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

chihuahua biting a hand

The Chihuahua is one of the smallest dog breeds you can find, and it’s also one of the most popular. These dogs have plenty of personalities and can be quite loving. However, they also have a strong will and can be quite aggressive at times, leading many potential owners to ask us how strong a Chihuahua’s bite is.

Keep reading while we take a closer look at how powerful this canine’s bite is and if it presents any danger to humans.

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Chihuahua Bite Force PSI

Surprisingly, the exact answer as to a Chihuahua’s bite force is trickier than for many other breeds. Several references have been made to this small breed’s bite force being as high as around 3,900 PSI (pounds per square inch), which is an astronomically high number for such an animal. While this idea has been widely spread, it seems to be nothing but rumors, 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 some 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 Credit: Piotr Wawrzyniuk, Shutterstock

Why Do We Think a 3,900 PSI Bite Force Is Too High?

As we mentioned earlier, 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:

  • The Kangal is currently the dog breed that most experts claim to have the strongest bite. Reports suggest that the Kangal has a 743 PSI.
  • The American Pit Bull Terrier is a dog that many people fear because of its powerful bite. Experts report that their tests put the breed’s bite at about 235 PSI.
  • Neither the Pit Bull nor the Chihuahua is on the top ten list with the Kangal. Other dog breeds listed on the top ten list include the American Bandogge, Cane Corso, English Mastiff, Dogo Argentino, Wolfdog, and others.
  • All 10 dogs with the strongest bite have a bite force between 400 and 800 PSI, just a fraction of the Chihuahua’s rumored bite force.

Other Interesting Bite Force Facts

Are Chihuahuas Dangerous?

Even though Chihuahuas probably don’t bite down with the extreme force reported on the internet, they can still cause some damage if they want. Chihuahuas are highly intelligent and can craft complex schemes and traps. They are quite fast and light on their feet, and some of their bigger teeth are nearly a half-inch long, and 100 pounds of pressure behind them will likely do some 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, and many people will confirm that they make fantastic pets and loyal companions that might be opinionated and demanding but rarely aggressive. A search of the internet only turned up one report of Chihuahuas being dangerous, and these were stray dogs that were not spayed or neutered which can make male dogs more aggressive.

Chihuahua with a snarling face
Image Credit: otsphoto, Shutterstock

How Can I Keep My Chihuahua from Becoming Aggressive?

  1. Have your pet spayed or neutered as early as possible. All dog breeds behave strangely when they go into heat, and their behavior can include aggression, especially when males are concerned because 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 owner at all times and want to be the center of attention. Hopefully, you considered this at length before purchasing your dog because leaving it alone too long can promote all kinds of bad behavior, from tearing up the furniture to aggression towards 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 it’s still a puppy. If you like to be social, make sure your dog is used to it, or it can become wary of strangers and may even become aggressive towards them.

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Summary: Chihuahua Bite

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


Featured Image Credit: Jozef Klopacka, Shutterstock

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