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What’s The Bite Force of a Akita & Does It Hurt?

Written by: Ejay Camposano
A college graduate with a degree in Electrical Engineering, Ejay has a diverse background that combines technical expertise with a passion for pets and is now one of the content writers at IHD. Read more
| Published on October 19, 2023

Akitas, with their commanding presence and profound loyalty, are one of the most revered breeds originating from Japan. These majestic dogs, characterized by their dense double coat and unique facial structure, are often subjects of admiration. But as impressive as they might be, there’s a side to Akitas that potential owners might be curious about: their bite force. In this article, we delve into the intricacies of the Akita’s bite force, understanding its origins, and deciphering its potential harm.

Akitas: A Brief Dive into Their Ancestral Roles

To truly grasp the bite force of Akitas, a brief look into their history is pivotal. Akitas were initially bred for hunting large game, such as bears, boars, and deer in the mountainous regions of Japan. This required them to have a robust and powerful bite to take down and control their prey. The Akita’s background as hunters directly links to the strength found in their jaws today.

The Quantitative Measure: Akita’s Bite Force

When it comes to numbers, Akitas boasts a bite force that is quite remarkable. They have an estimated bite force ranging between 300 to 400 PSI (pounds per square inch). To put this into perspective, humans have an average bite force of around 120 PSI. This places Akitas among some of the breeds with the strongest bite force, a testament to their hunting origins.

Comparing the Akita’s Bite Force with Other Breeds

Within the canine realm, certain breeds are renowned for their jaw strength, like the Mastiff or Rottweiler. While Akitas might not surpass these breeds in terms of raw bite force, they certainly stand out, especially when compared to other medium to large-sized breeds. Their bite force is a reflection of their historical hunting roles, ensuring they could effectively deal with large game.

Addressing the Pain Factor: Does an Akita’s Bite Hurt?

Given the substantial bite force Akitas possesses, it’s a given that their bite can indeed be very painful and potentially harmful. While most Akitas are not prone to biting without reason, if they do bite, the power behind it can cause significant damage. It’s crucial for potential and current Akita owners to recognize the potential severity of an Akita’s bite.

The Innate Temperament of Akitas

Akitas are known for their loyalty, often forming strong bonds with their families. They are protective and can be reserved, especially with strangers. While they aren’t naturally aggressive, their protective instinct, combined with their historical hunting background, means that they can and will defend if they perceive a threat. Proper training and early socialization are vital to ensure well-rounded behavior.

Training and Socializing Akitas to Minimize Biting Risks

One cannot emphasize enough the importance of early training and socialization for Akitas. Given their protective nature, they need to be introduced to various environments, people, and animals from a young age. This helps in reducing unnecessary defensive behaviors and ensures they can differentiate between genuine threats and normal situations.


The Akita’s formidable bite force is a blend of their historical roles and their physical attributes. While they aren’t naturally aggressive, the potential harm from their bite should never be underestimated. With proper knowledge, training, and understanding of their temperament, one can ensure a harmonious relationship with these magnificent dogs, respecting their capabilities while enjoying their loyalty and companionship.

Frequently Asked Questions About Akita Bites

1. Are Akitas naturally aggressive or prone to biting?

Akitas are not inherently aggressive. However, they possess a strong protective instinct and can be reserved or wary around strangers. With proper training and early socialization, most Akitas will not display aggressive behaviors unless they perceive a genuine threat.

2. Why does my Akita puppy nip or bite during play?

Like all puppies, Akitas explore the world with their mouths. Playnipping is normal for young dogs learning about their environment. With consistent guidance and training, this behavior can be redirected and eventually stopped as they mature.

3. How can I prevent my Akita from biting or showing aggression?

Early socialization, consistent training, and building trust are crucial. Exposing your Akita to various environments, people, and animals from a young age can reduce aggressive tendencies. Additionally, understanding and recognizing their body language can prevent negative interactions.

4. Are Akitas’ bites more dangerous compared to other breeds?

Given their significant bite force, Akitas can inflict severe harm if they bite with intent. While they aren’t more prone to biting than many other breeds, the potential damage from their bite is considerable due to their strong jaws.

5. How should I introduce my Akita to strangers to reduce the risk of biting?

It’s best to introduce Akitas to strangers in a calm, controlled environment. Let the dog approach the stranger at their own pace, and avoid forcing interactions. Offering treats or positive reinforcement can help create a positive association.

6. My Akita growls when approached while eating. Is this a sign they will bite?

Growling is a warning sign and a way for your Akita to communicate discomfort. While it doesn’t guarantee they will bite, it indicates they might feel threatened. It’s essential to address food aggression through training and never punish growling as it suppresses a vital communication tool.

7. How effective is bite inhibition training for Akitas?

Bite inhibition training is beneficial for all breeds, including Akitas. It teaches them to control the force of their bite, especially during play. Starting this training during puppyhood can yield the best results.

8. Can neutering or spaying my Akita reduce aggressive tendencies and biting risks?

Neutering or spaying can mitigate some aggressive behaviors, but it’s not a definitive solution for biting or aggression. Proper training, understanding the breed, and consistent guidance are more effective in addressing biting risks.

9. What should I do if my Akita bites someone?

First, ensure the safety of all involved by separating the Akita from the person. Seek medical attention for the bite victim if needed. Then, evaluate the circumstances of the bite and consider consulting a professional dog trainer or behaviorist to address the underlying issues.

10. Are there specific toys or activities that can reduce my Akita’s desire to bite or nip?

Providing chew toys, and puzzle feeders, and engaging in structured play can reduce your Akita’s desire to nip or bite. Activities that stimulate their mind and body, such as obedience training or agility courses, can also help channel their energy positively.

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