Summary of the eRumor: A story with a picture about a
dog said to be named Hercules that has become the "World's Largest
Dog" in the Guinness World Records. It is an English Mastiff
that weights in at 282-pounds and has a 38-inch neck.
The Truth: Hercules, the massive English
Mastiff, was real but his time in the limelight was in 2001 when he was
the Guinness world record for the World's Largest Dog. For some
reason the story began circulating widely on the Internet in March,
2007, and was accompanied by a picture of an enormous dog being walked
near a horse. That picture is not of Hercules because it's a Neapolitan
mastiff and Hercules is an English mastiff. Also, the picture
appears to be fabricated. The dog is about half the size of the
horse and an average horse is around 1,000 pounds.
The real Hercules was owned by John Flynn of Peabody,
Massachusetts. In an interview with WBZ television in Boston in
June, 2001, he commented that he weighed 270 pounds so his dog weighed
more than he did. It was a comment by a 9-year old friend of his
that led to the Guinness world record. The friend, David Delauri,
was thumbing through the Guinness Book of World Records and commented
that there was a dog in there that looked like Hercules. It turned
out to be a 296-pound mastiff but that had died and after submitting veterinary
records to the folks at Guinness, Hercules became the heaviest.
There are other categories for the tallest such as Geat Danes and Irish
There is a larger English Mastiff on record named Zorba from the United
Kingdom. He weighed in at 343 pounds and measured 8 feet from nose
to tail, according to BigPawsOnly.com, a site about large dogs.
A real example of the eRumor as it has
appeared on the Internet:
is a dog!!!!
recently awarded the honorable distinction of Worlds Biggest Dog
by Guinness World Records. Hercules is an English Mastiff And
has a 38 inch neck and weighs 282 pounds.
"paws the size of softballs" (reports the
Herald), the Three-year-old monster is far larger and heavier
than his breed's Standard 200lb. Limit. Hercules owner Mr. Flynn
says that Hercules Weight is natural and not induced by a
him normal food and he just grew".... And grew. And
grew. And grew.