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20 July, 2024
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Meet Kevin, the world's tallest dog

Iowa's Kevin crowned tallest dog by Guinness World Records

Source: The Guardian

The Iowa great dane that was recently crowned the world’s tallest dog is the same height as the average three-year-old child – and is often mistaken for being a horse. But Kevin cannot stand up to his household’s vacuum cleaner, which “he is terrified of”, his owners Tracy and Roger Wolfe told Guinness World Records in a recently published interview.

“He won’t let it come within six feet of him!” Tracy Wolfe told the organization known for maintaining a database of more than 40,000 records. “He will jump and run to get away from it.”

To be fair, the three-year-old Kevin is far from the only creature to be skittish around vacuum cleaners, which make loud noises and give off odd smells that can put off dogs, cats and other pets. But because of the imposing figure he cuts, the phobia makes an odd contrast.

Kevin measures 3ft 2in (0.97 metres) from his feet to his withers, or the ridge between the shoulder blades. That’s not only about the same size as many toddlers – it’s eight inches taller than the average male great dane, which inspires many who encounter him to joke about saddling him up and riding on his back.

The pooch secured the title of world’s tallest living male dog in March after the record was vacated by the death six months earlier of fellow American great dane Zeus, Guinness said. The three-year-old Zeus had been 3ft 5.18in (1.046 metres) tall and battling bone cancer when he had his front right leg amputated and developed a fatal case of pneumonia.

At the West Des Moines house Kevin shares with the Wolfes, the married couple’s daughter and son, aged 10 and 12 respectively, and several other dogs, cats, chickens, goats and horses, the record-winner acts as if he has no idea how big he is.

He not only spends his time trying to squeeze into small beds, sit on top of his human family members and “do everything that the smaller dogs do”, but he is also quite easily frightened – and not just of the vacuum cleaner.

When Tracy and Roger had Kevin sized up for his official record attempt to succeed Zeus, the measuring tape spooked him. And when he accompanied the Wolfes’ son, Alexander, to his first training class at the youth development and mentoring organization 4-H, Kevin became so overwhelmed with nerves he soiled himself right in the middle of the session.

In some instances, he does remember how towering he is – such as when he simply steps over a small gate Tracy Wolfe erects at her office in the veterinary clinic where she works so she can keep the door open but the dogs out.

“He just steps right over … like it’s nothing,” Tracy said to Guinness.

Kevin also eats up to 10 cups of food daily. It’s an amount his family marvels at because he’s managed to stay svelte despite spending much of the rest of his time either napping as well as stealing whatever additional food he can off kitchen counters – which he can reach without even needing to raise his snout, much less get on his hind legs.

Taken together, all of the experiences with Kevin that the Wolfes relayed to Guinness have made them as grateful as ever to have brought him home after they endured losing their previous great dane, Cora, they said.

“Kevin is the epitome of a gentle giant,” Tracy remarked. “He was … just perfect for us.”

[Source: The Guardian]

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