Death of ‘The gentlest giant you could ever meet’

The world’s largest dog, a Great Dane named Zeus, has died, his owners say.

The five-year-old, donkey-sized dog stood 112cm at the shoulder.

His owner, Kevin Doorlag of Otsego, Michigan, told the Kalamazoo Gazette that the beloved family pet died last week.

Zeus had been declared the world’s tallest dog in the 2012 edition of the Guiness World’s Records. He topped 220cm when standing on his hind legs.

Doorlag family photos showed Zeus dwarfing a sofa that he sat on, and drinking from the running kitchen tap without having to stretch or strain.

Doorlag described Zeus as a “wonderful dog” who loved to sit on his family members’ laps, oblivious to his own size and 70 kilogram weight.

Zeus’s daily ration was up to 13 kilograms of dog food.

Guinness World Records picture editor Michael Whitty, who had met Zeus, said the dog was “the gentlest giant you could ever wish to meet.”

“He will be greatly missed by his lovely owners and will live on in Guinness World Records history as the tallest dog we ever measured,” he said.

Great Danes and other giant breeds tend to have short lives, which veterinarians attribute to the strain that their huge bodies put on the heart and other organs.

Zeus would have been 6 in November.

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