip on the object and the stubbornness of Pit bulls that makes it harder to make them let go of the bite.

Myth: Pit bulls are more aggressive than other breeds.

Debunked: We have already explained this before, aggression isn’t specific to Pit bulls, but it’s more of a personality trait that is different for dogs of a different temperament. There are no hard and fast rules that state only Pit bulls have to be aggressive, so no, Pit bulls are not more aggressive than other breeds.

Myth: Pit bulls aren’t ideal family dogs.

Debunked: This is a misconception. Pit bulls make great family dogs, however, keep an eye on the children. Pit bulls are generally friendly and playful to people who own and take care of them, but we say kids because sometimes Pit bulls may have a changing temperament. 

Myth: Pit bulls don’t make good police dogs.

Debunked: Pit bulls make great hunting and police dogs. They are agile, light, and incredibly fast, which makes them a great option for police officials.

Myth: All Pit bulls are malign and viscous.

Debunked: Absolutely not! Not all Pit bulls are mean and rude. In fact, most Pit bulls are bred for the purpose of turning them into guard dogs, competition dogs, and fighters in illegal bloodsport. This has led to the misconception that all Pit bulls are malign and viscous, but that can be any dog that is fostered to do so. Therefore, Pit bulls don’t really deserve the title of maliciousness and viscosity.

 

FAQs

Q. What is the average bite force of a dog?

The average bite force of a dog is 230-250 PSI and the most bite force is delivered by the Mastiff that is estimated to be about 500 PSI.

Q. Which are the countries where Pit bulls are banned?

Pit bulls have a bad reputation, and no matter how loyal and gentle they are to their owners and family, they are reported to have viciously mauled many people. This is the reason why Pit bulls are banned in about 12 countries that include Brazil, Denmark, Puerto Rico (a commonwealth of the United States), Finland, Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, France, Canada (Winnipeg, Quebec), the Netherlands, Poland, and Sweden and certain states of USA. In many countries, you’ll need a regulation according to the breed-specific legislation to own a Pit bull.

Q. How to make a Pit bull release its bite?

To make a Pit bull release its bite, the trainers and owners use a break stick that goes behind the dog’s molars and is rotated to open the stubborn-biter’s jaw (without causing any injury).

Q. Why are Pit Bulls so muscular? 

The muscular genes come from local terriers that were made to cross with the bulldogs, to produce the Pit bull’s ancestors, that is why Pit bulls are muscular.

Q. Can Pit Bulls be used as Police Dogs?

Pit bulls have seen their entry into the police force, and more countries are adopting Pit bulls for police work and in law enforcement. A police dog often referred to as K9 should be strong, agile, determined, and fast- all of these qualities and traits are available in a Pit bull. A Pit bull is a very disciplined dog and training it the right way makes it one of the best police dogs with high intelligence.

Q. Are Pit Bulls the most dangerous dogs?

Yes, Pit bulls have a bad rap of being the most dangerous dogs, alongside Rottweilers. It is mainly due to two reasons- their inherent traits developed and continued since their origin and the way they are trained even in the current days. Sadly, Pit bulls are still the stars of the disgusting dog-fights that are hosted undercover and are completely illegal. If a Pit bull shows aggression towards you or has been improperly bred and raised, it can be seriously dangerous. Pit bulls and Rottweilers together are shown to have killed 76% of Americans from 2005-2019 who died from dog attacks (according to dogsbite.org).

Q. How much weight can Pit Bulls pull?

A typical Pit bull despite its light body and body mass can pull twice the weight of its own weight. However, they aren’t the dogs you’d want to pull to pull heavy sledges. They usually use their strength for weight pulling to exert pressure and pull their prey and objects they bite.

Q. Are Pit Bull puppies aggressive?

Sometimes, high energy levels, playfulness, and their natural behavior is misunderstood as aggression. The pit bulls puppies are usually gentle and playful. They are good with kids and how you behave with your dog decides if your dog is going to be aggressive. This isn’t just limited to Pit bulls but any dog breed. 

Q. What dog is stronger than Pit Bull?

Rottweilers are stronger than Pit bulls both in proportion and power. They can easily defeat Pit bulls when it comes to a fight, and things get ugly. We’ve compared Pit bulls to rottweilers since the comparison of strength shouldn’t be biased. You can’t compare a piranha and a shark, saying the shark’s stronger, can you?

Q. How fast do Pit Bulls run?

These donning mutts with their muscular legs and agility run at a speed of 25-30 mph which is about 40-48 kilometers per hour. They are one of the best runner dog breeds due to their speed.

P.S- Pit bulls might be too eager to go run and chase things if they didn’t have enough playtime and exercise.

 

Sources
  1. Pit bull, Wikipedia.
  2. Pamela Babcock, Pit Bulls: What’s Hype, What’s Not, Pets.WEBMD
  3. Casey Bradford, Top 23 Dogs with the Strongest Bite, Pet Comments.
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