Bobi's reign ends: Crowned world's oldest dog no more, even after passing

By Reuters   February 22, 2024 | 04:37 pm PT
Bobi's reign ends: Crowned world's oldest dog no more, even after passing
Owner Leonel Costa posted photos with his dog Bobi in February 2023. Photos from Costa's Facebook page
Guinness World Records (GWR) has revoked the title of the "world's oldest dog" it awarded a now-deceased Portuguese canine named Bobi last year, as it found no conclusive evidence that he had in fact lived for more than 31 years, it said on Thursday.

Following complaints by some veterinarians who raised doubts over his age, GWR last month started a formal review of the title issued last February, when it said Bobi was 31 years and 165 days old, breaking a record held since 1939 by an Australian cattle-dog that died at 29 years and five months.

Bobi, a purebred Rafeiro Alentejano who spent his life in a village in central Portugal, died in October. His breed, traditionally used as sheepdogs, usually has a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years.

Mark McKinley, director of records at GWR, said in a statement that microchip data sourced from the official Portuguese database had been central to Bobi's evidence, but it turned out the chipping did not require proof of age for dogs born before 2008.

"With the additional veterinary statement provided as evidence for Bobi's age also citing this microchip data, we're left with no conclusive evidence which can definitively prove Bobi's date of birth," he wrote.

"Without any conclusive evidence available to us right now, we simply can't retain Bobi as the record holder and honestly claim to maintain the high standards we set ourselves."

Bobi's owner, Leonel Costa, did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Guinness World Records posted a video about Bobi's life on Feb. 2, 2023. Video by X/Guinness World Records

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