The two-year-old grey and brown dog from Bedford, Texas stands at a record-breaking 1.046 metres (3 ft 5.18 in) high for male dogs in the world.
“He’s been a big dog since we got him, even for a puppy. He had huge paws,” said Zeus’s owner, Brittany Davis. Zeus was gifted to Davis by her brother when the pup was just eight weeks old. Even then, the Great Dane was the largest dog in his litter of five.
Zeus’s diet consists of six cups of “Gentle Giants” large breed dog food in the morning, and another six in the afternoon. He occasionally snacks on fried eggs, bully sticks, and his favourite treat – an ice cube.
According to the American Kennel Club, Great Danes were originally bred in Germany during the 1800s to hunt wild boars. While Zeus stands as the world’s tallest dog, Great Danes as whole are still the world’s tallest breed, reaching up to 32 inches tall and 175 pounds. Female Great Danes can grow up to 30 inches and tend to weigh at 140 pounds.
Zeus has become a local celebrity at the Dallas Farmers Market, where he receives extra treats and frequent stares.
“The comment that we hear most often is ‘Wow, that’s a horse!,’’’Can I ride him?’ or ‘Does he have a saddle?’” Davis said. “The answer to all those questions is ‘no.’”
Zeus isn’t the only Olympian-named dog to grace the Guinness World Records. The tallest dog ever recorded was also a Great Dane named Zeus from Michigan, who measured at 111.8 cm (44 in). Sadly, this Zeus passed away in 2014 at the age of five.
“We didn’t think that was even a possibility but once we measured him, we realized he probably was,” said Davis about her grey and brown dog. “This has been a whirlwind and unexpected. We never thought we would own the largest living dog.”