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How Strong Is a Chihuahua’s Bite Force? (PSI Measure & Facts)

Written by: Ed Malaker

Last Updated on April 15, 2024 by Dogster Team

chihuahua biting a hand

How Strong Is a Chihuahua’s Bite Force? (PSI Measure & Facts)

The Chihuahua is one of the smallest breeds, and they’re also one of the most popular. This dog has plenty of personality and can be quite loving. However, they also have a strong will and can be aggressive at times, leading many potential owners to wonder how strong a Chihuahua’s bite force is.

Keep reading as we take a closer look at the power of this canine’s bite and if they present any danger to humans.

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Chihuahua Bite Force PSI

Surprisingly, the exact number regarding a Chihuahua’s bite force is trickier to determine than it is for many other breeds. Several references have been made to this small breed’s bite force being as high as around 3,900 pounds per square inch (PSI), which is astronomically high for such an animal. While this number has been widely spread, it seems to be nothing but a rumor, as there are no official studies available to back it up.

Most owners believe the number to be much lower and closer to 100–180 PSI. Experts base this lower figure on complex math in a study that considers the shape and size of the skull and several other factors to determine an estimated bite force. While these experts did not measure the Chihuahua breed directly, they discuss that the size and shape of the head are essential factors concerning bite force. Based on average measurements, the Chihuahua’s head is too small to create a bite force of much more than 100 or 200 pounds per square inch.

aggressive chihuahua
Image By: Piotr Wawrzyniuk, Shutterstock

Why Is a 3,900 PSI Bite Force Likely Too High for a Chihuahua?

The size and shape of the Chihuahua head are all wrong for numbers higher than 100 or 200 pounds, according to a study on dog bite force and head shape. Comparison is the best way to put this number into perspective:

  • Most experts claim the Kangal has the strongest bite. Reports suggest that they have a bite force of 743 PSI.
  • Many people fear the American Pit Bull Terrier because of their powerful bite. Yet, experts’ tests put the breed’s bite force at about 235 PSI.
  • Neither the Pit Bull nor the Chihuahua is on the top 10 list with the Kangal. Other breeds that have an exceptionally strong bite force include the American Bandogge, Cane Corso, English Mastiff, Dogo Argentino, and Wolfdog. They all have a bite force between 400 and 800 PSI—just a fraction of the Chihuahua’s rumored bite force.

Other Interesting Bite Force Facts

  • In 2020, a small team tested the bite force of a Mako Shark; the most powerful bite was 3,000 pounds (about half the weight of an elephant).
  • The Saltwater crocodile has a bite force of 3,700 pounds (about twice the weight of a Clydesdale horse).
  • The Grizzly Bear bites down with about 1,200 pounds of pressure.

Are Chihuahuas Dangerous?

Even though Chihuahuas probably don’t bite down with the extreme force reported on the internet, they can still cause damage if they want. Chihuahuas are highly intelligent, can craft complex schemes and traps, and are quite fast and light on their feet. A few of their bigger teeth are nearly a 1/2-inch long, and 100 pounds of pressure behind them will likely do quite a bit of damage. The teeth are also sharp and can tear clothing and might even bite off a finger.

However, we want to point out that Chihuahuas are far from dangerous. Many people will confirm that they make fantastic pets and loyal companions—ones that might be opinionated and demanding but rarely aggressive. A search of the internet only turns up one report of Chihuahuas being particularly dangerous, and those were stray dogs that were not spayed or neutered, which can make male dogs more aggressive.

Chihuahua with a snarling face
Image By: otsphoto, Shutterstock

How Can You Keep Your Chihuahua From Becoming Aggressive?

  1. Have your pet spayed or neutered as early as possible. All breeds behave strangely when they go into heat, and their behavior can include aggression, especially when males are concerned, as they can fight for the right to mate with a female. Having your pet spayed or neutered prevents this from happening, and it also provides your pet with several other health benefits, including a longer lifespan and a lower risk of cancer.
  2. Spend more time with your pet. Chihuahuas like to be with their owners at all times and want to be the center of attention. Hopefully, you considered this at length before purchasing your dog, as leaving them alone too long can promote all kinds of bad behavior, from tearing up the furniture to exhibiting aggression toward people.
  3. Socialize it as a puppy. Make sure your Chihuahua gets used to all your daily activities and the people you associate with while they’re still a puppy. If you like to be social, make sure your dog is used to the commotion, or they can become wary of strangers and may even become aggressive toward them.

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The Chihuahua’s bite is impressively strong for such a small dog, and their teeth are quite sharp. The recipient of a bite can be quite surprised by the damage that they receive, leading them to believe that there is more force behind it than there is. While many rumors claim that the bite force of the Chihuahua is about 3,900 PSI, it’s much more likely to be closer to 100 PSI.

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Featured Image Credit: Jozef Klopacka, Shutterstock

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