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Meet Kevin, the World's Tallest Dog | Smithsonian – Smithsonian Magazine

The Great Dane measures over three feet tall—about the same size as an average 3-year-old child
Julia Binswanger
Daily Correspondent
Measuring three feet and two inches—about the size of a three-year-old child—a Great Dane in Iowa has been named the world’s tallest dog, according to an announcement from Guinness World Records.
The record-breaking pup, Kevin, is 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 hails from West Des Moines and belongs to a family of four: Tracy and Roger Wolfe and their two kids, 12-year-old Alexander and 10-year-old Ava. Kevin shares their attention with three other dogs, four cats, chickens, goats and horses.
Guinness reports that Kevin eats around six to ten cups of food each day. Sometimes, strangers even mistake him for a small horse. But while he is mighty in stature, he is described as a “friendly” and “lazy” pup who loves to lounge around and cuddle.
“Kevin is the epitome of [a] gentle giant,” says Tracy in Guinness’ statement. “In fact, he is scared of most things.”
Some everyday objects—such as vacuum cleaners—seem 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,” adds Tracy. “He’s continuously trying to squeeze into small beds and sit on top of us, and do everything that the smaller dogs do.”
At the same time, Kevin can get away with behaviors that smaller dogs can’t. He loves 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 can simply step over it.
Kevin is the tallest living dog, but the previous record holder—another Great Dane named Zeus, who died in September—was about three inches taller than him.
The current record holder for the world’s shortest dog is Pearl, a 3.59-inch-tall ​​Chihuahua. As BBC News reports, “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,” says Tracy in the statement. “The timing was just perfect for us.”
Ever since the Wolfes brought him home, Kevin, who is now 3, has been a “perfect addition to the family,” according to Guinness. He can often be found snoozing on his favorite spot on the couch or hanging with Alexander, who he has grown 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 adds. “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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Julia Binswanger | READ MORE
Julia Binswanger is a freelance arts and culture reporter based in Chicago. Her work has been featured in WBEZ, Chicago magazine, Rebellious magazine and PC magazine. 
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