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There is a new king of the dog world, and his name is Zeus. This Great Dane was officially declared the tallest dog in the world by Guinness World Records.

At 44 inches tall, Zeus the Great Dane towers over all other breeds of dogs. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at this giant breed and find out what makes them so special.

Zeus the Great Dane

Who is Zeus the Great Dane?

Zeus is a Great Dane from Otsego, Michigan. He was born on November 24, 2011. His owner, Denise Doorlag, says that Zeus loves to play fetch and go for walks.

He may be huge, but he’s still just like any other dog!

Zeus was recorded by the Guinness World Records as the tallest dog in the world on October 11, 2011.

He stands 44 inches tall at the shoulder and is seven feet four inches from the tip of his nose to the end of his tail.

That means he is taller than many humans! In fact, Zeus is so big that he has to sleep in a queen-sized bed.

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How much does Zeus the Great Dane weigh?

Zeus the Great Dane weighs 155 pounds. That is about the same weight as a fully grown human!

On average, a male Great Dane can weigh anywhere from 120 to 180 pounds and will be between 30 and 34 inches tall at the shoulder.

That means Zeus is on the larger side for his breed, especially when it comes to his height!

A Great Danes heigh is measured from the withers, which is the highest point of the shoulder blades, to the floor.


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Zues the Tallest Great Dane in the world

What is the life expectancy of a Great Dane?

The average life expectancy of a Great Dane is between six and eight years old, though dogs from ethical breeders tend to have longer lifespans.

Unfortunately, Zeus may have a shorter lifespan due to his large size and poor breeding.

Great Danes are known to suffer from health problems such as hip dysplasia, Dilated Cardiomyopathy (AKA ‘DCM’), and bloat.

All of these are largely genetic (and occasionally environmental) conditions that shorten lifespan.


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Zeus the tall black Great Dane

Why is Zeus the Great Dane so tall?

The answer to this question is largely due to genetics, however, environmental factors are also likely at play.

Great Danes are a very old breed, and their large size is likely due to years of selective breeding.

Zeus may have come from a breeder who was not diligent about choosing parents to continue the pedigree and thus may have received certain genes that encouraged fast, explosive growth and his excessive height.

Incorrect nutrition in Great Danes can lead to orthopedic issues including low bone density, too-fast of growth, knuckling, dysplasia, and more.

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In other words, oversized puppies (including ‘Euro’ pups) are often the result of backyard breeders who are not knowledgeable about the proper care and nutrition of Great Danes, let alone the actual breed standard.

Early spay and neuter (prior to 18-24 months) can also contribute to excessive height and structural problems in Great Danes!

Studies have shown that waiting to spay or neuter large and giant breed dogs can positively impact their future health.

Big dogs that are ‘fixed’ too young may be excessively tall, gangly, and lanky. They may also be more prone to hip dysplasia, ACL/CCL tears, and arthritis.

Here is an image of a well-bred, well-built intact male Great Dane from the GDCA Written Standard.

Great Dane Illo 2
An Image from the Official Illustrated Standard for Great Danes

The Great Dane Breed Standard

Today, many people choose to breed Great Danes for show or competition, which means that the dogs must meet certain standards in order to be competitive. This standard helps ensure that future Great Danes are robust, healthy, and correct in stature and size.

Zeus is a loved family pet, however, he is outside of the breed standard for Great Danes.

It is important to appreciate him for the amazing dog that he is, but NOT to wish for all Great Danes to experience his stature.

It is unhealthy and unfortunately will be devastating for him, and his loving owners.

While Zeus may be the tallest dog in the world, he is certainly not the only giant breed of dog out there. Other popular giant breeds include the Mastiff, Newfoundland, Saint Bernard, and Scottish Deerhound.

Here is an image of a healthy, well-bred black Great Dane:

A tall black great dane
Photo Credit to Tina Schneider at

What does Zeus the Great Dane eat?

Zeus the Great Dane eats 12 cups of food each day! Male Great Danes like Zeus require a lot of quality food to thrive, especially if they are active.

Diet is an important part of keeping any dog healthy, but it is especially important for giant breeds like the Great Dane.

When choosing a diet for a Great Dane, we recommend looking for a large or giant breed food from an established company that has a boarded Veterinary nutritionist on staff.

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Is Zeus the Great Dane Still Alive?

Unfortunately, Zeus passed away at the age of 5.

He was such a loved family pet.

Zeus leaves behind a legacy as the tallest dog in the world.

He will be remembered for his gentle giant personality and will be greatly missed.

Rest in peace, Zeus. You were one amazing dog!`


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Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. 

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