It’s true that dogs don’t live as long as humans, but some are blessed with good long lives, inspiring us all with their health and longevity.
And a lucky few even get to hold the record as the official oldest dog in the world. That title has changed paws a few times in the past year, most recently going to 23-year-old Chihuahua Spike.
But now, the record has officially been shattered by a new dog, who is not only the oldest living dog, but the oldest dog ever!
Bobi, oldest dog ever
Bobi, who is 30 years and 266 days old as of February 1, was declared by Guinness World Records as both the oldest dog living and oldest dog ever, breaking the records of both Spike and Bluey, who lived to be 29 years and 5 months old.
Bluey died in 1939, meaning it has been decades since this record has been broken. Bobi’s age has been verified by the Portuguese pet database SIAC, based on a 1992 veterinarian registration.
According to Guinness, Bobi is a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo, a breed of livestock guardian dog, who lives with his family in Leiria, Portugal.
This dog has lived a remarkably long life, living more than double the life expectancy of his breed and years past the lives of even the oldest dogs.
An unlikely beginning
But amazingly, he almost didn’t make it past infancy. Owner Leonel Costa recalled that his father was a hunter so they had many dogs in the house growing up. But when dog Gira gave birth to four puppies, the parents wanted to put them down as they already had too many dogs.
Leonel says it was common among older people to bury unwanted animals in a hole, and that was the fate for most of the newborn pups — except for Bobi, who had somehow evaded being caught and was still being cared for by his mother.
Leonel and his siblings kept the puppy a secret for weeks, knowing their parents wouldn’t kill the dog if he was older. “We knew that when the dog opened its eyes, my parents would no longer bury it,” Leonel told Guinness.
Little did anyone realize, this puppy would in fact live longer than any dog in history.
“I confess that when they found out that we already knew, they screamed a lot and punished us, but it was worth it and for a good reason!”
Still going strong
Leonel, who is now 38 and has had Bobi since he was only 8, says he can’t quite explain the reasons for Bobi’s remarkable longevity, but says one reason could be the “calm, peaceful environment” of rural life “far from the cities.”
Bobi lives the good life: he eats “human food” and gets to roam around the farmland and forests, though he’s become a bit less adventurous in old age.
Even at his unprecedented age, Bobi is still holding up quite well: his eyesight has been worsening and he rests more, but Leonel says that vets have examined Bobi and said he’s “doing well for his advanced age.”
Bobi is set to celebrate his 31st birthday in May, a truly unprecedented achievement. For Leonel, who has had his dog by his side since he was a child, Leonel’s long life is a real link to the past.
“Bobi is special because looking at him is like remembering the people who were part of our family and unfortunately are no longer here, like my father, my brother, or my grandparents who have already left this world,” he told Guinness World Records. “Bobi represents those generations.”
What an incredible achievement. Congratulations to Bobi on becoming the oldest dog ever, breaking a decades-old record. Wishing you even more years to come!
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