Chihuahuas or “Chiwawas” are loving, affectionate, and timid dogs. However, they can also be yippy, nippy, and overprotective of their owners or immediate dwelling. The “nippy” trait of the breed can lead us to the question, “What is the bite force of a Chihuahua?”
The bite force of a Chihuahua is approximately 100 psi. This breed has neither the size nor jaw width to bite much harder than that. There are claims that their bite force is about 3,900 psi, but this is false, and likely a number that represents Newtons rather than pounds per square inch (psi).
It should be noted that in the realm of animals, there is no sure thing or concrete number when it comes to calculating a particular bite force. We can take samples, use scientific methods, and make calculations, but none of these things assure that any particular animal is biting down as hard as it can.
We only have the information that they are willing to put on display when biting down on something meant to record the force. You can ask a human to bite down as hard as they can, but an animal- not so much.
To give us a better scope of how forceful the bite of a Chihuahua is, I’ve lined up a series of different animals of all types to compare against. This should give us an idea of what 100 psi looks like compared to these larger animals.
Which Dog Has the Strongest Bite Force?
The Group of canines that have the strongest bite force on the planet are Mastiffs.
- The Kangal (a.k.a. Anatolian Shepherd Dog) is the Mastiff type with the hardest bite, clocking in at about 743 psi.
- The second runner-up is also a Mastiff called the Cane Corso, biting down at 700 psi.
- Bite Force of a Rottweiler: The strength and size of the Rottweiler back up this canine’s jaws, assisting it to bite down at about 450 psi, considerably harder than that of a Pitbull.
- Pitbull Bite Force: When stripped of all the stigma, myths, and poor reputation, the Pitbull has in truth a less than average bite force compared to average dog bites. On average, a Pitbull bites down at about 300 psi.
- Pug Bite Force: Now we’re creeping closer in size to the Chihuahua via the Pug, though they are heavier and have a wider head. These factors assist them to bite down with over double the force of the Chihuahua at about 245 psi.
- Labrador Bite Force: Pitbulls and Rottweilers have reputations of being dangerous dogs in the biting department, but what about the friendly Labrador? Well, as you might expect, the Labrador’s bite force is less than either of the previous, clocking in at about 230 psi.
Bite Force Of Other Species
As I just stated, these numbers are assumed as correct due to the information that the animals are willing to put on display. The safest way to look at these numbers is to assume that there is room for more force, rather than a margin of error on the light side.
1. Bite Force of a Tiger
Being the largest living Cat in the animal kingdom, the Tiger has the strongest bite of all cats, clocking in at about 1,050 PSI.
Shockingly, a Lion’s Bite force pales in comparison to the Tiger, measuring with a bite force of 650 PSI.
There hasn’t been any concrete, measurable bite force of a Great White Shark, but scientists and engineers have created models to estimate what the force would be. They determined through a model of a 21-foot Great White Shark that their bite force would be an incredible 4,000 psi.
Just when you think the shark is going to run away with the hardest bite, in comes the Croc. Having the strongest set of choppers throughout all of the animal kingdom, the Crocodile bites down at a crushing force of over 5,000 psi.
9. What is the Bite Force of a Human?
Just to throw a more concrete number in the mix, an average human can bite down at 162 psi. Are you surprised that we don’t bite down as hard as some of the more modest dog breeds?
Are Chihuahua Bites Dangerous?
Honestly, any dog bite can be dangerous. It isn’t always the force of the bite that can do it, but other factors of a dog bite need to be thought about like infections, or location of the bite.
In terms of a Chihuahua, they could nip your shin, scuff or break the skin, and draw blood, and little more. But if they latched down on an area where an artery is close to the surface then the bite becomes a life-threatening event.
Infections are as serious of a threat as the bite itself and can lead to death if left alone in some cases if the infection is allowed to reach the bloodstream.
Can a Chihuahua Bite Off a Finger?
According to a study done in the 1950s, it takes about 334 psi to take off an adult finger. Of course, this number is decreased with small children and toddlers. So, the answer is no, a Chihuahua doesn’t have enough force to bite down and take off a finger in one bite.
How to Take Care of Chihuahua Bite Wound
Most commonly, the wounds may be on the hands, feet, or head when it comes to a Chihuahua bite wound (at least as it relates to adults). The wound needs to be elevated, while bleeding is stopped with a clean towel.
When the bleeding slows or stops, wash out the wound with soap and water, and apply a bandage, wrap, or Band-Aid (for minor, lighter bites) firmly around the affected area. To prevent infection, apply antibiotic ointment every day till the wound is no longer scabbing, or otherwise nearly healed.
Adults are one thing; children are a different matter. Depending on the size of the child, a small bite on an adult will affect a much greater area on a child, so this needs to be taken into consideration when contemplating whether or not an Emergency Room Visit might be necessary, or at least making an appointment with their doctor.
Is it common that there are serious injuries via a Chihuahua bite? No, it’s relatively not heard of nearly as often as other breeds- but not being common shouldn’t be mistaken for “doesn’t happen.”
More damaging than their actual bite force is their sharp teeth and small, lightning-quick, thrashing body when an enraged Chihuahua grabs hold. Often the damage is done from the point of bite sliding away from the bite till the dog loses its grip, rather than tearing a chunk of flesh out.
Every dog who has a set of teeth is capable of biting. Due to size and strength differences, some can do more damage than others. The little Chihuahua might not cause a fatal crushing bite, but when it’s in the right mood, it certainly tries its best.