The Bite Force of Chihuahuas: Debunking the Myth
Chihuahuas are often depicted as aggressive and protective of their owners, with their teeth bared in funny photos. But what is the truth about their bite force? Can they actually cause harm or even kill a human being? Let’s dive into the surprising facts and statistics related to Chihuahua bites.
How Powerful is a Chihuahua’s Bite?
First, let’s address the commonly mentioned bite force of a Chihuahua, which supposedly measures 3,900 pounds per square inch (psi). However, this claim is highly unlikely and has been met with skepticism from experts. Stanley Coren, a professor of psychology, explained in an article that bite pressure forces are often misinterpreted due to confusion between pounds of force and Newtons.
According to more recent and reliable research, bite strength depends on the size of the animal, the shape of its jaw, and the width of its mouth. The breed with the largest head and widest mouth, the Mastiff, has been measured with a bite force of 552 pounds, approaching that of a lion. Based on this research, it’s evident that Chihuahuas, with their tiny size and small heads, cannot generate a bite force of 3,900 psi.
The InsideDogsWorld.com website also supports the idea that the reported bite force of Chihuahuas is a misinterpretation. The research discloses the bite force in Newtons, which roughly translates to 450 pounds of force per square inch (psi).
The Real Chihuahua Bite Pressure: An Assumption
Surprisingly, no scientific study has accurately measured the bite force of Chihuahuas. Therefore, it remains uncertain just how powerful their bites can be. While studies have attempted to measure dog bite forces, the reliability of the numbers is questionable since dogs cannot be asked to bite as hard as they can.
Based on comparisons with other dog breeds, it is my assumption that a Chihuahua’s bite force is likely no more than 100 psi. However, what are your thoughts on this subject?
Chihuahua Bite Statistics: Examining the Data
Moving on to Chihuahua bite statistics, a study conducted in 2009 by the Coalition for Living Safely with Dogs and the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association analyzed 188 different dog breeds. The study revealed that Chihuahuas bite veterinarians more frequently than any other breed and rank 4th in bites involving children.
In a separate study by the Dognition company in 2016, Chihuahuas were found to be the most aggressive breed among the dogs surveyed. However, the study also highlighted that the majority of dogs are not actually aggressive, and Chihuahuas generally fell into the medium range.
Fatalities Caused by Chihuahua Bites
Without a doubt, Chihuahuas can deliver a hard bite that leaves a mark. But can it be deadly? To gather information on Chihuahua bite fatalities, I extensively researched reported cases online. Surprisingly, I could not find any instances of Chihuahuas killing humans, although there are records of scars resulting from their bites.
However, a well-regarded website, DogsBites.org, which compiles annual statistics on dog bites and attacks in the United States, provides intriguing insights. From their data spanning 2005 to 2017, the top 7 breeds responsible for human deaths are Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Mixed Breeds, American Bulldogs, Mastiffs/Bull Mastiffs, and Huskies. Remarkably, Chihuahuas are responsible for only 1 recorded death within that period.
It is important to note that the Chihuahua-related fatality in 2018 occurred in a household with two Pit Bulls. While it is not certain which dog was responsible, common sense suggests it was likely the smaller Chihuahua, as there were no witnesses to the attack.
Despite the lack of concrete evidence, reports of Chihuahua bite fatalities from reliable sources prove that their bites can have severe consequences. It’s not inconceivable that if a Chihuahua managed to bite a main artery, the victim could potentially bleed to death if not treated promptly.
Outside the United States, there have been reports of Chihuahuas causing harm, such as an incident in London where an out-of-control Chihuahua attacked a woman. While the bite did not result in a fatality, the case led to legal intervention.
Comparing Chihuahua Bites to Pit Bull Bites
Considering the numerous fatalities associated with Pit Bull bites, it is clear that Chihuahua bites are far less dangerous. According to the data from DogsBites.org between 2005 and 2017, Pit Bull bites caused 284 deaths, while Chihuahua bites resulted in only 1 recorded fatality.
In Conclusion: The Reality of Chihuahua Bites
In conclusion, there’s no need to fear Chihuahuas. While they may deliver a sharp and painful bite, they are not likely to hunt you down or tear you to pieces. However, it is essential to recognize that their bites can still cause harm, especially if a main artery is affected.
It is impossible to compare the bite force of a Chihuahua to that of a Pit Bull or similarly sized dog. The statistical evidence and the lack of scientific studies suggest that Chihuahua bites are considerably less dangerous.
Please feel free to explore additional topics related to Chihuahuas on this website, such as why they have a tendency to bite ankles and feet, or common reasons for limping in Chihuahuas.