I assumed the dog with the longest teeth should also be the biggest dog. It just makes sense, right? I wish it was so simple. No species in the world exhibits more physical diversity today than the modern domestic dog. And this canine diversity definitely includes tooth length! Part of the reason for this is because different dog breeds have been bred to do different jobs. This means some very big dogs grow up to have surprisingly small teeth and vice versa. And this fascinating topic is exactly what I am going to explore in the rest of this article!
- Dogs with longest teeth
- What is the long tooth called?
- Which breed has the biggest canines?
- Which breed has the sharpest teeth?
- What one has the strongest bite?
Dog With Longest Teeth
The Guinness Book of World Records has published some amazing canine winners over the years, including the dog with the longest ears, tail, tongue and body. Sadly, they have yet to introduce a contest for “dog with the longest teeth”. And since no formal research study with this exact focus has yet been done, all we really have to go on when forming our conclusions is anecdotal information.
Having said that, research does exist on the topic of whether small dog breeds or large dog breeds have lengthier teeth. Would you believe size matters inversely here? Yup. Smaller dog breeds tend to have longer teeth than their large breed counterparts, at least when you are comparing tooth size on a pound for pound basis. Here again, this is probably because many smaller dog breeds were designed to hunt small game where grip is everything.
What is the Long Tooth on a Dog Called?
Your dog’s longest tooth is called the canine. Other names include fangs, eye teeth, cuspids and even vampire teeth (or vampire fangs, which sounds both cooler and scarier). Adult dogs have two sets of canines. One set is in the upper jaw and the other set is in the lower jaw. When the two sets of canines meet, they overlap in what veterinary dentists typically call a scissor bite.
Dogs use their canine teeth to grip and hold things, including their dinner, their end of a tug-of-war toy and anything they have found that you don’t want them to have.
On that topic, it might surprise you to learn that the canine may be the longest tooth in a dog’s mouth but it is definitely not the largest. That honor belongs to the carnassial tooth – aka the fourth pre-molar in a dog’s upper jaw. This tooth has the tough job of crushing, gripping and holding – it is the tackle of the dog’s mouth.
Which Dog has the Longest Canine Teeth?
Wild wolves have longer, thicker canine tooth sets than today’s domestic dogs, regardless of dog breed. Technically, this means the dog with the longest, strongest, sharpest canine teeth in the world is, in fact, a wolf or wolf-dog hybrid.
Among domestic dog breeds, the purebred Scottish Terrier is said to have the longest canines of any dog breed. To support this, the Scottish Terrier breed standard mentions teeth size and shape no less than six times in the text and even includes a side-view line drawing of proper tooth conformation.
Which Dog has the Sharpest Teeth?
As anyone who has ever parented a puppy will quickly attest, puppies definitely win the prize for “dogs with the sharpest teeth”. It doesn’t matter at all what breed your puppy is – those tiny puppy teeth are always going to feel like mini knives during the dreaded puppy teething phase. But which dog has the sharpest teeth once your little puppy is all grown up?
There is no single right answer here, and the reason is simple: canine genetics. Tooth length, strength and sharpness can vary even within a single dog breed. As well, all of these variables can change further depending on the dog’s gender, age, life stage, diet and general health.
What Dog has the Strongest Bite?
Dog bite strength can also vary even within a single dog breed based on gender, age, life stage, dental health and other factors. For general purposes, dog bite strength is measured in either Newtons or by PSI – pounds per square inch. How is dog bite strength tested, you might be wondering?
Testing the bite strength of the average dog can be challenging. Reason being, it would be necessary to have the dog bite down full force on something that could capture the PSI directly, which is exactly the sort of scenario that dangerous dog laws attempt to prevent.
Researchers have tried to capture these measurements in a variety of ways, including implanting electrodes in a dog’s jaw, sedating dogs and stimulating the jaw muscles to contract and covering a PSI sensor in rawhide and giving it to dogs to chew. However, none of these methods offers a surefire way to capture the very strongest bite an individual dog can deliver, let alone the single strongest bite force to represent an entire dog breed.
Another method involves measuring a dog’s weight and jaw size against the hardness of the bite object and the angle of the bite. Here, once again the wolf-dog hybrid comes in at the top, along with a Turkish dog breed called the Kangal or Turkish Angolian Shepherd.
Other dog breeds that consistently deliver extraordinarily strong bite force include the Rottweiler, Tibetan Mastiff, Belgian Malinois, German Shepherd and other working guard and protection dog breeds. This makes sense, given how many of these dog breeds have been specifically developed to display such characteristics.
Dog with the Longest Teeth – Which Breed Comes Out on Top?
Research to date into the modern dog’s chompers has yet to answer this question to our full satisfaction. And while smaller dog breeds do tend to have longer teeth based on their overall body size, this doesn’t mean a small dog’s teeth will ever be physically longer than those of a much larger dog when measured side by side.
Does your companion canine have amazingly long teeth? I’d love to hear about them! Share your stories in the comments.
More Fun Doggy Facts
- What’s a Lab’s favorite places to be scratched?
- Why some dogs are so gentle with eggs
- Are male dogs more aggressive than females?
- Gioso, M. ‘Mandible and Mandibular First Molar Tooth Measurements in Dogs: Relationships of Radiographic Height to Body Weight’, Journal of Veterinary Dentistry (2001)
- Ramos, A. (et al), ‘How to Tell a Pet’s Age from its Teeth’, Crossroads Animal Hospital (2018)
The Labrador Site Founder
Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.
She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program
Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website