Meet Wellington, a two-and-a-half year old Great Dane who towers over his owner.
Wellington weighs 10 stone and stands around 6ft 2in high almost a foot taller than owner Alice Banister, 21, who is just 5ft 4in.
From the Peak District, Derbyshire, the gentle giant is harmless despite his epic proportions, and just as easily spooked as Scooby Doo, the famously fearful dog of the same breed.
Wellington is seemingly unaware of his size and regularly sits on Alice’s lap while leaving a trail of drool on her clothes. However, Alice is besotted.
‘Wellington is an oversized, loveable goofball,’ Alice said. ‘He’s scared of his own shadow, doesn’t know his size and is extremely smart for a Great Dane.
‘I’ve had spaniels all my life so it was definitely a bit of a change but he more dog there is the more dog there is to love!
‘He really is the centre point of the family. In the past, our spaniels would fit into our busy schedule happily, but now we fit into his.’
Alice weight around eight stone, but Wellington’s true weight is an estimate as he ‘was too scared to go on the scales’ during their most recent vet visit.
The doting owner continued: ‘We think he is about 10 stone, and around 6ft 2in on his back legs at full height – he is taller than my boyfriend who is six foot.
‘One of my favourite things about Wellington is how you can read him like a book. He’s the most expressive dog I’ve ever known, and if he isn’t happy about something you can see it in his face.
‘I also love his inability to realise he is not a small dog and to still want to sit on laps, squeeze into small places and get stuck, interrupt zoom meetings with his enormous head and play with small dogs, even if he does accidentally crush them.’
As much as Alice loves her enormous pet, there are some drawbacks, one being that she can’t find dog coats big enough for him.
Alice explained: ‘He is heavier than me so he has to wear a head-collar as he could pull me over if he wanted to – and has done before – and he’s also worn a pony coat and foal head-collar as we were struggling to find any large enough so we are well used to saddle horse comments
‘There are lots of challenges that come with owning a giant dog – we may as well have painted our walls grey as we are constantly wiping drool from the walls and even ceilings.’
Despite this, Wellington is a soft character and Alice adores this element of his personality. She wouldn’t change him for the world.
‘Although he is huge, he is a bit of a wimp,’ she added. ‘He is scared of lots of random things such as bin bags, the postman, fizzy drinks making a noise, card machines that beep, anyone wearing hi-vis and loud noises.’
Great Danes are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, but can have a tendency towards neediness at times.
That’s certainly the case for Wellington, whose size doesn’t stop him from being treated like the baby of the house.
Alice continued: ‘We can no longer lift him into the bath so we have to hose him down in the garden, but the water must be warm.
‘He also has an emotional support teddy which he will find and chew on if he is worried and he won’t go out if it’s too windy or rainy. We quite literally have to drag him out for a wee.’
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