The Great Dane was 44-in. tall at the shoulder and 7-ft., 4-in. on his hind legs

By Associated Press
Updated September 12, 2014 04:20 PM

Zeus, the Great Dane from Michigan that held the title of world’s tallest dog, has passed away at age 5.

According to owner Kevin Doorlag, the dog died of old age last week, just two months shy of his sixth birthday (Great Danes have a six- to eight-year life expectancy).

Zeus made his debut in the 2013 edition of Guinness World Records as the tallest living dog. He was 44-in. tall at the shoulder and 7-ft., 4-in. on his hind legs.

“He kind of acts like a small dog,” Doorlag told PEOPLE in 2012. “He towers over [most dogs], but it’s kind of funny. Even the smaller dogs will start sniffing, and if they bark, he’ll run behind you. He’s scared. He doesn’t really realize how big he is.”

The pup weighed 165 lbs. and ate a 30-lb. bag of food every two weeks, the Battle Creek Enquirer reported. RELATED: Your Favorite Pomeranian Is Now the Fastest Dog on Two Paws

Zeus was a local celebrity in the Kalamazoo area and frequently visited local schools and hospitals as a therapy dog. Doorlag told the Kalamazoo Gazette his family will miss the dog, and he’ll miss seeing the joy Zeus brought to other people.

“Those are some of the things I’ll never forget about him,” Doorlag said. “He was definitely a great dog.”

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