Golden Retriever Bite Force

A Golden Retriever’s bite force is around 190 PSI (pounds per square inch). The bite force is how much pressure of force is exerted when biting – in this case how hard a Golden Retriever bites. 

The bite force varies depending on why they’re biting. For example, a cornered, scared Golden Retriever will bite harder than a puppy playfully nipping. It’s also affected by the type of bite on a scale of level one to level six (more on this below).

Golden Retrievers are usually sweet-natured and not known for biting – but in certain circumstances, any animal can bite.

Read on to find out why a Golden Retriever might bite, how to prevent biting, and more.

The Types of Bite From a Golden Retriever

There are six levels of biting that a Golden Retriever can do, depending on the personality of your Golden Retriever and how much fear they’re experiencing.

Each level will show increased aggression, starting with one being the least aggressive and six being the most.

  • Level 1: This is a warning – when they bite at the air near you with no intention of making contact. If someone or something is scaring or provoking them, this is their first response and a warning that a real bite will come if they don’t stop.
  • Level 2: In this stage, your Golden will make contact with you but they won’t leave a mark. It’s used as a deterrence to scare the person or animal into backing off.
  • Level 3: This is when the bite will break the skin and leave a mark. The Golden is acting defensively and proving themselves to be a threat.
  • Level 4: The bite force increases at this level, and the bite is more severe. The Golden might shake their head side to side while biting and the area around the bite will bruise.
  • Level 5: A bite at this level causes significant damage. The bite force will be high and any dog biting at this level will be recommended to be euthanised due to the danger they pose.
  • Level 6: This is the rarest bite that results in the death of whoever or whatever the dog bites. This will also be the highest bite force out of all the levels.

Why Do Adult Golden Retrievers Bite?

Most Golden Retrievers only bite out of fear or if they’re provoked – they’re usually a friendly, affectionate breed that isn’t known for biting.

A Golden Retriever who is anxious and feels like they’ve got no other option might growl or snap at the air in warning, and if the person or animal doesn’t listen, the next step might involve the Golden Retriever biting.

The other alternative is if they’re ‘mouthing’ which is when the Golden Retriever is softly nipping you during playtime. They think it’s part of the game and okay to do. This behaviour shouldn’t be encouraged as it can quickly escalate.

Why Do Golden Retriever Puppies Bite?

There are a couple of reasons why your Golden Retriever puppy might be biting. They might grow out of these, but if not, they might need the training to stop them from biting.

  • Teething: Between four and six months old, a puppy’s baby teeth fall out and their adult teeth come through. This can cause discomfort and chewing/ biting is one way to help them manage the pain.
  • Playing: Puppies are full of energy and excitement, and one way that they’ll play with humans, toys, and other dogs is by biting.
  • It’s learned behaviour: Some puppies (who grow up with other dogs) will see the other dogs biting and copy them – they learn to bite by watching and then doing it themself.

At this age, the pups are still learning to control their bite force. It’s their mothers and littermates that teach them that biting too hard will hurt. This trains the pup not to bite other people or animals. But as their new owner, you’ll need to pick up their training and teach them when they’re new.

How to Prevent Golden Retrievers From Biting

The first thing you need to do if you want to stop your Golden Retriever from biting is to determine why they’re biting.

Once you know the cause, you could try one of these three methods to get your Golden Retriever to stop biting:

  • Deterrence: This is telling your Golden Retriever ‘No!’ in a stern and loud voice. If they don’t listen, you can spray them with water while saying no to reinforce that biting is not good behaviour.
  • Obedience classes: If you’re struggling with deterrence, you can go to a class. This helps you to bond and learn how to control your Golden and teaches them socialisation at the same time.
  • Teach bite inhibition when they’re a puppy: Every puppy will nip, but teaching them bite inhibition will show them how to control the force of the bite. Their mother will punish them if they bite too hard. You can do this too by telling them ‘No!’ or yelping when they bite to show them it’s bad.

You can also get chew toys that aren’t just a positive place to allow your Golden to chew but also promote good dental hygiene.

Puppies will chew pretty much anything – your shoes, the sofa, or anything they can get their teeth around, so getting specific chew toys is a worthwhile investment to get them through the teething stage!

For more advice on teaching a Golden Retriever puppy not to bite, check out this site that’s full of useful tips.

Comparisons of Golden Retriever Bite Forces

To put a Golden Retriever’s bite force into perspective, I’ve compiled a list of bite forces of other dog breeds and other species of animals.

And to compare it to us, a human’s bite force is somewhere between 100 and 150 PSI.

Comparisons to Other Dog Breed Bites

Dog BreedBite Force (PSI)
Dogue De Bordeaux556
American Bulldog305
German Shepherd238
Labrador Retriever230
Golden Retriever190

Golden Retriever’s rank 30th in the list of dog breeds with the biggest bite force – but there are plenty of breeds with much higher bite forces.

Comparisons to Other Animals’ Bites

AnimalBite Force (PSI)
Saltwater Crocodile3700
American Alligator2150
Blue Shark478
Golden Retriever190


Pretty much every dog will bite at some point in their life, and most puppies bite as they go through teething and play. This is normal behaviour that you can train them out of doing.

If you’re worried because your adult Golden Retriever bites, remember that there are classes you can go to and methods of training them (such as deterrence). While it’s scary to see your pet go for a bite, there are sometimes ways around it to prevent it from happening again. 

Always try to discourage biting so it doesn’t result in an injury or accident in the future.

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