The Guinness World Records (GWR), a globally revered accolade, is currently under scrutiny for the title of the world’s oldest dog, previously awarded to a canine named Bobi from Portugal.
The formal investigation was launched following concerns raised by veterinarians and other professionals about the accuracy of Bobi’s claimed age.
Bobi, a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo dog, was bestowed with the title of the world’s oldest dog living and the world’s oldest dog ever at the age of 31 years and 165 days in February 2023. However, doubts have surfaced regarding the authenticity of this claim, especially after the canine’s death just eight months later in October 2023.
The investigation revolves around discrepancies noted in the appearance of Bobi’s paws in photographs taken during its younger years compared to its later life. Veterinarians and other experts contend that the white paws in the early photos were inconsistent with the brown paws observed in the dog’s later years.
In response to these concerns, GWR has temporarily withdrawn both the record titles for ‘oldest dog living’ and ‘oldest dog ever’ until the investigation is completed. A GWR spokesperson stated, “While our review is ongoing we have decided to temporarily pause both the record titles for ‘oldest dog living’ and ‘oldest dog ever’ – just until all of our findings are in place.”
The scrutiny has brought to light potential flaws in the fact-checking process, indicating that Bobi’s age might have been erroneously recorded. Reports suggest that Bobi’s age was registered on the national pet database based on owners’ self-certification, and genetic testing only confirmed the dog’s old age rather than providing an exact age.
A key piece of evidence under examination is a specific photo of Bobi taken in 1999, which shows the dog with different-colored paws compared to the dog that passed away in October 2023.
Veterinary experts, including Danny Chambers from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, express skepticism about Bobi’s reported age, emphasizing that no member of the Veterinary Voices group believed the dog was genuinely 31 years old.
Before Bobi, the title of the world’s oldest dog was held by Spike the chihuahua, from Ohio, who died at 23 years and seven days in 2022. The unfolding investigation raises questions about the credibility of age claims in the world of canine records.