Guinness World Records Reviews Bobi’s 'World's Oldest Dog' Title

Nevena Nacic
by Nevena Nacic
Wirestock Creators/Shutterstock

A Portuguese dog named Bobi made news last year when Guinness World Records crowned him as the world’s oldest dog. Bobi was 31 years and 165 days old when he died at his home last October.

However, Guinness World Records has now suspended Bobi’s title after complaints made by veterinarians and professionals questioning the legitimacy of his age.

Bobi, who was a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo, was also declared the world’s oldest dog ever, breaking a nearly century-old record held by an Australian cattle dog, named Bluey, who died in 1939 at the age of 29 years and 5 months. The average life expectancy of a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo is 12 to 14 years.

A spokesperson for the Guinness World Records explained that the review into Bobi’s record is ongoing and it includes looking over the evidence again, looking for new evidence, and talking to experts and all those linked to the original application. 

While our review is ongoing we have decided to temporarily pause both the record titles for oldest dog living and (oldest dog) ever just until all of our findings are in place and have been communicated,” said the spokesperson, according to CBS News.

Several skeptics pointed out that Bobi’s feet appear to be of different color in photos of him as a puppy and in recent pictures of him in his old age. 

A Lisbon vet, Miguel Figuereido said last year that Bobi doesn’t really look like a very old dog with mobility problems and an old dog muscle mass. 

Additionally, an investigation by Wired discovered that Bobi had been formally registered on Portugal’s pet database in July 2022. Leonel Costa, the dog’s owner, registered Bobi as being born in 1992, but there hasn’t been any proof, other than the owner’s word. 

According to Portuguese law, dogs born before 2008 didn’t have to be registered until October 2020. The Portuguese database for dogs, cats, and other pets also told Wired that they weren’t contacted by Guinness World Records to verify the information. 

Many other veterinarians and canine experts have questioned Bobi’s true age in correspondence to the Guinness World Records. 

A veterinarian and council member of the Royal Colledge of Veterinary Surgeons, Danny Chambers, told the Guardian, “Not a single one of my veterinary colleagues believe Bobi was actually 31 years old.”

Guinness World Records insists that the suspension is temporary while the review is ongoing.

Bobi spent his whole life living with the Costa family in the village of Conqueiros, in Portugal. The pooch, who was allegedly born on May 11, 1992, escaped death in his first days of life. 

Bobi, along with three other puppies, was born in a woodshed belonging to the Costa family. But, because they already owned many animals, the parents decided to get rid of the newborn puppies.

One puppy - Bobi - was unintentionally left behind and discovered days later. Bobi’s owner, Leonel Costa, who was eight, and his sister persuaded their parents to keep the pup, and so he remained living with the family.

Leonel Costa defended Bobi’s title saying that “an elite within the veterinary world…tried to give people an idea that Bobi’s life story was not true.”

Costa believes this happened because he attributed Bobi’s longevity to a varied diet of human foods, rather than pet food. He said this goes against the recommendations of many veterinarians. 

Everything would be different if we had said he (Bobi) ate pet food for three decades,” said Costa, adding that they’d provided everything Guinness World Records requested to validate Bobi’s age. 

Bobi has never been chained up or put on a leash and used to roam the woods around the village until he got too old to move much. He spent his golden years lounging in the yard with the family cats. 

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Nevena Nacic
Nevena Nacic

Nevena is a freelance writer and a proud mom of Teo, a 17-year-old poodle, and Bob, a rescued grey tabby cat. Since childhood, she had a habit of picking up strays and bringing them home (luckily, her parents didn't know how to say NO). When she's not writing for her fellow pet parents, Nevena can be found watching Teo sleep. To her defense, that's not as creepy as it sounds!

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