Does A Staffy Have Lock Jaw? 5 Staffy Facts

staffy in grass with ball

There has been a point in most every person’s life where they have heard about dogs with locking jaws. Most notably this notion is directed toward the Pit Bull type breeds. Many people that meet my Staffy have asked me that very question. 

Does a Staffy have lock jaw? The Staffordshire Bull Terrier does not have a locking jaw. This is a myth many people still believe to this day. In fact no dog breed of any kind has a locking jaw. The Staffy does have a strong jaw and bite, but ranks far down the list of most powerful bites.

As a Staffy owner I find this myth to be rather frustrating at times. The misinformation surrounding Staffies does this amazing breed a great injustice. Yes they are powerful little dogs, but they are not the killing machines many people portray them as.

In this post I will go over some facts about the Staffordshire Bull Terrier as it relates to their strength, willingness to bite, and general temperament towards adult humans, children, strangers, dogs and other animals.

How Strong Is A Staffy Jaw?

staffy exercise with ball

The bite force of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier has been calculated at around 328 PSI. This is based on cranial size, structure, and shape. The bite pressure of the Staffy will vary depending on variables such as gender, weight, and genetics. 

For a 30-40lbs dog standing between 12-16 inches tall, the bite force of the Staffy is impressive. They have very strong jaws and a strong bite to match. To put this in perspective the average human bite strength is roughly 162 PSI versus the estimated 328 PSI of the Staffy.

As impressive as that may seem, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is far from the strongest bite in the dog world. There are several other dogs that rate a far stronger bite force than the Staffy. Below is a list of the top 20 breeds by bite strength.

Top 20 Strongest Bite Force By Dog Breed

1. Kangal 745 P.S.I
2. American Bandogge 730 P.S.I
3. Cane Corso 700 P.S.I
4. Dogue de Bordeaux 558 P.S.I
5. Tosa Inu 556 P.S.I
6. English Mastiff 554 P.S.I
7. Presa Canario 540 P.S.I
8. Dogo Argentino 500 P.S.I
9. Leonberger 395 P.S.I
10. Akita Inu 375 P.S.I
11. Rottweiler 330 P.S.I
12. Staffordshire Bull Terrier 328 P.S.I
13. American Bully 315 P.S.I
14. Bullmastiff 305 P.S.I
15. Bull Terrier 268 P.S.I
16. German Shepherd 242 P.S.I
17. American Staffordshire Terrier 235 P.S.I
18. American Pit Bull Terrier 235 P.S.I
19. Boxer 227 P.S.I
20. Labrador Retriever 229 P.S.I
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Staffies Rank High In Temperament Tests

two staffy dogs on leash

Although the Staffy has a strong bite, they are one of the most reliable and stable dogs breeds. According to the ATTS temperament testing standards Staffies rate at a 90.8%. The ATTS test for factors such as Unprovoked aggression, panic without recovery, strong avoidance.

To put this into perspective Staffies are less likely to display aggression, fear based reactions, panic, and wariness towards strangers than Vizlas, Yorkies, Shih Tzu, Old English Sheepdogs, Poodles, Golden Retrievers, and Italian Greyhounds. Just name a few. Staffies’ likelihood to bite are very low.

A Staffy Can Get Along With Other Dogs

two handsome staffy dogs

Despite the ancient history of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier being a gladiator dog in the brutal “sport” of bull baiting and dog fighting, they can get along well with other dogs. A well socialized Staffy from an early age can develop friendships with dogs of all breeds.

My Staffy has been exposed to every type of dog you can imagine from my days as a dog walker. As a result she is one of the most reliable dogs you will ever meet. She is friendly, patient, and interested in other dogs.

With that in mind, even a well socialized Staffy can be pushed to far. Although the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is rarely looking for a problem, they are less likely to back down from an overt challenge. Monitor interactions with other dogs and watch for signs of a potential challenge. Remove your Staffy from that situation to avoid a possible issue.

Related ArticleDo Staffies Get Along With Other Dogs? 7 Socialization Tips

Staffies Are Great With People And Kids

staffy with a kid

The one thing Staffies are renowned for is their affinity towards people. Especially children. With the well earned nickname as the “Nanny dog” Staffies are amazing companion animals for families with children. 

The Staffy is a kind, gentle, and entertaining playmate for people of all ages and is incredibly reliable. The likelihood of a Staffy bite towards a family member is almost unheard of.

Staffies are also very friendly with most people outside of the family unit. Though a Staffy is loyal and protective of their family, they are very friendly towards strangers that pose no threat. My Staffy LOVES to meet people. She greets, interacts, and adores any friendly person we meet in our day to day.

Unless seriously provoked, or feared for the safety of a family member, the likelihood of a Staffy biting another person is extremely low. Staffies are great with people and can be trusted to be friendly and gentle.

Related ArticleAre Staffies Good With Kids? 9 Things To Know

Final Thoughts

staffy with ball smiling Ruby

Dispelling the myth that Staffies having a lock jaw is just the tip of the iceberg. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier gets an unfortunate bad rap from sensational headlines, and poor ownership far too often.

In reality the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a strong dog, but their love for others is far stronger. They are kind, gentle, friendly and incredibly people oriented dogs. The true strength of a Staffy isn’t in the force of their bite, but in the size of their hearts.


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