Pit Bull vs. Wolf: Which Animal Would Win a Fight?

Written by Sarah Psaradelis
Updated: March 2, 2023
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Both the wolf and pit bull dogs are highly intelligent members of the canine family that are known for their strength and loyalty. These animals have different strengths and weaknesses that would influence which animal has the better opportunity in winning a fight.

The pit bull is a domesticated animal that has been kept as a pet for decades with plenty of experience with humans, whereas the wolf is a wild animal that has more experience fighting and living a more aggressive lifestyle.

Before we get into which animal would win in a fight, let’s take a look at each animal and how they differ from each other.

Pit bull vs. wolf both are strong and loyal
Both the wolf and pit bull dogs are highly intelligent members of the canine family that are known for their strength and loyalty.

©Diego Thomazini/Shutterstock.com

Pit Bull vs. Wolf Comparison

TypePit BullWolf
Size:18-21 inches30-35 inches
Weight:30-85 pounds45-120 pounds
Lifespan:10-15 years8-13 years
Diet:Facultative carnivoreCarnivore
Temperament:Attentive, loyal, and activeReserved, protective, and intelligent
Bite force: 230-250 psi406-1,000 psi

The Pit Bull


Pit bull history can be traced to the early 1800s when they were originally bred as multi-purpose dog that was used in blood sports or kept as guard dogs. They were bred from old English bulldogs, and then with terriers to create a dog breed that was ideal for blood sport.

The term “pit bull” is used to describe four main dog breeds and not a breed itself, including the American pit bull, Staffordshire bull terrier, American staffordshire terrier, and the American bully.


Pit bulls are considered medium-sized dogs that can be an adult size between 18 to 21 inches and weigh anywhere between 30 to 85 pounds. Male pit bulls look slightly larger than females, but both dogs have impressive and muscular body that makes them look powerful.

The pit bull appearance is dependent on the dog breed, but all pit bulls have one thing in common – a barrel-shaped body with a short neck and rounded head. Their body is built for fighting.

Bite Force

The pit bull has an average bite force of 230 to 250 psi (pounds per square inch), with the bite force typically being 235 psi. Although pit bulls have a reputation for being tough and aggressive dogs that have a deadly bite, their bite force is less than other dog breeds such as the Kangal or Cane Corso and much less than the wolf’s bite force.

There is also a misconception that pit bulls have a jaw that can lock, known as “lockjaw”, but this is not true. If this were true, it would have been an advantage in a fight with a wolf. This misconception likely stemmed from the pit bull’s incredible bite force, and strong biting grip that allows them to hold onto the victim for longer.


Pit bulls are attentive, loyal, and active dogs that are powerful and bred for fighting other dogs. This gives them the upper hand in a fight with a wolf, as they were a good choice for blood sports.

Most pit bulls won’t be overly aggressive or interested in fighting unless they have been trained to fight from a young age, and most pit bulls will only fight when they are defending those they love or protecting themselves.

Staffordshire bull terrier is under the term pit bull
The term “pit bull” is used to describe four main dog breeds and not a breed itself, including the Staffordshire bull terrier.


The Wolf


The wolf is a type of canine that was believed to have been around 10,000 to 12,000 years ago, and they were originally believed to be dangerous and aggressive animals that humans should fear. Wolves are native to North America and Eurasia, and they are wild animals, with the exception of the few wolves that are kept in captivity for rehabilitation or conservation purposes.

There are several different species of wolves branching into various subspecies of wolves that range in size, with the most popular species of wolves being the gray, Himalayan, and Tundra wolves.


In comparison to the pit bull, the wolf is much larger in height and size. Most wolves reach a size of 30 to 35 inches, with female wolves being smaller than males. They can weigh between 45 to 170 pounds, with some larger wolves weighing as heavy as 175 pounds.

Most large wolves can be found in Russia, such as the Mackenzie Valley wolf (Canis Lupus Occidentalis) which can weigh up to 170 pounds. The smallest wolf such as the Arabian wolf generally only weighs around 45 pounds.

Bite Force

The bite force of a wolf is two to three times more than the average pit bull, generally around 400 to 1,000 psi. This makes the bite force of the wolf much deadlier than the pit bull, therefore doing more harm than the pit bull could. This seems to be the strongest bite force in the canine family, and it gives the wolf an advantage in a fight against a pit bull.


Wolves are well-known for being intelligent, reserved, and protective animals with a lot of pride. When it comes to fighting other animals, the wolf will have an aggressive instinct that makes them tough and experienced in fights due to their wild nature.

Wolf has a bite force of 400-1000 psi
The bite force of a wolf is two to three times more than the average pit bull, generally around 400 to 1,000 psi.

©Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH/Shutterstock.com

Pit Bull vs. Wolf: The Final Winner

If these two animals were to get into a fight, the wolf would be the definite winner, and here’s why.

The wolf has a bite force of 400 to 1,000 psi, the strongest in the canine family, while the pit bull only has a standard bite force of 235 psi.

This means that the wolf’s powerful jaws will inflict more damage on the pit bull with every bite. Most wolves also have an advantage due to their larger size and heavier weight than the average pit bull.

When it comes to running and using speed as an advantage in a fight, the wolf can run up to 38 miles per hour, while the pit bull can only run 30 miles per hour. The wolf has longer legs and a deep and narrow chest made for running, whereas the pit bull’s barrel-shaped body lined with muscle gives them better strength and stability when standing their ground in a fight.

Both dogs have two sets of sharp canine teeth that protrude more than the other teeth, which are used for tearing tough meat and getting a grip on their prey. These sharp teeth can create wounds during a fight, which means that even if a pit bull was to lose the fight, they will still inflict damage on a wolf.

Wolves and pit bulls can be aggressive and protective, and they will fight to defend themselves. Aside from both being canines, this is another thing the wolf and pit bull have in common. Wolves have more experience fighting, as they are wild animals.

Wolves are known to be highly territorial, which means that they fight to defend their territory against other wolves. However, the pit bull breed has been used for dog fighting (blood sports) in the past or may have a history of fighting other dogs.

Although we do not recommend putting this to the test by having a pit bull and wolf fight each other, going off the advantages each animal has in a fight has proved that most wolves will win in a fight against a pit bull.

The wolf would win a fight against a pit bull
The wolf would win a fight against a pit bull since they have a size, weight and bite force advantage.



The only situation where a pit bull is likely to win in a fight with a wolf is if the wolf was injured, sick, or still a developing pup. In this case, it wouldn’t be a fair fight against an adult pit bull.

As a generally larger, more aggressive, and stronger wild animal, the wolf is guaranteed to almost always win against a medium-sized domesticated dog breed like the pit bull.

Pit Bull vs. Coyote: Which Animal Would Win a Fight?

What about a pit bull vs. a coyote? While this is definitely not a situation a pit bull owner would want, which would win in a face-off?

Coyotes can weigh 20-50 pounds and generally are 21-24 inches tall. However, pit bulls can be a little heavier, at 25-70 pounds, and up to 21 inches tall. Depending on the size of the dog, a coyote could see it as a threat or a possible meal.

A pit bull’s bite is actually much stronger than that of a coyote. Pit bulls have strong, heavy jaws and a bite force of up to 235 psi, compared to a coyote’s mere 88 psi.

However, it’s likely that a pit bull in the wild would not come face to face with just one coyote, but several as they travel in packs. Like a wolf, a coyote is a wild animal and in this situation it would most probably win in a fight with a pit bull.

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Pit Bull vs. Wolf
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About the Author

I am a big animal lover that not only enjoys owning and getting to care for them, but also to write about them! I own many fish, along with shrimp, hamsters and a docile tarantula. Writing has become my passion and I am grateful to be able to write about the animals I love so dearly so that I can share my knowledge and expertise in the articles I write.

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