Even though he stood at an impressive 7ft 5in on his hind legs, he was a big softy at heart.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on January 29, 2021. It has since been updated.
Freddy the Great Dane, who was best known for holding the record of the tallest dog (male) passed away on January 28, 2021. Even though he stood at an impressive 7ft 5in on his hind legs, he was a big softy at heart. His owners confirmed that that the giant pooch was 8 and a half years old.
Freddy first came to the spotlight in 2016 when he was announced as the new record holder for the tallest dog living (male) after he was measured by a vet and Guinness World Records’ editor-in-chief Craig Glenday. He measured 103.5 cm (3 ft 4 in) from foot to withers. When he stood on his hind legs, he was 226 cm (7 ft 5.5 in) tall, as per the Guinness World Record.
When Freddy's owner, Claire Stoneman from Essex, UK, confirmed the devastating news of her beloved dog's death, she broke down into tears and said, “I can’t stop crying. He was my life.”
"He was not just the tallest dog but the dog with the most love and the biggest heart. A total soppy bugger who was hand-fed. He was my life. My reason. My joy. My annoyance. My happiness and my ultimate sadness. He was my heart Dane. My one in a million and loved by the entire world."
Recalling the first time Freddy arrived into Claire's life, she said, "As a puppy, he was the runt of the litter. I actually got him a couple of weeks earlier than I should have, as he wasn't feeding off [his] mum. I had no idea he was going to get this big at all."
Last year, The Daily Mail reported that Freddy might also become the oldest living Great Dane as Guinness World Records confirmed that there was no other dog competing against him. However, a blog page called Tails.com reported that Pirate, an 11-and-a-half years old Great Dane, was the oldest living dog since the life expectancy of a Great Dane is between seven and 10 years.
At that time, Claire revealed that taking care of Freddy and his sister Fleur's diet did affect her financially. It cost her $684 a month to be exact, as they consumed minced beef for breakfast, roast chicken with kibble in the evening, and treats throughout the day.
She added that even though both the dogs were huge, they're absolutely adorable. “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."
Craig, recalling the friendly pooch, said, "Freddy was such a gentle giant, and it was always a pleasure to see him bounding towards you. Measuring this mountain of a dog was an unforgettable - if challenging! - experience and I'll always treasure the couple of occasions I got to share a sofa with him - there was just about enough room for the two of us!"
It was a challenge to measure Freddy because initially, the skittish giant was suspicious of the vet's measuring tape and it took the Guinness World Records team more time than they anticipated to measure him. They ended up spending a number of days with the pooch, documenting his story in pictures.
Freddy became an instant hit around the world with his strong stance, handsome face, big innocent eyes, and of course, his height. The delightful photographs were soon gracing every newspaper and social media. Freddy's story was read by everyone around the world.
"I still can barely believe that he was the runt of the litter," continued Craig, "Freddy brought a smile to everyone's face and will be missed by every at Guinness World Records. I'm just pleased that we got the chance to celebrate his record-breaking immensity in the books and share his story with millions of people around the world. RIP, Freddy."
The previous Guinness World Records title holder for the tallest dog ever was Zeus from Otsego, Michigan, USA, who measured 44 inches tall at the shoulder and at 7-feet, 4-inches on his hind legs.