The World's Oldest Dog Just Turned 31

Happy Birthday Bobi!

May 25, 2023


The World's Oldest Dog Just Turned 31 | Happy Birthday Bobi!

Birthdays are important milestones and should be celebrated. Bobi’s birthday is actually one for the record books. This purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo – a breed of Portuguese dog – just celebrated his 31 st birthday.

This makes Bobi the oldest living dog in the world and most likely the oldest dog ever, according to a news release from The Guinness World’s Records. He received the World Record title in February 2023. The next oldest dog was Bluey, an Australian cattle-dog who lived to be 29.

Since the announcement, Bobi has been the center of attention in his rural Portuguese village, where he has lived all his life. His owner Leonel Costa threw a party for more than 100 people , many of them flew in from other countries to join the celebration.

Unusual lifespan
Bobi’s long life is very unusual, as the breed usually has a life expectancy of 12-14 years, according to a February 2023 news release from Guinness. The dog’s age is verified, he was registered with the Veterinary  Medical  Service of the municipality of Leiria in 1992. His age was also verified by SIAC, a pet database in Portugal.

While Costa has owned some long-lived dogs in the past (including Gira, Bobi’s mother who lived to be 19) he never expected Bobi to be a record breaker. “We see situations like this as a normal result of the life that they have, but Bobi is one of a kind,” Costa told Guinness.

Costa believes that one of the reasons Bobi has lived as long is due to the “calm and peaceful environment” he lives in. Bobi has always been allowed to roam freely in the forests surrounding his home and has never been chained or leashed, reported AP News. And he has always eaten people food but rinsed to remove any spices.

This remarkable longevity is even more of a cause for celebration due to an amazing story of how Bobi escaped a horrible fate and lived to a ripe-old age.

Given a second chance
This story could have had a tragic ending Costa shared with Guinness that his father was a hunter and they always had dogs around. When Bobi was born in a litter of four pubs in a shed on the property, Costa’s father said that the family could not keep the newborn puppies.

At that time, unwanted puppies were disposed of and the day after the birth, Costa’s parents went into the shed to take the puppies when Gira was not around. They didn’t realize that they left one behind.

When Costa and his brothers found Bobi, they decided to keep the puppy hidden until his eyes were open and his central nervous system matured. When he was discovered weeks later, their parents let the boys keep the puppy.

So Bobi has been a part of Costa’s family since he was eight. They grew up together and now Costa takes care of Bobi in his old age. The dog has difficulty walking, reported AP News, so now he prefers to stay home. His eyesight is failing and he sleeps more. On cold days, he can be found napping by the fireplace.

Costa never expected Bobi to live this long and never expected him to be the oldest living dog but Bobi is a happy reminder of Costa’s family members who have passed.

“Bobi is special because looking at him is like remembering the people who were part of our family and unfortunately are no longer here, like my father, my brother, or my grandparents who have already left this world,” Costa told Guinness “Bobi represents those generations.” Happy Birthday Bobi!

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Bonnie has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.