Standing at an impressive 7ft 5in on his hind legs, Freddy the Great Dane was famed for being the world’s tallest dog ― and he was also a big softy at heart.
The pooch, from Essex, England, died at the age of 8 1/2 years old, his owner confirmed. Freddy was measured for the Guinness World Records in 2016 and crowned the world’s tallest living dog.
His owner, Claire Stoneman, who lives in Leigh-on-Sea, said he was “not just the tallest dog, but the dog with the most love and the biggest heart.” Big enough to tower over his owner if he stood on his back legs, Freddy was a “total soppy bugger who was hand-fed,” said Stoneman.
According to the American Kennel Club, Great Danes are friendly, patient and dependable.
“He was my life. My reason. My joy. My annoyance. My happiness and my ultimate sadness,” said Stoneham. “He was my heart Dane. My one in a million and loved by the entire world.”
Freddy wasn’t always destined for such great heights. Stoneman recalled how as a puppy, he was the runt of the litter, who wouldn’t feed off his mum properly.
“I had no idea he was going to get this big at all,” she told Guinness World Records.
Photos of Freddy brought smiles to faces everywhere when he graced the pages of the UK press in 2016 after claiming the title of world’s tallest dog.
One image captured the huge grey and white dog slouched across their family’s leather sofa, with a paw dominating the arm of the chair.
Last year, the Daily Mail reported that Freddy could be in the running to seize another world record, becoming the oldest living Great Dane.
Guinness World Records confirmed at the time that they had no record of any older Great Danes. However, according to Tails.com, a Great Dane in the UK called Pirate was 11 1/2 years old and thought to be the oldest.
The average life expectancy for a Great Dane is between seven and 10 years.
At the time, Stoneman told the Mail she’d walk Freddy and her other Great Dane Fleur (Freddy’s sister) early each morning so they didn’t draw attention.
She said that feeding both pooches set her back about £500 a month, with dishes such as minced beef for breakfast, roast chicken with kibble in the evening and treats throughout the day.
“Despite their size, they’re very kind-natured and put their paws on you if they know you’re upset. They love cuddling and I sleep with them on two mattresses in the living room at night,” Stoneham said.
The Guinness World Records title holder for tallest dog ever was Zeus from Otsego, Michigan, who measured 3.66 feet from foot to withers in 2011. Zeus died in 2014 at the age of 5.
Freddy measured 3.39 feet from foot to withers. His devastated owner said of his recent death: “I can’t stop crying. He was my life.”