Do Staffies Have “Lock Jaw”? [The Truth About Staffy Bites]

One of the most common things I hear about Staffies – regardless of whether someone is talking positively or negatively about the breed – is that you need to be careful with Staffies because they have “lock jaw”.

By this, people mean that when a Staffy bites something or someone, the dog’s jaw effectively becomes a clamp that is impossible to release.

But is this true?

Do Staffies Really Have “Lock Jaw”?

No. “Lock Jaw” itself is a myth. Staffies don’t have a lock jaw – nor does any other animal – as it would be hazardous for an animal to be unable to release its grip if its prey was doing serious injury in turn to the animal.

Staffy breeds are famously muscular and strong, and this strength also applies to their jaws. But they’re far from the strong

How Much Pressure Can a Staffy Bite With?

Staffordshire Bull Terrier can bite with a force of 328 PSI, while American Staffordshire Terriers (Amstaffs) can bite with a force of 235 PSI. This leaves both breeds outside the top 10 strongest dog bite breeds, with Kangals having the strongest bite (743 PSI).

If you’re wondering which dog can bite the hardest, the table below runs through the top 20.

For context, the average human bite is 162 PSI, while the Nile Crocodile has the strongest bite in the animal kingdom with a bite force of 5,000 PSI.

NOTE: “PSI” stands for “pounds per square inch”

Which Dog Has the Strongest Bite Force? [Top 15]

RankBreedForce
1Kangal743 PSI
2American Bandogge730 PSI
3Cane Corse700 PSI
4=Dogue de Bordeaux556 PSI
4=Tosa Inu556 PSI
4=English Mastiff556 PSI
7Presa Canaria540 PSI
8Dogo Argentino500 PSI
9Leonberger399 PSI
10Akita Inu380 PSI
11=Staffordshire Bull Terrier328 PSI
11=Rottweiler328 PSI
13American Bully315 PSI
14Bullmastiff305 PSI
15Bull Terrier269 PSI
16German Shepherd238 PSI
17=American Staffordshire Terrier235 PSI
17=American Pitbull Terrier235 PSI
19Boxer230 PSI
20Labrador230 PSI

Staffy “Lock Jaw” Myth [CONCLUSION]

So there we have it: Staffy breeds do not have “lock jaw”, nor does any other animal. Staffy dogs are strong and have a relatively strong bite, although American Staffordshire Terriers (235 PSI) only have a marginally strong bite force than Labradors (230 PSI). Staffordshire Bull Terriers have a bit more power in their bite (328 PSI), but even they don’t rank in the top 10 of dog breeds with the strongest bite force.

Pete Reynolds

Pete is the founder of Staffy Dog and the proud owner of two Staffies: Toffee (Amstaff mix) and Runa (Staffordshire Bull Terrier). When he's not playing with his dogs, Pete is a keen writer, an avid sports fan and an advocate for urban cycling.

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