Zorba (Dog): The Remarkable Story of Zorba The Mastiff

The biggest dog ever

You may have seen some big dogs in your time, but have you ever seen or heard of the legendary Zorba the Mastiff? Famed for its height, weight and length, Zorba (actually registered as Aicama Zorba of La-Susa) was an English Mastiff owned by Chris Eraclides of London, United Kingdom. 

zorba the mastiff
Zorba The Mastiff Picture – Credit – Reddit.com

English Mastiffs are of course well known for their bulky frame. Historically, this is what made them the perfect fit for war dogs all those centuries ago. However, these days the English Mastiff is often a family dog that is adored the world over for its calm guardian type personality. 

But in this miraculous case, Zorba wasn’t your everyday Mastiff. He was bigger, a lot bigger. Zorba was a rare specimen that just kept growing and growing. In fact, Zorba the Mastiff was so large that he was entered into the Guiness Book of Records in 1987. 

The American Kennel Club breed standard states that the English Mastiff should reach around 30 inches tall at the shoulder (at minimum). In addition to that, the Mastiff should have a heavy boned and muscular frame which is in proportion with its height. Many Mastiffs grow to hit 190 lbs, but it’s not entirely unheard of for Mastiffs to reach 220 lbs once fully grown. How about I take that 220 lbs and raise you another 120 (ish)… 

How Big Was Zorba The Mastiff?

Zorba the Mastiff weighed an incredible 343 pounds. He was approximately 37 inches tall at the shoulder, whilst reaching up to 8 feet, 3 inches in length. Can you believe that? 

If Zorba were to stand on his back legs, he would be taller than all NBA players. The tallest man ever to exist was Robert Wadlow at 8 ft 11. Another 8 inches and Zorba would have equalled that record. It’s quite astonishing.

It’s important to note that Zorba was judged as the biggest due to its weight and length, however it was never the tallest.

How big was Zorba compared to other big breeds?

There are numerous big dog breeds out there, mostly from the Mastiff family. Some are heavier than others, whereas some are bulky but short or tall and skinny. For more on this, check out our list of the worlds biggest dogs.

Big dog owners tend to think the bigger the better. But just how big was Zorba compared to a standard English Mastiff and some of the other “big dog breeds”?

BreedHeight averageWeight average
Bullmastiff24 – 27” 100 – 130 lbs
Great Dane30 – 32” 105 – 120 lbs
Irish Wolfhound30 – 32”105 – 120 lbs
English Mastiff28 – 30”175 – 190 lbs
Neapolitan Mastiff24 – 31”110 – 150 lbs
Newfoundland26 – 28”100 – 150 lbs
French Mastiff23 – 27”100 – 110 lbs
Saint Bernard28 – 30”140 – 180 lbs
Cane Corso23 – 28”90 – 110 lbs
average height and weight – source AKC.org

Remember these figures are just averages, in some cases you will meet exceptions to the rule that go beyond the averages. These dogs are usually a local celebrity. 

Who holds the record for the tallest dog?

Remember I said Zorba was never the tallest? Well, although was certainly the heaviest and longest dog, the honour of the worlds tallest dog on record goes to Zeus the Great Dane. Zeus measured up to 44” at the shoulder. 

How Long did Zorba The Mastiff Live? 

Zorba the Mastiff lived to an impressive age of 13 years. This is extremely impressive considering the average life expectancy of an English Mastiff is between 8-12 years. It’s even more impressive once you take his size into account which comes with an added risk of common health concerns in breeds such as the Mastiff. 

Zorba set his record as the world’s biggest dog at the age of 8, in 1989. And despite the fact that Zorba hasn’t been with us for decades now, he still holds the record for the heaviest and longest dog. 

So are you a lover of big dogs? If so, you may just end up being lucky enough to own an outlier like Zorba. It’s possible that the next record is set by another breed such as the large and fluffy giant Saint Bernard. However, when you’re combining height, length and weight, my money is on the English Mastiff. 

If you’re in the process of researching if the English Mastiff is the right breed for you, then please check out our top 4 registered UK Mastiff breeders


  1. We actually have a direct descendant of Zorba. Best dog ever. Sheds a lot but… 275 lbs at last vet check!

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