How Strong Are Pitbulls?

Looking at their muscular build, it is an easy assumption that Pitbulls are very strong, but you might wonder how strong are Pitbulls in reality? Does their strong appearance mean that they are actually strong?

We have broken down the fact from fiction to help you understand exactly how strong this breed is, from their bites to their bodies.

How Strong Are Pitbulls

They might have a poor reputation as far as aggression goes, making people a little more nervous that they might be too strong for comfort.

Here is the truth that you should know before you decide whether adopting a Pitbull is the right choice for you.

How Strong Are Pitbulls?

Given their stocky, beefy look, we all assume that Pitbulls must be insanely strong. But, the fact is that strength is something that is difficult to measure.

There is not official measurement unit for strength, so it has to be determined by other means.

Looking strictly at their natural muscular build, we can safely assume that they are pretty strong dogs.

Dogs can have some strength determined by pulling weights, while others can have strength determined by their resilience.

This means that strength is situational and depends on the breed and what the expectation of the dog is.

So we can guess how strong Pitbulls are, but any unit of measurement is not scientific and is entirely subjective.

We can examine a dog’s body build and get a basic idea about how strong they likely are. Bigger dogs will naturally be stronger than smaller dogs.

Dogs in better shape will be stronger than overweight dogs. And dogs built like Pitbulls, with a lot of muscle to work with, will be stronger than sleeker and thinner dogs that have less muscle.

Without a solid system to measure strength, it is really not possible to determine exactly how strong a Pitbull might be.

How Much Weight Can A Pitbull Pull?

Since you can try to use a dog’s ability to pull weight as a means to determine how strong a dog is, you can look at weight-pulling competitions.

This is a contest that works by seeing how much a dog can pull when he is attached to a sled or a cart.

The amount of weight that a Pitbull can pull varies from dog to dog, so there is not a quick number as far as this goes.

Some Pitbulls have been shown to be able to pull several hundreds of pounds without any trouble, while other Pitbulls might not be able to pull more than a few pounds.

Weight Can Pitbull Pull

The factors that determine how strong a Pitbull really is are the health, size, training, genetics, and attitude.

Just like with humans, Pitbulls are individuals so where some dogs might be able to pull a lot, certainly not every member of the breed will have the same success.

How Strong Is Their Bite?

We have heard some wildly crazy ideas about how strong a Pitbull’s bite is and how their jaws function. This is all myth.

The wildest one out there is that a Pitbull has a bite force of 2,000 psi, which is about the same as an alligator, and is false.

The other common myth is that they have a locking mechanism that ensures that they don’t have to let go of something that they have bitten into.

A Pitbull does not have a bite as strong as an alligator and they also do not have some kind of odd jaw that makes them lock onto something.

But, before we explain how strong their bites are, let’s explain what determines the strength of a Pitbull’s bite. Really, a Pitbull’s bite is not really that strong.

A Pitbull’s bite has a measured bite force of about 325 pounds of pressure. That number might seem high, but it is not even close to the highest that a dog’s bite could be.

Compared to the Pitbull, the German Shepherd has a stronger bite psi than Pitbulls.

German Shepherds have a bite force of 328 psi, which may be only slightly stronger, but should supply evidence that it is still strong.

A Kangal is the breed with the strongest bite force. A Kangal’s bite force has been measured at 743 psi, which is double the bite force of a Pitbull.

You may not hear about Kangals normally as far as aggressive dog breeds go, but that is because they are working dogs not known for being aggressive.

So, really, a Pitbull’s bite force is middle of the road as far as the strength range goes, making them strong enough, but definitely not the strongest breed out there as far as bite goes.

How Is Bite Force Measured?

The units that are used to measure a bite force are PSI, which stands for pounds per square inch.

This is a non-metric unit used to measure pressure in many situations, including tire pressure, so not just for dog bite strength.

A way to think about it is looking at the amount of pressure occurs per everything square inch of every pound.

PSI is not a metric unit of measurement, however, so you might also see bite force measured in the International System of Units system called Newtons.

Pitbull Bite Force

This is normally also measured with the abbreviation SI. The difference in a Newton measurement is that they are looking at the amount of force that is required to move a kilogram of mass one meter per second squared.

No matter what unit that you are using to measure a dog’s bite force, we are looking at the amount of pressure that a dog’s jaw can produce when it is closing on itself.

There is no universal dog bite force as it is really affected by the dog breed, the dog’s size, what they are biting into, and what is the situation in which the dog is currently biting. 

How Has A Pitbull’s Strength Come About?

A Pitbull’s muscular body is so easy to see, but those attributes were bred into them. Pitbulls were bred from Old English Bulldogs, which are a thick and stocky breed.

The different is that Old English Bulldogs have a bigger chance of obesity than Pitbulls do. Back in the 1800s, Old English Bulldogs were bred for the sport of bull baiting, which is where we get name “bulldog.”

It is from breeding these dogs for fighting attributes, including strength and endurance, while mixing them with other breeds that led us to the Pitbull breed that we know today.

The now extinct sport of bullbaiting was where dogs were out to attack a bull.

A successful dog had to be quick, strong, and muscular, so those were the traits that were honed. Of course, these dogs had to make it out of the attack alive.

After blood sports were dissolved, the Pitbull’s ancestors were then used for dogfighting, requiring them to further become stronger with a higher level of endurance.

Are Pitbulls Aggressive?

It is a common misconception that Pitbulls are aggressive by nature. In truth, they are not really any more aggressive than other dogs are.

931 Pitbulls were tested and 86% of that 931 were shown to be good fits for the role as a family dog. This number is better than the results with Poodles, Chihuahuas, and Shepherds.

To perform this test, they specifically test how aggressive a dog is when faced with an unexpected event.

Are Pitbulls Aggressive

They will see what the dog’s response is in this kind of environment and whether the dog will panic. It also goes on to show how they interact with strangers as well as friends.

The assumption that Pitbulls are aggressive is based on the fact that the breed was originally bred for fighting, giving them a negative response, and the fact that dog owners out there still treat them as if they are nothing more than fighting dogs, resulting in an aggressive dog.

Any dog that is routinely abused and neglected is at risk of becoming extremely aggressive without a lot of provocation.

So, to put it simply, a Pitbull is not any more aggressive than any other dog out there just by being a Pitbull.

Are Pitbulls A Banned Breed Because Of Their Strength?

Unfortunately, Pitbulls are banned in several locations around the world.

Their reputation as an aggressive breed combined with the reason that people choose to adopt Pitbulls has made some countries and states keep track of the breed and have restrictions on them.

But, while they are such a strong breed, they are not banned because they are strong dogs. Their bite force is adequately strong, but there are stronger dogs.

Likewise, they are muscular, but are not necessarily the strongest breed. Therefore, they are only targeted because of the assumption that the dogs will be used for dogfighting or other dangerous reasons.

With the idea that people are breeding them for the purpose of turning them into aggressive dangers of society, they have been banned in some places, but this is not due to their actual genetics and physical nature.

What Jobs Are Good For Pitbulls?

Guard Pitbull

Knowing how strong Pitbulls are, you might be considering what kinds of jobs that the breed can do.

In fact, they are an intelligent breed that can be trained to do many different kinds of jobs but not all jobs. Here are some jobs that they could do, though they are not necessarily good at all of these jobs.

Guard Dogs

Even though they are often lumped together with other big, strong breeds, such as Rottweilers, German Shepherds, and Doberman Pinschers, Pitbulls are not the best guard dogs out there.

They might want to guard their own people and they do have the appearance of looking scary, but Pitbulls do not meet all of the requirements that make up a good guard dog. They are not a territorial breed, but they do protect their people.

Police Dogs

You may not know this but Pitbulls are trained sometimes to be police dogs. They are strong, they train well to follow instructions, and they are incredibly trustworthy and loyal.

You might be more familiar with the use of German Shepherds for this role, but really, any dog that can pass the police training can become a police dog.

The disadvantage that Pitbulls have in this role is height. They are not big dogs, so they may not be the first choice of breed, but they also should not be discounted.


A Pitbull is not a shepherding breed, yet they are pretty good at herding by nature. Their strength serves as an advantage to help them protect a herd or flock and their agility allows them to easily keep up with it.

They will need to be trained to do so, but the breed is smart and make for good learners.

They also are not nippy and stressed like natural herding dogs can be when they don’t have jobs, making them a good choice if you want a family dog who can also manage your herd.

Other Physical Advantages

If Pitbulls are not the strongest dog breed, they still have a lot of other advantages physically that should not be discounted.

If you remember that the breed was bred for fighting, they still have some physical traits left over from this development. These include:


Pitbulls have a much better endurance than a lot of other dogs. This is due to their size.

They have broad chests which have allowed for larger lungs with a much-higher capacity and will have a lot of energy to keep going for a long period of time.

This of course also means that you will need to keep your Pitbull adequately exercised to keep him as happy as possible.


As we said earlier, Pitbulls are actually very good at jumping. If they are just trying to jump straight in the air, they can reach about 6.5 feet.

Jumping Pitbull

If they have the use of a wall to push off from, they can jump as high as 10 feet. This means that they can hop fences without much effort, so make sure that your dog has a safe place to stay out of trouble.


Another physical advantage that Pitbulls has is in their coat. They have a short coat, which means it does not get matted and the dog is unlikely to overheat due to his coat.

It also means that they naturally stay cooler when they are exercising, but it is still long enough that their skin is not endanger of sun damage.

Final Words

Ultimately, while we can safely claim that Pitbulls are in fact a strong breed.

We may not be able to put an actual number on their strength, making it difficult to state exactly where they are as far as strong breeds go, but they are still definitely a strong dog.

It is important to remember that a dog’s strength will not negatively impact the dog’s personality. A Pitbull is not aggressive by nature, though he is strong by nature.

These dogs will want to work their bodies out as well, because they have pent up energy asking them to use their strength.


Hi there, my name is Blake and I have an American Bully named Rocky. I fell in love with the breed around ten years ago after seeing some of my friends adopt a Bully. I love the combination of the muscular physique and calm, loyal companionship that the American Bully breed has to offer. My enthusiasm for the breed has led me to train as a dog behavioralist and trainer. Over the last ten years, I have supported many households in raising their American Bully and maximizing the potential of the breed. I’m delighted to share my knowledge and expertise on this site.

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