Your chihuahua is such a little thing—but don’t let that fool you! As cute as they are and as loving as they can be, these little guys have strong personalities, and yes, they can bite in certain situations.
They can especially get aggressive when it comes to protecting their owners, so if they think you’re in danger, can they actually cause some serious damage?
Chihuahua Bite Force
Some references claim that a chihuahua has a bite force of 3900 PSI. This is seriously strong for such a tiny animal, and in reality, nothing actually backs up this widespread rumor.
For some context here: a lion has a bite force of around 600 PSI. And there is absolutely no way that your tiny chihuahua will be able to bite with 6 times the strength of a lion.
Actually, the bite force of dogs is often reported incorrectly since people mix up units of measure. The size and shape of the skull is what should be measured, along with the shape of the jaw.
Most owners, therefore, believe that the actual strength of your chihuahua’s bite is around 100-180 PSI. Of course, we can never know the exact bite force because we can never instruct a chihuahua to just bite down as hard as it can, but this is the closest estimate we have to understand the maximum force.
Is The Bite Force Too Dangerous and High?
So, why is that 3900 PSI too high again? Putting aside the fact that there’s no way your chihuahua somehow has a stronger jaw than a lion, you already know that the size and shape of the chihuahua’s head and jaw helps to determine their bite force.
Let’s look at a few more comparisons too. Look up the Kangal dog breed online—they have the strongest bite out of any dog breed at 743 PSI. When you think about the Pit Bull too, many people tend to fear this breed because of how strong they are. But they only have a bite force of 235 PSI.
There are many other dog breeds that are much stronger than the Pit Bull even—they don’t even make the top 10 list, and the chihuahua definitely isn’t there. Dogs like the American Bandogge, Cane Corso, English Mastiff, Dogo Argentino, and Wolfdog are much higher in terms of PSI, clocking in at around 400 and 800 PSI.
So, realistically: no, the chihuahua doesn’t have a bite force that’s so insanely high.
More Interesting Chihuahua Bite Force Facts
There’s a reason why people tend to think chihuahuas are aggressive. They actually bite vets more than any other breed, and rank 4th in the breeds that have bitten children. Dogs owners have a good reason to think they’re a little aggressive then, and chihuahua owners do report that they might lash out when confronted with a larger dog.
The chihuahua may be small, but it’s certainly not willing to back down from anything larger than it! This doesn’t mean that they’re explicitly aggressive though, just that they do have a tendency to bite, which might happen for any reason like being afraid or nervous.
The Dangers of Chihuahuas
So, you know that the chihuahua can lash out and bite, and that people do tend to think that they’re a little bit aggressive. Are these tiny pooches legitimately dangerous though?
Well, any dog can be dangerous, regardless of size. Even if the chihuahua doesn’t have the highest bite force compared to other dogs, they’re intelligent, fast, and light on their feet. Some of their bigger teeth can be an entire inch long, and when combined with at least around 100 pounds of pressure, they can still cause some damage. They might even bite off a finger or at least tear some clothing.
There are even recorded fatalities caused by chihuahuas, but please take this with a grain of salt. There are only a few cases of this in the past 10 years, and most often, any biting they do isn’t going to be that extreme. Quite frankly, this level of danger doesn’t even match up to that of other larger dog breeds at all.
Chihuahuas are great pets and companions. Many owners confirm how loyal they are, and that while they are opinionated little things, they really aren’t usually aggressive. For the most part, the only time your chihuahua might be dangerous is if they’re scared or if they aren’t spayed or neutered.
How to Stop Your Chihuahua’s Aggression
You love your little chihuahua and you don’t want them to become aggressive. There are a few things you can do to help them out then.
First off, have them spayed or neutered as early as possible. Any dog breed can become aggressive or behave strangely when they go into heat—especially males that are looking for a female to mate with. If you have them spayed or neutered, you can help prevent this type of behavior. Plus, you can actually increase their lifespan and lower their risk of cancer too.
You can also just spend more time with them. They like to be the center of your attention, which is why they work best with people who can be at home for a good amount of time. If you leave them alone for too long, this is when they might decide to tear up your furniture and be aggressive.
Socialize your chihuahua too! Let them get used to lots of daily activities from the time when they’re a puppy—take them outside, associate them with other dogs and with other people while you can. Getting them used to being social with others so that they don’t get aggressive with lots of dogs or people as they age.
Should You Worry About Your Chihuahua’s Bite?
Realistically, no, you don’t need to worry about your chihuahua displaying an incredible amount of aggression towards you, as long as you spend the time with them to socialize them with others and work to train them.
They do have a strong bite though considering their small size, not to mention some seriously sharp teeth. This is why many people tend to think that they must have such a strong bite force, but in reality, they clock in at around 100 PSI instead and are certainly not biting at people with the force of a lion or of any large breed of dog.
If you’re still a little scared though, don’t worry! Your chihuahua isn’t going to find you, hunt you down, and tear you apart. They might bite if they aren’t trained well, and you still might get a nasty bite, but you won’t end up with damage like you might get when confronted with a larger breed.
For those of you that have a chihuahua then, take the time to train them properly so that you know that they won’t be any sort of a danger to others, and that they can interact well with other dogs and people. Be sure to spay or neuter them too, and if you are noticing any strange aggression that they weren’t displaying before, always talk to your vet to be sure that there are no underlying problems.