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?
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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 strongest biters in the dog world. Indeed, Staffies aren’t even in the top 10 breeds for bite force.
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]
|2||American Bandogge||730 PSI|
|3||Cane Corse||700 PSI|
|4=||Dogue de Bordeaux||556 PSI|
|4=||Tosa Inu||556 PSI|
|4=||English Mastiff||556 PSI|
|7||Presa Canaria||540 PSI|
|8||Dogo Argentino||500 PSI|
|10||Akita Inu||380 PSI|
|11=||Staffordshire Bull Terrier||328 PSI|
|13||American Bully||315 PSI|
|15||Bull Terrier||269 PSI|
|16||German Shepherd||238 PSI|
|17=||American Staffordshire Terrier||235 PSI|
|17=||American Pitbull Terrier||235 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.