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How Strong Is a Boerboel’s Bite Force? PSI Measure & Facts

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 17, 2024 by Dogster Team

boerboel outdoors

How Strong Is a Boerboel’s Bite Force? PSI Measure & Facts

The Boerboel, or South African Mastiff, is a giant dog breed with a lot of power. Weighing as much as 200 pounds, this breed has a bite force equivalent to 450 pounds of pressure per square inch (PSI). This may fall some way short of the wolf, with a staggering bite pressure of 1,500 PSI but is one of the most forceful dog bites and getting close to the pressure of a lion’s bite, which has approximately 600 PSI.

Fortunately, although originally bred as a guardian dog, the Boerboel is considered a friendly dog that makes a good family pet and is naturally gentle around children. It is also intelligent and relatively easy to train.

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About the Boerboel

The Boerboel is a mastiff-type dog, which means that it is large and powerful. It was bred, in South Africa, to protect farms and homes. It can grow to nearly 200 pounds in weight, with the male typically outgrowing the female. Because of the large size of the dog, it won’t reach full maturity until at least 18 months of age and has an average lifespan of around 10 years.

Although it was bred as a guardian dog, the Boerboel also makes a great family pet that will form a close bond with all family members. It is known to be gentle with children.

The Boerboel can be a lazy dog, so owners need to ensure that the breed gets enough exercise and does not put on too much weight. Although there are rarely any problems with aggression when this dog is kept as a family pet, early socialization, effective training, and love and affection can further ensure a sociable and caring pet.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Boerboel Bite Force

One characteristic of mastiff breeds is that they are very powerful. As well as being able to pull, push, and carry heavy loads, this power extends to their jaws and mouths. They have a ferocious bite force equivalent to 450 pounds per inch (PSI). That sounds a lot when you consider that a lion’s bite force is only 600 PSI, and it is enough to chomp through bones and other hard materials.

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How Does the Boerboel Compare to Other Animals?

However, it is nothing compared to wild animals like the crocodile or great white shark, which have bite forces equivalent to 3,700 PSI and 4,000 PSI respectively. Below are some of the bite forces of wild animals including the most powerful as well as some that are comparable to that of the Boerboel.

Bite Force Comparison
  • Domestic Cat – 75 PSI: The pressure of a domestic cat’s bite may not sound that impressive, with 75 pounds of pressure per inch, but their teeth are incredibly sharp. Considering they would hunt small rodents, this amount of pressure enables them to easily grab and hold on to their prey. It also means that cat bites can still hurt and are likely to draw blood.
  • Human – 150 PSI: Humans do not hunt with our teeth, but we do use them to chew through tough pieces of meat, hence a bite pressure of 150 PSI. However, unlike a lot of wild animals, we have dull teeth because they are designed for chewing and grinding, rather than piercing.
  • Lion – 650 PSI: It is surprising to learn that lions have a bite pressure of 650 PSI, which is actually less than that of some of the strongest dog bites. However, they hunt in packs, have very sharp teeth, and they have claws that aid in their hunt. 650 PSI of pressure is still ample to bring down large prey like wildebeest and eat them where they land.
  • Wolf – 1,200 PSI: Typically, a wolf will bite with approximately the same force as a Boerboel’s strongest bite, so around 450 PSI, but if its life is in danger, it can reach levels of 1,200 PSI, which is a terrifying level and equivalent to that of a hyena.
  • Saltwater Crocodile – 3,700 PSI: The saltwater crocodile has more bite pressure than a hippopotamus, jaguar, gorilla, and almost the same as a great white shark, although the two figures are very similar. They also have 66 very sharp teeth that can tear through most prey in a matter of seconds. Fortunately, the chances of being attacked are equivalent to 1 in more than 2 million.

What Is the Dog With the Strongest Bite Force?

young boerboel
Image Credit: Leoniek van der Vliet, Shutterstock

450 PSI is an impressive amount of bite force, but it isn’t the most powerful of dog bites. The Kangal has a bite force of nearly 750 PSI, more than that of a lion, while the Bandog and Cane Corso also have bite forces registering 700 PSI or above. All of the five most powerful dog bites are from mastiff breeds, and as follows:

Dog Bite Forces
  • Dogue de Bordeaux – 556 PSI: The Dogue de Bordeaux, or French Mastiff, is affectionate with family but can be aloof or shy with strangers. They can be lazy and share another trait that is common in a lot of mastiffs: they drool…a lot.
  • Tosa Inu – 556 PSI: The Tosa Inu has roughly the same bite force as a French Mastiff. This Japanese dog is a giant of an animal that crosses Mastiff, Great Dane, and Bulldog. This dog’s temperament and difficulty to train mean that it is not considered suitable for novice owners.
  • Cane Corso – 700 PSI: The Italian Mastiff looks intimidating with battered ears and, usually, a docked tail. It is another breed that, with early socialization and good training, can be loving and affectionate with family, but you must ensure that it is well trained.
  • Bandog – 730 PSI: This cross between a mastiff and bulldog was raised as a guardian and protector. It is muscular, fierce-looking, and has one of the strongest bites of any dog breed. It is loyal and requires plenty of socialization.
  • Kangal – 743 PSI: This Turkish shepherd is not for the novice owner. It requires that its owner takes charge and becomes the leader, and with such a ferocious bite force, it is a breed that should not be trifled with.

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How Strong Is a Boerboel’s Bite Force?

A dog’s bite force is not an indicator of aggression and does not mean that a dog of that breed will pose a threat to its owners or strangers. However, it does mean that if the dog is not trained and socialized properly or, worse still, is trained to be aggressive, it can cause serious damage if it does bite.

The Boerboel, or South African Mastiff, is one of several mastiff breeds that has a powerful jaw and the bite force to match, with 450 PSI of pressure. It compares to that of other large breeds but is still some way short of the Kangal breed’s massive 743 PSI bite force pressure figure.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Asonia, Shutterstock

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