Do you know the age of the longest-lived dog in the world?

The title “world’s oldest dog” is so coveted that it is often subject to careful investigation to validate the authenticity of certain owners’ claims. Latest illustration to date: the story of Bobi, a dog of the Portuguese rafeiro breed who died in October 2023, who allegedly lived to the extraordinary age of… 31 years and 165 days. This statement aroused praise and doubts. Ultimately, after investigation, Guinness World Records concluded that the evidence regarding Bobi’s age was not sufficient to maintain his title.

Bobi rose to fame in February 2023, several months after his death, when he was officially recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest dog and the oldest dog of all time. Living in a small village in Portugal, surrounded by cats and a loving family, Bobi had become an iconic figure of canine longevity.

The Guinness World Records investigation into the Bobi dog’s true age was sparked by concerns raised by veterinarians and other experts, as well as media outlets that questioned the credibility of claims about his age. Some then pointed out that living to 31 years for a dog would be equivalent to living more than 200 years for a human, which indeed seemed unlikely, even with advances in veterinary medicine.

To validate claims of canine longevity, Guinness requires substantial evidence, including statements from witnesses and experts, as well as data from technologies such as microchips. However, in Bobi’s case, his microchip data came from a source that did not guarantee the veracity of his age, leading Guinness to conclude that the evidence was insufficient to uphold his title.

The decision by Guinness World Records means that the title of “world’s oldest dog” is now vacant, pending a new contender to present strong documentary evidence to validate its age. This case highlights the challenges and nuances associated with validating canine longevity claims and highlights the importance of credible evidence in setting world records.

The oldest dog in the world would ultimately be Lilly, a mongrel dog of unknown origin, with a beige and black coat who lives in Italy. Her owners, who took her in when she was abandoned as a puppy on a motorway rest area in 2000, assure that the dog is 24 years old, which would make Lilly the title holder.