Golden Retrievers are not aggressive dogs, but they are still powerful. Golden Retriever bite force: how strong do they bite? Gentler dogs do not always have a weaker bite force. Sometimes, an unaggressive breed can bite very hard if it feels threatened.
What’s the bite force of a Golden Retriever?
A Golden Retriever’s bite force is 190 pounds per square inch (PSI). 190 pounds is not particularly strong, and it is somewhere in the middle. It is stronger than many dogs but weaker than many others.
Some dogs have very powerful bites. The strongest breeds of dogs have a stronger bite force than wolves do. However, some other animals can bite quite a lot harder than any dog.
Researchers measure bite force in different ways. Sometimes they use a bite meter to measure it, other times they estimate it. I get this information from some of the best recent research on bite strength.
How Does a Golden Retriever Compare to Other Dogs?
A Golden Retriever is somewhere in the middle. It has a bite force of 190 pounds per square inch, which is stronger than many other dogs but weaker than many others.
Mastiffs have the strongest bite force, with some Mastiff breeds having a bite force of more than 700 PSI. 743 PSI is even stronger than a wolf’s bite force. Compared to that, a Golden Retriever is puny – there is a breed of Mastiff that can bite close to four times as hard.
However, a Golden Retriever still has a fairly powerful 190 PSI bite. A Pit Bull only has a 235 PSI bite force, not much above a Golden Retriever. Some other dogs’ bite forces are:
- 230 PSI for a Labrador
- 238 PSI for a German Shepherd
- 320 PSI for a Siberian Husky
- 328 PSI for a Rottweiler
What Dog Has the Strongest Bite?
The strongest bite force belongs to the Kangal, a Mastiff breed. Kangals are not common in North America. They are from Turkey and they were bred to defend livestock from other animals.
Kangals are farm dogs, but they are not herding dogs. Their job was only to defend the livestock, not herd livestock around.
If you are interested in a Kangal, it needs space, it won’t be happy in an apartment. Kangals are fairly calm dogs, though they aren’t always very friendly with people they don’t know. The dogs are loyal, intelligent, and live for about twelve years.
Do Any Dogs Have a Bite Force of 1000 or 2000 PSI?
No, there are no dogs that can bite that hard, unless maybe an exceptionally strong dog of an exceptionally strong breed could go over 1000. Anything that says that a breed has a 2000 PSI bite force is wrong, as this is far above much stronger animals.
Researchers often measure an animal’s bite strength in newtons, not pounds per square inch. While a dog might have a bite strength of 2000 newtons, its bite strength in PSI is much lower. Some websites might confuse the two units of measurement.
Dogs of the Same Breed Vary in Bite Strength
Not every Golden Retriever can bite as hard as every other Golden Retriever. Golden Retrievers can have a bite strength well over or well under 190 PSI. This is also true for Dobermans and any other breed.
The dog’s age and health affects how hard it can bite. An older dog can’t bite as hard as a younger dog. Dogs that are more physically active usually have a stronger bite force than less active dogs.
Dogs Can Bite Harder Near the Rear of the Jaw
A dog’s bite force is the strongest near the rear of the jaw and the weakest near the front. This is because the back teeth are near the hinge of the jaw and the front teeth are far away from it.
For example, researchers found that a German Shepherd had a bite strength of as much as 568 pounds per square inch near the back of the jaw, but only 170 pounds near the front.
This is also true for humans – you can bite harder with your molars than with your front teeth. It is true for Golden Retrievers, any other dog, and any other animal. The bite strength will always be the strongest near the hinge of the jaw.
Do Golden Retrievers Bite People?
Since Golden Retrievers are gentle dogs, they usually do not bite anyone or get in fights with other dogs. However, any dog can potentially bite someone.
Golden Retrievers may bite a person or another dog if they are afraid and believe they are defending themselves. The more threatened the dog feels, the more likely it is to attack. A Golden Retriever may bite very hard if it believes it is in danger.
Golden Retrievers can also bite lightly during play. They do this with other dogs, and they may do this with their owners and other people. You can train it to play properly and not bite people lightly when playing.
How Can You Train Your Retriever Not to Bite People?
You should train your dog not to bite people when it is a puppy. Teach your dog to hesitate at the thought of biting anyone early in life. It is a big deal if an adult dog bites someone.
If you are having trouble controlling your dog, take it to obedience class. Obedience classes not only teach your dog how to act better but teach you how to control your dog. Making your dog obey you is largely about making your dog respect you.
Your dog’s mother will train your dog not to bite too hard. The mother will let the puppy bite lightly but will punish the puppy if it bites too hard. Golden Retrievers are very intelligent and obedient dogs, so it should not be hard to train them.
Are Dog Bites Serious?
There are six different levels of dog bites, with level one bites being the least serious and level six being the most serious. While Golden Retrievers are mostly harmless dogs, they will bite if they feel scared. The more scared they are, the harder they bite.
- Level one bites, or “air snaps,” involve the dog threatening to bite someone but not biting them.
- Level two bites involve the dog biting someone, but not leaving a mark.
- Level three bites break the skin and leave a mark.
- Level four bites involve the dog swinging its head back and forth while biting.
- Level five bites cause serious injuries.
- Level six bites are the rarest and involve killing a human or animal.
Golden Retrievers Were Bred Not to Bite Hard
Golden Retrievers instinctively know better than to bite hard. When Golden Retrievers were primarily hunting dogs, they would retrieve birds shot by hunters from rivers.
Hunters wanted their dogs to retrieve these birds without damaging them, so they bred soft-mouthed dogs. Soft mouth dogs instinctively do not bite anything hard unless it is food.
This means that a Golden Retriever won’t usually use its full 190 PSI bite strength. If a Golden Retriever bites something or someone, it will usually bite lightly. However, a Golden Retriever can still bite hard even though it will instinctively soft mouth things.
What Happens When a Dog Bites Someone?
Sometimes, if a dog bites someone badly, the dog has to be put down. You cannot necessarily keep a dangerous dog alive. This isn’t likely to happen with a Golden Retriever, but any dog may have to be put down if it is dangerous to people.
Sometimes, a dog can bite someone without being put down. A court may charge the dog’s owner but not do anything to the dog. However, there is also a possibility that a court will order the dog destroyed.