LIFESTYLE

Meet Britain's Biggest Dog: Freddy, The 7ft 4 Great Dane

10/02/2014 14:44 GMT | Updated 10/02/2014 14:59 GMT

The Great Dane has been measured at 7ft 4in (2.24m) on his hind legs by owner Claire Stoneman.

Although no official measurement has yet been made, that would make Freddy as tall as world-record holder Zeus, and significantly larger than Britain's current biggest dog Samson, who is 6ft 6in (1.98m).

Freddy is an incredible 41 inches (104.14cm) from his paws to his withers, the ridge between the shoulder blades, slightly shorter than Zeus' 44 inches (111.76cm).

great dane

But astonishingly the gigantic dog is only an 18-month-old puppy, and while most Great Danes reach their maximum height by that age, they can continue growing until the age of three.

But 11.2 stone (71kg) Freddy hasn’t always been the towering figure he is today – as a pup he was actually the runt of the litter.

Owner Claire Stoneman, of Leigh-on-Sea, acquired Freddy as a newborn, along with his sister Fleur.

The former glamour model admits to being “dog obsessed” and says that despite his size she regards Freddy as "my baby”.

"I can’t imagine life without him," Claire said. "Mum loves him too. She’s tiny, so when she first saw him she was like 'Bloody hell!' But she’s used to him now, she bosses him about."

Is Freddy Britain's Biggest Dog?

Although the 38-year-old taxi driver owns a fleet of Barbie-pink "glam cabs", she has had to have another vehicle specially modified in order to fit Freddy in.

The 5ft 4in Essex Girl spends more than £75 a week on food for Freddy.

In an average week, the humongous hound devours half a £59 bag of Eukanuba dog food, 21bs of tripe (£21), and £28 of treats – including Misfits Gnashersticks and Misfits Wonky

Chomps, and some little rice bones (65p each) – and even the occasional roast chicken or round of peanut butter on toast.

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"I haven’t been eating, he has!” Claire jokes.

Life with Britain's biggest dog also throws up other expenses – Freddy has got through 14 sofas since he came to live with Claire 18 months ago.

"I think I will miss his playfulness when he's no longer a puppy, but I won’t miss him eating sofas!" Claire said.

"I come home and I find a sea of foam across the floor. There’s a guy called Dave who chops them up and takes them down the tip for me. That’s why I don’t let him in the front lounge."

Claire, who also owns two tortoises, which roam freely around the house, has opted against sleeping in her own bed for the last 18 months.

Instead she prefers to share the sofa with her beloved Freddy – despite the fact she is often relegated to the foot stool.

"I was with somebody when he was a puppy, but I kicked him out after six weeks because I realised I liked Freddy more than him," Claire said.

"We always used to sleep on the sofa together, and that’s just continued as he's got bigger. Because he's still a puppy and can be a bit destructive – although he's been alright lately – I haven’t wanted to take him upstairs to bed yet, in case he rips the mattress to pieces."

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The giant dog have also put a serious crimp on her love life, with several suitors put off by her colossal canine.

“Freddy keeps scaring them off. A guy came round and Freddy was growling and saying hello and he said “Get it away from me”," Claire said.

“I said “What do you mean, ‘it’?” And he said “Get it away” and I said “Yeah, get out," and kicked him out.

“There was another guy I met in a taxi and he was texting me and he said “What dogs have you got?” and I said Great Danes, and he said “Oh, I am pertrified of dogs” and I just killed it then.

“There’s no point us even going out. He said “I can’t believe you’re going to write it off without even meeting me," but I was just like “There’s no point. If you don’t like dogs, well they are such a big part of my life, because if you’re scared of dogs, what the hell.

“Even if we did get on really well, you don’t like dogs, how are you going to come round and have them sit next to you, you know? You’ve got to have them as part of your life as well. If you’re don’t get on with them, that’s it.”

Claire is no stranger to huge dogs - prior to owning Freddy, the glam cabbie owned a pair of dalmatians, Thomas and Poppy.

The cab driver prefers to walk Freddy in the early hours of the morning to keep him out of the way of other dogs.

"If he wants to run after a dog we won't be able to stop him!" Claire said.

And owning Freddy has had a lasting impact on every area of Claire's life.

“Cab driving wasn’t a life-long dream, but it fits around Freddy perfectly," Claire said.

“I can have all day with him, then while he's sleeping of a nighttime I can go out to work and then I can pop back as and when I want.”

Freddy is sweet-natured, but his colossal size means that Claire regularly picks up injures from her beloved pup.

"The other week he accidentally whacked me, I had a massive black eye and a bit scratch down my face," she said.

"He was just playing, but he caught me with his paw, which is the same size, if not larger than my hand."

Regardless of the occasional black eye, Claire is clearly bursting with affection for Freddy.

She spends half an hour every morning in the garden with Freddy, firing water into the air from a hose and watching him jump through it.

The couple also cuddle up to watch television together, and spend hours playing with Freddy's many toys.

And if Freddy continues to grow, the world record could eventually be his.