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  • Writer's pictureBecky Faulks

The Story of Bobi the ‘World’s Oldest Dog’

Bobi the Portuguese mastiff was crowned the world’s oldest dog in 2023, but his title has been subject to scrutiny

Photo credit: Guiness Book of World Records

On 2nd February, 2023 Bobi the Portuguese mastiff was awarded the title, of World’s Oldest Dog by the Guiness Book of World Records (GWR), much to the delight of his owners, the Costa family. According to the Costas, Bobi had recently celebrated his 30th birthday – no mean feat when you consider that his breed (Rafeiro do Alentejo) typically only lives for 12-14 years. Bobi still held the record when he died in October the same year, at the reported age of 31 years and 165 days. Bobi’s longevity was attributed to a peaceful environment, good food and a happy life with the Costa family. Bobi was said to be the only one of a litter of puppies rescued by Costa after his father opted to euthanise the others.

However, after his death, Bobi's age came under dispute due to a lack of evidence and an investigation was launched. Some viewers noted that the photos, which showed Bobi in 1999, were of a dog with different coloured paws to the Bobi they could see today. Vets pointed out that, although Bobi was on the Portuguese government database for the registration of cats and dogs, these entries were usually self-certified by the owner. An official at the database reported that the GWR had never contacted them to verify the age of the dog. After this, genetic testing was carried out, but the results could neither confirm nor deny the claim. They showed that Bobi was old, but could not provide a specific age.

As of today, Bobi has been stripped of his title due to lack of evidence.


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