Health

German Shepherd Bite Force – How Strong Is A German Shepherd’s Bite?

German Shepherd Bite Force
Written by Adriana

Apart from the German Shepherd bite force, it’s not hard to understand why German Shepherds are regarded as one of the top-ranking dogs among canines.

They score highly in a number of key areas, making them a well-rounded breed and the top choice of many. 

They are loyal, courageous, confident, can learn commands for a variety of tasks, and are willing to risk their lives to defend loved ones. This breed makes lovable family pets but fierce protectors. 

As their name implies, they come from a family of German herding dogs and they were crossed with wolves in the early stages of their development.

This is why they still share a likeness with them today. It is also one of the reasons for their powerful bite force.

Bite force simply refers to the power of an animal’s bite. It takes into consideration the strength and force of an animal’s jaw to come to an understanding of the damage it is capable of in an attack.

The experts have measured the bite force of many animals, such as dogs, hippos, hyenas, and crocodiles. We detail the German Shepherd bite force and what it means for owners.

What Is The Bite Force Of A German Shepherd?

German Shepherd Bite

The bite force of a German Shepherd is said to be 238 PSI (pounds per square inch) which is enough to crush the bones of a human being.

They fall into the top five dog breeds that have the strongest jaw. Therefore it goes without saying that it is not a good idea to be bitten by a German Shepherd.

German Shepherds are listed as dangerous dogs in many countries around the world. They are without a doubt one of the deadliest dogs to ever exist especially with attacks.

Their bites are so dangerous that victims may need serious surgery after an encounter with them. 

Not only that but, German Shepherds are ranked 3rd in the list of the 10 most aggressive and dangerous dog breeds. Additionally, the majority of the attacks that ended fatally, in the USA, came from German Shepherds.

German Shepherds have also ranked 12th in the list of top 20 dogs that have the Strongest Bite.

So, it is fair to say that German Shepherds have a powerful jaw which gives them such a powerful bite force. With this knowledge, dog owners need to ensure that their Shepherds are always secure and are unable to harm anyone.

German Shepherd Bite Force Compared To Other Animals

How Strong Is A German Shepherd Bite

German Shepherds have a top-ranking bite force among other dog breeds but how do they compare to other members of the Animal Kingdom?

Well, the short answer is, ‘not very well.’ There are many animals that have much more powerful bites. According to Science Focus, a British science magazine, there were no dogs on the top 10 list of animals with the strongest bites.

When it comes to dogs, the Pitbull has a bite force of 235 PSI, which is a bit less than that of the German Shepherd.

However, the Akita does a bit better than the German Shepherd, with a bite force of 350 PSI.

The English Mastiff, however, almost doubles this with a bite force of 556 PSI. Kangals take the number one spot among dog breeds with a bite force of 734 PSI.

According to Science Focus magazine, polar bears take the 8th spot among animals in general, with a bite force of 1200 PSI. The Hippo comes in at the 4th spot, having a bite force of 1800 PSI, which is a very powerful jaw. 

With an immensely powerful bite force of 3700 PSI, the saltwater crocodile is listed in second place. The Nile crocodile holds the title for the strongest bite force in the world, with 5000 PSI, which is approximately 21 times the bite force of a German Shepherd.

How Is Dog Bite Force Measured?

The first thing that should be mentioned when speaking about the bite force of an animal is that the measurement may differ in the same animal for different bites.

For example, if your dog is on the attack, the bite may be different than when he is on the defense. The bite force may be different in these two instances.

Understanding an animal’s bite force is important for the comparisons between animals and can also help to diagnose and treat numerous jaw, skull, and tooth problems. The bite force is also considered when deciding whether a dog is appropriate to be a police dog and many other vital jobs.

How Strong Is A German Shepherd Bite Severity

PSI stands for “pound per square inch”, which is the usual measurement of bite force in dogs. It can also be measured in kilograms (kg).

PSI is used to calculate the amount of pressure exerted on a certain point or area. By using PSI, we can understand the force put forth by a dog’s bite. It provides a measured and standard outcome of the pressure applied to a square inch of a pound.

Even if we didn’t have the technical measurements of a dog’s bite force, like the PSI or kg, it is critical information to be aware that a dog is capable of biting with enough power to tear a limb off or crush bones.

In many cases, intruders or criminals prefer to surrender to authority than face the danger of being bitten. Additionally, dog owners are aware of the amount of damage their dogs are able to do if they are allowed to.

German Shepherd Bite Severity & Injury

It does not matter what breed a dog belongs to, all dogs are capable of biting. Dogs are motivated to bite humans for a variety of reasons.

The injuries may be serious and sometimes even fatal. They include tendon, nerve damages, lacerations, scars and puncture wounds,  muscle, and disfigurement.

There may be many instances a completely non-aggressive dog may only bite a human because it was frightened or mistakenly touched on a  sensitive or wounded part of the body.

This kind of bite is just an automatic reaction and it should not be considered aggressive behavior by the dog.

How Strong Is A German Shepherd Bite Injury

Bite force may be categorized using 6 levels:

Level 1 – No teeth-to-skin contact. When the dog behaves aggressively but does not manage to bite. 

Level 2 – Teeth-to-skin contact but no skin has been punctured. Nicks and scrapes that bleed are also included. 

Level 3 – One bite that produces between 1-4 punctures. None of the punctures should be deeper than 1/2 of the dog’s canine length. 

Level 4 –  One bite that produces between 1-4 punctures. But in this case, at least one puncture goes deeper than 1/2 of the dog’s canine length.

Level 5 – Significantly more severe and multiple bites but at least 2 of them being a Level 4. 

Level 6 – A bite incident that is fatal to the victim.

How To Get A German Shepherd To Release His Bite?

If you own or know a German Shepherd, you may at some time face a situation where you may need to release his bite.

The first thing you should do is try your best to be calm and keep in mind that German Shepherds are potentially dangerous animals when in a frightened or aggravated state.

Start by attempting to take control of the situation and the dog by using your voice. The best time to do this is when the fight has already started.

You can also try making a sudden noise to distract the German Shepherd. At this stage, before an actual attack has occurred, you can try spraying water on him.

How Strong Is Germans Shepherd Bite

If you are in a position to, grab the German Shepherd by his tail and then pull upwards and backward. Many dogs will release his bite if you grab his tail. Keep pulling the tail but keep in mind that German Shepherds are very quick and can swiftly turn around and bite you. Wait until he calms down.

The other thing you can do is grab the two back legs and use them to flip him on the back. By doing this, most dogs will release the bite he is holding. This must be done safely and quickly.

Wait until your German Shepherd has calmed down. If anyone is injured, please call the emergency services as soon as possible.

Why Is German Shepherd Bite Force So Powerful?

German shepherds get a lot of their bite power from their muzzle shape. This is a characteristic that comes from their wolf ancestors.

German Shepherds favor wolves because wolfdogs are their direct ancestors. 

Actually, the first German Shepherd is a descendant of a dog known to be a quarter wolf.

German Shepherds Bite Force

The reason why many of them have that wolf aesthetic is due to them being bred with actual wolves. Their early ancestors were known as wolf-dog hybrids.

The bite force is one of the most important determinants of the functional state of the masticatory system. The shape of their muzzle gives a special advantage when it comes to muscles that control jaw movement, and the bite force.

Can A German Shepherd’s Bite Break Bones Or Kill A Person?

The German Shepherd’s bite force is definitely strong enough to crush the bones of a human and potentially kill him.

On the other hand, human beings only have a bite force of around 150-200 lbs per sq. inch, according to National Geographic magazine.

Scientists and researchers have tried various methods to measure and test the bite force of canines even though it has proven to be quite difficult.

This is because it is nearly impossible to have them bite with their maximum power and strength at your request. However, when provoked, their bites will be harder.

If you have had any interactions with a dangerous German Shepherd, you may be curious about how the average human will fare in a fight with them.

German Shepherd Bite PSI

It goes without saying that any fight could be won or lost depending on a number of variables. In this instance, it would depend on the situation and certain factors about both the dog and man. In cases of life or death, the average man may most likely lose. 

Generally, dogs possess swiffer reflexes than humans do along with superior fighting instincts. Their bit can easily destroy the human arteries.

But there are humans with superior strength and reflexes that are above average. One such human may have a fighting chance against the German Shepherd. 

The other thing that we must consider is the training of the dog. Even a skilled human would have a hard time against a German Shepherd that was trained to work in the military or law enforcement. 

German Shepherds Are Great Police Dogs

German Shepherds make great K-9 cops because they are very intelligent and have the ability to be complete many tasks, and do the work that human beings are not able to do.

German Shepherd K-9 cops are responsible for more than simply biting people when told to do so.

They also help the police to find criminals that are hiding in places that the police are unable to find them.

German Shepherd Police Dog

Additionally, they have a powerful sense of smell and can sniff out weapons, drugs, and other illegal contraband that are hidden in places the police have missed.

German Shepherds also need to learn how to complete cadaver search, search and rescue, and tracking.

According to the Utah Department of Public Safety, these are critical tasks that are needed by police dogs. Dogs learn to either bite or bark if they notice a criminal, but this depends on the command that the handler gave.

Where Are German Shepherd Banned And Restricted Internationally?

Every country will handle dangerous dogs differently. Some countries are more relaxed while others have implemented strict laws.

They will most like regulate their canines through breed-specific legislation (BSL) which restricts or bans certain breeds. 

These breeds would be listed as potentially dangerous in public spaces or prohibited from use in illicit activities such as dogfighting. German Shepherds are frequently banned in countries that label them as “aggressive.” This is of course, debatable.

Some of the countries that restrict or ban German Shepherds are Belarus, Malaysia, Ukraine, Bermuda, Iceland, Maldives, Romania, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, United States, and Ireland.

Final Words

German Shepherd owners must understand the power of their bite force so that they can give it the respect that it deserves.

This would mean that German Shepherds need to be properly trained and well-socialized, in order to prevent any chance of accidental harm to human beings or animals.

The bite force is a dangerous trait of the German Shepherd breed. This is why handlers of this dog must be responsible and contentious enough to think about the safety of others. 

The best chance owners have of preventing possible dangerous encounters with German Shepherds is to implement diligent training to mitigate this breed’s natural aggression. It is also important to be knowledgeable about your dog’s needs and etiquettes.

About the author

Adriana

Adriana has been around dogs since she was a little kid. It all started with growing up with a German Shepherd Lord and an English Cocker Spaniel Bady. Her dream job has always been becoming a veterinarian. She has been taking care of animals all of her life and she wants to share her experience with other dog lovers.