Skip to main content

Bobi, named world's oldest ever dog, loses title after investigation

Bobi pictured in February 2023. (Patricia de Melo Moreira/AFP/Getty Images via CNN Newsource) Bobi pictured in February 2023. (Patricia de Melo Moreira/AFP/Getty Images via CNN Newsource)
Share

Bobi the dog, who died last year reportedly at the age of 31, has been stripped of the world’s oldest ever dog title following a review by Guinness World Records (GWR), the organization announced Thursday.

Bobi, a Rafeiro do Alentejo, had been known as the world’s oldest dog until he provisionally lost his title in January pending the result of a GWR investigation.

Now the organization has said it “no longer has the evidence it needs to support Bobi’s claim as the record holder.”

Mark McKinley, director of records at GWR, said in a statement Thursday the company takes “tremendous pride” in verifying its record holders.

“Following concerns raised by vets and other experts, both privately as well as within public commentary, and the findings of investigations conducted by some media outlets, we felt it important to open a review into Bobi’s record,” said McKinley.

“Central to Bobi’s evidence was microchip data sourced from the Portuguese government database, the SIAC, which it transpires, when chipped in 2022, did not require proof of age for dogs born before 2008,” added McKinley.

“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.”

Bobi’s owner has been told about the findings of the review, according to GWR, which said it would assess any new evidence that is provided.

For now, it is not clear who holds the title of oldest dog ever.

“We’re not yet in a position to confirm a new holder for the record, although we certainly hope that the publicity around the record title encourages pet owners from around the world to get in touch,” said McKinley.

Bobi's journey to the record holder title

Bobi died in October. His owner, Leonel Costa, claimed that he had lived until the age of 31 years and 165 days.

There were many secrets to Bobi’s extraordinary old age, Costa, who said he was 8 years old when his dog was born in 1992, told GWR in February 2023.

Bobi always roamed freely, without a leash or chain, lived in a “calm, peaceful” environment and ate human food soaked in water to remove seasonings, Costa said.

He spent his whole life in Conqueiros, a small Portuguese village about 150 kilometres (93 miles) north of the capital Lisbon, often wandering around with cats.

Bobi was a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo – a breed of livestock guardian dog – according to his owner. Rafeiro do Alentejos have a life expectancy of about 12-14 years, according to the American Kennel Club.

But Bobi lived more than twice as long as that life expectancy, surpassing an almost century-old record to become the oldest living dog and the oldest dog ever – a title which had previously been held by Australian cattle-dog Bluey, who was born in 1910 and lived to be 29 years and five months old.

CTVNews.ca Top Stories

BREAKING

BREAKING Toronto police officer stabbed, suspect shot

The province's police watchdog is investigating after Toronto police say an officer was stabbed and a suspect was shot during an altercation in the city's west end on Friday afternoon.

Local Spotlight

'It was surreal': Ontario mother gives birth to son on day of solar eclipse

For many, Monday's total solar eclipse will become a distant memory or collection of photos to scroll through in the years to come. But for Alannah Duarte and her family, they'll be reminded of the rare celestial event every year they celebrate their youngest son's birthday, as he was born on the day of the momentous occasion.