RIP Bobi: Aged 31, world's oldest dog ever, dies in Portugal

The Rafeiro do Alentejo was 31 years and 165 days old when it breathed its last

Bobi the Rafeiro do Alentejo dog Bobi the Rafeiro do Alentejo was 31 years | Instagram: Guinness World Records

A 31-year-old dog.

Anybody who has ever had a pet canine around would know how ridiculous the statement sounds. 31 earth years is an impossible period for a dog to be alive -- veterinarians and experts alike would vouch.

World's oldest dog -- a Guinness World Record

But then there was Bobi, the Guinness-certified oldest dog to walk the earth. When it breathed its last on October 20, 2023, Friday, the Rafeiro do Alentejo was 31 years and 165 days old - much over twice the lifespan of the Northwestern Wolves -- the biggest member of the Canidae family...

bobi dog Bobi with his Guinness certificate| Instagram: Guinness World Records

It was in February that Bobi was declared the oldest dog ever by the Guinness World Records (GWR). When Bobi turned 31 in May, a dance troupe was reportedly called to the Costa residence as around 100 people gathered to celebrate!

Rafeiro do Alentejo is a breed of livestock guardian dog with an average life expectancy between 12-14 years. The friendly animal spent its entire life with the family of one Leonel Costa in the village of Conqueiros in Portugal. 

A survivor since birth

Bobi was a champion survivor since birth. Revealing Bobi's extraordinary life, Leonel Costa reportedly told the media that when Bobi and his siblings were born, his father decided to get rid of them as the family had several animals already.

However, the kids of the family found Bobi hiding behind a pile of wood, a few days after the other puppies were taken away. Costa and others took care of Bobi far away from their father's sight for some time before he came out of hiding, reports said.

Not the first dog to live a long life

While Bobi lived a rather astonishing life with his "hoomans", this is not the first story of canines living past their established life expectancy. Before Bobi, an Australian cattle dog Bluey reportedly held the record for being the longest-surviving dog. Born in 1910, Bluey lived for 29 years and five months, reports said. 

His death leaves Ohio-born Spike, a 23-year-old Chihuahua, as the oldest known living dog.

RIP, Bobi the gentle dog

According to the Costas, Bobi was never caged or leashed. We roamed around freely his entire life and ate whatever he wanted. The dog was used to human food and grew closer to his environment after each passing year, they said.

Bobi struggled to walk and his eyesight deteriorated over the years but he managed to roam around in the backyard of the house with cats. He started spending more time doing nothing and sleeping by the fire, the family told the CNN. "He always roamed freely, without a leash or chain, lived in a calm, peaceful environment," the report added Costa as saying. 

Bobi's time with the Costas was beautifully put out by his veterinarian Dr Karen Becker, who was the first to announce his passing on Facebook. “Last night, this sweet boy earned his wings. Despite outliving every dog in history, his 11,478 days on earth would never be enough, for those who loved him. Godspeed, Bobi…you’ve taught the world all you were meant to teach.”

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