Some sites say wolves can bite around 400 psi. But this site claims that when facing a peril they can deliver upto 1200 ?https://plexidors.com/myths-around-dog-bite-force/(skip to the 'How does that measure compared to cousins in the wild?' portion to save time) -That's a huge range, and could in theory put them on par with big cats.Is what the site says true? -I looked online extensively in the internet but I only came across a reddit post where they discuss this and it wasn't conclusive.Why is there a maximum bite force of other animals like crocodiles,gorillas,hyenas etc but not for wolves?

  • $\begingroup$ @Specter writes about other units: PSI (pounds per square inch), but I don't know how it counts to N (newton). $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 12:04

2 Answers 2


The range from mean to maximum of wolve's bite force is huge.

Is it really? According to this Wikipedia page, (Scully, C. (2003). Oxford Handbook of Applied Dental Sciences. p. 151) claims that human masticatory forces range from 70 N to 700 N. Also, (Kim et al., 2018) claims that domestic dogs have a bite force of (147-3417) N, so I don't think it's too implausible for wolves to have the value of (774-2255) N of wolves that @Olga_Swider claims. We see also, on Table 4 on p. 550 of (Eng et al., 2013), the estimated maximum bite force (MBF) spread over the $M^2$ area of the jaw. Eng claims that Gorillas and Chimpanzees have MBFs of 3200 N and 1800 N respectively. I think there's quite a large degree of control of masticatory muscles, which wouldn't make it too surprising that you can have a large range of forces.

This range of wolves' bite forces could put them on par with big cats.

According to p. 621 of (Wroe et al., 2005), lions have a bite force of around 1768 N, while tigers have a bite force of 1525 N. So, it seems that wolves have a significantly smaller mean bite force than big cats. But bear in mind that while dogs and wolves might have a fairly similar jaw size, lions jaws are much larger so their bite force is spread over a much greater area. So exercise caution when comparing them. Similarly, note that PSI is a unit of pressure (force over area), while newtons are a unit of force.

Why isn't there a maximum bite force for wolves?

Says who? Of course there's a maximum. Wolves can't make arbitrarily large forces with their mouths, that's physically impossible.

  • $\begingroup$ I did not carry out these tests. I gave the data after literature. In addition, the values given refer to the mean. In another chart, in the second item I cited, it can be read that the "maximum estimated bite force" does not exceed 3000 N. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 13:16
  • $\begingroup$ By the way: I do not think that we can measure the maximum bite strength. You will not get the animal to do it. Only estimation remains. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 13:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Olga I never said you recorded it, I said you claimed it. Also, it's redundant whether the second paper is claiming that "the value is 2255 N" or "the value is estimated as 2255 N"; it's the same effect. There's tonnes of stuff in science that you can't measure directly but have to estimate. $\endgroup$
    – Jam
    Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 14:20
  • $\begingroup$ Re "dogs and wolves might have a fairly similar jaw size", that depends on the breed of dog. A malamute or husky might have a similar jaw size to a wolf, but a Pekinese or an Irish Wolfhound? Which probably accounts for the wide variation in dog bite force cited. $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 18:48
  • $\begingroup$ @Jam - You wrote that you doubt the presented results. I just made it clea,r that it was difficult for me to discuss it, because I did not estimate or measure it. Have a nice day... $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 8:42

In this article (Bite forces and evolutionary adaptation to feeding ecology in Carnivores) they say, that bite forces of wolf (Canis lupus) is 774 N. Literature (Maximum estimated bite force, skull morphology, and primary prey size in North American Carnivores) gives that: "the wolf had a mean maximum estimated bite force of 2255 N".


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