A woman hugging the biggest dog in the world in a field.

What is the Biggest Dog in the World?


Recent Blog:

Dogs are our best friends and in some cases our best friends are giants! That’s right – some dogs are considered to have ‘gigantic proportions‘, literally. Interestingly though when it comes to finding out who the biggest dog in the world is, there are two answers.

That’s because… Whether you consult Wikipedia or the Guinness World Records the biggest dog breed is measured in two ways: tallest and heaviest. Dogs appear to be one or the other rather than both.

That’s pretty understandable; being heavy and tall could be complicated. It’s probably why you don’t get heavy giraffes and tall rhinos. Just ask elephants how it feels.

But enough of safaris and back to pets; here are the top contenders for biggest dog in the world:

this Great Dane is one of the biggest dog breeds in the world

Biggest living dog in the world, by height

Until recently, the tallest living dog in the world (different to the tallest dog ever, up next) was none other than a Great Dane named Zeus. He measured in at a whopping 104.6 cm tall.

Is Zeus the tallest dog still alive?

Sadly, Zeus passed away in September 2023 after health complications from bone cancer and amputation-related pneumonia. Zeus was the Guinness World Record champ for being the tallest male dog, a record that’s once again open to applicants.

Zeus died in the early hours of the morning on 12 September, his head lovingly resting in his mum Brittany’s lap. Learn more about canine cancer in dogs and why some breeds can be more affected than others.

More fast facts on biggest dogs

Before Zeus there was Freddy the Great Dane from Essex who was named tallest living dog in the world in 2016. Here are some fast facts on Zeus and Freddy, as previous record holders for tallest male living dogs:

Height 104.6 cm 103.5 cm
Lifespan3 years 8.5 years
FromTexas, USEssex, UK
QuirksLiked to steal the baby’s pacifierChewed up 26 sofas

Pet proofing your home

Twenty-six sofas down the hatch! Now that’s big dog stats. This is the kind of data to motivate any dog lover to get up to speed on pet proofing your home (and knowing how to pet proof your car)! Access our free puppy teething survival guide while you’re at it.

The biggest dog in the world, a great dane, peacefully laying on the grass.

Biggest dog in the world EVER, by height

You might have guessed it – the tallest slash biggest dog EVER recorded in the world was none other than another Great Dane, also named Zeus. This Zeus holds the Guinness World Record for being the biggest dog ever (he won the ‘World Tallest Dog’ award and still holds it), having measured in at 112 cm in 2011.

Height 112 cm
Standing on hind legs223 cm
Lifespan5 years, almost 6
FromMichigan, US
QuirksDrank straight from the tap

Here’s a cute video of Zeus, the biggest dog in the world according to height:

Biggest dog in the world by weight

Weight has become a bit of a sore point in the pet-kingdom with obese pets now outnumbering their lightweight counterparts. It’s why days like National Pet Obesity Day are becoming more important.

The Guinness World Record no longer gives a title for heaviest dog breed. When it did, the Saint Bernard and Old English Mastiff were jointly recognised for holding rank. These guys can weigh between 77–91 kg.

If you own one you’ll need to set aside a pretty penny for ‘big dog stuff’. Big dog beds, toys and food tend to come with bigger price tags than small ones. Also all those cute puppy dog things your pooch does need to be kept in check. You don’t want your dog to still be chasing or jumping on people once they’re at their maximum potential size.

If you don’t have time to train your perky pup yourself then puppy training with a puppy school in NZ is a must. And if you’re more of a small dog fan, read this article on small dog breeds for apartment living.

a saint bernard is the biggest dog breed in the world by weight

Big dog breed health issues

If you’re thinking of getting one of the biggest dog breeds in the world, make sure you understand their unique health needs. Giant sized canines need the right nutrition to support their growth spurts and evolving musculoskeletal system.

Speak to your vet about a giant dog breed dog food and schedule, among other things.

Generally speaking, bigger dog breeds have shorter lifespans than littler ones. So having pet insurance is a good idea – you really want to make those years count and give them a soft landing. Cancer in dogs also appears to be a greater concern for bigger breeds.

Hip dysplasia in dogs is more common in bigger breeds – yet another reason to get the right diet and right exercise. And you can reduce the amount of pressure on the bones, ligaments, joints and muscles with these methods of exercising dogs without walking.

Got a giant dog with undisclosed breeding? A dog DNA test might help you determine if your dog is part Mastiff, Great Dane, Saint Bernard, or one of the other giant breeds so you can take preventative measures.

Which pet are you?

Psst … Is reading about all these big dog breeds making you wonder which dog (or cat) YOU may be most like? Find out what pet you are and share it with your friends – click below:

Award winning dog insurance

Getting our Deluxe dog insurance plan also means getting cover for dental along with our accident, illness and other coverage that can give your pooch that extra helping hand. And if you’re not keen to go that far, our Classic and Accident plans provide plenty of coverage at a cost-effective price.

Want to switch to PD Insurance? If your current insurer charges you a cancellation fee we’ll pay for it up to $150*! Click below and get one or more months of free insurance, depending on the age of your ‘biggest dog in the world’ (to you, anyway).

*at the time of writing

Share on :