How Strong Are Dogs Compared to Humans

Dogs, especially larger ones, are often seen as powerful animals capable of easily bringing a human being down. This is a common view of bigger breeds of canines too, such as the stigmatized pit bull breeds or the more recognized German Shepherd police dogs that catch and take down assailants much faster than any human cop could hope to do themselves. Therefore, we’re going to go a bit deeper into the answer to the common question: “Are dogs stronger than humans?”

how strong are dogs
How Strong are Dogs Compared to Humans

So, let’s discuss it in detail.

Humans are often stronger than dogs regarding their strength to weight ratio. However, dogs generally exceed humans when it comes to their notable jaw strength. With some larger breeds of dogs, though, their overall size and muscle mass contribute to them easily surpassing a human in strength.

Strength Comparison (Human Vs. Dog)

A dog’s jaw has no trouble creating an average of around 250 lbs. of pressure per square inch, but some larger breeds can easily clamp down with over 700 or more pounds of pressure. When discussing the strength level behind biting, tearing, or ripping with one’s teeth and mouth, a huge dog can easily out-strength a human.

However, although dogs have a significant amount of raw strength, humans can apply a notable amount of pressure in diverse directions. Additionally, being able to utilize the power that we do have intelligently makes the strength we have more valuable. Our flexibility and dexterity give us advantages a dog may not have, but whether this compensates for our lack of strength honestly depends upon the specific human and specific type of dog being compared.

Thanks to the fact that dogs have a far stronger biting force (as discussed above) than humans and coupled with their speed, this is why canines are employed in various service positions, whether as protection against other humans or animals or even being employed to use their strength and durability in rescue situations to help others and pull injured people from debris. With our minds paired alongside the strength of dogs, man’s best friend and the human race work very well together.

Regarding overall comparisons, there are numerous different breeds of dogs as well as an incalculable amount of differences among all of the people inhabiting our planet, so this can create a distorted perception of how powerful dogs truly are in some cases.

Some dogs can overpower their owners and either drags them while on a leash or even injure them, whether intentionally or by accident. Small dogs can easily be picked up and carried around despite any opposition attempts, but breeds like a Great Dane may grow to be larger than an average adult human female. All of these factors vary greatly, so please keep this in mind when pondering on the matter.

Who Would Win in a Fight Between a Human and a Dog?

A scenario like this would depend on various elements, including the human’s and the dog’s strengths and limitations, as well as the situation in which they were both placed.

The size of the dog and the size of the human matter a lot. Here, we compare different dog categories (according to their size) with moderately-sized adult humans to give you a clearer picture of actual human and dog strength levels.

Human vs. Toy Dog (such as a Chihuahua)

The chihuahua would weigh no more than 5–10 pounds at the very most, but what they lack in size and weight, they compensate for in speed and intelligence. Many breeds around this size lack physical strength besides a mild bite strength due to their size limitations. With them being so small, a human could easily overpower most toy dog breeds.

Human vs. Small Dog (such as a Frenchie/French Bulldog)

A French bulldog can weigh up to 20–30 pounds at the very most; thus, people would generally put their money on the human winning in a test of strength during a fight. In the case of a small dog like this, a large portion of the human’s lower leg may be damaged by the dog, but an adult human would most likely be able to overpower a dog of this size.

The only way a smaller breed of dog could prevail would be if it were to infect or transmit some type of infection to the human (which would take too long to immediately show results) or if it were to damage and open a main artery with one of its bites of scratches, which is possible since humans have been known to bleed out due to leg injuries in the wrong locations.

Otherwise, in the average scenario involving a human and a small breed like a Frenchie, a human could easily win.

Human vs. Medium-sized Dog (ranging from a Beagle to an average-sized Hound breed)

In this scenario, the results of a fight could go either way. An average medium-sized dog would weigh between 20 and 60 pounds and would have far greater strength than a smaller dog breed as well as an improved height advantage (depending upon the breed). A medium-sized dog would be large enough to withstand a few severe blows from a human while simultaneously being large enough to inflict quite a few blows of its own.

There are two possibilities in the scenario of a fight between a medium-sized dog and an average-sized adult human:

Possibility #1

The medium-sized dog would leap at the human and knock him to the ground. The dog would then claw the human up and tear respectably-sized pieces out of the human’s body, finally severing the neck arteries, and the human’s life would be finished.

Possibility #2

The dog would lunge at the human, who avoided the attack. The dog would then try again and manage to catch hold of the person’s leg, which the human would then attempt to shake off, but this would be ineffective. The human would then end up being dragged down by the dog.

Once down, the dog would then pounce upon the person and attempt to bite their neck, but the human could grab the dog’s jaws and place it in a headlock. The dog would attempt to fight back, but the human would end up breaking the dog’s neck or strangling the dog to death.

Human vs. Large Dog (such as a GSD)

In the case of large dogs weighing between 75 to 115 lbs., the dog would typically win in most scenarios, but that doesn’t mean that the human has no chance of success. However, the large dogs are often highly intelligent along with being simultaneously taller than other breeds, heavier than other breeds, and much more muscular. Many large breed dogs are used as working dogs for a reason, so if the tables were to be turned and man’s best friend became an enemy, the average human would be in a precarious situation.

There are two potential possibilities for how a fight between an average-sized adult human and a large breed dog might go:

Possibility #1

The dog would leap at the human and either bite the human’s neck or rip the person apart after knocking them down, and the dog would be victorious. Dog attacks are no joke, and large breeds are unfortunately the ones who end up causing casualties in such situations.

Possibility #2

The dog would lunge at the person, who would then manage to avoid the assault. The dog would attempt to bite the human’s neck, but the human could potentially strangle the dog by placing it in a headlock. In this case, the human would be victorious.

Human vs. Giant dog (such as a Great Dane or Tibetan Mastiff)

In the case of a fight between a human and a giant-sized dog, the dog would always win. Giant dogs are far stronger than humans, and they typically have a significant weight advantage, too. Not only that, but giant dogs also have a massive bite force, with most Mastiffs reaching up to 552 PSI while most humans only reach just 120-160 PSI.

Do Dogs Have Stronger Senses Than Humans?

In terms of senses, dogs have the same five senses as humans. However, their sense typically tends to exceed our own. Dogs have an extremely keen sense of smell, significantly superior to that of humans, and they also have a far better sense of hearing as well.

Humans, however, have more taste buds and can experience more flavors in comparison to dogs. When it comes to sight, we humans may see more colors than dogs do, but dogs have much better night vision and motion detection to compensate.

Can Dogs Hear Better Than Humans?

Dogs have far better hearing than humans, and they can detect sounds up to four times further away than we can. Dogs can detect noises with up to 45,000Hz. A dog whistle often produces a sound with a frequency of about 35,000 Hz, which clarifies why canine companions respond to a dog whistle even when it seems completely silent to us humans.

how strong are dogs
How Strong are Dogs


What is the total strength of a dog’s bite?

As noted above, this varies greatly among the different breeds of dogs out there. A chihuahua averages a bite of about 100 PSI, but a larger breed dog like a Cane Corso could easily exceed 700 PSI of bite strength.

Do dogs have a stronger sense of smell or hearing than humans?

Yes, their sense of smell and their hearing are both extremely good. Their nose is highly superior to the average human, and the extent of the effectiveness of their sniffer is determined by various factors, such as their breed and any scent-based training.

Dogs are frequently taught to detect explosives, narcotics, and potentially dangerous substances that humans can’t detect at all by simply using their noses.

Do dogs have the ability to detect human emotions?

There is no other species in the animal kingdom that can communicate with humans the way that dogs can. Their ability to perceive our feelings, read our facial gestures, and even interpret our pointing movements is something that they excel at doing and why they’re such great companion animals.

Are humans stronger than most animals?

Our dexterity gives us a significant advantage over nearly all animals, but the answer to this question varies greatly depending on the species being discussed. A human could overpower a mouse or small bird, but we also stand no chance in a game of strength against animals like bears, tigers, or even moose.

Related Reading: Are Dogs Stronger Than Cats?

stuart and his dog

Family Dog Expert Author

Hi there! I’m Stuart, a devoted dog lover and family dog expert with over a decade of experience working with our furry companions. My passion for dogs drives me to share my knowledge and expertise, helping families build strong, loving bonds with their four-legged friends. When I’m not writing for SirDoggie, you’ll find me hiking, playing with my beautiful dog, or studying music.