Great Dane named Kevin crowned world’s tallest dog, still fears vacuum

great dane named kevin crowned world’s tallest dog, still fears vacuum

Great Dane named Kevin crowned world’s tallest dog, still fears vacuum

Editor’s note: After this story published, The Washington Post learned that Kevin unexpectedly died Wednesday morning from complications following emergency surgery for a gastric problem. The Wolfe family asks that Kevin be celebrated both for the stature he achieved and his short but meaningful life.

Kevin, a 4-year-old Great Dane, was recently named the world’s tallest living dog. You’d think with such a towering figure, he’d be a brave boy — but he’s terrified of noisy home appliances and thunderstorms.

“The vacuum drives him crazy,” said Tracy Wolfe, Kevin’s owner. “He’ll jump from couch to couch.”

Kevin — who stands at 3 feet, 2 inches tall — is also afraid of kittens, and got spooked by the measuring tape used to take his height.

“He was always an anxious, nervous dog,” said Wolfe, who lives on a farm in Macksburg, Iowa, with her husband, two children, four dogs, three cats and several other animals.

Kevin is the Wolfe family’s second Great Dane. Their first, Cora, died in 2019 at age 6. Although Great Danes generally have a short life expectancy (about seven to 10 years), Wolfe adores their gentle giant demeanor.

“They don’t know how big they are,” said Wolfe, who manages two veterinary offices in Des Moines. “They’re just the sweetest.”

So, when she came across a Facebook post in 2019 about a new litter of Great Danes, she and her husband decided to meet the puppies. They ended up taking Kevin home.

“He was so friendly, he just ran up to us,” said Wolfe, adding that they named him after Kevin McCallister, the main character in the movie “Home Alone.”

great dane named kevin crowned world’s tallest dog, still fears vacuum

Kevin hanging out with Alexander, 12.

As a pup, Kevin showed no signs he would become a supersized Great Dane, but by the time he was a year old, it was clear he was going to be notably tall. (The average male Great Dane is about 2 feet, 6 inches.) Kevin is slender for his height, weighing about 150 pounds.

“Kevin just kept growing up and growing up and growing up,” said Wolfe.

Her son, Alexander, 12, has a particularly close bond with Kevin.

great dane named kevin crowned world’s tallest dog, still fears vacuum

Alexander and Kevin have a particularly tight bond.

“Alexander is Kevin’s person,” Wolfe said, adding that it was her son’s idea to submit an application to Guinness World Records for the world’s tallest living dog. He was verified as the new record holder on May 20.

The previous record holder, Zeus, also a Great Dane, was 3 feet, 5.18 inches tall and weighed about 200 pounds. Like Kevin, Zeus despised thunderstorms. He died at age 3 in 2022 after fighting bone cancer. Another Great Dane, also named Zeus, holds the record for the tallest dog ever at 3 feet, 6 inches.

Wolfe said her whole family was over the moon when Kevin took home the title.

“We were all super excited,” said Wolfe.

Alexander loves telling people that his dog broke a world record.

“He’s like, ‘Kevin deserves this!’” Wolfe said.

great dane named kevin crowned world’s tallest dog, still fears vacuum

Kevin with Ava, 10, and Alexander.

In their tiny hometown of about 100 people, Kevin has emerged as a local celebrity. Everywhere they take him, people are stunned by his size and remark that he’s the tallest dog they’ve ever seen. Now, the family can confirm that’s probably true.

“We joke that more people know Kevin than us,” said Wolfe. “Everybody loves Kevin.”

Kevin likes all people, Wolfe said, though he is especially fond of children “because their faces are right in his face.”

In fact, Kevin has an easier time mingling with humans than canines.

“He has trouble finding friends sometimes because they’re intimidated,” said Wolfe. “Kevin will crouch down when he wants to play.”

great dane named kevin crowned world’s tallest dog, still fears vacuum

Kevin relaxing with his dog siblings, Tank and Izzy.

His pooch siblings — including a pug, a terrier and mastiff — have all gotten used to Kevin’s soaring stature, and they spend their days together running around the family farm.

“It’s amazing to watch him because he’s just so long,” said Wolfe. “He’s playful and loving and a really funny character. He’s got a heck of a personality.”

The Wolfes have two horses and a miniature pony who Kevin dwarfs. Although they haven’t measured him on his hind legs, he is considerably taller than Wolfe’s husband, Roger, who is about 6 feet tall.

Kevin seldom sits, Wolfe said, and prefers standing or lying down — though he does tend to sit on people’s laps as he enjoys snuggling.

great dane named kevin crowned world’s tallest dog, still fears vacuum

Kevin enjoys sitting on people's laps.

Kevin seems entirely unaware of his size, and often tries to squeeze into tiny spaces and small beds. He regularly gets “zoomies” and runs around the house, causing a ruckus. Whenever he bashes into furniture, he moves it on impact.

great dane named kevin crowned world’s tallest dog, still fears vacuum

Kevin in bed with Alexander.

Kevin is mostly well-behaved, but he does have a devious side. Particularly when there’s food around. He has a sweet tooth, and a history of stealing cookies, pies and baked goods from the kitchen counter — which is at his eye-level. He recently managed to swipe an entire pizza.

“He’s very, very sneaky,” said Wolfe.

His defining quality, though, is his gentleness. His heart is as huge as his body.

“He is just the best boy,” Wolfe said

Postscript: Wolfe sent a text message to The Washington Post late Wednesday morning about Kevin’s sudden death.

“I thought he was going to make it overnight, but he didn’t,” she wrote. “He made it through the surgery, but there was too much damage. We are devastated.”

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