UK's biggest dog: Meet the 18-stone 'gentle giant' thought to be UK's biggest dog - with £4,000-a-year diet
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Dylan Shaw, 33, claims two-year-old Abu, a Turkish Malakli is the UK's biggest dog standing just over seven-feet tall when on his hind legs - and weighing just over 18 stone, the same as a baby elephant. He says Abu hasn't finished growing yet, and he expects him to put on another 20kgs over the next year.
The huge hound wolfs down 3kg of meat a day, including one whole chicken, three whole mackerel, two eggs, and raw meat dog food every day. Dylan says his dog is a "gentle giant" who thinks he is a lap dog, and is a great family dog – with his kids India, five, and Reuben, four, snuggling up with Abu on the sofa.
Dylan, a dog trainer, from Redcar, said: “Abu has been a pleasure to own, he’s a really good family dog and he’s great with kids. He has raw meat, raw dog food, and whole chickens as well – he gets one chicken per day. He's very energetic when he's out but in the house you don’t know he’s there until you trip over him.
“When he’s stood on all fours his shoulders come above my hips – I'm five foot 11, and he makes me look like a child stood next to him. 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, he cries when he gets told off.
"They don't fully mature until three so he's still got a year of growing to do - it's ridiculous, I don't know what I'm going to end up with - he's already outgrown my expectations."
Dylan had always wanted a Turkish Malakli, but was waiting until he had enough space at home to look after one.
Abu was imported from Turkey in November 2021 at just four months old – but Dylan said he was already bigger than his other dog, Luna, a Doberman, when he arrived.
He said he spent plenty of time socialising Abu with people and other dogs to make sure he was comfortable in all environments.
The pair are regularly asked for pictures on walks and Dylan says some days they struggle to get 10 feet without being stopped.
Now, Abu is a foot taller when on all fours than Dylan expected, and nearly 30kgs heavier than he thought the pooch would be.
Dylan said: "We get a lot of people taking pictures as we walk past - you see the flashes going off. Normally they ask how much for a ride, or say they wouldn't like to be picking up after him. There's a lot of horse related remarks. Currently he's outgrown any other dogs that came from the kennels I got him from.
“He’s grown a lot more than I'd expect him to grow, he’s quite large for the breed – he dwarfs Great Danes. A couple of months ago I took him into my kids' school for ‘take a pet to school day’ and all the kids loved him. He's lovely, I wouldn’t change him for the world. I don’t get anyone who's scared of him, I have more problems with the Doberman.”
Balthazar, a Blue Great Dane, who weighed 15 stone and was seven-foot tall and passed away in August this year is the current record holder for the UK's biggest dog.
Abu's diet costs Dylan £11 per day - £4,015 a year. His typical breakfast is one and a half kilos of raw meat dog food, two whole mackerel and an egg, while his dinner is one and a half kilos of raw meat dog food, kibble, an egg and a whole chicken.