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Anyone who has ever owned a boxer knows how wonderful these dogs can be. Boxer dogs are truly family dogs who are great with children and other pets. But, no dog is perfect and there’s always the chance that your dog might bite out of fear or pain. It’s always good to know how much damage your pup’s bite can do just in case.
So, what is the bite force of a boxer?
The estimated bite force of a boxer dog is about 230 pounds per square inch (psi). While this puts the boxer dog far below the bite of a cane Corso they still have a stronger bite compared to dogs like border collies, and Australian Shepherds. They’ve got a pretty strong bite!
Let’s get into just how bite force is determined, and what factors affect how strong a boxer’s bite really is.
What Is A Boxer’s Bite Force In PSI?
In pounds per square inch, an estimated bite force for a boxer is somewhere around 230. To give you a little reference of where a boxer stands, we’ve compiled a list of 68 different breeds and their bite forces.
While surprisingly their bite force is similar to Great Danes (239 psi), but as a comparison, Rottweilers as well as Huskies have a bite force of around 320 psi while Great Pyrenees have a bite force of around 500 psi!
How Is Bite Force Measured In Dogs?
Even though it might seem like a simple experiment, bite force isn’t necessarily easy to measure. There are a few different methods that we used to see just how strong a dog’s bite is.
It’s important to keep in mind that none of these methods are 100% accurate for each area of a dog’s mouth. That means that the bite force under the canines may vary drastically from the bite force under the molars.
A combination of the results from all of the methods gives us a rough estimate of bite pressure.
Using Geometry And Skull Size
The first way to measure bite force that we’ll talk about is by using geometry.
Mathematics and calculations are used to calculate what a dog’s estimated bite force would be. These calculations, take a dog’s skull size, jaw angle, bone density, and tooth size all into consideration. In the end, it’s a pretty complicated equation. This number is basically the maximum amount of pressure a dog can apply with its jaws.
But, just because the numbers come out one way, doesn’t mean a dog can actually bite that hard. You won’t see a boxer, dog, or any other breed biting at maximum pressure. That’s because it can result in serious draw and tooth injuries. The result from this method is theoretical at best.
Using Electric Stimulation
Another way to measure the bite force of a dog is through a study that used electric stimulation.
This study took a group of dogs and put them all under anesthesia. Electrodes were attached to these dogs while the dogs were under anesthesia. The electrodes were attached to their jaw muscles and were stimulated which caused the muscles to contract and the dogs to bite down.
Even though this sounds painful, no healthy dogs were used for this experiment. All of the dogs in the study were dogs that were already going to be humanely euthanized for pre-existing health problems. The electric stimulation wouldn’t affect anything after the study, because the dog was euthanized immediately after. During the study, the dogs were so deep under anesthesia that they wouldn’t have felt a thing.
Even though this study seems like a pretty foolproof way to test, bite pressure, it still isn’t completely accurate. That’s because the force at which dogs bent down under anesthesia was a maximum force. As we mentioned above dogs don’t bite with maximum force because they’ll risk injuring themselves in the process.
Using A Dummy And A Pressure Meter
The National Geographic has done plenty of studies on different animals regarding bite pressure.
In one study, the magazine decided to look at dogs. The dogs were trained to bite a dummy jacket sleeve that had a force meter hidden inside of it. Luckily, no human arms were used for this experiment!
One issue with this study is that there was no way to tell which part of the mouth a dog was biting with. For example, a dog using their canines would be able to exert less force than a dog using its molars to bite down. Even though this study isn’t perfect, and gave a more realistic number for what pipe pressure actually is. That’s because it was a real-time study that didn’t just estimate a dog’s maximum bite force but rather measured the real bite force a dog exerted.
What’s The Difference Between PSI And Newtons?
We don’t want to get too specific about measuring bite force but it’s important to know the difference between psi and Newtons. Both psi and newtons are ways to measure the force exerted. These numbers are very different and can misrepresent a dog’s bite force to make them seem scarier. Many of the myths surrounding how strong a pit bull’s bite is have come to fruition just from misrepresentation of units of measurement,
The nonmetric or American measurement for pressure is psi. Psi is very straightforward and it just represents how much pressure is being applied to one square inch of a surface. Without getting too graphic, a good representation of psi is how much force needs to be exerted to break a human femur. You would need about 1700 psi to do this. Hopefully, that gives you a little bit of reference of how 230 psi would feel.
The rest of the world measures the force exerted in newtons (N). The equation for 1 N equals the exact amount of pressure that you need to move 1 kg of mass in a set amount of time to a certain distance. So newtons take time and velocity into the equation as well.
Psi and Newton should never be confused for each other because they are incredibly different. 230 psi is about 1,500,000 N. As we’re looking at bite pressure always remember to check your units.
Why Might Boxer Dogs Have Such A Strong Bite Force?
One of the reasons that boxer dogs might have a strong bite force is because they are a bully breed.
Bully breeds are essentially dogs that are descended from Molossers. Molossers were giant GReek dogs used for various jobs like guarding and hunting. One of the defining characteristics of bully breeds is their large heads and muscular build. As you can imagine, having a large head and a strong jaw would give you a naturally harder bite.
Boxer dogs also have a history as guardian dogs. If you don’t believe that your sweet boxer could do the job, just watch the video below!
Being a guardian means that they need to be able to use their bite to keep threats at bay. A weak bite just wouldn’t do for a boxer!
How Can Bite Force Vary Among Boxers?
Even among boxers, bite force can still vary. There are a few different factors that might affect how hard your boxer can bite. Let’s discuss them quickly.
Male and female boxers are significantly different sizes. As adults, male boxers tend to be about 15 pounds heavier than female boxers.
The difference in size plays a part in both pressure and overall strength. You’ll notice that when we talk about bite pressure, larger dogs tend to have stronger bite pressures than smaller dogs. A larger dog has a bigger skull and jaw, and stronger teeth and bones to bite down with.
Generally, male boxers will have a stronger bite force than female boxers.
Can dogs aren’t considered to be full-grown until about 18 months to two years of age.
Up to this point, boxers are still maturing. That means that their tissues like bones and muscles are still developing and aren’t as strong as they will be in one day. Obviously, a puppy won’t have as strong of a bite force as an adult dog will. Plus, puppies have baby teeth that wouldn’t be able to withstand the maximum force exerted by the bite of an adult boxer.
On the other hand, geriatric dogs will also have a weaker bite than healthy adult dogs. That’s because their bodies are aged and won’t exert the same force as they once did.
Skull Shape And Size
Skull shape and size affect bite force and can vary greatly amongst boxer dogs.
We know this, because of the calculation we mentioned above used to measure by pressure. There are ideal dimensions that would be in place in order to optimize bite pressure. A square jar can handle more pressure than a narrow draw, and a bigger head means more material to clamp down with.
You can imagine that boxers with large square-shaped heads have stronger bites than their narrow muzzled counterparts. Having an underbite can also affect the bite strength, and the English Bulldog with a 210 PSI bite is a good example.
Finally, tooth condition plays a big factor in bite force. Healthy strong adult teeth can withstand more force than old or infected teeth. If your boxer dog has a healthy mouth, it’ll be able to bite down hard!
Are Boxers Dangerous?
Boxers are not typically a breed that is considered to be dangerous or aggressive. Of course, this might change depending on an individual’s situation. Some dogs may be undersocialized and become dangerous when stimulated. Other boxers might be overprotective and lash out to guard their families.
Will A Boxer Dog Bite?
It’s important to remember that any dog can bite regardless of breed.
Upbringing has a lot to do with whether or not a dog will bite, but ultimately a dog bites when it responds to triggers. Proper training and socialization can do a lot to prevent your dog from biting anyone. Boxer dogs aren’t especially prone to biting but will do so if they feel the need to.
With a bite force of around 230 psi, boxer dogs can do some damage if they decide to chomp on you. This bite force number is an estimate resulting from a variety of tests. Young healthy, boxer dogs may be able to bite even harder than this. In general, the bigger the boxer, the harder the bite force.
Boxer dogs aren’t big biters, but the best way to prevent anyone from ever truly feeling the bite force of your dog is through good training and early socialization!