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‘World’s oldest ever dog’ has title suspended as owner’s claim investigated

‘World’s oldest ever dog’ has title suspended as owner’s claim investigated

The ‘world’s oldest ever dog’ has had his title suspended as his owner’s claims about his age are investigated by officials.

Bobi the Portuguese mastiff was supposedly 31 years old when he died in in October after being awarded the title in February last year.

Not only Bobi crowned the oldest dog alive at the time, he was also deemed to be the oldest dog that had ever lived, beating out an Australian cattle dog called Bluey, who lived 29 years and five months before his death in 1939.

Bobi’s age came under scrutiny soon after he was crowned by Guinness World Records, with many questioning the difference in Bobi’s paws over the years and while genetic testing confirmed the pup was elderly, it did not determine an exact age.

Bobi’s age came under scrutiny soon after he was crowned by Guinness World Records, with many questioning the difference in Bobi’s paws over the years (Screengrab/ Guinness World Records)
Bobi’s age came under scrutiny soon after he was crowned by Guinness World Records, with many questioning the difference in Bobi’s paws over the years (Screengrab/ Guinness World Records)

In December, an investigative article from Wired re-sparked the speculation over Bobi’s real age - which is the equivalant to 200 human years - with information about official records coming to light.

Now, Guinness World Records have suspended the dog’s title. A spokesperson said: “While our review is ongoing we have decided to temporarily pause both the record titles for Oldest dog living and ever just until all of our findings are in place.”

According to the report in Wired, SIAC - a Portuguese government database for the registration of cats, dogs, and ferrets - does indeed have Bobi’s records registered.

However, an official said that while Bobi’s owners declared he had been born in 1992, they had “no registration or data that can confirm or deny this statement.”

Experts have also cast doubts over Bobi’s legitimacy. Danny Chambers, a vet and council member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons previously told The Guardian that “not a single one of my veterinary colleagues believe Bobi was actually 31 years old”.

Bobi with his owner Leonel Costa (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
Bobi with his owner Leonel Costa (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Several vets were also consulted in the investigative article, with one saying Bobi’s coat appeared to differ between red and brown in some photographs and another casting doubt on how he had been able to live so long when he appeared to be overweight.

The Guinness World Records told The Independent that the investigation is still ongoing and the title removal is temporary until the review has been completed.

At the time he was bequeathed his title, Bobi was described as a calm and sociable pet who enjoys relaxing by the fireplace on particularly cold days.

The dog’s owner, Leonel Costa, said: “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.

“If he spoke only he could explain this success.”