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‘World’s oldest dog’ has title revoked
Bobi was awarded the accolades of ‘oldest dog living’ and ‘oldest dog ever’ in February 2023.
GWR says there is not enough evidence to support his claim.

A review conducted by Guinness World Records (GWR) has concluded that Bobi, a rafeiro do Alentejo from Portugal, is not the world’s oldest ever dog.

He has now had his title revoked, despite his owner claiming he had reached the age of 31 when he died last October.

Following a formal review into the ‘oldest dog living’ and ‘oldest dog ever’ titles, opened in January, GWR has concluded that they do not have sufficient evidence to support Bobi’s claim.

Bobi was awarded the accolades of ‘oldest dog living’ and ‘oldest dog ever’ in February 2023, when his owner reported his age as 30 years and 266 days old. This far exceeded the expected life span of a rafeiro do Alentejo, which is approximately 12- 14 years.

Speaking to the Guardian last year, Danny Chambers, a veterinary surgeon and Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), stated that ‘not a single one’ of his Veterinary Voices group believed that Bobi was 31 years old.

A further investigation by Wired magazine accused GWR of insufficient verification of Bobi’s claim. The article suggested that GWR had failed to contact Portugal’s pet database to verify his age.

GWR opened a formal review into the ‘oldest dog living’ and ‘oldest dog ever’ titles in January, pausing all entries for the titles until its investigation had completed.

GWR’s investigation discovered that, when dogs were chipped in 2022, the Portuguese government database for microchip data did not require proof of age for dogs born before 2008. With microchip data central to Bobi’s claim, GWR were left with no conclusive evidence of Bobi’s age.

Mark McKinley, director of records at GWR, said: “We take tremendous pride in ensuring as best we can the accuracy and integrity of all our record titles.

“Following concerns raised by vets and other experts, both privately as well as within public commentary, and the findings of investigations conducted by some media outlets, we felt it important to open a review into Bobi’s record.”

He added: “Without any conclusive evidence available to us right now, we simply can’t retain Bobi as the record holder and honestly claim to maintain the high standards we set ourselves.”

GWR is currently unable to confirm the new holder of the ‘world’s oldest dog ever’ title, but hopes that the investigation will inspire pet owners across the world to get in touch.

Mr McKinley said: “Until that time, we'll require documentary evidence for all years of a pet’s life, we'll continue to ask for vet and witness statements and we’ll also consider microchip data as well where available.”

Image © Guinness World Records

 

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RCVS Knowledge appoints Veterinary Evidence editor-in-chief

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 RCVS Knowledge has welcomed Professor Peter Cockcroft as editor-in-chief for Veterinary Evidence.

A world-renowned expert in evidence-based veterinary medicine, Prof Cockcroft will lead the strategic development and editorial quality of the open-access journal. He was previously in the role from 2017-2020.

Katie Mantell, CEO of RCVS Knowledge, said: "We are excited about the extensive knowledge of evidence-based veterinary medicine and clinical veterinary research that Peter brings, and we look forward to working with him over this next phase of the journal's development." 

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