A dog in a grassy field with a green tag holds the record for the world's longest lifespan for dogs.

Aussie Dog Reclaims Title for Oldest Dog in the World

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The ‘World’s Oldest Dog Ever’ Guinness record has recently come under hot debate. Bobi, a Rafeiro do Alentejo breed dog, won the oldest dog in the world title in February 2023 – apparently aged 30. Two months later, he celebrated his 31st birthday (more than doubling the longest expected lifespan for dogs of this breed) before dying in October. Then, not too long after his ‘World Oldest Dog Dies’ passing made headlines, his title was revoked.

Not only is this story filled with happy and sad endings but also a bit of confusion. We no longer know how old Bobi really was, but we do know that an Aussie dog named Bluey has reclaimed by default the oldest dog title!

The Director of Central Record Services at Guinness World Records, Mark McKinley, explained via a media release on 22 February 2024:

“We’re left with no conclusive evidence which can definitively prove Bobi’s date of birth… We’re not yet in a position to confirm a new holder for the record.”

In this article, PD Insurance unpacks a bit about Bobi (he’s still a star!) and Bluey. We also look at top facts on what breeds have the longest lifespan for dogs and explore tips for helping your pet live a happy, healthy (and possibly) longer life.

What is the oldest dog alive ever?

There are two Guinness World Records for the oldest dogs on the planet.

Firstly, there’s a record for the oldest dog living. In other words the oldest dog in the world who’s still alive and therefore holds the current title. Secondly, there’s a title for the oldest dog ever.

Guinness World Record’s oldest dog twice

At one point, Bobi the Rafeiro do Alentejo dog was crowned both the world’s oldest living dog and the oldest dog ever to have lived. If you work it out in human years, Bobi is around 200 years old. Paws up!

Here’s more about dog age in human years:

PD Pet Insurance Dog Age in Human Years Calculator

Oldest dog living

When named the Guinness World Record holder for the oldest dog living, Bobi dethroned a Chihuahua named Spike, who was named in December 2022.

Spike was already 10 years old when his owner Rita found him abandoned in a parking lot. He came home with her and has been loving life ever since. At the time of writing, the little guy with a big name and personality is a ripe old age of 23 years.

Read about Spike here.

Bobi loses the title too

Then, after he passed in late 2023, Bobi himself was also dethroned. The Guinness World Records launched a review after vets and others became sceptical about a dog living as long as Bobi was said to have. Upon finding no conclusive evidence that Bobi was 31 (and none that said otherwise either), Bobi lost the title.

Currently the title of oldest dog living is open for new applications and the comments section is filling up with people sharing the ripe old ages of their perky pups.

Was Bobi really 31 years old?

Maybe? There’s no definitive evidence, because Bobi was born before the dog microchip was invented and he has no official birth records. However, if we go with his life story, then Bobi was born on 11 May 1992.

“It’s going to take a long time for microchip uptake around the world to catch up with pet ownership, especially of older pets… Until that time, we’ll require documentary evidence for all years of a pet’s life.”

– Guinness World Records, Director of Central Record Services – Mark McKinley

In May 2023, that would have meant this well-loved Rafeiro do Alentejo celebrated his 31st birthday (in style). Over 100 guests attended, with friends and family flying in from around the world for the auspicious occasion. A dance troupe performed and Bobi was even included in one of the dances. Bobi ate the meat and fish dishes just like the guests did; his diet has always been unseasoned human food.

Watch this video to see Bobi at his birthday:

More about the Rafeiro do Alentejo dog named Bobi

Bobi lived in Portugal with his owner Leonel (who was just eight years old when Bobi was born). Bobi was a social dog – friends with all the animals and humans in his family. He was a super calm pup, having grown up freely roaming the nearby forests.

This pawsome pup is said to have far outlived the expected lifespan of any dog as well as the Rafeiro do Alentejo dog breed in particular. The Rafeiro do Alentejo breed generally lives between 12 and 14 years while dogs in general live between 10 to 13 years.

Interesting reads

Speaking of happy pets that get along well with everyone, learn how to speak dog. Or if you're a cat mum or dad then learn how to speak cat. 
The Australian Cattle dog, Bluey reclaims the title of golden oldie after previous title holder Bobi, a Rafeiro do Alentejo, forfeits it due to lack of proof of his age.

Aussie dog, Bluey, reclaims title for oldest dog ever

With Bobi no longer the title holder for oldest dog in the world ever, the title goes back to Bluey, a speckled Australian cattle dog who lived for 29 years and five months. She was born in 1910 and died in 1939.

In dog to human years, that would be a whopping 151 years of age!

Bluey lived in Rochester, Victoria, and spent her years herding cattle and sheep. Sadly, in her ripe old age she eventually needed to be euthanised. Read more on when putting a pet to sleep is humane.

Watch this video for more on why Bobi is no longer considered the title holder and for a mention of our Bluey:

Living the life, longer

What do all three of these Guinness World Record holders have in common? They each enjoyed farm life away from the bustling city.

That means getting to stroll around and interact with lots of different types of animals. However, the secret to their lasting youth remains much of a mystery. If only we could ask them…

Oldest dog breed in the world

Do you know the Saluki dog breed? It’s the oldest dog breed, having purportedly been around since 329 BC. Now that’s what you call a golden oldie! Speaking of gold, this breed of dog emerged in Egypt. In fact, these dogs held a special place in the hearts and on the laps of the Pharaohs and were even mummified after death.

Here are some fast facts about the oldest dog breed around:

Lifespan 12 – 14 years
Coat Smooth
ColoursCream, fawn, gold, red, tan, white
Height58 – 71 cm
Other namesArabian hound, Gazelle hound, Persian greyhound
A Chihuahua wears a pet jacket and lifts one paw tentatively

What breeds have the longest lifespan for dogs and why?

Speaking of the oldest dog in the world, what breeds have the longest lifespan for dogs? A range of factors contribute to this and while there are some generalisations, of course, it also depends on the individual dog.

Here are a couple of key factors that contribute to breeds that have the longest lifespan for dogs:

Size

Generally speaking little dogs live longer than bigger dogs. Bigger dogs like the Saint Bernard or Labrador live to around 10 years of age whereas little guys like the Dachshund and Chihuahua will very likely experience being teenagers and even reach their twenties.

Lifestyle

Having said that, Bobi’s famed Rafeiro do Alentejo breed is a big dog breed – so perhaps this demonstrates that anything’s possible…? Either way, when it comes to what dogs have the longest lifespan the answer isn’t always breed. Besides genetics, it can come down to the exercise, diet and overall well-being an individual companion animal has throughout his or her life.

Genetics

Of course, there are many hereditary and congenital conditions in dogs. If you’re buying a purebred dog the best way to avoid an unhealthy puppy is buying from an ethical breeder. That’s because they do several health checks on mum and dad before letting them produce a litter and they take wonderful care of their litters. Read about finding an ethical dog breeder.

Diet

When it comes to food, there’s no truer saying than you are what you eat. Be sure to feed your cat or dog a healthy and balanced diet according to their breed, lifestyle, age and life stage. Look for a good quality food that meets AAFCO standards and can cater to your kitten, puppy, dog or cat, then change it to suit their needs as they grow.

Interesting reads

Read whether dry cat food vs wet is better and try out these dinner recipes for pets. Once you've done that also explore whether it's OK for kittens to eat adult cat food.
The Saluki breed has furry draping ears and a slender snout

Award winning insurance dogs young and old

Even if your dog doesn’t grow to be the world’s oldest dog you probably want to make sure they have a great quality of life so the years they have count. A good way to do this is by having pet insurance.

Pet insurance cover means not having to make a head-over-heart decision on pet medical care. From X-rays and surgery to hospitalisation and medicine, your pet’s plan can help pay a host of expenses they may need. PD’s low cost, high-value cover gives your cat or dog quality protection in their hour of need. Speaking of cats and dogs, if you have more than one pet you might also benefit from our multi-pet discount.

Sooner the better

Seeing as we’ve been talking about the oldest dog in the world, it’s worth knowing that getting your pet a plan while they’re young has many benefits. For example, pet insurance only covers hereditary conditions if you hold a policy before the onset of the condition. Both cat insurance and dog insurance don’t cover pre-existing conditions – similar to health insurance for humans.

The sooner you get pet insurance the better. And, when you buy a PD pet insurance policy online we’ll give you one or more months of FREE pet insurance. Why wait; click below to get a quote and begin your pet insurance journey today.

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