Australian Shepherds are medium-sized dogs with a great deal of energy. They are known for their high intelligence and friendly demeanor. However, they can “nip” during play. So, you may be wondering what the bite force of an Australian Shepherd is and whether you have anything to worry about.
The Australian Shepherd’s bite force is around 235 PSI. This is higher than the average large dog breed. So, although their nipping behavior is not problematic in itself, it can quickly become so if done with a little more force.
Read below as we cover more important information about what you can do to prevent bites.
Before reading this article, “How Strong Is the Australian Shepherd Bite Force,” check out: 10 Best Australian Shepherd Haircut Styles – With Pictures! (2023) and 5 Best Australian Shepherd Breeders in the USA! (2023).
About the Breed
Aussies are devoted and intelligent dogs. They have an incredible amount of strength in addition to their extremely high energy levels. The coats of these medium-sized dogs come in a wide variety of colors, including the striking red merles.
You might not know that cowboys used to use the Australian Shepherd as a herding dog.
They are quite bright, so if they manage to outwit you, don’t take it personally. However, their intelligence also means that they may not be the ideal pet for everyone. You need to dedicate considerable time and effort to caring for an Aussie if you want it to thrive.
Their 13-year lifespan is another plus because it gives you plenty of time to enjoy their company.
Australian Shepherd Bite Force
Many people who currently own or are considering buying an Australian Shepherd express their concern over the breed’s notoriously powerful bite.
Pounds per square inch (PSI), a pressure-based measuring unit, measures dog bites. The average PSI for a small dog is 230 to 250, whereas the average PSI for a large dog is 300 to 500.
An average Australian Shepherd’s bite has a force of 235 PSI. Compare this to the 400 PSI of wolves and the 650 PSI of mountain lions, and you can see this is more than the average for large-breed dogs.
There is a smaller version of the Australian Shepherd called a Miniature Australian Shepherd. Others are curious whether or not the Mini Aussie possesses the same bite force as its full-sized counterpart.
Well, no. Compared to full-grown Australian Shepherds, Mini Aussies have a bite force of roughly 200 PSI. Miniature Australian Shepherds aren’t any less prone to nipping, especially when they’re younger.
Mini Aussies, despite their small size, are just as high-spirited as full-grown Aussies and are more likely to bite if provoked.
Why Do Australian Shepherds Have Such a Powerful Bite?
Dogs have varying levels of bite force. The intensity of a bite might fluctuate for various reasons.
Strong bites are common in Australian Shepherds due to their high energy levels. They tend to be more reserved than other breeds, making their bite all the more devastating if they ever feel threatened.
The intensity of a bite depends on several factors, including the dog’s emotional state at the time of the attack. For instance, the intensity of their bite increases when they are agitated or angry and decreases when they are joyful and playful.
Thankfully, Australian Shepherds do not have a reputation for being particularly aggressive. They are more likely to “nip” than other dog breeds. Although Aussies have a strong bite, they can still be some of the best-behaved, friendliest, and most devoted dogs.
High Energy Drive
The Australian Shepherd is a breed widely recognized for its high levels of activity. This makes them more prone to agitation and restlessness if they don’t find a proper outlet. They may resort to biting or nipping if they are frustrated and unable to release their pent-up energy through chewing.
It is crucial to take Australian Shepherds on outings to keep them moving regularly.
The size, age, and condition of the dog’s teeth are just a few additional variables that can affect how powerful an Australian Shepherd’s bite is.
Why Does an Australian Shepherd Bite?
Among the most common causes of biting behavior in Australian Shepherds are:
The Instinct to Herd
As mentioned before, Aussies were first developed to work as herding dogs. As their major function was to drive farm animals in a specific direction, they made effective use of biting and nipping.
This soon became an instinctual behavior that has been passed down to this day. There is still a chance that an Australian Shepherd will go into herding mode and become aggressive. That’s not the kind of behavior you want in a pet.
An Australian Shepherd owner may receive a nip from the dog if it feels anxious about something. This is a defensive strategy and a way of asking for help. It’s an aggressive move, but it’s only a last resort.
Aussie Shepherds, like all dogs, can get angry at times. When these emotions become intense enough, they might even lash out with a bite.
The nature of the Australian Shepherd makes them a guard dog, and their guarding behavior contributes to this characteristic. If they have reason to believe that their owner or themselves are in danger from another individual, they may choose to bite.
This may prove helpful in some situations. But things go south when the dog begins to act aggressively in situations where it is not warranted because of a mishap.
Different Types of Aussie Bites
Before passing judgment on the demeanor of an Australian Shepherd, it is necessary to understand the differences between the various types of bites. It’s possible to look at it in a positive or negative light, depending on the context. If you are the owner, this is important to consider.
Owners should focus on preventing unwanted bites. Bites like these might potentially put the dog’s owners in an awkward position. Consider, for instance, if an Australian Shepherd were to randomly bite a person in a public location who was in no way a threat to anyone else.
On the other hand, certain bites are okay. Suppose an unknown person is standing at the front door of the yard. The owner may find it strange if the person who got bit is someone they know. But that’s just the guard instinct in him. An Aussie is great to have around in case the individual is an intruder.
Biting is also understandable if the dog is merely playing. Perhaps he doesn’t intend any harm at all. The primary objective of his bite should be nothing more than to have fun with his human. Nipping, however, can be painful if done with excessive force.
You are in the best position to determine whether or not it is necessary to begin training.
Tips to Stop Your Aussie Shepherd from Biting
Now that you’ve prepared yourself, you can begin training your Australian Shepherd.
You have to get rid of this behavior first and foremost. Your Aussie Shepherd has likely made biting a habit. Because he was bred to herd, it can be difficult to get him to let go of this instinct. However, “difficult” does not necessarily mean “impossible.”
If you provide proper training, you can simply replace this poor habit with a more desirable one. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we’re going to give you a few tips on how you can effectively keep your Australian shepherd from biting people.
Add Some Fun to the Training
As you may have already guessed, this is something that many dog owners overlook. Your dog has to be motivated to attend training sessions and quit his negative habits for good.
To achieve this goal, training must appeal to the dog more than the temptation to bite, run away, or engage in other undesirable behaviors. If not, your pet will be as bored as a student in a dull classroom. Plus, he will not learn anything useful in such an environment.
Exercise with Him
Since your Aussie has a lot of energy, it’s important to take him to the park, run with him, or do other forms of exercise. Your furry friend will never be content if you stay at home for extended periods.
Australian Shepherds love to be given tasks. It goes back to their roots as diligent farm workers! He needs to be engaged in an activity for extended periods of time. These are essential for him to de-stress and improve his cognitive performance.
Get Him to Play with Toys
The last thing you want is for your Australian Shepherd to attack your loved ones. Still, he needs to exercise his mouth muscles. Toys designed specifically for dogs are the best answer to this problem.
If he enjoys biting on dolls, flirt poles, or other amusing objects, give them to him. As the training continues, he will come to understand that he is not supposed to bite people but rather these objects. It is also an opportunity to demonstrate the appropriate behavior to adopt in specific scenarios.
Use a Leash When Going Outside
If you are just beginning to train your companion, you should always use a leash when you are out for a walk. This will prevent any conflicts between your dog and other people or dogs.
It’s always recommended to start with a leash, even if you eventually intend to walk him without one. This will help you understand what your dog is capable of when outside without getting into a dangerous situation.
Independent walking is a more complex activity. Start by reviewing the fundamentals. Your dog needs to understand what is expected of him on walks before he can walk without a leash.
Be Careful Around Kids
If you have kids running around, your Aussie Shepherd may go into herding mode. Aussies sometimes have a reputation for trying to herd infants and toddlers.
Keep him away from kids until he’s ready to interact with them, and always supervise.
Frequently Asked Questions
Among all of the Shepherd breeds, the Kangal has the strongest bite force of over 740 PSI.
Australian Shepherds are not deemed aggressive dogs, though they are prone to nipping.
Many dog breeds crave human companionship, including Aussies.
Conclusion for “How Strong Is the Australian Shepherd Bite Force”
The Australian Shepherd’s bite is nothing to be messed with and while they are generally prone to biting, there are ways you can reduce their biting habits. Remember to be patient and provide them with adequate training.
If you find this guide, “How Strong Is the Australian Shepherd Bite Force,” helpful, check out:
- Why Does My Dog Bite My Cat’s Neck? 5 Reasons! (2023)
- Once a Dog Bites, Will It Bite Again? (2023)
- Why Does My Dog Bite My Feet? 7 Reasons. (2023)
Learn more by watching “10 Things Only Australian Shepherd Dog Owners Understand” down below:
Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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