Bullmastiffs, with their imposing stature and powerful physique, often pique curiosity regarding their bite force. As guardians of properties and families, their potential for protection is undeniable. But how formidable is the Bullmastiff’s bite, and does it inflict pain? This article dives into the nuances of the Bullmastiff’s bite force, exploring its strength and its implications.

Historical Background of the Bullmastiff

To understand the Bullmastiff’s bite force, one must first consider its historical roots. Originating in England during the late 19th century, Bullmastiffs were bred as guard dogs for estates, fending off poachers. A cross between Bulldogs and Mastiffs, the Bullmastiff inherited strength and tenacity from both parent breeds. The dog’s lineage suggests an inherent capacity for a powerful bite, designed for deterrence and defense.

Bite Force Metrics: Setting the Standard

Bite force is typically quantified using PSI (Pounds per Square Inch). This measure indicates the pressure exerted when an animal clamps its jaws shut. For reference, human bite force averages around 120-140 PSI, while some of the strongest canine biters can exceed 500 PSI.

The Bullmastiff’s Bite in Numbers

Bullmastiffs, given their substantial size and lineage, possess a potent bite force. Estimates place the Bullmastiff’s bite between 250-300 PSI. When compared to other breeds, this places the Bullmastiff among the stronger biters, but not at the very top. The breed’s bite, while forceful, is often delivered with restraint unless the dog perceives a significant threat.

The Pain Factor: How Does a Bullmastiff’s Bite Feel?

With a bite force surpassing 250 PSI, it’s undeniable that a bite from a Bullmastiff would be painful. Several factors can determine the level of pain experienced:

  1. Severity of the Bite: A warning nip is far different from a full-force bite. While Bullmastiffs are trained to restrain and deter rather than attack, their bites can still inflict serious harm if they feel provoked.
  2. Location of the Bite: A bite to a fleshy part of the body might be less harmful than one to a bony area or near vital organs.
  3. Individual Pain Tolerance: Pain is subjective, and what one person finds excruciating, another might find bearable.

Temperament of the Bullmastiff and Its Relation to Biting

Despite their imposing presence, Bullmastiffs are generally calm, loyal, and affectionate, especially towards their families. They are protective by nature, but not overly aggressive. Proper training and socialization from a young age can minimize unwanted biting behaviors and reinforce their natural inclination to guard without unnecessary force.

Minimizing Biting Incidents with Bullmastiffs

Owning a Bullmastiff comes with responsibilities, given their size and strength. To prevent potential biting incidents:

  1. Early Training: Teach your Bullmastiff bite inhibition and commands like “leave it” from a young age.
  2. Consistent Socialization: Expose your Bullmastiff to different environments, people, and animals to ensure they’re well-adjusted and non-aggressive.
  3. Be a Responsible Owner: Always supervise your Bullmastiff, especially around unfamiliar people or animals. Use a leash in public areas.


The Bullmastiff’s bite force is a testament to the breed’s historical role as guardian. While their bite is undeniably powerful, Bullmastiffs are typically reserved, using their strength judiciously. Owners must respect this potential and ensure that their Bullmastiff is well-trained and socialized, ensuring safety for all and showcasing the breed’s true nature as gentle giants.


Frequently Asked Questions About Bullmastiff Bites

1. How strong is a Bullmastiff’s bite compared to other dog breeds?

The Bullmastiff has a bite force estimated between 250-300 PSI, making it one of the stronger biting breeds, though not the strongest. For comparison, humans average around 120-140 PSI. Some larger breeds might have a bite force that exceeds that of a Bullmastiff.

2. Are Bullmastiffs naturally aggressive?

No, Bullmastiffs are not naturally aggressive. While they were historically bred to deter poachers, their primary method was to track and pin, not to attack. With proper training and socialization, Bullmastiffs are calm, loyal, and affectionate, especially towards their families.

3. What should I do if my Bullmastiff starts showing aggressive tendencies?

If a Bullmastiff starts exhibiting aggressive behaviors, it’s crucial to consult with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. Early intervention, consistent training, and understanding the root of the aggression are vital. Additionally, ensuring your Bullmastiff has regular exercise and mental stimulation can reduce unwanted behaviors.

4. How can I train my Bullmastiff puppy to avoid unwanted biting?

Training a Bullmastiff puppy to avoid unnecessary biting starts with bite inhibition lessons during their early developmental stages. Socializing them with various people, environments, and other animals will also help. Teaching commands like “leave it” or “drop it” can prevent potential bite situations.

5. Is a Bullmastiff’s bite dangerous?

Any dog bite can be dangerous, and given the Bullmastiff’s strong bite force, a bite can inflict serious harm, especially if it’s a full-force bite. However, Bullmastiffs are generally not prone to biting without provocation and are more likely to display restraint.

6. Why did my Bullmastiff bite without any apparent reason?

Dogs rarely bite without a reason. Common causes can include fear, pain, territorial behavior, or being provoked. It’s essential to observe the context of the situation and consult with a veterinarian to rule out any health issues.

7. How can I ensure my Bullmastiff doesn’t bite strangers or guests?

To ensure your Bullmastiff doesn’t bite strangers or guests, proper introduction techniques are crucial. Always supervise interactions and teach guests how to approach and treat your dog. Early and consistent socialization, combined with obedience training, can significantly reduce the risk of unwanted biting.

8. Do Bullmastiffs bite more frequently than other breeds?

No, Bullmastiffs do not bite more frequently than other breeds. Their temperament is typically calm and protective, but not overtly aggressive. Proper training and socialization can further minimize any biting tendencies.

9. Are Bullmastiffs good with children, given their strong bite?

Yes, Bullmastiffs can be excellent with children when raised with them and socialized properly. However, due to their size and strength, it’s essential to supervise interactions between Bullmastiffs and young children. Children should also be taught how to interact safely and respectfully with dogs.

10. How can I reduce the chances of my Bullmastiff biting out of fear or anxiety?

Reducing fear or anxiety-based biting involves creating a secure environment for your Bullmastiff. Positive reinforcement training, avoiding negative or punitive measures, and providing regular exercise and mental stimulation are essential. If your Bullmastiff displays signs of extreme anxiety, consult with a veterinarian or canine behaviorist for specialized strategies and potential treatments.

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