Portuguese pooch crowned world’s oldest dog

Thirty-year-old Bobi snatched title from US pup in upset; longevity credited to human food and ‘calm, peaceful environment’

It’s a dog’s life for one small US pup this weekend after a European rival essentially stole his bone.

Two weeks ago, Spike, an Ohio-based chihuahua mix rescue dog, was crowned the world’s oldest dog. But two days ago Bobi, a dog that guards livestock in Portugal, grabbed the title faster than a string of sausages, CNN reported.

At a record-breaking 30 years and 267 days old as of 2 February, Bobi has not only been declared the latest “world’s oldest dog” by Guinness World Records but also is recognized by the data keepers as the oldest dog on record ever. In contrast, as of 7 December 2022, Spike was a mere 23 years and seven days old.

According to Guinness, Bobi has lived his entire life in the rural village of Conqueiros, in the Leiria district of central Portugal, with the Costa family. He is a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo, a Portuguese livestock guardian dog that is named after the Alentejo region of southern Portugal from which it originates. Life expectancy for the breed is typically between 12 and 14 years.

Bobi was nearly buried alive as a pup.
Bobi was nearly buried alive as a pup. Photograph: Guinness World Records

Born on 11 May 1992 in an outbuilding where the Costa family kept their wood, Bobi was part of a litter of four male puppies.

“I was eight years old,” Leonel Costa, now aged 38, told Guinness. “My father was a hunter, and we always had many dogs”

By way of explaining how Bobi had beaten the odds many times over, he added: “Unfortunately, at that time it was considered normal by older people who could not have more animals at home … to bury the animals in a hole so that they would not survive.” But that was not Bobi’s fate.

A day after Bobi and his brothers were born, Leonel Costa’s parents entered the outbuilding while the puppies’ mother, Gira, was away and took the litter – but on her return the mother persisted in visiting the outbuilding.

When Costa followed Gira inside, he discovered Bobi, who it seemed had been mistakenly left behind as his brown fur camouflaged him among the logs.

Now almost 31 years later, Costa put Bobi’s longevity down to his “calm, peaceful environment … far from the cities.”

And, according to Costa, Bobi has always eaten human food. “What we ate … they ate too … Between a can of animal food or a piece of meat, Bobi doesn’t hesitate and chooses our food,” said Costa.


Maya Yang

The GuardianTramp

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