Bobi, the world’s oldest dog in history, has crossed over Rainbow Bridge. Bobi was 31 years and 165 days old when he passed away at his home on Saturday October 21st. Bobi spent his entire life at his home with the Costa family in the rural village of Conqueiros. Bobi was a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo (a Portuguese mastiff), a breed of livestock guardian dog that has an average life expectancy of 12 to 14 years.
“Last night this sweet boy earned his wings,” Dr Karen Becker shared on Sunday. “Despite outliving every dog in history, his 11,478 days on earth would never be enough, for those who loved him,” wrote Dr Karen Becker, who shared over the weekend.
Bobi became the Guinness World Record holder in February 2023. Bobi’s age was verified by the Portuguese government’s pet database where he was registered in 1992.
Bobi’s age makes him the oldest dog in history, surpassing an almost century-old record; the previous oldest dog ever was an Australian cattle-dog, Bluey, who lived to be 29 years 5 months old.
Bobi almost didn’t survive when he was a puppy. His owner, Leonel Costa, said that his parents had too many animals and not enough money so when Bobi and his siblings were born in a woodshed his parents decided to put the puppies down.
“I was eight years old,” Costa told the Guinness Book of World Records. “My father was a hunter, and we always had many dogs. Unfortunately, at that time it was considered normal by older people who could not have more animals at home […] to bury the animals in a hole so that they would not survive.”
So a day after the puppies were born and Bobi’s mother wasn’t around, his parents quickly snuck into the woodshed and took the puppies. But in their haste they didn’t see Bobi, who was hiding behind some firewood. Costa and his siblings were very upset with what had happened but they noticed that Gira kept going back to the wood shed.
They discovered Bobi and decided to hide Bobi from their parents until the puppy’s eyes opened. “We knew that when the dog opened its eyes, my parents would no longer bury it,” Leonel explained. “It was popular knowledge that this act could not or should be done.”
When their parents found out what they had done they were very angry and the boys were punished. But for Costa it was “worth it and for a good reason!”
His parents harbored no ill will towards Bobi and he joined the family and was fed human food and well loved. The family had a number of long-lived dogs. Bobi outlived his mother (who lived to 18) and another family dog who reached 22 years old.
Bobi suffered very little in the way of illnesses, but in the last months of his life, Bobi had trouble walking and his eyesight worsened. Leonel credits Bobi’s longevity came from the “calm, peaceful environment” he lived in. Bobi was free to roam the property and never leashed and he befriended many of the animals on the farm.
The family is planning a celebration of life for Bobi in May.