Upon studying Paris Hilton's tiny Chihuahuas and Henry Cavill's robust American Akita, it's hard to believe they're from the same species. But after seeing the U.K.'s biggest dog, it's incredible that he's even a dog at all. In fact, at 252 pounds — approximately the size of a baby elephant – Dylan Shaw's Turkish Malakli called Abu looks more like a horse (if you squint your eyes).
Per The Daily Mail, the 33-year-old dog trainer from Redcar, Yorkshire, calls his horse-dog a "gentle giant," as Abu is unaware of his enormous size. Hilariously, Abu thinks he's a lap dog (a quirk that's common with Great Danes).
"He thinks he's a lot smaller than he is, he tries to sit on your lap and crushes you but he's a big softy really," Shaw told media agency SWNS, as per Fox News. "Abu has been a pleasure to own, he's a really good family dog and he's great with kids."
Read on to learn more about the U.K.'s towering pooch.
Abu, a Turkish Malakli, may be the U.K.'s biggest dog.
Standing at 7 feet 2 inches when on his hind legs, Abu is an inch taller than Shaquille O'Neal.
"When he's stood on all fours his shoulders come above my hips. I'm [5 feet 11 inches] and he makes me look like a child," Shaw said, as per The Daily Mail.
Typically, according to the American Dog Federation (ADF), adult male Turkish Malaklis — a breed known for being "the livestock guardian and field security dogs of Turkey" — weigh up to 220 pounds. But Abu is just 2 years old, so he's only going to get bigger.
"I don’t know what I’m going to end up with — he’s already outgrown my expectations," Shaw said, according to The Daily Mail.
And, as you can imagine, he eats a lot.
"He has raw meat, raw dog food, and whole chickens as well. He gets one chicken per day," Shaw disclosed. Abu's dedicated human spends over $4,800 a year on his dog's food.
And though the ADF wrote that Turkish Malaklis can be "skeptical and aggressive towards strangers," Abu is a delight with new people.
"I [brought] him into my kids’ school for ‘Take a Pet to School Day’ and all the kids loved him," Shaw shared, as per Fox News.
Abu has no idea he's allegedly the U.K.'s biggest mongrel, but he definitely wears the title well.
Who is the biggest dog in the world?
Unfortunately, it's hard to say who the biggest living dog is, as the world's tallest dog, an 8-and-a-half-year-old Great Dane named Freddy, passed away in 2021. On his hind legs, Freddy stood at a staggering 7 feet 5-and-a-half inches tall. From foot to withers, he stood 3 feet 4 inches. Bizarrely, he was the runt of the litter.
The Essex, U.K., pooch was officially awarded the prestigious title by Guinness World Records in 2016.
Freddy's human, Claire Stoneman, shared some beautiful words at the time of his passing.
"He was my life. My reason. My joy. My annoyance. My happiness and my ultimate sadness. He was my heart Dane," she said.
Before Freddy, another Great Dane held the title of "Tallest Dog Ever" in 2012, per GWR. Zeus from Otsego, Mich., stood at 44 inches from foot to withers, 7 feet 4 inches on his hind legs, and weighed 155 pounds. His human, Kevin Doorlag, said he would often visit schools and hospitals, as Zeus took his therapy dog duties very seriously, per USA Today.
Sadly, Zeus passed away in 2014 at just 5 years old. With such a short lifespan, it's no wonder the Great Dane is considered one of the heartbreak breeds.