Misfit Animals is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn More.

Pitbull vs. Wolf: Who Would Win in a Fight?

The main difference between a pitbull and a wolf is domestication and size. The pitbull is a muscular dog breed, but won’t be able to match a wolf in a fight. Wolves are larger, more aggressive, and more agile than Pitbulls.

The pitbull (also known as a pit bull or pit bull terrier) is an aggressive dog breed. They’re illegal to own in many countries due to their aggressive nature.

All Wolfpack Ranks (Wolf Facts) x
All Wolfpack Ranks (Wolf Facts)

These dogs were originally bred as fighting dogs.

In this article, we’ll discuss the differences and similarities between Pitbulls and wolves, as well as their relative strength.

Trait Wolf Pitbull
Height 31-35” (80-85 cm) 18–21” (45–53 cm)
Weight 65-175 lbs (30-80 kg) 30-60 lbs (13.5-27 kg)
Bite Force 405 PSI 242 PSI
Lifespan 10-14 years 8-15 years
Distribution United States, Canada, Eurasia, Africa Worldwide
Diet Carnivore Carnivore

Could a Pitbull Take On a Wolf in a Fight?

No, a pitbull wouldn’t be able to take on a wolf in a fight. While they were originally bred for blood sports and dog fighting, they’re no match for the ferocious wolf.

Pitbulls can be traced back to the 1800’s United Kingdom, where they were used to fight other dogs. They were originally bred form the Old English Bulldog. [1]

Because of their aggressive tendencies, they’re now illegal to own in many countries, including New Zealand, Belgium, France, Denmark, Finland, Poland, Norway, and many parts of Canada. [2]

Despite this, they’re still no match for wolves. Wolves are known as ferocious and highly developed predators, hunting prey for a living. With their larger build, sharp teeth, agility, and strong bite, Pitbulls don’t stand a chance.

Pitbull fight

Can a Wolf Kill a Pitbull?

Yes, a wolf can kill a pit bull. Wolves are bigger, about 14 inches taller, and weigh approximately two times that of Pitbulls. They also have a bite force of about 405 PSI, whereas Pitbulls have a bite force of 242 PSI.

Wolves hunt every day, whereas Pitbulls are domestic dogs. They’re fed by their owners and are trained not to attack. While they may have a natural aggressive instinct, wolves depend on their hunting capabilities to survive.

Pitbull vs. Wolfpack

Whereas a pitbull would lose to a single wolf, it would definitely lose to a wolfpack. Wolves typically hunt in packs, meaning if a pitbull were to run into a wolf, it’d most likely run into several.

Wolves are strong on their own, but they’re stronger with the pack. This pack mentality is what truly makes wolves superior to most other animals they cross paths with.

pack of wolves against a large prey

Does a Pitbull Have a Stronger Bite Than a Wolf?

Contrary to what many believe, Pitbulls don’t have a stronger bite than a wolf. Wolves have a bite force of approximately 405 PSI. This has even been estimated to reach above 1,200 PSI if they’re in danger. Pitbulls have a bite force of about 242 PSI.

Wolves have developed incredibly strong jaws. They rely on their bite when taking down large prey such as moose or oxen. They can break bones, or even snap the neck of smaller prey with a single bite.

While pit bulls were bred for fighting, they’re smaller animals, with smaller jaws and jaw muscles. This has resulted in a decreased bite force compared to that of their ancestors, the wolves.

Pitbull bite

Wolf vs. Pitbull Differences

While all dogs are descendants of the wolf, they’ve developed many differences over the years. This is partly due to humans’ selective breeding, but also due to domestication.

Wolves are larger, heavier, and generally bigger than Pitbulls. They have a long fur coat, whereas Pitbulls are short-haired dogs. Wolves’ ears are stiff, whereas pit bulls have slightly floppy ears. Pitbulls also have shorter tails.

Size & Appearance

When it comes to size, wolves are larger than Pitbulls. 

A typical pitbull is about 18-21 inches tall at the shoulders (45–53 cm) and weighs around 30-60 pounds (13.5-27 kg), while a wolf can stand up to 35 inches tall at the shoulders (85 cm) and weigh anywhere from 65-175 pounds (30-80 kg).

In terms of appearance, Pitbulls have more compact bodies while wolves are sleeker. Pitbulls also have short hairs while wolves’ coats are long.

Pitbulls also have floppy ears as a result of domestication. Wolves have erect ears.

American Pit Bull Terrier

Bite Force

The average pitbull has a bite force of 230 to 242 pounds of pressure. For wolves, that number jumps up to 405 pounds of pressure. That’s almost twice as much. 

What makes their jaws so much stronger? 

There are several reasons for this difference. Wolves are generally larger animals, and that extra mass translates into more muscle power. Their jaw muscles have also been developed with the intention of biting into larger prey.

Related: Wolf bite force

wolf bite force

Speed

Wolves are much faster than pit bulls. Where pit bulls can reach a top speed of about 25-30mph (40-48 kph) wolves can run up to 38 mph (51 kph). Hence, a pitbull won’t be able to outrun a wolf.

Some wolves have even been observed to hit top speeds of 46 mph (74 mph). They can only do this in short bursts, and will typically run about 5 mph when traveling over longer distances.

wolf running

Social Behavior

Wolves are known for being extremely social creatures. They live together in packs, and they look out for each other. Wolves also make sure to mark the territory of their pack so that others know to stay away. [3]

There are generally four roles in a wolf pack: alpha, beta, mid-ranking, and omega wolves.

Pitbulls are considered solitary animals by nature. They tend to keep mostly to themselves they’re often used as guard dogs, and will only really play with humans when trained properly. 

Pitbulls do form close bonds with people though, especially those who’ve raised them from birth. If trained properly, they may also be very friendly and social toward strangers and other dogs. [4]

pack of wolves in the forest

Wolf vs. Pitbull Similarities

Pitbulls are dogs, meaning they’re descendants of wolves. Even though they’ve been selectively bred due to their strong and aggressive tendencies throughout history, they still share some characteristics with wolves.

Carnivores

Pitbulls and wolves are both carnivores, meaning they feed primarily on meat. Both animals love meat and animal organs and need large amounts of protein to stay healthy.

As pit bulls are domestic dogs, they’ve evolved into being able to live off of dog food. Wolves won’t thrive on this food, as they need fresh meat.

Wolves hunt for food. They feed on large ungulates (moose, caribou, etc.), as well as smaller animals. They may also supplement their diet with plants and fruits from time to time.

Related: Are wolves carnivores?

pitbull eating

Strong Jaws

Both Pitbulls and wolves have incredibly strong jaws. Their bite force is significantly different though. Pitbulls usually have a bite force of about 242 PSI, while wolves can have a bite force of up to 405 pounds. 

This is why the wolf would always win in a fight against the pitbull; not only are they much larger, but their jaw strength is far greater as well.

grey wolf eating

Conclusion

Wolves are generally larger and faster than pit bulls. They’re also stronger, which is why a wolf would always win in a fight against a pitbull unless the wolf is injured. 

Wolves also have a much stronger bite force than Pitbulls. Pitbulls are known for their strong jaws but they can’t compete with the wolf’s jaw strength.

While there are many differences between the two, especially when it comes to appearance, pit bulls do still share some similarities with wolves.

Wolves are larger animals, with long-haired fur coats to keep them warm during cold winters. They also live in packs, typically consisting of between six to eight members.

Pitbulls are short-haired dogs. They’re not as social as wolves, as they were originally bred for dogfighting. However, with proper training, they can be very social creatures. 

About Dennis Stapleton

Dennis Stapleton has a passion for animals, especially dogs, and their relatives. He’s intrigued by their social structure and loves to write and teach about the world's most popular pet animal.