Who was the tallest dog in the world?

Among the big doggos and tiny doggos, a dog's height is what truly breaks the mold. There are some pretty tall canines out there, but who was the world's tallest dog, and what breeds take the ticket?

The tallest dog in the world was a Great Dane from Texas named Zeus.
The tallest dog in the world was a Great Dane from Texas named Zeus.  © Collage: Screenshot/Instagram/@zeus_king_dane

Tall dogs can be pretty impressive and pretty intimidating, but there's generally not much to worry about with these big beasts. Bigger dogs are often more docile and, if your doggo is particularly tall, it's not necessarily going to be any more aggressive than a smaller alternative.

With that in mind, let's take a look at the world's tallest dog! This animal world record is a truly staggering one. Who was the tallest dog in the world, and how high did this canine companion stand? Are there any particular breeds that tower above the rest?

What is the world's tallest dog?

The tallest dog in the world was an American Great Dane called Zeus, who came from Bedford, Texas. He was a giant fellow, certainly one of the biggest doggos in the world, and incredibly tall. Awarded as the tallest dog in the world by Guinness World Records back in May 2022, Zeus was given to his owner as a gift when he was only eight weeks old.

Brittany Davis, Zeus' loving mother, never imagined that her perfect pooch, who has sadly passed at only three-and-a-half years old, would grow to such an impressive size. She was gifted him by her brother and, while signs were there of his to-be-impressive size (his paws, for example, were humungous even as a puppy), it wasn't until he was fully-grown that it became clear just how massive he had become.

She didn't even think about applying to Guinness World Records until it was suggested to her during a family gathering: "We didn't think that was even a possibility, but once we measured him, we realized he probably was... we never thought we would own the largest living dog."

This giant doggo wasn't alone in his household, either. Zeus shared his home with several Australian Shepherds and even a cat named Penelope. They all got along swimmingly, and their humans looked after them all with love and affection - there was no special treatment for the tallest dog in the world!

How tall is the tallest dog in the world?

Zeus was about 3.5 feet tall, towering more than halfway up the height of your average human. He was a massive pup, heavy, and a little hard to deal with as a result. That didn't play too much into his treatment, though, as Zeus' family was committed to not letting his new-found fame get to his head.

Tallest dog in the world, Zeus, passes away

Zeus, the tallest dog in the world, has sadly passed away at the age of three and a half after a three-week battle with Cancer. In a statement announcing the dog's passing, Zeus' owner Brittany told Zeus' more than 17,000 followers on Instagram account that "My Zeusy has passed away."

As clearly devastated as Brittany is, she shared some loving words and told all of his admirers that "He is no longer hurting. Mom was there holding his head and scratching his ears every second. He was so very, very loved. He had a big life in a short time. His doctors tried absolutely everything."

"Thank you to every single person who sent us love and prayers. Please keep our family in your prayers during this very difficult time."

What is the tallest breed of dog in the world?

Great Danes and Irish Wolfhounds seem to fight it out for the position of tallest dog breeds in the world. Zeus, the tallest dog in the world, is a Great Dane, but there are many Irish Wolfhounds that come close to beating this big-boy's bid for largest dog in the world. Are there any other tall dog breeds?

Here are some of the tallest dog breeds in the world:

  • Irish Wolfhounds (maximum height average of 30–35 inches)
  • Great Dane (maximum height average of 32–36 inches)
  • Spanish Mastiff (maximum height average of 26–33 inches)
  • Greyhound (maximum height average of 27–30 inches)
  • Leonberger (maximum height average of 23–27 inches)
  • Borzoi (maximum height average of 28–33 inches)

Fun fact: Most different breeds of mastiff tower far above every other doggo. They are giant creatures, incredibly cute, friendly, and great for families.

The tallest dog isn't always the biggest dog

Size is both a matter of opinion and a matter of fact. Whether you define the "biggest" dog by height, weight, or something else, is up to you. Numbers might be objective, but definitions are certainly subjective. Zorba, an English Mastiff who weighed 330 pounds back in the 1980s, is the heaviest recorded doggo. Does that make him the biggest dog ever?

Perhaps Zeus having been the tallest dog in the world, also made him the biggest dog in the world. He might not have been quite as heavy, but he certainly towered above Zorba. Did that make him larger, though? That would be a matter of opinion.

Cover photo: Collage: Screenshot/Instagram/@zeus_king_dane

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