Bobi, “the world’s oldest dog,” lost his title four months after his death, and Guinness World Records says there is “no conclusive evidence” to support the claim that he was 31 years old.
Following complaints from some veterinarians who raised questions about its age, Guinness World Records last month began a formal review of the title issued last February.
He said Bobi was 31 years and 165 days old, breaking a record held since 1939 by an Australian shepherd dog who 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.
Their breed, traditionally used as a herding dog, usually has a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years.
Following complaints from some veterinarians who raised questions about its age, Guinness World Records last month began a formal review of the title issued last February. In the photo, Bobi and her owner, the Portuguese Leonel Costa.
Some observers noted that Bobi had white paws in old photographs, while they were brown when he died. The image is said to show Bobi in 1999.
Mark McKinley, director of records at GWR, said in a statement that microchip data obtained from the official Portuguese database had been central to Bobi’s evidence, but it turned out that the chip did not require proof of age for dogs born earlier. of 2008.
“With the additional veterinary statement provided as evidence of Bobi’s age also citing the microchip data, we are left with no conclusive evidence that can definitively prove Bobi’s date of birth,” he wrote.
“Without any conclusive evidence at our disposal at this time, we simply cannot maintain Bobi as the record holder and honestly claim to maintain the high standards we set for ourselves.”
Following the suspension of Bobi’s title, his owner last month attacked “parasites” linked to the veterinary world in a scathing attack on the “campaign” to dethrone his beloved pet.
Portuguese national Leonel Costa said industry insiders 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 that Bobi, a Portuguese breed of livestock guard dog, had white paws in old photographs, while they were brown when he died.
Breaking his silence in a no-holds-barred attack on veterinarians and other critics who have cast doubt on the dog’s record age, Costa said a smear campaign was being fueled by vested interests bent on safeguarding the processed animal food business. . .
Bobi was registered as the oldest dog in the world; The previous record was held by an Australian cattle dog who died in 1939 at the age of 29 years and five months.
Bobi’s owner, Leonel (pictured), says he grew up with the dog from the age of eight.
He said in a statement: ‘Bobi lived a long life eating natural foods, as well as receiving only essential vaccines and a lifestyle that gave him longevity.
«That is why these people find it difficult to continue conveying to any animal owner that natural foods are not advisable.
‘Bobi, like other animals in this world, shows that eating the foods they recommend is not a sign of a better quality of life.
‘Being a veterinarian is one of the noblest 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 vets think the same as the ‘elite’ whose goal is clearly to discredit Bobi’s life.’
Questioning why critics had waited until his dog died to question his age, he added: “I completely understand that it is difficult for these people to accept that an animal lives so many years, contrary to many of their instructions, but I will not allow them to tarnish Bobi’s name and his honorable life. You can attack me, I am here for you, but I will not allow it with Bobi.’
Costa celebrated the farm dog’s last birthday party on May 11 last year in the village of Conqueiros, in the Portuguese district of Leiria, where he was born.
Local meats and fish were served to more than 100 guests, some of whom came from abroad, with Bobi also receiving more.
Last February he obtained the Guinness World Record title for the world’s oldest dog, replacing a Chihuahua who lived in Ohio, United States, and who had previously been considered the record holder.
Leoneland Bobi poses with Guinness World Record certificates in Leiria, Portugal, on July 2, 2023
Bobi was also recorded as the world’s oldest dog; The previous record was held by an Australian cattle dog who died in 1939 at the age of 29 years and five months.
Costa, now 38, said he was only eight years old when his beloved pet was born in an outhouse where his family stored firewood.
He said when he stated that Bobi had turned 31: “Bobi has been a warrior for all these years, only he knows how he has maintained himself, it must not be easy because the average life expectancy of a dog is not that long 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.’
At the time he attributed the animal’s longevity to the “calm and peaceful environment in which it lives, its diet of human foods, and its freedom.”
A Guinness World Records spokeswoman confirmed last month that a formal review was underway.
She said: “While our review is ongoing, we have decided to temporarily pause the titles of the ‘oldest dog alive’ and ‘oldest dog ever’ records, until all our findings are in place.”
Bobi’s birth was apparently confirmed by the Portuguese government’s pet database.
But an investigation by Wired magazine found that he had not registered until 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 dog: “Rest in peace friend”.
“Thank you for having the privilege of knowing you, the oldest dog in the world.”
The post continued: “What a wonderful life you had.”
Danny Chambers, a veterinarian 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 believes he was actually 31.”