Oldest dog ever: Bobi the Rafeiro do Alentejo farm dog from Portugal breaks Guinness World Record

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Two weeks after Spike the Chihuahua took the title, Bobi the farm dog has been announced as the oldest verified dog in history

Guinness World Records has confirmed Bobi, a farm dog from Portugal is not just the oldest pooch living but the oldest in recorded history. As of February 3, Bobi is 30 years 268 days old… not bad for an average life expectancy of 12-14 years.

Raised in the rural village of Coqueiros in Portugal, Bobi has lived with the Costa family since 1992. He is a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo, which is a breed of livestock guardian dog known to effectively look after sheep and cattle.

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It was recently announced Spike the Chihuahua was the oldest living dog at a mighty 23-years-old but Bobi has surpassed this with ease, also breaking a record that has stood for almost a century. Until February 1, an Australian cattle-dog known as Bluey was the oldest verified dog in history at 29 years 5 months old.

Bobi’s diet is primarily human food and he enjoys an after-meal nap in his old age. Unfortunately, his eyesight is worsening meaning clumsy Bobi is prone to bashing into a few obstacles here or there.

However, Bobi’s incredible record and longevity is almost accidental considering the family’s plan to put him to rest along with the rest of his litter. When Bobi was born, the family already had enough animals to cope with and it was tragically considered normal in Portugal to bury unwanted pets in a hole so that they would not survive.

The day after the four male puppies were born, the Costa family took the newborns while their mother, Gira, was absent. But just days later, Gira returned to the outbuilding they were kept in to tend a small pooch the family had accidentally left behind.

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“We found the situation strange, because if the animals were no longer there, why would she go there?!,” said Leonal Costa, Bobi’s owner. Leonal and his brothers found Bobi but decided not to disclose its existence to his parents until the dog had opened its eyes.

“We knew that when the dog opened its eyes, my parents would no longer bury it,” Leonel added. “It was popular knowledge that this act could not or should be done.”

Bobi and his Guinness World Records certificate Bobi and his Guinness World Records certificate
Bobi and his Guinness World Records certificate | Guinness World Records

Bobi escaped fatality but Leonal and his brothers didn’t get away scott-free, receiving punishment for their secret. The now 38-year-old owner of Bobi said the dog’s “calm” and “peaceful” environment has strongly contributed to his longevity.

Bobi’s age has been verified by SIAC, a pet database authorised by the Portuguese government and managed by the SNMV (Sindicato Nacional dos Médicos Veterinários; National Union of Veterinarians).

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