World’s tallest dog confirmed as Zeus the Great Dane

By Aliciamarie Rodriguez
Published
Zeus tallest dog being walked and on sofa split image

Zeus, a two-year-old grey and brown American Great Dane from Bedford, Texas, USA, has broken a "paw-some" record. 

Standing at 1.046 metres (3 ft 5.18 in), the gentle giant has been confirmed as the tallest dog living (male) in the world. 

Ever since she was a young girl, Brittany Davis dreamed of someday owning a Great Dane. 

As luck would have it, her brother Garrett had a colleague who bred them. 

Making his sister's lifelong wish come true, Garrett gifted Brittany an 8-week-old Great Dane pup, who instantly became her "fur-ever" friend. 

Zeus in his litter as a puppy

At first, Brittany was nervous about having such a large dog around the house, but it turned out to be love at first sight. 

Zeus, who was born to a grey and white merle sire and brindle dam, was the largest pup in a litter of five. 

"He's been a big dog since we got him, even for a puppy. He had huge paws," Brittany recalls. 

Zeus as a puppy sitting on chair

Great Danes were originally bred for hog hunting and would use their large stature to protect women riding in carriages by running alongside them. 

However, Brittany says Zeus prefers taking a much more laid-back approach to life.

"Zeus would be absolutely terrified of a hog. He’s scared of rain, so hogs are out of the question."

Instead, Zeus spends his days walking around the neighbourhood with his human brother, sleeping by his window, and roaming local farmer's markets.

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In fact, Brittany says there’s one place Zeus always looks forward to visiting.

"Zeus is pretty famous at the Dallas Farmer’s Market," she said. 

"Everyone knows him, and the vendors all know him. He gets extra treats and lots of attention."

Frequent stares and surprised reactions are common occurrences when Zeus is out in public. 

"The comment that we hear most often is 'Wow, that’s a horse!,' 'Can I ride him?' or 'Does he have a saddle?'"

"The answer to all those questions is 'no.'"

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Although Zeus towers over other breeds, he doesn’t discriminate when it comes to his pack of friends and will befriend dogs of all sizes. 

At home, Zeus lives with his three miniature Australian Shepherd siblings. His favourite brother is Zeb, who he loves wrestling with. 

He also shares his home with his feline sister, Penelope, who tends to run the house. Although the two don’t necessarily fight like cats and dogs, there is a bit of sibling rivalry. 

"He and the cat have a mutual agreement to stay away from each other," said Brittany. 

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Zeus is generally well-behaved, but sometimes his antics will land him in the doghouse. 

His big size usually means he gets into even bigger trouble. 

"He likes to steal the baby’s pacifier off the counters and any food left on the counters is definitely free reign for him," said Brittany. 

"His water bowl is a sink, and he loves to jump onto the fence and talk to the neighbour's dogs next door."

Brittany says feeding the colossal canine gets to be quite expensive and urges those interested in owning a large breed to be prepared to spend money on dog food.

Zeus enjoys six cups of "Gentle Giants" large breed dog food in the morning and another six in the afternoon, which helps fuel his zoomies.

"When he gets the zoomies, he runs around for 30 seconds and jumps up on his chair once he gets tired."

Occasionally Zeus will also relish in a fried egg, bully sticks, or his all-time favourite treat: ice cubes.

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Although Great Danes tend to have a shorter life span than other dogs due to their massive size, Brittany says Zeus is in great health. 

"When we take Zeus to the vet, they’re always in amazement," she said.

"They’re very impressed with how healthy he is. He loves going to the vet; he gets lots of attention."

The idea to reach out to Guinness World Records was first brought up at a family gathering, when it was suggested that Zeus was likely taller than the former tallest dog living (male)

"We didn’t think that was even a possibility but once we measured him, we realized he probably was," said Brittany.

"This has been a whirlwind and unexpected. We never thought we would own the largest living dog."

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Although Zeus' new record title hasn't changed the way his family feels about him, Brittany says his achievement has emphasised just how special he really is.

"We get a lot of comments like 'Wow, that's the tallest dog I've ever seen', so it’s cool to now be able to say 'Yes, it's definitely the tallest dog you've ever seen!'"

"That always shocks people and it’s fun to be able to say that," Brittany added.

Brittany enjoys being able to share Zeus with other people and loves having the opportunity to talk about how fabulous he is. 

Zeus has also changed Brittany’s family by bringing them plenty of love and joy. 

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"There were just three of us and some small dogs, but it’s like having another person," said Brittany. 

"Zeus and my teenage son sleep together in a queen-sized bed. You won’t find one without the other. They love being together."

Coincidently, the tallest dog ever (male) was also a grey Great Dane named Zeus. From Otsego, Michigan, USA, Zeus belonged to owners Kevin and Denise Doorlag. He sadly passed away at the age of five in 2014. 

Measuring 111.8 cm (44 in) from foot to withers, the huge hound reached heights of 7 ft 4 in when standing on his hind legs. 

Other super-sized, record-breaking pets include: 

Largest living cat - The largest living cat is Hercules, an adult male liger (lion x tigress hybrid) currently housed at Myrtle Beach Safari, a wildlife reserve in South Carolina, USA. In total length, he measures 3.33 m (131 in), stands 1.25 m (49 in) at the shoulder, and weighs 418.2 kg (922 lb).

Tallest domestic cat ever - The tallest domestic cat ever is 48.4 cm (19.05 inches) is Arcturus Aldebaran Powers who was verified in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, on 3 November 2016.

Tallest cow ever - The tallest cow ever is Blosom, who was owned by Patricia Meads-Hanson (USA) and measured 190 cm (74.8 in) from the hoof to the withers, in Orangeville, Illinois, USA, on 24 May 2014.