A Force to be Reckoned With: What Dog Can Beat a Pitbull?

🔄 Updated on November 28th, 2022

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A pit bull’s anatomy helps it overcome other dogs. People originally bred the dog to beat other canines in dog fights. Their smaller size and heightened maneuverability make them the top choice in dog fights. So, can any dog beat a pit bull? 

All pit bull breeds originated from 19th century English bull and terrier dogs. They were short, tough dogs created from crossing the stout Old English Bulldog with the quick-footed Black and Tan Terrier. Together, these dogs produced an agile yet aggressive breed.

Most owners used bully breeds for sports such as bullbaiting, rat baiting and others that matched dogs against other dogs. In the fighting ring, people knew pit bulls for their prowess and agility.

Can a Rottweiler Kill a Pitbull?

The Rottweiler and pit bull share several commonalities. However, Rottweilers are more closely related to Mastiff-type dogs such as the Bullmastiff and Cane Corso.

Mastiff-type dogs are related to the bully breeds and share several characteristics: square, blunt heads, thickly-muscled bodies, high guard instinct and a strong bite force.

The name “Rottweiler” literally means “Rottweil butchers’ dog” since their main tasks were driving livestock for the butchers of Rottweil, Germany. Rottweilers would then pull the carts laden with butchers’ meat.

They are highly-intelligent breeds that many now use as search-and-rescue dogs, guard dogs and police dogs. Traditionally, owners did not use Rottweilers in fights, but due to their tenacity, they became a popular choice.

However, could a Rottweiler beat a pit bull?

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First, let’s do a comparison between the two dogs. For the sake of consistency, we’ll define a “pit bull” according to the standards of the American Pit Bull Terrier. Many individuals consider bully breeds pit bulls; however, we will simply use the American Pit Bull Terrier.

Rottweiler vs Pitbull

Height and Weight (males)

Pit Bull: 17–21 inches

Rottweiler: 24–27 inches

Pit Bull: 35–60 pounds

Rottweiler: 110–132 pounds

Jaw Strength – pounds per square inch (PSI)

Pit bulls: 235 PSI

Rottweilers: 328 PSI

In the height and weight class, the Rottweiler outranks the pit bull. Rottweilers are also intelligent, and despite having Mastiff roots, possess great agility.

In a fight against the pit bull, the Rottweiler would win due to its height, weight class, PSI, intelligence and agility.

Can a German Shepherd Beat a Pitbull?

The German Shepherd Dog is an intelligent breed originally used for herding livestock. Owners now use them for a variety of tasks including guarding, search-and-rescue, police work, drug detection and military work.

German shepherds are versatile working breeds with a high drive and tenacious spirit. Max von Stephanitz created them in the 1890s, and many value the German shepherd for its intelligence and working ability.

The American Kennel Club ranks German shepherds as one of the most intelligent dog breeds

German Shepherd vs Pitbull

Can a German shepherd kill a pitbull? Let’s take a look.

Height and Weight (males)

Pit Bull: 17–21 inches

German Shepherd Dog: 24–26 inches

Pit Bull: 35–60 pounds

German Shepherd Dog: 66–88 pounds

Jaw Strength

Pit Bull: 235 PSI

German Shepherd Dog: 238 PSI

German shepherds outrank pit bulls in all three categories and could beat the latter under certain circumstances. Pit bulls have a more compact build, whereas German shepherds are much lankier and have a speed and agility advantage.

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In a fight against a pit bull, the German shepherd would win. However, if the former was well-trained and a seasoned fighter, they would be victorious.

Can a Doberman Beat a Pitbull?

Doberman pinschers are agile dogs originally developed as guards in Germany during the 1880s. Since their creation during that time, their appearance barely changed. Their sleek yet imposing form makes them favorites for guarding and security work.

Authorities today use Dobermans for work like police work, security, and guarding. Because of their high intelligence and working instinct, Dobermans can be difficult to keep as companions and can become aggressive if an owner doesn’t socialize them correctly.

Doberman vs Pitbull

Could a Doberman pinscher beat a pit bull? Let’s take a look.

Heigh and Weight (males)

Pit Bull: 17–21 inches

Doberman Pinscher: 27–28 inches

Pit Bull: 35–60 pounds

Doberman Pinscher: 88–99 pounds

Jaw Strength

Pit Bull: 235 PSI

Doberman Pinscher: between 245–305 PSI

A Doberman outranks the pit bull in all categories; however, readers should note that Dobermans excel at guarding people whereas pit bulls have a fighting drive.

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Fighting dogs usually continue fighting until death, which makes them nightmarish opponents within the dogfighting ring. If the Doberman had to fight to the death, their height, weight, and jaw strength would seal the victory for the Doberman.

Can a Boxer Beat a Pitbull?

Boxers are iconic dogs developed in Germany from Mastiff-type dogs. Their original jobs were hunting large and strong prey such as wild boar, bear, elk and deer. They’d hold their prey until the hunters arrived.

Boxers are lighter than most mastiffs, which allows them to be quicker and lighter on their feet. Their name “boxer” comes from the tendency to play by standing on their hind legs and “boxing” with their front feet.

Boxers today are affectionate, intelligent breeds favored for their easygoing and playful, loyal nature.

Pit Bull vs Boxer

Heigh and Weight (males)

Pit Bull: 17–21 inches

Boxer: 22–25 inches.

Pit Bull: 35–60 pounds.

Boxer: 66–70 pounds.

Jaw Strength

Pit Bull: 235 PSI

Boxer: 230 PSI

A boxer barely beats a pit bull in height and weight areas. The pit bull’s jaw strength is slightly stronger than the boxer’s. 

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In early development periods, breeders often crossed boxers with Bullenbeissers, which were extinct German bulldogs. These crosses often competed in fights. Modern-day boxers, however, are more agile and quick than their ancestors.

So, a fight between these two dogs could go either way. Both dogs have tireless energy and a bullish drive.

How Strong Are Pit Bulls? 

We’ve looked at several different breeds and whether or not they could beat a pit bull in a fight. Several dogs could defeat a pit bull. Despite what many think, pit bulls are not the most dangerous or strongest breed.

While they outrank several other dogs in their weight class, pit bulls are notorious for often-exaggerated accounts of aggressive attacks. Several of these instances could be a mix-up due to the very name “pit bull.”

Why Are Pit Bulls So Strong?

People throughout the world use the term “pit bull” to describe several different bully breeds. The phrase describes aggressive and high-maintenance breeds such as the Cane Corse, Bull Mastiff, several types of bulldogs, and Bull Terrier.

Most, if not all, of these breeds, are larger than the American Pit Bull and often are responsible for aggressive attacks and misdirected dog fights.

Overall, bully breeds are strong, and Mastiffs have the highest bite force of any dog. The English Mastiff has the strongest with 552 PSI.

Breeders felt the need to create an aggressive and muscled compact dog that could withstand hours in the dogfighting ring and win.

What Dog Can Kill a Pit Bull

As outlined before, a Rottweiler and any breed with a larger frame, height and weight could effectively beat a pit bull. However, whether the dog would kill the pit bull would be a different question.

Owners train several breeds of dogs not to kill. Rather, people teach them to demobilize, disarm, or neutralize the threat. For example, Bull Mastiffs were commonly used to catch escaped slaves but not kill them.

German Shepherds trained for police work and military jobs to disarm attackers rather than kill them.

However, breeds such as bulldogs and other bully breeds often have an “attack to kill” mindset and would most likely kill the pit bull if they got into a fight with it.

How To Avoid Dog Fights

Despite the previous information, owners should not engage in dog fights. Dogfighting is illegal in the United States and its territories, but clandestine dog fighting rings are still popular in Europe and parts of Asia.

There are several ways to avoid dog fights if you have a dog that is particularly prone to picking a quarrel.

Socialize

Socializing your dog early is paramount for avoiding dog fights. Even with breeds that are generally docile, socializing is formative for any dog.

Introducing the canine safely to other dogs in a controlled, neutral environment prevents dog fights from happening. If your dog knows how to behave itself and you’ve effectively allowed it to become comfortable with any kind of dog, then the chances of your pet getting into a dog fight are low.

Reacting Correctly

If you see hostility in your dog or another dog such as raised hackles, pinned back ears, a defensive posture, or a raised lip, then there are several things you can do to neutralize that threat.

If your dog is acting aggressive toward another dog, then gently direct your dog’s attention toward something else. Ideally, use a leash or use your leg to push your dog away. Don’t reach down near your dog’s face, as it could cause your dog to lash out and bite.

After you’ve successfully distracted your dog, walk away from the other dog and keep your pet focused on you. If you see a strange dog acting aggressively toward you and your dog, then again distract your dog and remove yourself from the situation.

If the strange dog is unleashed, then calmly back away from the aggressive dog and try not to let you or your dog make eye contact with the strange dog. Do not run. That will trigger the other dog’s hunting drive and make it chase you.

Spay and Neuter

Dogs tend to wander and get into fights more often if they are not spayed or neutered, which refers to the practice of removing the reproductive organs in female and male dogs, respectively.

Unneutered males often go out in search of females in heat and will end up fighting other males either over a female or just because they want to. Female Pitbulls, when in heat, wander off to find a mate.

Conclusion

Pit bulls are impressive breeds that have a tattered and somewhat brutal history. Despite their strength and tenacity, they’re still extremely affectionate and misunderstood breeds. Their reputation precedes them, and many pit bull enthusiasts say that the breed is a wonderful companion.

A pit bull’s aggressive behavior is often the result of mistreatment and poor handling by its owners. They are breeds that require an intense amount of socializing and training, but if trained correctly, then pit bulls make amazing pets.

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Jennifer Grucci | Dog Breeds Expert
Jennifer Grucci | Dog Breeds Expert
Our talented copy editor Jennifer ensures all doggie info published on our site is accurate, clear, and perfectly suited for pet parents of all experience levels. When not reading and writing about dogs, Jennifer enjoys playing with her own pets at home.