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World's Tallest Dog Dies, RIP Zeus The Great Dane

13/09/2014 20:44 BST | Updated 13/09/2014 20:59 BST

The world's tallest dog has died.

Zeus, the Great Dane, lived in Otsego, Michigan and was seven feet four when he stood on his hind legs. He entered the Guinness Book Of World Records in 2012.

On all fours, he was 44 inches tall, measured from his foot to his shoulder. He was known as a "gentle giant" and was just shy of his sixth birthday.

Zeus The Great Dane

“We got him from this couple that had had a litter and we went and looked at him and fell in love with him,” owner Kevin Doorlag told ABC News.

Zeus was a certified therapy dog who would visit people in a nearby hospital.

“He’d sit on people’s laps. I loved to see people’s reactions when he’d sit down,” Mr Doorlag said. “He just seemed to want to make people smile and happy and … he was just a very sweet dog.”

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Speaking at the time Zeus was offigically recognised as the world's tallest, Mr Doorlag's wife Denise said: "The most common thing people ask is: 'Is that a dog or a horse?' and 'Where's his saddle?'"

Zeus weighed 155 pounds when he entered the Guinness Book Of Records, and was described as being the size of "your average donkey".