While we think of Golden Retrievers as sweet and loving dogs, they can still bite for certain reasons. Their bite is surprisingly strong. The bite force is measured in PSI, or pounds per square inch. The bite force of a Golden Retriever is estimated to be around 190 PSI, which ranks as the 30th strongest bite force in dogs.
Comparison of Dog’s Bite Force
Let’s put the force of a Golden Retriever bite into perspective. The estimated 190 PSI of a Golden Retriever bite is the full force of an aggressive bite. A playful nip will not have this kind of force.
The bite force of a human is between 100 and 150 PSI, whereas most canines holds a bite force potential of up to 230 PSI.
We stated above that the Golden Retriever ranks 30th for bite strength of different dog breeds. As a comparison, the Kangal, who ranks number one, has a bite force of 743 PSI. The dogs ranked as having the highest bite forces are virtually unheard of in North America. This is because they are dog breeds that were originally bred as working or fighting dogs and aren’t commonly kept as pets.
Why Do Golden Retrievers Bite?
Golden Retrievers aren’t aggressive dogs. The majority of the time, an adult Golden will only bite out of fear. This is the most common provocation behind any dog bite. Dogs that are scared or anxious will do anything to protect themselves and remove the perceived threat. The higher the level of fear, the more likely a bite will occur. It will also determine how hard the dog will bite.
Adult Golden Retrievers can sometimes bite while playing, which is known as mouthing. This is primarily a learned response. Either the owner has encouraged mouthing behavior during play (albeit sometimes unintentionally), or the dog was not taught appropriate play behavior as a puppy. In this case, the bite is not aggressive in nature but meant in good fun. It’s similar to how dogs bite at each other while playing.
The Different Bite Levels of a Golden Retriever
There are six different levels of dog bites that can occur. The force of each bite level is dependent on the level of fear your Golden Retriever is experiencing, as well as the dog’s personality.
The 3 Ways to Stop a Golden Retriever from Biting
Knowing the cause of biting behavior is the key to stopping it. If you have a Golden Retriever that is biting, we strongly recommend consulting a professional to deal with it immediately. That said, sometimes bites occur for a very obvious reason, or you don’t have access to a dog trainer, so we’ll give you some tips to stop your dog’s biting habit.
This is simply using a firm voice to tell your dog “no.” This is often employed in puppies when teaching them bite inhibition.
You can also use a spray water bottle to get your dog’s attention while reprimanding them.
2. Obedience Training
Often, taking an obedience class will help if you are struggling to get your dog to listen to you. These classes help to socialize your dog in a positive environment and encourage good behavior around people and other dogs.
Obedience classes aren’t just for your dogs; they’re for you too. It can be helpful to learn new ways of interacting with your dog and gain your dog’s respect.
3. Teach Bite Inhibition to Golden Retriever Puppies
Bite inhibition is an important concept for puppies to learn. It’s normal for puppies to nip, but they must learn how to control the force of their bite. Mother dogs teach their pups this at a very young age by punishing them when they bite too hard. You can continue this teaching.
Anytime your puppy bites too hard, give a firm “no,” yelp, or spray them with a water bottle. This teaches them that the behavior is not acceptable.
Dog bites can be frightening, even when the bite isn’t aggressive. As with any dog, Golden Retrievers need to be taught that biting is not okay in any circumstance. Hopefully, the contents of this article have helped you understand the force of a Golden Retriever bite, the reasons Golden Retrievers bite, and some tips to stop biting. If you have a dog that has bitten or is exhibiting dangerous biting behavior, we recommend consulting a professional dog trainer for assistance.
Featured Image Credit: Damix, Shutterstock