Kevin, the world’s tallest dog, dies weeks after claiming Guinness title

Kevin, a Great Dane and the world's tallest known dog, died only a few weeks after Guiness World Records announced his giant accomplishment.

Only weeks after achieving international acclaim with his Guinness World Records title, Kevin, once the world’s tallest living dog, has died. He was a 3-year-old Great Dane.

When Kevin was handed the tallest living dog title earlier this month, animal lovers everywhere praised the not-so-petite pooch for both his incredible stature and scaredy cat tendencies. Kevin, who measured 3 feet, 2 inches from his paws to his withers, had a reputation as a “gentle giant” that was afraid of the vacuum cleaner.

When he stood on his hind legs, Kevin was approximately 7 feet tall, Guinness reported.

Kevin, formerly the world’s tallest living dog, loved naps on the couch and meeting new friends.
Kevin, formerly the world’s tallest living dog, loved naps on the couch and meeting new friends. Guinness World Records

Kevin lived in West Des Moines, Iowa, with his family, owners Tracy and Roger Wolfe, and their children Alexander and Ava.

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Tracy said Kevin died after he fell ill and had to undergo an unplanned surgery.

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“Our whole family is devastated about Kevin,” she told the international recordkeeper. “He was just the best giant boy!”

According to Tracy, Kevin was a “big baby” who was afraid of most things and, like so many big dogs, seemed to believe he was much smaller than he actually was.

She said Kevin was “continuously trying to squeeze into small beds and sit on top of us, and do everything that the smaller dogs do.”

Great Danes are typically large dogs, with the average measuring about 2 feet, 6 inches from paws to withers.

Wolfe said Kevin — whose namesake was the mischievous McCallister boy from Home Alone — “adored the attention” brought on by his Guinness record.

Kevin loved naps (especially on the couch), cuddling on the couch and meeting new people.

A family of 4 sits on a couch, smiling with a Great Dane laying across them.
Kevin, once the tallest living dog, is seen with his family members in West Des Moines, Iowa. Guinness World Records

Before Kevin, a Great Dane named Zeus held the record for tallest living dog and measured a gigantic 3 feet, 5.18 inches from paws to withers. Zeus died in 2023 following a diagnosis of bone cancer. He was also 3 years old.

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A spokesperson for Guinness World Records said the company is “deeply saddened to learn that Kevin suddenly passed away after unexpected health complications.”

“Tracy and the team at the vet clinic she works in did everything they could to save Kevin after he became ill,” the spokesperson said. “Our thoughts and support are with the Wolfe family as they navigate this difficult time.”

The lifespan of larger dog breeds is often shorter than their smaller counterparts. According to the American Kennel Club, scientists aren’t quite sure why big dogs generally live shorter lives. Many big dogs will often develop cancer or succumb to age-related illnesses sooner.

Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Centre for Veterinary Medicine approved the development of a drug aiming to slow down the process of aging in big dogs. The drug focuses on lowering the concentration of a growth hormone called IGF-1, which is associated with faster aging and lower lifespan among some large and giant dog breeds.

Click to play video: 'Friends fur-ever: Can this new drug help your big dog live longer?'
Friends fur-ever: Can this new drug help your big dog live longer?

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