Guinness World Records annuls 'oldest dog ever' title for a dead Portuguese canine after an inquiry

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Guinness World Records has ruled against a Portuguese dog that died last year keeping the title of oldest canine ever.

Following a review, GWR said Thursday it “no longer has the evidence it needs to support Bobi’s claim as the record holder.”

Bobi, a reportedly 31-year-old guard dog, had lived on a farm in the village of Conqueiros in Portugal with its owner, Leonel Costa. He was proclaimed as the world’s oldest living dog and oldest dog ever in February 2023. Said to have been born on May 11, 1992, he died last October.

GWR said it opened an investigation following concerns raised by veterinarians and other experts, both privately and publicly, and media investigations.

“We take tremendous pride in ensuring as best we can the accuracy and integrity of all our record titles," Mark McKinley, GWR’s Director of Records, who conducted the review, said in a statement.

The group had suspended the title pending the review announced last month.

“We of course require evidence for all Guinness World Records titles we monitor, often a minimum of two statements from witnesses and subject experts," McKinley said.

He said they also considered pictures, video and, where appropriate, data provided by technology relevant to the achievement.

GWR said they found that a lack of evidence from Bobi's microchip data left them with no conclusive evidence of Bobi’s date of birth.

McKinley said that it was too early to speak about a new record holder.

“It’s going to take a long time for microchip uptake around the world to catch up with pet ownership, especially of older pets," he said.

“Until that time, we’ll require documentary evidence for all years of a pet’s life," he said.

Bobi was a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo, a breed that has an average life expectancy of about 10 to 14 years.

In an emailed statement in January, his owner defended the title, saying Guinness World Records had spent a year checking the record claim.