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?
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
|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|
|10.||Akita Inu||375 P.S.I|
|12.||Staffordshire Bull Terrier||328 P.S.I|
|13.||American Bully||315 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|
|20.||Labrador Retriever||229 P.S.I|
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Staffies Rank High In Temperament Tests
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
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.
Staffies Are Great With People And Kids
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.
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.
PIBBLES & BITS TOP PICKS
King Komb DeShedding Tool – One of the best dog brushes on the market. I use the King Komb each and every week with my Pibbles. Easy to use and even easier to clean.
Wahl Dry Skin Oatmeal Shampoo – Smells great, cleans great, and best of all keeps my dog’s skin and coat looking and feeling amazing. Wahl Dry Skin Oatmeal Shampoo keeps my Pibbles skin moisturized like no other.
Earth Rated Dog Wipes – Dog wipes are an essential to keep on hand, and nothing beats Earth Rated. Hypoallergenic, biodegradable, and durable. I keep these dog wipes in the house and the car for everyday use.
Kong Extreme – Kongs are one of my most used tools to give my dogs some mental stimulation and something tough to chew. Kong Extremes are as tough as they come and will give your Pibble the entertainment they crave.
Outward Hound Food Puzzle – Outward Hound food puzzles are the best in the industry. Available from beginner to advanced. These are an excellent way to challenge and mentally stimulate your dog.
BeneBone Dog Chew – The toughest dog chew around. My dogs absolutely love the bacon flavor and peanut butter flavor BeneBone. These will keep your toughest chewers busy for weeks, if not months and years.
BarkBox Super Chewer – Variety is the spice of life, and BarkBox Super Chewer is the perfect way to keep your dog engaged. New treats, toys, and chews each and every month that your super chewer will love.
iCrate Dog Crate – The iCrate is my absolute top recommendation for dog crates. I use this for both my dogs and love the sturdy, easy to store, and versatile adjustable panel. You need the iCrate in your life.
HiKiss Long Training Lead – Recall training and puppy training outdoors requires a long training lead. My favorite to use is the HiKiss long training lead. Available in a range of lengths to suit your long lead training needs.