The world now has a new top dog: the correctly named Zeus. This towering canine checks in at an impressive 3 feet, 8 inches, making the altitudinous beast — a Great Dane, maybe the Greatest Dane? — the tallest dog in the world, according to Guinness World Records 2013, which launched Sept. 13.
How much taller is Zeus than the foe he vanquished? One inch! But what an inch. The previous dog, Giant George, must now return to the world of mere mortals as simply one hell of a giant dog.
As for Zeus, he is expected to be an exemplary champion.
“He loves to sit on laps,” says his owner, Kevin Doorlag. “But if he stays on my lap for a while, he tends to get on the heavy side.”
He says Zeus “loves human contact. He’s a leaner.”
Denise and Kevin Doorlag bought the dog when he was just a puppy, and they watched him grow like a beanstalk. By and by they noticed the dog develop a surprising, delightful trait: big ol’ softiness.
“He kind of acts like a small dog,” Kevin Doorlag told People.com. “He towers over [most dogs], but it’s kind of funny. Even the smaller dogs will start sniffing, and if they bark, he’ll run behind you. He’s scared. He doesn’t really realize how big he is.”
Zeus, you’re 44 inches tall, from the ground to the top of your withers, or shoulders. When you add in your neck and your head, you’re nibbling on apples from a tree.
“It’s kind of comical,” says Doorlag. “Everybody we see is like, ‘Is that a horse? Is he part horse, part giraffe?'”
Zeus’ gentle nature led the Doorlags to get the dog involved in therapy work, volunteering at the local hospital in Kalamazoo, Mich. Doing the rounds from such great heights puts Zeus at an advantage, as his giant head can zoom right in on the patients, lap-level.
“When we’re doing pet therapy, he’ll go up to the beds,” Doorlag told People.com. “It’s nice with his size — patients don’t have to bend over. He’s actually at face level.”
Guinness World Records 2013 hit the Web and bookstores on Sept. 13. Be sure to give Zeus a glance before you go looking for fingernail-man.