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Bobi ‘the world’s oldest dog’ LOSES his title – four months after he died: Guinness World Records say there is ‘no conclusive evidence’ to support claim he was 31 years old


Bobi ‘the world’s oldest dog’ has lost his title four months after he died, with Guinness World Records saying there is ‘no conclusive evidence’ to support the claim he was 31 years old.

Following complaints by some vets who raised doubts over his age, Guinness World Records last month started a formal review of the title issued last February. 

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. 

Following complaints by some veterinarians who raised doubts over his age, Guinness World Records last month started a formal review of the title issued last February. Pictured Bobi and his owner, Portuguese national Leonel Costa

Following complaints by some veterinarians who raised doubts over his age, Guinness World Records last month started a formal review of the title issued last February. Pictured Bobi and his owner, Portuguese national Leonel Costa

Some observers noted Bobi had white paws in old photos whereas they were brown when he died. Picture is said to show Bobi in 1999

Some observers noted Bobi had white paws in old photos whereas they were brown when he died. Picture is said to show Bobi in 1999

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.’

Following the suspension of Bobi’s title, his owner last month hit out at ‘parasites’ linked to the veterinary world in a scathing attack over the ‘campaign’ to get his beloved pet dethroned.

Portuguese national Leonel Costa said industry people with a vested interest in selling ‘processed’ pet food had targeted him and his dog because he had extolled the virtues of human food for his four-legged friend.

Some observers noted Bobi, a Portuguese breed of livestock guardian dog, had white paws in old photos whereas they were brown when he died.

Breaking his silence in a no-holds-barred attack on the vets and other critics who have cast doubt on the dog’s record-breaking age, Mr Costa said a campaign of discredit was being fuelled by vested interests bent on safeguarding the processed animal feed business. 

Bobi was recorded as the world's oldest dog ever with the previous record being held by an Australian cattle dog who died in 1939 aged 29 years and five months

Bobi was recorded as the world’s oldest dog ever with the previous record being held by an Australian cattle dog who died in 1939 aged 29 years and five months

Bobi's owner Leonel (pictured) says he grew up with the dog from the age of eight

Bobi’s owner Leonel (pictured) says he grew up with the dog from the age of eight

He said in a statement: ‘Bobi had a long life eating natural food, as well as only essential vaccinations and a lifestyle that provided his longevity.

‘So it becomes difficult for these people to continue to convey to any animal owner that natural food is not advisable.

‘Bobi, like other animals in this world, proves that eating the foods they recommend is not a sign of a better quality of life.

‘Being a veterinarian is one of the most noble professions because thanks to its professionals, our animals can have the essential care to live by our side for a long time.

‘Fortunately, not all veterinarians think the same way as the ‘elite’ whose objective is clearly to discredit Bobi’s life.’

Questioning why critics had waited till his dog had died to cast doubt on his age, he added: ‘I completely understand that it is difficult for these people to accept that an animal lives for so many years, contrary to many of their instructions, but I will not allow them to tarnish Bobi’s name and his honourable life. You can attack me, I’m here for you, but I won’t allow it with Bobi.’

Mr Costa held the last birthday party for the farm dog on May 11 last year in the village of Conqueiros in Portugal’s Leiria district where he was born.

Local meat and fish were served up to more than 100 guests, some of whom flew in from abroad, with extra for Bobi.

He was awarded a Guinness World Record title for the oldest dog in the world last February, replacing a chihuahua living in Ohio in the USA which had previously regarded as the record-holder.

Leoneland Bobi pose with Guinness World Record certificates in Leiria, Portugal on July 2, 2023

Leoneland Bobi pose with Guinness World Record certificates in Leiria, Portugal on July 2, 2023

Bobi was also recorded as the world’s oldest dog ever with the previous record being held by an Australian cattle dog who died in 1939 aged 29 years and five months.

Mr Costa, now 38, said he was only eight when his beloved pet was born in an outhouse where his family stored wood.

He said when he claimed that Bobi had turned 31: ‘Bobi has been a warrior for all these years, only he knows how he’s been holding on, it must not be easy because the average dog’s life span is not that high and if he spoke only he could explain this success.

‘We are very happy and grateful to life for allowing us, after 30 years, to have Bobi in our daily lives.’

He went on at the time to attribute the animal’s longevity to the ‘calm, peaceful environment he lives in, his diet of human food and his freedom’. 

A spokeswoman for Guinness World Records confirmed last month that a formal review was ongoing.

She said: ‘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.’

Bobi’s birth was apparently confirmed by the Portuguese government’s pet database.

But an investigation from Wired magazine found that he had only been registered in 2022 – a year before he died.

The owner of a Lisbon-based pet photography studio revealed the sad news of Bobi’s death on October 21 last year, noting in a social media post alongside a photo of the pooch: ‘Rest in peace friend.

‘Thank you for having had the privilege of meeting you, the oldest dog in the world.’

The post continued: ‘What an amazing life you had.’

Danny Chambers, a vet and council member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, which represents 18,000 vets, told the Guardian shortly after Bobi’s death that ‘not a single one of my veterinary colleagues believe he was actually 31 years old’.



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