Great Pyrenees bite question
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Thread: Great Pyrenees bite question

  1. #1
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    Great Pyrenees bite question

    I was watching an episode of "Breed All About It" on YouTube featuring Great Pyrenees. I'm fascinated by this beautiful dog that serves as a guardian, but is also gentle around children. So, I'm watching this video, and a woman states that a Great Pyrenees has a bite force around 900 PSI. That would make theirs the strongest bite in the canine world (average force). I believe that highest average bite force goes to the Kangal at 714 PSI.

    Does this have any truth to it? Even lions and tigers only have up to 1000 PSI bites. Also, in some of the bite test results, wildly spaced min/max values were sometimes given. I think the GSD was rated from 450-1800 PSI (this could be the wrong numbers). What kind of bite tests give an average pressure where the max is 4x the min? And this would be a GSD's bite at nearly twice the pressure of a lions, which I find highly suspect.

    This is purely a curiosity question. I'm not looking to purchase a guard dog or anything. The Great Pyrenees is attractive to me because they're beautiful and strong, but not overly prone to aggression and territorial behavior, as are some of the LGD breeds.

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  3. #2
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    Re: Great Pyrenees bite question

    I don't know. . .most of the pet Pyrs I've met were aggressive and very territorial (I can't say anything about their breeding or raising/training/treatment, though. They were only fleeting encounters). Only one was cool, she was the Protector of a little girl I knew when I was a kid. She was 5 years old (the girl not the dog), and was allowed to roam outside freely as long as the dog (named Tess) was with her. That dog didn't let anybody mess with her girl, and kept her from doing anything dangerous (Tess knew how to look both ways before crossing the street!). We all loved her. But ever since, all the encounters I've had with Pyrs have been sketchy. Maybe because they didn't have little girls or livestock to protect. Anyway, I know they can be great when well-bred and treated right, but I can't say they're always non-aggressive and non-territorial. If I could have one like Tess, I'd jump at the chance.

    As for bite strength, I'm not sure how they measure that. How do you tell a dog (or a lion) "now, bite down as hard as you can"? Wouldn't they back off once they felt the bite plate? How can you be sure they're biting with their full power? I'm just not sure how much stock to put in those claims.

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    Re: Great Pyrenees bite question

    Quote Originally Posted by Willowy View Post
    As for bite strength, I'm not sure how they measure that. How do you tell a dog (or a lion) "now, bite down as hard as you can"? Wouldn't they back off once they felt the bite plate? How can you be sure they're biting with their full power? I'm just not sure how much stock to put in those claims.

    I think most of the bite strength measurements are questionable. The basic physics of muscle-joint strength suggests a short muzzle--in relation to its length--would be the stronger...all other things being equal. I'd guess something like a Boerbel or a Presa Canario would surpass a Pyr of the same size. That's just a guess, though. Suffice to say, a Great Pyrenese can bite hard enough to give you an owie.

    Pyrs are great dogs, but they ain't XL sized Golden Retrievers. They are bred to guard flocks and dispatch large predators. They can be rough on dogs, cats, and furry critters who wander through their territory. It seems to me that there is a large number of Pyrs up for adoption--a number way out of proportion to their popularity. I'm guessing there's a reason for that.
    If I have to give my dog treats for obeying commands, then the terrorists have won.

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    Re: Great Pyrenees bite question

    It's not my aim to run out and buy one. This sounds kind of geeky, but I like reading about dog breeds and learning about them. I was checking out Boerboels, and found that they have a confirmation event near me next month, so I'm going. That kind of thing. One of these days I'll pick up a giant dog to bring home, but it won't be soon.

  6. #5
    Senior Member hanksimon's Avatar
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    Re: Great Pyrenees bite question

    National Geographic is given 'credit' for questionable bite tests. Marsh Muppet made the point: How do you tell a dog - "Bite Hard" ? However, back to your question, even a Chihuahua can bite hard enough to draw blood. Instead, what you want is a 60 - 90 lb. dog that does NOT bite, but barks or keeps quiet on cue.

    I have a 60 lb Lab mix that I would trust to eat an ice cream cone with a 3 yo old child ... ;-)

    However, when he sees people, he barks. Dog people recognize the bark and body language immediately, and come over to say hello and play. However, a few non-dog owners have come up to the front door, backing off very quickly when they saw my 'attack' dog.

    Not 100%, but most people that you need protection from are not "dog people" even if they own dogs...

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