If you are familiar with or have ever owned an Australian Shepherd, you probably already know how energetic and friendly they are. Aussies are some of the most popular dog breeds for families to own because they are typically non-aggressive and great to have around!
While Australian Shepherds are not known to be aggressive, they do have one of the strongest bite forces among dog breeds; An Australian Shepherd’s bite force is typically around 238 PSI (Pounds Per Square Inch).
Although it is rare for Aussies to show off their impressive bites, some people do wonder why this breed has such a strong bite and why they aren’t as likely as other breeds to use it.
If you are interested to know more about Australian Shepherd bite force compared to other dogs, why some Aussies do or don’t bite, and what to do if your Aussie does bite, keep reading to learn more!
What Makes an Australian Shepherd’s Bite So Strong?
Each dog breed is different, and their bite forces are different too. Bite force can change based on many factors!
Australian Shepherds tend to have strong bite forces because of their emotional states. They are shyer than most other breeds, so when they feel scared or threatened, and decide to bite, they end up having a much stronger bite than other breeds.
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A dog’s emotions are one of the main factors that determine whether or not it will bite strongly or not if they decide to. For example, if they are feeling upset or angry, they are more likely to bite harder than if they are feeling happy and playful and “nipping.”
Thankfully, Aussies aren’t very likely to bite. They are more likely to “nip” which is mostly because of their natural herding instinct that has been passed down throughout time and can be caused by their excitement and energy as well.
Australian Shepherds are known for being a very high-energy breed. Because of this, they are more likely to become upset and antsy if they don’t let that energy out.
If they are not able to release their built-up energy, they will be more likely to chew on everything, and if upset, resort to nipping or biting people, dogs, or other animals.
NOTE: It is important to take Australian Shepherds on walks and get them exercising regularly so that they can let go of all of that built-up excitement and energy.
There are also many other factors that can change the strength of an Australian Shepherd’s bite, including their size, age, the condition of their teeth, etc.
NOTE: Although Australian Shepherds do have one of the strongest bite forces among all dog breeds, they are still some of the most well-behaved, friendly, and loyal dogs out there; while also being way less likely to bite than some other breeds!
Australian Shepherd Bite Force
Because Australian Shepherds do have a very strong bite, this is oftentimes a concern for people who currently have or are looking to own an Australian Shepherd.
Dog bites are measured in pounds per square inch (PSI), this is a unit of measurement based on pressure. A smaller-sized dog will usually have a PSI of around 230–250 while larger dogs will have PSI’s around 300–500.
Australian Shepherds typically have a bite force of around 305 PSI. This is a little higher than other large-sized dog breeds but not nearly as high as say, a wolf (400 PSI), or a mountain lion (650 PSI).
NOTE: If you are interested in learning more about wolf teeth in comparison to dog teeth, check out this article: Dog Vs. Wolf Teeth (What’s the Difference?)
If you are familiar with the Australian Shepherd breed, you may have heard of the Mini Australian Shepherd as well. Some people wonder if the Mini Aussie has the same bite force as a regular-sized Aussie.
The answer is, no. Mini Aussies have a slightly lesser bite force than the regular-sized Australian Shepherd, typically around 200 PSI. However, Mini Aussies, especially when they are younger, are just as likely to nip as a regular-sized Aussie is.
Even though Mini Aussies are smaller, they have the same amount of energy as regular Aussies and are more likely to bite if they have built up energy and excitement.
Australian Shepherd Bite Force Comparisons
It is interesting to compare the bite force of an Australian Shepherd to other dog breeds and animals because each animal is unique.
While an Australian Shepherd’s bite force averages around 305 PSI, the strongest bite force among dog breeds belong to the Kangal breed (743 PSI), and the least strong belongs to the Chihuahua (5 PSI).
Let’s compare the Aussie bite force to some other breeds!
Bite Force (PSI)
NOTE: Although some dog breeds are smaller, their bites can still be stronger than some larger breeds!
Why Does my Australian Shepherd Bite So Much?
The biggest struggle for some dog owners is trying to figure out why their dog is doing something and not being able to determine why. When a dog starts biting, this can be very frustrating to the owner trying to figure out what is causing the behavior.
Australian Shepherds bite for many different reasons, some of the most common is because they are giving in to their herding instincts, they are playing, bored, fearful, excited, and so many others!
Thankfully, if your Aussie starts biting as a puppy, it is usually easy to stop them from biting as long as you start training them and can stop the biting behavior early on.
Herding instincts are one of the most common reasons why Aussies will nip, especially at other dogs. You may notice your Aussie nipping at other dogs’ ankles or feet, this is a herding method that Aussies are already used to because of their history.
Here are some other common reasons why Australian Shepherds may bite or nip:
- They are playing or excited – This is one of the more common reasons Aussies may nip or bite, if they are in an excited mood, they may get overwhelmed and so excited that they resort to biting so that they can release their energy.
- They are bored – This goes hand-in-hand with being overly excited, if an Aussie is bored, they may turn to biting or chewing as a way to get rid of the energy that is building up inside of them.
- They are fearful or frustrated – Fear is one of the many reasons why all dog breeds may bite. This is why it is important to socialize your Aussie early so that they won’t feel as fearful in certain situations and resort to biting as a way of coping.
- They are giving a warning – Aussies may use nipping as a way to warn another dog that they are crossing boundaries, or as an instinct to protect their family/owner.
- They are wanting attention – Australian Shepherds are known to be clingy, especially to their family/owners. If they are wanting attention and aren’t getting it, they may nip/bite, or even begin chewing things they aren’t supposed to.
- They are teething – Teething is one of the main reasons why dogs will bite or chew on things. It is important to upkeep their dental health and prevent them from biting by giving them a dog-approved chew toy, bone, etc.
NOTE: If you are unsure why your Aussie is biting, talk with a veterinarian, trainer, or other dog professional to see if they have any tips/tricks for your dog in particular!
Do Australian Shepherd Puppies Bite A Lot?
When someone is deciding whether or not to get an Australian Shepherd puppy, they may be concerned about whether or not this breed bites a lot, this is oftentimes a potential dog owner’s concern when it comes to any breed.
Australian Shepherd puppies are not likely to bite as long as they are well cared for, given regular exercise, and trained the right way early on.
As long as the right methods are taken early in an Aussie’s life, there is no reason why an Aussie puppy should be biting.
NOTE: If you notice biting or nipping behavior going on past the puppy stage, you may consider talking with your vet.
While Australian Shepherds are known to be very friendly and outgoing, they are a breed that is known for being shyer and more cautious around new people, this can especially happen when a dog is younger.
Aussies will typically bite the most when they are puppies because they are acting out of fear and uncertainty, they will usually grow out of this very fast.
NOTE: It is important to train Australian Shepherds early on in life so that they are able to socialize and be comfortable through new or stressful situations.
Aussie puppies normally do not bite super hard either, they will “nibble” more so than “bite” because they are teething. Just like human babies, puppies will want to chew on something when their teeth are growing.
NOTE: Australian Shepherd puppies will usually teethe sometime between 2 weeks to 8 months old.
How to Stop My Australian Shepherd from Biting?
A big concern for dog owners is when their dog won’t stop biting. Thankfully, there are many things that can be done to prevent your dog from biting or becoming a biter.
Thankfully, Australian Shepherds are easy to train, this is good especially if you notice that they are biting, and you want it to stop.
Training is the most important factor when it comes to getting your Australian Shepherd to stop biting and thankfully, there are many different methods that can work.
There are also other methods related to training that you can try when trying to get an Aussie to stop biting here are some of the most common methods:
- Positive Reinforcement – By offering your Aussie a reward when they show good behavior, they are more likely to behave well, and not do anything that might prevent them from getting a treat/reward.
- Train your Aussie in a quiet area with no distractions – Your Aussie will focus completely on the training instead of other things going on. Which, in return, will benefit them significantly.
- Give your Aussie toys or bones to chew on – Chewing can be the best cure for an Aussie who likes to nip, chew, or bite.
NOTE: Giving your Aussie toys/bones can not only help their biting habits, but it will also help their dental health and keep their teeth clean!
- Pay attention to the way your Aussie acts – Simply watching your dog’s actions can help you determine what their behavior will be. If your Aussie is going to bite, you may notice that they seem to be irritated, angry, etc. This gives you the opportunity to remove them from the situation quickly.
- Socialization – This is a key factor in preventing Aussies from biting. Socializing any dog early can prevent them from having any reason to bite, they will feel more comfortable in almost all situations.
- Owner rection – Some Aussie owners suggested that if their dog nipped or bit them while playing, or just in general if the owner yelped out as if they were hurt, the dog would stop and not try biting again because they feared that they had hurt their owner.
- Avoid playing roughly – If your Aussie likes to play rough, don’t encourage it. Playing roughly with any dog can lead to them showing aggressive behavior because they think they are only playing and that it is okay; they may also become irritated from the play and react by biting.
NOTE: If your Aussie tends to bite when playing, it is best to stop playing immediately when they start to nip or bite. By doing this, they will realize that if they bite, the playing will stop.
If you notice your Aussie is biting and nothing is working to get the behavior to stop, speaking with your vet or another professional that works with dogs can be a great option.
These professionals can usually determine why your dog is biting and suggest the right training methods, medications, and many other aspects that can help your dog in particular!