A newcomer to the 'World's Tallest Dog' race: Giant George, a 245-pound Great Dane
This month we learned that a 36-inch-tall, 180-pound Landseer Newfoundland dog named Boomer has thrown his hat in the ring for the title of world's tallest dog. Boomer seemed an unlikely tallest-dog candidate -- the previous record-holder, a harlequin Great Dane named Gibson who died in August, was 6 inches taller, and though Newfoundlands are certainly giant dogs, they're more known for their sheer mass than for their height.
None of this was lost on our doggie-knowledgeable readers, several of whom even commented that they personally knew dogs taller than Boomer. And now, another dog has challenged Boomer for the title: George, a Great Dane from Tucson, Ariz.
According to George's owner, Dave Nasser, the 4-year-old dog measures over 42 inches tall at the withers and weighs a staggering 245 pounds. (Despite his heft, Nasser told the Associated Press that George "really thinks he's a tiny dog and wants to sit on your lap all the time. He wants to be right with you.") George eats more than 100 pounds of food per month and sleeps on his own twin-sized bed, the Associated Press reports. (He used to share a king-sized bed with Nasser and his wife, Christine, but was relegated to the twin bed after the birth of their infant daughter, Annabel.)
As the battle of the giant dogs heats up, one factor in George's favor is the fact that two of Nasser's close friends, Paul O'Rourke and Dana Murray, are public relations experts. O'Rourke and Murray lost no time in setting up a website, Facebook fan page and Twitter account for their favorite Great Dane, and their ambitions for George don't stop at the Web -- they also plan to make him a fixture on the talk-show circuit. "Either (Jay) Leno, or (Conan) O'Brien seems to me a better fit," O'Rourke mused to the Associated Press.
So what started this group of dog lovers on their quest to make George famous? Apparently, it all began when they learned about Boomer's quest for the tallest-dog title and knew George had 6 inches on him. "Our hand has kind of been forced," O'Rourke said.
According to a recent tweet, George took another step toward being named the world's tallest dog today: An official measurement to be presented to the Guinness company. Somewhat cryptically, the tweet concludes, "PS....I'll be flying there in my balloon!" (Echoes of the Balloon Boy saga? We hope not!)
A follow-up tweet advises that video of the measurement will be posted on George's Facebook page. We know one thing for sure: This dog is tech-savvy. As for whether he'll be named the world's tallest dog, we'll just have to wait and see.
-- Lindsay Barnett
Photos: Nasser demonstrates George's size relative to his own at a friend's home in Tucson. Credit: Greg Bryan / Associated Press