Guinness’ oldest dog ever stripped of title following probe into true age

CONQUEIROS, Portugal — A dog in Portugal who was declared the oldest dog ever last year has been posthumously stripped of his title, according to the BBC.

Bobi, a Rafeiro do Alentejo from Conqueiros, Portugal, died in October at the reported age of 31 years and 165 days, the news agency reported. Guinness World Records, which had bestowed the title on Bobi in February 2023, launched an investigation into the elderly dog’s true age after questions arose about the evidence used to confirm his age.

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The BBC reported that Bobi’s age had been validated by the Portuguese government’s pet database, which is managed by the National Union of Veterinarians. The database used details from the dog’s microchip to determine his age.

Veterinarians and other experts questioned the dog’s true age, however, according to Guinness World Record officials. The Rafeiro do Alentejo breed tends to live to be between 12 and 14 years old.

Mark McKinley, Guinness World Records’ director of records, explained that Bobi was microchipped in 2022, but the Portuguese government did not require proof of age for dogs born before 2008.

The microchip data was a large part of the evidence of Bobi’s alleged age.

“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,” McKinley said in a statement.

Those standards typically include a minimum of two statements from witnesses and subject experts, alongside pictures, video, and where appropriate, technological data.

The questionable microchip data, in conjunction with the concerns of professionals, resulted in Bobi losing his title.

“We take tremendous pride in ensuring as best we can the accuracy and integrity of all our record titles,” McKinley said.

The previous oldest dog ever was Bluey, a dog in Australia who died in 1939 at the age of 29 years and five months, records show. It is unclear who Bobi’s successor will be.

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