Can a Dog Kill a Lion

In this video we will explore whether a single dog can defeat and kill a lion.

The Dog

Dogs are carnivores and the first species to be domesticated. Dogs has been selectively bred over millennia for various behaviors, sensory capabilities and physical attributes.

Their long association with humans has led dogs to be uniquely attuned to human behavior. Dogs vary widely in shape, size, and colors. They perform many roles for humans, such as hunting, herding, pulling loads, protection, assisting police and military, companionship, and more recently aiding disabled people. This influence on human society has given them the sobriquet of “man’s best friend.”

The Lion

Lions are part of the cat family. It has a muscular, deep-chested body, short, rounded head, round ears, and a hairy tuft at the end of its tail. It is sexually dimorphic, adult male lions have a prominent mane. It is a social species, forming groups called prides. A lion pride consists of a few adult males, related females and cubs. Groups of female lions usually hunt together, preying mostly on large ungulates. The lion is an apex predator; although some lions scavenge when opportunities occur and have been known to hunt humans, the species typically does not.

Dog Size

Height at Shoulder: 15 to 84 cm (6 to 33 inches)

Weight: 1.5 to 79 kg (3 to 175 pounds)

The Great Dane is widely recognized as the largest dog breed by the American Kennel Club, at least in terms of height. The tallest dog ever was a Great Dane called Zeus and he was a whopping 44 inches tall! But very few people are aware that on average the Irish Wolfhound is the tallest of all dog breeds, The average height is 33 inches for the breed.

The Heaviest Dog is probably the English Mastiff weighing around 215 pounds. The English Mastiff is among the biggest dog breeds alive today – in both height and weight.

Lion Size

Height at Shoulder: up to 1.2 m (4 feet)

Weight: 170–230 kg (370–500 pounds)

A full-grown male lion is about 6 feet long, excluding the tail; he stands about 4 feet high at the shoulder and weighs up to 500 pounds. The lion’s coat is short and varies in color from buff yellow, orange-brown, or silvery gray to dark brown, with a tuft on the tail tip that is usually darker than the rest of the coat.

Size Winner

Lions is twice as heavy as the largest dog and many times the weight of the average dog. Heavy dogs like the English Mastiff is too slow and clumsy to stand a chance against a lion. Other big dogs that are more agile and aggressive like the Kangal are much smaller than a lion and are at a huge disadvantage.

Dog Bite Force

A dog’s bite force can be hard to identify and can vary widely amongst various sources. But our goal in this video is to get a general idea in order to compare it to the bite force of a lion. The bite force of average dogs ranges somewhere around 230-250 psi but some have more strength:

Rottweiler 330 psi.

Wolf Dog 406 psi.

English Mastiff 557 psi.

Cane Corso 700 psi

Kangal 743 psi.

Lion Bite Force

Lion’s bite force only measure 650 psi. It is considerably weak when compared to the bite force of other big cats like jaguars or tigers.

Bite Strength Winner

As you can see from before some dog breeds like Kangal & Cane Corso has a bite force comparable if not slightly higher to those of lions, but that does not mean they will inflict more damage in real life scenarios. Lions have much bigger jaws and longer canines. Adult lion canines are about 10 centimeters long, more than twice the size of dogs. Bite force can mean nothing if their isn’t a good sized jaw to back it up. Hyenas has a bite force higher than both dogs and lions but still loose against lions due to the lions massive jaw and over all size.

Dog Fighting Style

Most dogs make one quick bite and release – and they retreat. Or if in an aggressive (stressed) state they bite wildly, nonetheless they release and retreat after biting.

Dogs of the Pitbull class typically make a single bite and hold and pull or shake – and they pursue if the opponent or victim manages to get away. Also some breads like Presa Canario, Cane Corso, Dogo Argentino & Wolf Hybrid don’t hold the bite but typically do not retreat and go after the opponent or victim.

These dogs are probably the most dangerous dogs in a fight, because they instantly inflict multiple bite wounds (with or without pulling or shaking their head), and they pursue their opponent or victim. In other words: These dogs typically have the best chance against a lion.

Lion Fighting Style

Lions on the other hand primarily go for the neck in order to suffocate the victim.

Lions can also inflict huge damage using their front paws, each equipped with 5 cm retractable claws that would mean serious weaponry for an animal. A single blow to the head can disable any dog and even other big cats.

Fighting Style Winner

Its clear that the winner here is the lion with it bigger jaw and canines and skull crushing swipes. Also their neck suffocating technique is very efficient and precise.

Dogs Killer Instincts

Dogs are territorial and has the urge to protect the people in its pack or some other prized possessions.

Because dogs have been bred to be human companions they don’t just go searching for prey to kill in order to survive. Good guard dogs only attack when necessarily and when confronted.

Lions Killer Instincts

Lions on the other hand have to kill to survive. Male lions in particular have to protect their pride against competing Lions and other wild animals like Hyenas so they have a lot of experience fighting with a motive to kill.

Dogs Bred to Kill Lions

The Rhodesian Ridgeback was bred specifically to defend livestock against lions. But their purpose is to try and scare the lion off rather than actually engage in fighting as it has no chance in hell in winning.

Captivity Vs In The Wild

Dogs have much lower chances of survival against a Lion in the wild, that is because such lions has adapted to killing prey in order to survive and frequently have deadly encounters with other dangerous animals. This doesn’t say that a dog will defeat a lion in captivity since they are still capable killers. Most videos caught on tape are usually of captive Lions under controlled settings and doesn’t reflect real life fight situations.


A single dog have no chance at all against a lion, it is simply too strong of an opponent. Dogs don’t even have a chance against smaller cats like jaguars and leopards. Not even a single Hyena which is times stronger than a dog has a chance against a lion.

Can More than one dog kill a lion

I would say that a strong male lion can easily kill a couple of powerful dogs like Kangals without sweat. In my opinion a pack of at least 10 dogs are required to actually take down a lion. The truth is many dogs will flee as soon as they realize the advantage the lion has against them in terms of raw power and strength, not to mention the huge intimidating size.

Recent Posts