The World’s Tallest Male Dog Dies Days After Receiving the Record

Kevin, a Great Dane, measured over three feet tall—about the same size as an average 3-year-old child

The Wolfe family met Kevin as a puppy, but he grew to be three feet and two inches tall. Guinness World Records

Editor’s note, June 25, 2024: This story has been updated following Kevin’s death at age 3.

The world’s tallest male dog died just days after securing the title, according to Guinness World Records.

Kevin, a Great Dane in Iowa, measured three feet and two inches—about the size of a three-year-old child. After verifying his height, Guinness announced the record on June 13. Less than two weeks later, Kevin died after an unplanned surgery.

“Our whole family is devastated,” says Tracy Wolfe, one of his owners, in Guiness’ statement. “We are so glad that he was able to break the record and have that light on him. He absolutely adored the attention. I wish these giant breeds, and all dogs, could live longer than they do. It’s never enough time.”

The record-breaking pup was eight inches taller than the average male Great Dane (about two feet and six inches tall). Measurements are taken from the ground to the dog’s withers, the highest point above the shoulders.

Kevin the World's Tallest Dog
Kevin lived with a family of four in West Des Moines, Iowa. Guinness World Records

Kevin hailed from West Des Moines and belonged to a family of four: Tracy and Roger Wolfe and their two kids, 12-year-old Alexander and 10-year-old Ava. Kevin shared their attention with three other dogs, four cats, chickens, goats and horses.

Guinness reported that Kevin ate around six to ten cups of food each day. Sometimes, strangers even mistook him for a small horse. But while he was mighty in stature, he was described as a “friendly” and “lazy” pup who loved to lounge around and cuddle.

“Kevin is the epitome of [a] gentle giant,” said Tracy in Guinness’ original announcement. “In fact, he is scared of most things.”

Some everyday objects—such as vacuum cleaners—seemed to frighten Kevin. Recording the Great Dane’s height for the record proved difficult because he was scared of the measuring tape.

“I don’t think he’s aware he is as big as he is,” added Tracy.

At the same time, Kevin could get away with behaviors that smaller dogs can’t. He loved to use his height advantage to steal food from the countertop. Tracy works at a veterinary clinic, and when she brings any of her pets to work, she places a baby gate in her office door. Kevin could simply step over it.

Kevin was not the tallest dog of all time. The previous record holder—another Great Dane named Zeus, who died in September—was about three inches taller than him.

Kevin and a Horse
Kevin lived with many other animals including dogs, cats, chickens, goats and horses.  Guinness World Records

The current record holder for the world’s shortest dog is Pearl, a 3.59-inch-tall ​​Chihuahua. As BBC News reported, “It would take more than ten Pearls stacked on top of each other to reach the height of a Kevin.”

The Wolfes brought Kevin home after the death of their dog Cora, also a Great Dane. Tracy and Roger got the new puppy as a surprise for their kids. They named him Kevin after Kevin McCallister, Macaulay Culkin’s character in Home Alone.

“He immediately came bounding to us, and we knew he was ours. He was so friendly, right from the start,” said Tracy in the announcement. “The timing was just perfect for us.”

When the Wolfes brought him home, Kevin was a “perfect addition to the family,” according to Guinness. He could often be found snoozing on his favorite spot on the couch or hanging with Alexander, whom he grew quite close to.

“It’s funny because as a puppy, we just kept thinking, ‘He just keeps growing and growing. He’s the tallest dog I’ve ever seen,’” Tracy added. “To actually have that distinction is really exciting for the family.”

Kevin isn’t the only record-breaking dog to make headlines in recent months. Earlier this year, Guinness actually rescinded the title of a dog named Bobi, who had been known as the world’s oldest dog. But when Bobi died last year—at the reported age of 31—questions about his record’s legitimacy began to emerge.

Luckily, Kevin’s record was easier to verify—that is, apart from his fear of that pesky measuring tape.

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