Even though the Chihuahua is often seen as a small, cute dog breed…
There’s no denying they also have a reputation for being protective, and somewhat aggressive at times.
But have you ever wondering how strong the Chihuahua bite force really is?
Well, keep reading… and you’ll discover the answers to your questions.
How Strong Is the Chihuahua Bite Force?
From our research, we’ve found no definite, scientifically validated answer to the real bite force of a Chihuahua.
In fact, it’s a rather difficult thing to test accurately (how would you know the Chihuahua is using their maximum strength, for example?)
But several online sources place the bite source of a Chihuahua somewhere between 100 to 200 psi (pounds per square inch).
However, you may come across some even crazier numbers online.
For comparison, the bite force of a lion is around 600 psi… but some online sources suggest the humble Chihuahua has a bite force of over 3,000 psi… which doesn’t seem too plausible to us!
Something else to consider is the size of the Chihuahua itself. For example, a fully grown adult Chihuahua is likely to have a higher bite force than a puppy.
But it’s safe to say that despite their small size, their bite is still surprisingly strong!
It’s also worth noting the differences that may occur when a Chihuahua is mixed with another breed.
For example, the ChiPit (a mix between Chihuahua and the American Pit Bull Terrier) is a larger breed than the average Chihuahua and likely has more power, too.
How the Chihuahua Bite Force Is Calculated
When it comes to testing the bite force of a Chihuahua (or indeed, any dog)… researchers will typically use digital bite meters.
In some research, we found that dogs will be encouraged to chew on a transducer that contains a hollow steed rod, with a strain gauge, covered by a steel strip to give it much-needed protection.
This transducer is then covered with rubber tubing, and finally, a rawhide chew coating that’ll tempt the dog to bite down on it.
Some other research suggests that bite forces have been calculated by “electrical stimulation of the jaw” while under general anesthesia.
So knowing the exact bite pressure isn’t a simple task.
Dog Breeds With the Strongest Bite Forces
So now that we know a little more about the potential bite force of a Chihuahua, how might this compare to the bite forces of other dogs?
Well, let’s explore the strongest dog bites of them all…
1. Kangal Bite Force Pressure: 743 psi.
The Kangal is the king of the bite force pressure and has the hardest bite, with an impressive strength of 743 psi.
The breed is known for its protective nature, and they’re surprisingly good around children, too. Despite their great strength, they’re clearly a gentle giant.
2. Bandog Bite Force Pressure: 730 psi.
The number 2 spot is taken by the Bandog, which is a crossbreed between the mastiff and bulldog.
They’re strong and assertive, so you need to have your wits about you when you own one of these!
3. Cane Corso Bite Force Pressure: 700 psi.
This breed is another large dog, and they’re very energetic… as well as somewhat cautious around new people.
You’ll need to be ready for lots of long walks to keep this guy happy and make sure they get plenty of mental stimulation.
4. Tosa Inu Bite Force Pressure: 556 psi.
Here’s a charming Japanese breed that’s a mixture of three breeds: Great Dane, Mastiff, and Bulldog.
They can be gentle giants when they’re well-socialized (particularly from a young age) but they can also become overly protective at times.
5. Dogue de Bordeaux Bite Force Pressure: 556 psi.
These laid-back dogs and more relaxed than many similar breeds, but they can still be wary about socializing with strangers, and there’s no denying they’re a powerful dog breed.
They don’t need as much exercise thanks to their relaxed demeanor and lower energy levels, but they still boast a strong and impressive jaw strength!
6. English Mastiff Bite Force Pressure: 552 psi.
Despite its large size, the English Mastiff is another gentle giant who tends to get on well with everyone they come across, making them more affectionate than many of their strong counterparts.
Yet they also come with a powerful bite.
With their affectionate nature comes a great need for entertainment, so they need plenty of attention to stop them from getting bored or restless.
7. Dogo Canario Bite Force Pressure: 540 psi.
This dog was originally bred for combat, so it makes sense for them to have a somewhat aggressive demeanor at times, and a strong bite strength.
But with lots of activity, they tend to settle down and make for lovely pets.
8. Dogo Argentino Bite Force Pressure: 500 psi.
These powerful dogs are noted for their prey drive instincts, and their focused demeanor and intelligence make them an interesting addition to the list.
They’re usually quite friendly if they’re well socialized, and they’re pretty energetic as well, so they need mental stimulation to be happy.
9. Akita Inu Bite Force Pressure: 400 psi.
These gorgeous-looking dogs may seem cute, but they also have a very powerful average bite pressure that may come as a surprise to some.
They were bred to be working dogs, and as such, they have a lot of energy and can become bored easily at times.
But they’re a popular breed, so chances are there will always be someone willing to play fetch with them!
10. Leonberger Bite Force Pressure: 399 psi.
This impressive beast is known for being one of the largest breeds that exist, and they have a friendly personality to match.
Fiercely loyal, the Leonberger is a wonderful pet to have, but they also require a great deal of grooming and maintenance to keep them in tiptop shape.
Fortunately, they’re a gentle breed in most cases, although they could certainly give someone a nasty bite if they wanted to.
Chihuahua Bite Statistics
Compared to the other top bite force breeds, it puts the Chihuahua bite force into some perspective, doesn’t it?
But many of those larger breed dogs are known for being gentle giants… while Chihuahuas sometimes have a different reputation at times.
Indeed, they’re known for being one of the most aggressive biters, but due to their small size, they’re rarely known for the damage they cause.
A study from 2009 reveals that 4.2% of bites on children were from Chihuahuas, which is a surprisingly high statistic.
It’s estimated that around 16% of bites on strangers are from Chihuahuas, and this may also be backed up by anecdotal vet reports, who often state that Chihuahuas bite vets the most.
Bite Fatalities: Has A Chihuahua Bite Ever Killed Someone?
While this may seem implausible (and certainly very rare), it seems there are some reports online that suggest a Chihuahua may have been involved in the death of someone.
The details aren’t clear, so knowing the accuracy of this event isn’t easy to determine.
Why Are Chihuahuas So Aggressive?
You may be surprised to discover that Chihuahuas are known for being one of the most aggressive breeds, which isn’t something you would associate with such a small, disarming creature.
However, they can also be somewhat territorial, insecure, and possessive… which are all ingredients for aggression in any dog.
Pain is also another trigger for aggression (which may explain something about those vet trips).
It’s also possible their smaller stature makes them overcompensate a bit.
But despite their size, they often behave as if they’re much bigger and more dominant than reality would suggest.
And even though many other dog breeds have much higher bite strength, the sharp teeth of a Chihuahua are certainly uncomfortable if you’ve ever experienced them.
Do Chihuahuas Have A Good Temperament?
With good training and socialization, there’s no reason why a Chihuahua can’t be the small, cute, adorable creature you’d always hoped they’d be.
But if they’re subject to mistreatment, separation anxiety, or pain in any way… then the aggression may quickly spring to the surface.
Yet there’s no reason why they can’t make for excellent pets.
Often, the difficulty with mixing Chihuahuas with children comes from setting appropriate boundaries and encouraging children to see their behavior from the dog’s point of view, too.
Anxiety and/or possessiveness is often a cause behind the aggressive behavior of a Chihuahua.
But if they’re well-socialized and you come to understand their perspective, they can have a great temperament.
They’re also known for being tremendously loyal (and protective) toward their owners, and they’re probably one of the most sensitive dog breeds, too.
Is a Chihuahua Bite Worse Than a Pit Bulls Bite?
The bite force of Pitbulls is reportedly 235 psi, which is certainly higher than the realistic assessment of the Chihuahua’s bite force.
What’s more, the death count from dog attacks by Pit Bulls (as shown by dogbites.org, who collect annual statistics on these human fatalities) rests at 185 between 2010 and June 2021.
In addition to this, Pit Bulls (or dogs with Pit Bulls in their bloodline) account for 60% of these fatalities.
So while the Chihuahua may be known for an aggressive streak at times, the data on bite fatalities suggests that a Chihuahua bite cannot compare to that of a Pit Bulls.
Can a Chihuahua Bite Off a Finger?
With a reported bite force somewhere in the region of 100 to 200 psi, it seems unlikely that a Chihuahua would have the necessary bite pressure to take off a finger!
(Apparently, there was also a study in the 1950s that concluded that 334 psi is required to sever an adult finger…)
Overall, it’s safe to say the Chihuahua has some pretty impressive characteristics.
They’re very intelligent, affectionate, friendly, playful, and even quite brave.
They’re also extremely energetic, curious, and active.
And they love people.
If you’ve got room in your home for a little bundle of joy, consider getting yourself a Chihuahua… and don’t be scared away by their bite statistics.
While they may have an aggressive side at times, they’re generally incredibly loving and gentle creatures.
And if you have an aggressive Chihuahua on your hands, it may be useful to talk to a veterinarian or dog behavior specialist who can help you get along better!